If you think about it, sales, the process of sharing/describing an opportunity, an asset, a product, program, or service of some kind to someone, asking them if they would like to buy or participate in it and then facilitating their access to it, is not a skill that only applies in the world of business, really, is it? Or so i very much remembered towards the end of this last year, even living with former Business Owners (now former housemates) and watching (or rather clashing with) how they were representing themselves on both share housing and dating websites. From the occasional story heard at business events of Coaches who were bragging about having just been taught by some Training Guru how to use people's Daddy damage and abuse trauma to give them the cold shoulder until they're hooked on you and THEN you close the deal, to this week, for example, watching a cleaning business trying to squeeze ads for themselves onto a service dedicated to home owners and potential house sitters sharing information, who had to create a fake profile to be able to use the system that notifies of upcoming "house-sit opportunities", it's pretty obvious how widespread and pervasive this belief still is, throughout so many areas of life in which we have to market ourselves, or what we have to offer.
And every single time, i look at them (or in the case of my former house mates, ask them) why do they think you need to do this, to get what you want, when there is a far more integral, heart centred, honest way to succeed?
I know because I've done the sales trainings of 7-8 figure Business Mentors' who teach it. Then i've spent a lot of time with 7 figure Business Owners in previous years helping co-create it. I've watched them book half of rooms for sales calls and then convert 91-100% of people to high end programs. And run my own events where 92% of the room registered for another event or program using it. I've watched start up clients and established clients successfully implement it. Every clinic i've ever helped bring from in the red to in the black, i've used it. Having being hired for my background at times, to help struggling retails or sales teams lift, I've just happened to have been there when some of those became top performers in the state doing things this way.
And if i once worried, when i first arrived in Sydney, that maybe it only worked in the realms of Holistic Practitioners and then decided i'd see if i could find ways to try it in corporate organisations, I think now i'm even more convinced than ever. Since i've now used it in, for example, AR functions, to help companies get some of their best stats ever on outstanding money brought in at EOFY. PLus used it to help multiple organisations or associations drive their membership renewal stats through the roof.
Hence, why my conviction when i say, you don't need to lie or withhold or manipulate anyone or anything to make it rain in $8 to $150K chunks.
While it takes months to years to try and teach anyone the communication techniques and processes on how to personally execute the various parts of that, what i have been thinking about of late are the character traits and habits of successful heart-centered sales and marketing folk, that help them do what they do. What i wanted to share today, are 12 that many have in common.
I once shared a meme that said to take some time to think about what you're about to do today, because whether you intend to or not, that's what the world is going to know you for tomorrow. These 12 will help anyone who reads them, or that you may choose to share them with, create a sales or rather sharing legacy one can be genuinely proud to be known for.
Be clear- you have to be clear about what it is you're really offering and offer it in appropriate ways and places. It doesn't matter what you're "selling", whether you're selling a program, selling a share house room, wanting to date people, be clear about what you're really wanting and offering. People can connect with it and make a decision when you can clearly point out exactly what's on the table. But people appreciate you having clarity up front too and don't appreciate having their time wasted by people misrepresenting themselves and their true intentions. So do your best to be clear what you're offering and then be transparent in putting it on the table.
Talk about things you know about: sounds obvious, but after several years of Business Coaching and Mentoring Business Owners, many start to draw a blank when you ask them what they know, beyond say, being a Naturopath or an Accountant (e.g. being trained to perform a job). What topics do you know about though? What problems can you help solve? What areas do you feel you need to know more about? The more you know about that, the clearer you can be with people about what you're trying to sell. And the clearer you can be about what problems you can and can't help with. So worth taking time to take stock of what you know ,what problems you can help solve, and for what people.
Be trustworthy- do your best to be honest, with respect to the limitations of confidentiality and privacy agreements. It might feel a little vulnerable at times when rejection is a potential outcome, particularly when the subject of sale, is you. But you have to put your known cards on the table that might impact their decision making process, to become worthy of someone's trust too. More than that, giving someone the reality that something isn't right for them, or suggesting a referral, or a better product option, may well not sell them on that one original thing you had hoped they might be into. But it may well motivate them to tell 10 other people to buy you, because you can clearly now be trusted to give an honest answer that serves your client's highest good, even when it doesn't serve your personal agenda to do so. People appreciate people with that level of integrity. So, do your best to be honest. But remember, as Brene says in Dare to Lead, it's also good to check your intention too on WHY you feel the need to share that particular detail with them? Is it really for their benefit? Or is it really about what you need? Good litmus test that one.
Be someone with the best of intentions. Put another way, you have to genuinely want them to be happy and fulfilled and therefore, feel inspired to want to do the best job you can do and be the best version of you that you can be, to help them as best you can, and ensure you can give them the best possible experience they can have.
Be someone who sees people with your heart eyes- to want the best for them, it also helps to be able to looking at them with your heart eyes. I shared a video on this last year that's on my LinkedIn profile. But as a refresher, it's about seeing them with awe and appreciation for the being they truly are, both with love and respect for their amazing bits, and with love and compassion for their wounded bits. And being able to look them in the eyes with that degree of love.
A Relationship Coach colleague (and my Counselling training) once told me, don't ever try and work with someone who you can't genuinely, sincerely open your heart to, or show up to with what Carl Rogers used to call "unconditional positive regard." If one sincerely can't yet get past their own triggers or judgements of the client, to be able to show up with them as they do the rest of their favourite clients, it might be best to consider referring the client on for now. In a Coaching, Consulting or Mentoring dynamic, where you have the balance of power and they're likely looking up to you, there's a real chance you could genuinely hurt the client in the process of working with them, if you don't seek professional support in doing so, or can't hold them when their wounds open up in the course of your work. In an ethical world, and one where we're aiming to the be the best of ourselves as Leaders, be a champion for your client's wellbeing and safety. And if you can't, help them find someone who CAN give them the best of themselves and, more than that, sincerely wants to, for all the right reasons.
