We’ve all had that experience at least once, right? That time a sales call or presentation left us with a really bad taste in our mouth. It felt sleazy, slimy and you knew you’d never say yes. Afterward, you vowed to never be that person. Whether you like sales, hate them, or land somewhere in between, we all want our potential clients to have a comfortable, positive sales experience with us. Even if they decide it’s not for them.
Before we begin, I want to encourage you. Even if you find sales uncomfortable or intimidating, you likely already have a great foundation, you simply don’t know it. Why? How? Because we all naturally tell people about things we like and we’re passionate about, without thinking anything of it. And really, that’s sales at its core. You can build on that by mixing in a few key sales elements and a little authenticity to make sure your potential clients always have a fantastic experience.
“The truth is, we’re all selling all the time… Something I do with my clients is really help them to notice what it feels like when they are sharing something amazing that they love and there’s no money involved. And that feeling and that experience is what I call your unique sales energy… You’re better at selling than you think.” – Molly Claire
What You’ll Learn
Why you have a great sales foundation
Reflect on a great experience
Sold without realizing it
Draw from positive experiences
6 key sales elements
#1: Have your client’s best interest at heart
#2: Listen to fears and help overcome
#3: Help your client visualize
#4: Assume they want to work with you
#5: Don’t be afraid to compassionately ask hard questions
#6: Give your client the gift of closure
Contact Info and Recommended Resources
Connect with Molly Claire
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Intro: Welcome to The Masterful Coach podcast, with Molly Claire, where coaches learn skill mastery, business mastery, and life mastery at a whole new level. If you’re serious about creating a meaningful coaching business that makes a difference, you’re in the right place. And now your host, master life and business coach, Molly Claire.
Molly Claire: Hey, Coach, all right, who’s ready to talk about sleazy, slimy sales? We’ve all experienced it, right? We all have that experience where we have a really bad taste in our mouth, we are certain that we will never be that person and no one will ever have such a bad experience with us.
So, this episode is for you if you love sales, if you hate sales, if you have about every mixed feeling under the sun about sales, even those of you that are hoping I’ll tell you that you never have to sell ever, ever, ever and you can still build a successful business. For all of you, this is for you.
In this episode, I am going to talk with you about some key elements that you can bring into your sales. Now this isn’t a really nitty gritty strategy kind of episode, per se. But I’m offering you principles that I hope you will be able to implement and incorporate in how you sell to people. So, we’re going to talk about that. And this episode was inspired by a recent sales experience that I had, that felt so terrible to me.
And I said to my team, “Heaven help me if anyone ever has this kind of experience with us.” I couldn’t help but share with you some of my thoughts about sales, especially because I know a lot of you are kind of intimidated or really kind of hate sale. So, I hope that I can help you change all of that.
So, before we dive in, by the way, those of you in The Masterful Coach Collective, we are having the amazing Jody Moore, seven figure business builder come to talk sales with you. So, she is one of my favorite people when it comes to sales, because I really found a lot of genuineness and authenticity in the things I learned early on from her. She and I have known each other for over seven years now. She’s amazing and I’m excited to bring her to you. And I will be having her on the podcast as well, so stay tuned all of you.
So, let’s first address this idea that some of you wish you could never sell again and make money in your business. Here is the reality of it. You listening, already sell people all the time. In life, we are always selling people. Think about the times that you tell your best friend about this amazing new product that they absolutely have to have. Think about when you are selling your kids on cleaning their room, on learning maybe a principle or a value or taking in some really good quality advice, or at least quality advice you think it’s quality advice, but they may not. You’re selling them on ideas.
Right now, I’m not asking you for money, but I’m selling you on this idea that you are always selling on this podcast, anytime I am telling you that more is possible for you. I’m selling you on that idea that it is. So, the truth is we’re all selling all the time. And something I do with my clients is really help them to notice what it feels like when they are sharing something amazing that they love. And there’s no money involved. That feeling in that experience is what I call your unique sales energy.
Just kind of throwing that out there. I’m not going to get too in depth on that. But we’re always selling all the time, you’re better at selling than you think. And what we really need to do is help you bring the authenticity to your sales process in your business as well. Because by the way, I’ll throw this out there, even if you say, well, I’m going to have a salesperson in my business, you’re still going to be selling in your business, you’re going to be selling people on why they should work for you, selling people on all kinds of things. So, I want you to just kind of think differently about how you really view sales right now.
