Martin Stellar - Coach & Consultant for ethical sales and business growth

Martin Stellar - Coach & Consultant for ethical sales and business growth

“Martin, Where Did You Learn Selling?” Me: “In a Monastery”

Most people raise an eyebrow or two, when I tell them that I learned how to sell while living in a monastery.

Not what you’d expect, but it’s true.

During my 12 years there, I was often in charge of projects, which meant I had to manage teams of volunteers.

And if you’ve ever tried to get things done with volunteers, you’ll know hard it can be.

In a monastery, visitors don’t always want to do dishes, or help out with cleaning rooms, or do gardening work, or help with building projects.

Much nicer to sit in the garden and feel all spiritual ‘n stuff.

So, nearly every day I had to work with people in order to have them cooperate in supporting the community.

Tough schooling, I tell you.

Especially because in a monastery, the rules are different.

In the outside world, it’s easy to get away with a little manipulation, white lies, or mild obfuscation of the truth.

In a monastery however, not so. There is zero room, no tolerance, for any behaviour that’s not 100% ethical.

Any faux-pas, any action or word inspired by self-interest, and you get slammed hard with the reality of how you deal with people.

Folks might get upset, they might refuse to do anything at all, they might complain about you to others, or, most fun of all, you’d get called out by the abbot and you’d go back to your room with an earful.

Like I say: tough schooling.

Which is exactly why I became good at ethical persuasion, and it’s why I was able to create a training system that makes enrolling buyers into your work something fun and effective.

Is that what you want?

Then here’s more info about the training for the LEAP Ethical Sales Framework…

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

Mandela, Ghandi, MLK & Lincoln: Some of the Best Salespeople In History

If you struggle with the idea of selling because you think it’s wrong, unethical or manipulative – or the biggest problem of all: that it doesn’t align with your values: I wrote this one for you.

Because yes, the names in the subject header each were phenomenally good salespeople.

Even Jesus was a terrific salesman.

Yes, I’m going there. You coming?

See, while they didn’t sell time or goods for money, they all spent their lives… selling ideas.

They had a mission for the benefit of others, they believed in it, and they worked tirelessly to give people reasons to buy in to that mission.

Their job wasn’t to sell so much, but to *enroll* people in their mission.

And that’s what ‘selling’ comes down to.

Enrolling someone in something.

Joining a movement for change, finally going on a diet, sticking with your exercise regime, flossing, or indeed: seeing yourself as a happy, satisfied buyer of something, who’s happy that the money was spent – because look at that computer or car or training or coat that I’m so happy with!

It’s all sales.

And where it comes to selling in an actual business context, what you’re doing isn’t manipulating or forcing or coercing, or even persuading:

Instead – if you do it right and you’re ethical (unlike politicians, who are also good sellers but who often appear to suffer from a severe lack of ethics) – ‘selling’ to a potential buyer is a way to invite them to buy into a different view on themselves.

Integrous, effective, ethical selling means you provide a way for the other person to see themselves in an ‘after’ stage, where the problem they have is solved..

You don’t ‘sell things to people’ – they enroll themselves, if they want to.

Note that I’m eating my own dogfood here: I’m trying to find a way for you to buy into a different view on sales – one that, if you adopt it, will make a massive difference to your enrollment process. I hope it’s working.

And if it is, and you’re ‘buying’, and you like this different way of looking at sales, and you want to make it part of your business and let it make your own enrollment easier and more effective and fun?

Then one way to do that, is to get my 9-week training on ethical selling.

More information here.

Cheers,

Martin

Can Selling Be Fun?

Almost every day, someone tells me a different reason why they don’t like selling.

“Selling is stressful”.

“It’s frustrating that the process takes so long”.

“I wish I wouldn’t have to always look for new prospects”.

“It’s such a waste of time, to issue proposals and not get the sales”.

I get it. Building your business, marketing, having sales conversations, writing proposals… it’s work, of the kind that you simply can’t get around.

But it doesn’t have to be a slog.

In fact, for me it’s the opposite. I find the whole marketing and sales process – a ton of fun.

Why?

For one thing, because it’s like a puzzle: who is this for? How can I reach them? Who’s most likely to buy? What do they want to hear, or know, in order to want what I’ve got? Puzzle, puzzle, puzzle. Shifting pieces, figuring out what works, seeing a picture emerge… it’s endless discovery and learning, and I just love learning people.

And that’s the second reason I like sales so much:

Learning. Learning about myself, for one thing, but also: learning other people.

Every person is a world, and for that person to buy my work, means I need to learn that person.

What are their fears and frustrations… which wants and aspirations do they have…?

How committed are they, how can I help them, what can I do to help them get out of repetitive and dysfunctional thinking, and operate and grow their business from the heart?