Be a great listener- it’s easy to do when you’re sincerely interested in the person in front of you. But sales research shows us, it’s also one of the qualities that makes sales people (and Leaders) truly great too. There are some really simple ways you can work on your listening skills and the level of presence you bring to a conversation too. Ask me if you'd like me to share them with you. But being a great listener not only ensures people feel heard and become empowered to start opening up their own answers and solutions. But the longer you listen, the more info you will have to help them solve their problems and to be able to accurately suggest the best possible solutions for them.
Be the person who does their homework first- before you try and sell someone you don't know well yet anything, do your research. Get on their website, their LinkedIn profile, wherever you can get data on their expertise and get to know a bit about them. Be curious as you read too, in the kind of way that HR people are when they're screening a CV for a candidates suitability. A gap you see in time spent at work, or a step down in seniority can speak volumes to where they're at, if you care to start getting curious about what that's about, relative to what you know and the problems you can help solve. BUT, it's also a mark of respect to double check that you're not about to, say, sell a start up intro to sales course, to the CEO of a Sales Company, who was a "Sales Consultant" (the term you did a search on) but, like, 10 years ago. It makes a world of difference to the conversation, if you show up to it HONOURING and ACKNOWLEDGING and humble in the face of the existing expertise, wisdom and experience of the person in front of you, knowing that, no matter how young or old someone is, we all have a unique take and set of skills and experience of immense value to give. And deep down, doesn't every single one of us deeply want to be seen and acknowledged for who we are? Start there, before you sell.
You have to trust- and there are multiple things in which you have to trust. In that you are enough. In that other people can see your value. In that other people can be trusted. In that there IS enough to go around. In that the world is an abundant place and there are plenty of people out there that are looking for the sum total or everything you are and or everything you or your product helps with or solves, so you don't actually NEED to get all antsy about the competition. In that the universe is constantly conspiring in your favour. In that you have the power to make it conspire in yours. The more you can trust, the less conditions you'll put on the potential engagement. If you can find the place of trust, it's also easier to let go of those before-mentioned mis-matched possibilities, in favouring of making room for the right ones to come in. Think abundant mindset, over lack and fear based mindset. The more reasons you can find to trust, the easier everything in life gets. (And the more integral you get at not just sales, but attracting the right prospects and the right resources and support.)
Be someone who gives abundantly, with the fewest possible conditions. The more you can do to remove your attachment and your NEED for a particular outcome, the cleaner the transaction will be and therefore the better your results will be. People can tell when you're pushing your agenda, but at their expense. People can tell when you're a means to their happiness, but you're not interested in their own. Just as they can tell when you're offering them something for the right reasons and giving with an open heart, without attachment to what they're going to get as a financial or emotional reward for it. So whatever is driving you to NEED that sale, do what you have to do resolve that FIRST, so that you can show up cleanly to the discussion, with as few hidden agenda and NEEDS of your own as possible.
Be willing to own your mistakes and want to make amends quickly- nobody's perfect, everybody is a work in progress. But we tend to trust and respect those people more, who are capable of owning up to their mistakes, swallowing their pride to use that "i'm sorry" phrase and taking responsibility for making amends when they make them, where needed. But more than just talking about being sorry, get busy DOING things to improve. It shows that you truly care and you're truly committed. Who doesn't want people in their world who are both?
These final two, are huge:
Sell things you genuinely believe in- My brother once said that I could sell ice to eskimos, so long as I believed in the ice. (If i didn't believe in what i was selling though, game over.) When you have experienced the benefits of something first hand and genuinely love and value something (and or the someone behind it,) you don’t need to try to convince anyone of anything. Your passion and enthusiasm alone speaks for itself, as the flood of positive things you have to say, spontaneously start flooding out your mouth, before and after they ask you more questions. And passion is contagious. People want a piece of that, especially if it genuinely solves their problems, improves their quality of life and helps them better do what they do. And you’re able to tell them how it will do exactly that. So if you're not already, try and work your way to selling things you genuinely believe in and love. And if that thing you're selling is you, do what you have to, to get sold on YOUR amazing value.
Have a WHY. But even better, have a higher purpose. Finally, everything flows better and people are more likely to get behind it when, as Simon Sinek would say, we're both deeply connected to our why, and we can connect the person buying with their REAL WHY, underneath the surface problem we're trying to solve. BUT, one of the things that heart-centred, soulful, integral sales people also do, is align their work with a higher purpose. This might sound a bit whoo whoo to some of you. But for every work activity i ever do, there's an intention i set and a little prayer i say about being of service to the greater good, (if you believe in the Carolyn Myss line of thinking around the soul agreements we make) honouring the soul contracts involved in working with your future clients and creating a safe space in which to ensure that those can be delivered upon, MINUS any earthly mental confusion and any unnecessary outside influence or interference. Whatever your name for whatever higher power, or universal higher intelligence exists out there, life can and will start raining endless streams of little daily miracles for you, when you keep intending to serve the highest good of everyone involved in all aspects of life.
Coming back to my question at the start of all this, if you knew that there was a better way that works, than the old fear based coercion and manipulation techniques and that you didn't have to lie or withhold anything to get to where you want to go, why WOULDN'T you want to learn to do it the heart-centred, soulful, integral way? And then share it far and wide?
Please feel free to share this with anyone who you feel might benefit. And if you have any questions about HOW to be and DO any of that, please don't hesitate to ask.
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Thanks for reading. Until next time....
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