The next thing I want you to think about is one of the best sales experiences you’ve ever had. Some of you may have something come to mind right away. My guess is that many of you are scrambling to think of one. What’s interesting about sales, any good sales experience is I think about it so much like housework. Have you ever heard this idea that housework is only noticed when it’s undone? If you don’t clean, you’re going to notice right? The dust, the clutter, but if you do, nobody notices if the baseboards don’t have dust, they just notice if they do.
It’s the same thing with sales. We only notice sales when it’s done terribly, when we feel bad. So no wonder so many people have such a bad taste in their mouth about sales. Because when we have a bad sales experience, it’s an experience of someone trying to take advantage of us, someone trying to kind of shift the truth a little bit to maybe fool us, someone having their own best interests at heart. No wonder we have such a bad connotation with sales, but if you think about all the good things that you have in your life, there is an element of you having a good sales experience.
Somewhere along the way, maybe messages sold you on the idea of going on a vacation somewhere that you’d really like to go, maybe that favorite item you have in your kitchen, somewhere along the way, you were sold on that being a good thing to have in your kitchen. Even the idea of how you might live your life, somewhere along the way, maybe you were sold on the idea that it would be a good idea to get married or to have kids. And maybe there are days when you think that was not such a good sales experience when you’re in the thick of parenthood and such.
My point is that the best sales experiences are never noticed. Because you end up with a product or something in your life, that is such a great match for you that it doesn’t seem like sales at all. Now, my guess is that many of you can think about terrible sales experiences. I know that I can, absolutely. And my hope is that as I share with you some of these basic principles, you will be able to apply them immediately. And you really will experience sales differently.
And here is what I will tell you, I have paid a lot of money over the years as I have grown my business. And I don’t regret one honey that I’ve spent in my business. Every bit of money I’ve invested in my business has been worth it. And I have been grateful to have that service. When I paid my first coach when I didn’t have much money and she was a fairly high-ticket coach, and I got so much out of it in my personal life—best money I’ve ever spent, best decision I’ve ever made. Just as a precursor to these tips, I want to offer up to you this idea that the way you view purchasing and a sales process will also influence how you sell an offer to your clients. Because if you don’t like going to a sales call, or you don’t like spending money, and you’re hesitant, and all those kinds of things. That’s how you will approach your clients as well.
All right, coaches, let’s talk about these tips. Number one, first and foremost, have your client’s best interest at heart. It’s not right for your client to work with you. There’s no reason that you should try to sell them on working with you. And having your client’s best interests at heart also means when you are talking with your client, asking questions, you’re asking to actually understand your client, what they actually need, what their fears are, what their obstacles are, because we hear a lot about overcoming objections and learning how to overcome objections. And too often, what I find is this is someone listening just enough to have something to say back.
I first learned this idea from Stephen R. Covey, where he talks about listening to respond, rather than listening to understand. This is a principle in all of our conversations and relationships. How many of you have experienced that where you’re in a conversation with someone, you share something with them, and then they respond with something that seems to have completely missed what you even said. We’ve all experienced that. And sometimes it just may be that they didn’t quite get it. And oftentimes, it’s because someone’s listening to respond. And I know I’ve done that as well. We’ve all done that, where we’re listening, and we have that thing to say back.
Don’t be a salesperson who listens to respond. When you genuinely have your client’s best interests at heart. You genuinely listen, you want to understand where they are, you want to understand what they need. You want to understand what their fears are. So that this idea of overcoming obstacles is really about helping them meet their needs, instead of just rebutting things or trying to convince them. This leads us into point number two, listening to their fears, and helping them to actually overcome them. And I would say even more accurately, connect the dots between what they’re experiencing and how you can help them.
Too often, overcoming objections, really comes out as arguing against, which is always going to push your client away. Rather than seeing this as you and this potential client on the same page. This is what I’m hearing. And here are some solutions. This is what I see is possible. So remember that in conjunction with having your client’s best interests at heart and listening and understanding, you want to make sure that it’s a team effort to talk about how this program or working with you as a coach will actually help them to overcome.