What’s the key I need to turn, in order for them to see their own abilities, leadership, communication and sales skills?

Who, in other words, IS this person – and how do I need to show up so that they can relate to me?

I promise, when you turn marketing and sales into that kind of exercise, it becomes a lot of fun.

Now, you can see selling as a separate thing, something you just have to do if you’re in business – or you can see it as an integral part of being human.

Where ‘being human’ means you exist in relation to others, and at any moment you have the opportunity to connect with someone, share in an experience, and figure out how you can create resonance with that person.

Much like you would with relatives, a partner, or a friend.

Selling isn’t some terrible task: it’s what we do all day long anyway.

And once you internalise that, once you make the shift into selling as a normal, helpful human activity, suddenly it becomes fun.

You don’t need to ‘get over yourself’ or ‘suck it up’ or ‘just accept sales’.

All you need to do is discover your own innate curiosity for others, and make it your mission to learn people, figure out what’s going on in their world.

If you talk to me, I’ll show you how…

Cheers,

Martin

Righting Wrongs

A savvy business owner sees a hole in the market, and figures out a way to fill it.

A savvy and compassionate business owner sees a pain in the world, and finds a way to ease it for those who suffer from it.

These are the people we all know, and their products and marketing are there to be found wherever we look.

And then there’s a third kind of business owner.

This type isn’t in business because there’s a need, or a hole in the market, or because they found a way to make money.

It can even be argued that these people aren’t in business, necessarily: they’re on a mission, and a business just happens to be a good vehicle to further it.

People like that, they see a status quo that they refuse to accept, and they make it their mission and their purpose to right the wrong that they see – to change the status quo.

(The wrong that I see, and that I want to fix, is that ‘the nicest people, those most concerned with making things better, are often those who struggle most to grow their business’. That to me is wrong, because it means that the less nice, the more aggressive or less scrupulous, do move forward, while good eggs don’t. I stand against that and my mission is to make the good eggs, those business owners who actually care, grow and profit the way they deserve).

Incidentally, my favourite kind of client is of course the kind of person who’s on a mission: it’s a lot of fun to see someone scale up because of, rather than despite, their values.

Because that’s the whole simple essence of an ethical business:

Your values don’t have to stand in the way of your growth – they can enable your growth, and impact, and money, and all those good things.

And good eggs, folk on a mission, well that’s the kind of person I have a lot of time for.

So anyway, I’m curious:

What mission are you on? What do you stand up for?

What wrong does your business serve to right?

Cheers,

Martin

How to Sell Things and Still Sleep at Night

“Oh if you like that, you should totally watch Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, said my mastermind buddy.

I wasn’t feeling it – I mean I like Star Trek just fine, but it never impacted me as much as some other scifi shows and films. And DS9, the few bits I’d seen, just didn’t grab me all that much.

He went on: “I really like it as a show because it’s kind of the forgotten stepson of the franchise and it’s the deepest one. Really interesting commentary on occupation, religious freedom, and racism”.

With that, I was sold. Must give it a try.

And I joked: “You should be in sales”.

Here’s why this matters, if you own or run a business.

Because if you do, you need to sell your work or products.

Without sales, you don’t have a business.

But most people have hangups about selling.

Limiting beliefs, erroneous views, and of course the bad taste we have in our mouths, seeing how sleezy and corrupt and unethical sales can get, if it’s the wrong person doing it.

But, as per Daniel Pink: to sell is human.

“Shall we go get a pizza?” –> Selling someone on an idea.

“Don’t beat up your little brother” –> selling your toddler on learning and adopting societal norms.

“Eat your greens” –> selling your kid on learning to do what’s best for them.

“Will you marry me?” –> selling your partner on forging a lasting bond.

Sales are a tool for creating an exchange of values, nothing more or less.

Another tool is a hammer, made for putting nails into things.

And both tools are agnostic of ethics – it’s the handler of the tool who puts on the ethics and morals. Both can be used for right or wrong.

So, if you have doubts or concerns about sales, or if you think selling is bad, or that you’re not good at selling, here’s the solution:

Transfer enthusiasm. That’s what selling is.

It’s what my buddy did, and it works, and it’s ethical.

He suggested reasons that might make me care, by appealing to values that are important to me.

How to transfer enthusiasm?

Well, that’s what I show my clients, but the basic rules are as follows:

1: Be real. If you’re not enthusiastic about what you’re selling, you should not fake it, but find either a different product or a different market.

2: Care about the other person and their needs. If someone buys something, it’s because they want their life to improve, in whatever way. To be effective at selling – and I mean: transferring enthusiasm – you’ve got to actually care about them.

