Let’s talk sales, shall we?
That’s right – the word some entrepreneurs dread…and even equate to “sleazy” and “manipulative.”
A few years ago, I had a painful and awkward sales conversation.
On the phone with Jessica (not her real name), I knew we could meet her business goals, and we were both excited about her business.
It was great…until she asked for a guarantee. She wanted assurance of results and to know exactly how much money I made.
She wasn’t being difficult on purpose (she’d tried other programs before and saw no results), but I soon became uncomfortable. My energy shifted and each time she asked me how I’d ensure results, we hit awkward pauses and moments of real tension.
I felt hesitant and didn’t know where this was going.
Despite my hesitation, I wanted her to see how the program would help her, so I pushed through and gave her more examples, more client results.
The more I did, the worse I felt. Every word deflated me and I felt like I was convincing instead of being present. I focused on her watchful, skeptical energy, and the more I dwelled on it, the less clearly I expressed myself.
I cringed until she said, “I need time to think about it.”
The next week she sent me an email saying she wanted a coach, just not me.
And that was the universe smacking me straight upside the head.
It stung. But given our awkward conversation, I wasn’t surprised. Actually, I got off the phone knowing we weren’t the right fit… BUT because I wasn’t present, the situation ended only how it could have: badly.
And isn’t that how we learn?
We strive for something while our intuition fires wildly, sending us signals to pause. “Ishita, check in. What’re you feeling?” “Ishita, stop – what feels off?”
But I ignored the pause.
Most importantly, I took it too personally.
Instead of deeply listening, I tried proving that she could get results, that I was the right person, and that she should sign up.
Had I not wanted to “make the sale”, I probably would have listened to my inside voice and stopped 10 minutes in. Maybe referred her to a friend who could have helped her more.
In my early conversations, when someone said “No,” I thought they didn’t like me or that I wasn’t good enough to sell my services. I fell into the trap I see MANY entrepreneurs fall into: rejection means people don’t like YOU.
Many business owners, especially early on, try to prove that they’re right for everyone – no matter who it is. That whoever shows up on phone – you can and must help them.
That’s not true at all.
When I learned the secret of how to sell WELL, I realized my early conversations were just me frustrated by people who weren’t a good fit.
We do it all the time.
Instead of seeing we’re not right for someone, and being okay with it, or knowing our services aren’t what someone needs right now, we try to convince. Because hearing “no” feels like a personal wound.
The need to prove holds us back. It takes us out of service, and we can’t stay present with the other person.
It prevents us from actually helping someone, because when we focus on THEM, not us, we block our own ability to give them what they need, which is the whole point of a sales conversation anyway.
Your goal on ANY conversation is to help the other person make a transformation, and ask “What do they need?” – even if they don’t sign up for the program.
When you’re truly present, it feels VERY different:
- You stop pushing yourself and your services on them.
- You matter-of-factly give them what they need. There’s less emotional angst and less attachment to the outcome.
- You both feel less edgy when you enter and leave the conversation.
- You feel calm, and strong, and proud that you can help someone.
- You actually end up attracting exactly the RIGHT clients for YOU.
If you do this, even if people don’t sign up with you that day, they’ll always trust you to be confident – the safe space where they could be real about their fears.
It’s like dating.
It’s best to be yourself in dating because that’s when you have the most fun and when you can tell if the person is right for you. The best dates I’ve been on were when I was completely myself – not proving I was cooler or smarter than I was. Whenever I did prove, it was a total disaster! I acted a fool and left not even knowing how I felt about the person.
We do the same thing when we wear our “sales hat.” We want to sell everyone, we take things personally, and we attach too much to the outcome. We’re too self-conscious to be of real service to someone.
But just like everyone in your city wouldn’t be right for you to date, not everyone is going to be the right client for you. That’s okay! That’s a good thing. You only WANT the people who feel right specifically for YOU; and you need a much smaller number of people than you think.
You only need a small number of people to grow your business to wild success. You only have a few people in this world made specifically for your heart, why would your business be any different.
So stop taking things personally, especially with sales.
When we sell, we forget that not everyone will be right for us or be easy and fun to work with.
When you take the pressure off of selling EVERYONE…
- You actually end up attracting YOUR people
- It feels easy to charge what you’re worth
- You never feel awkward on call because you’re not proving.
Stop dating the whole world and find YOUR people. Because they’re out there waiting for you and this small group is all you need. If you’re too busy proving, they have no idea how to find you. :)