Next step, help your client visualize what is possible and what may be to come when they work with you, if they don’t. Now, this is a good thing to do. And the way I see many coaches or salespeople taking this sideways, is rather than taking a genuine look and a reflective look, as far as what might happen, what do they perceive will happen, if they have your help, if they don’t have your help, or if they go to find another solution. The way I see it going sideways is when this is done with proving the point that they would be better off working with you, in a way where there’s very much an agenda and almost a threatening kind of tone.
Have you experienced that? It’s kind of like, “Well, what do you think’s going to happen if you don’t sign up?” It’s like, oh, how about we ignite all the shame, and how about we just make them see that this would be a stupid decision not to work together, that’s not very nice. And it’s not going to be effective. It’s not the experience that I want my clients to have. And my guess is the same for you. So I do think it’s a good idea to help them visualize that because the truth is, many of your clients are nervous when they come to you, they’re insecure, they’re afraid, they’re never going to lose the weight, they’re afraid that they’re too big of a mess to have their marriage ever work, or that this is never going to be resolved, they’re afraid, they’re never going to be able to actually stop yelling at their kids, or stop drinking, or stop that thing that they’ve been trying to stop for a long time, or achieve that dream that they want so badly.
So, when you can help your client, truly help them to see what’s possible, even if they decide not to sign up with you. If you help that potential client, see what’s possible and visualize it, you’ve just given them a gift. And this gift may help them to easily make the decision to work with you, or it may help them decide that’s not right for them. And either way, it’s a win-win.
Next up, assume that people you’re talking with want to work with you. How many times do you talk with someone and their hesitancy, or their lack of response is immediately interpreted by you, as rejection, as they don’t want this. It’s so normal for our brain to go there. But I assure you that there are so many times that that’s not the case at all. I know I can speak from my experience. But some of the things that I want the most, I can sometimes hesitate on, because I feel some conflict, I’m uncertain. And I don’t want to say no, I’m not going to do this, because I’m not sure I want to let it go, I just need a little bit of help moving forward.
So, notice that for you, how often do you assume it’s a rejection of you, or a rejection of what you have? And how can you instead assume that the client wants to be with you, or bring curiosity as to where they are stuck. Because I promise when you assume that the client doesn’t want to be there, you’re going to react in a way, that’s probably not going to help them make a decision to work with you. Whereas, when we can assume they want it and maybe they just need a little bit of help, or maybe they’re just a little bit afraid. That’s when we can lean in and help them to make that decision.
Next up, don’t be afraid to ask them questions to help them self-reflect on what they need, and if they are ready to come and work with you. This ties in directly with helping them visualize what’s possible. Because when you can ask them those really self-reflective questions like: do you think you’ll be able to do this on your own? What would that look like? When done in the right way, it can be very loving, very warm, very compassionate. And it can help to reveal some things to them that they may not see otherwise. Don’t be afraid to ask something that is a hard question for your client, especially if you’re doing it from that genuine place and wanting to work with your client.
The last thing I want to offer you here is, give your client the gift of offering them closure. Decide when they will decide, either have a very clear policy about it, or talk with the client about when the decision will be made. When will the follow up be. And as you do this, I highly recommend giving permission that either decision is okay and you’re just there to help them, guess what it does? It allows them to let their guard down. It allows them to actually take the help and take that step to work with you if it’s right for them, instead of them pushing it away with fear.
And sometimes the opposite is true. Sometimes that permission means they’re going to let you know sooner they’re not interested. Either way, it is a win. Because trust me when I say that if a client is not right for you, you don’t want to work with them and they don’t want to work with you. It’s not a good working relationship. Give that permission so that you can truly help your client make the best decision to come with you or to move on to whatever is right for them. This is genuineness, this is kindness, this is abundance, this is trusting that if you care about people and you help them see what’s possible, and you help them make the decision to take that next step in their life, the ones that are perfect for you will be there, and the rest will go find exactly the person that’s perfect to help them.
That’s what I’ve got for you, Coach. Have an amazing day and I hope you enjoy some of these new insights and things you notice about sales all around you. Have a good one. I’ll talk to you next week.
Outro: Thanks for listening to The Masterful Coach Podcast. If you’re ready for complete support as you build your coaching business, check out Molly’s collaborative community, The Masterful Coach Collective, it’s a place where you’ll have access to the best experts in the biz, community support and guidance as you build your perfect business 90 days at a time. Visit www.mollyclaire.com for details.