3: Listen – not for the cue on what you’re going to say next, but really, truly, listen to what’s going on in the other person’s mind and emotions.

4: Once you ‘get’ what’s going on for them, make sure that your reply is tailored to join the conversation that’s going on in their minds.

5: Ask for a decision. Note that this is different from pushing people into one.

6: Accept ‘no’ with grace and gratitude. The person who says no has just freed you up from a conversation that won’t lead anywhere good for you or them.

That’s something to be grateful for – you get to move on with your life, and they too.

You now have more time to seek other potential candidates, and have conversations with them.

Bonus: you get to sleep at night, because you know you’ve operated with ethics and true human concern.

More bonus: you’ll always be able to restart the conversation with the person who said no, because you treated them with concern and respect.

Now: Do you want to get really, really good at having those kinds of conversations, and develop your ability to enroll people – AND feel good about it?

Let me know, and let’s have a conversation.

Cheers,

Martin

Everything That’s Wrong With Marketing and Sales, in One Handy Sentence

The other day I saw a salespage for some new thing that Tony Robbins is doing – I forget the details, but it’s some sort of programme designed to help people start mastermind groups, or something like that.

So far, so good: a mastermind group is a fantastic tool in the life of any business professional, and everyone should be in one. Seriously.

But somewhere on the page, it read:

“Social Pressure – This is going to be one of the biggest launches in history with more hype leading up to it then ever before. And people are going to be afraid to miss out on this new wave of opportunity.”

Well, yuck. Made me feel like I needed a shower.

Because that single line describes perfectly why marketing and sales have such a bad reputation.

I mean, come on Tony: Hype? Afraid to miss out? New wave of opportunity?

Oh sure, it’s effective marketing. Hype works.

And it’s effective selling too: Painting a ‘wave of opportunity’ reels people in, and pushing scarcity buttons and triggering fear of missing out, that works too.

But it’s scuzzy, manipulative, and in my monkly opinion: highly unethical.

Marketing and sales campaigns like that, they prey on the gullible. It’s designed to coerce people into buying something – not because they actually need it, but because there’s an artificial sense of need being created in the buyer. It’s manipulation.

Now while I’m sure Tony is a good guy, nice to his grandma and so on, and I guess he makes a difference for people. All good.

But seeing this? Bleh. What a turnoff.

Selling – done right and done ethically – doesn’t need any hype, or ‘wave of opportunity’ or fear of missing out.

Selling done right means you serve a buyer in making a yes/no decision, based on actual – not manufactured – need.

And on that note: if you have an actual, current need for growing your sales, business, impact, and revenue… and you wonder if a sales coach might help?

Then why not reply, and we’ll set up a time to talk.

We’ll take 20 minutes for a strategy call, to see if we’re a match.

And I promise: 100% hype-free.

Let me know…

Cheers,

Martin

Stewardship in Sales

An average seller tries to reason with people:

“Once you understand how good of a choice it is to buy this thing…”

A good seller works with benefits and desires:

“You’re telling me you want outcome X, which is precisely what we created this offer for. It looks like this is the thing you’ve been looking for”.

A terrific seller works relationships and service:

“I’m here to help you get to the right decision, be it buy or don’t buy – talk to me about any concern you may have, I’m not pushing anything here”.

And someone who sells with a purpose, from the heart, out of sheer desire to make a positive impact?

That person seller sells stewardship:

“I’m here to make sure you’re taken care of – by me, and by the product or service you’ll be using. I’m here to be a steward over your outcomes”.

That seller btw is the one who gets the easiest sales, most referrals, and best clients.

Sell stewardship: let people know you’re there for them.

Oh, and for those readers who want to learn how to do that: I’m here for you.

Cheers,

 

Martin

Ethical Sales Strategies, for People Rich With Integrity

A while ago, someone asked what I do, so I said: “I teach people ethical selling”.

“Huh”, they said. “That’s odd, because selling and ethics are diametrically opposed”.

Are they though?

If a baker sells you a loaf of bread, is he being unethical?

He’s got something you want, and you’re both happy to exchange things of value.

Selling – or, trading value – is natural. Older than language. Belongs to being human.

Lack of ethics only comes in when a seller sells something that the other person doesn’t need, or won’t benefit from, or when the buyer is manipulated into buying.

But as long as you, the seller, want the buyer to make the best possible decision for themselves – be it to buy or not to buy – there’s no ethical conflict.

In fact, when you’re happy to take a no if that’s best for the buyer, you’re in full alignment with ethics.

Which is why I like to say that I teach ethical selling to people rich with integrity.

And if that’s you, and you want to sell more at better rates, let’s have a chat.

Hit reply and let’s set up a time to talk – let’s see what we can do to get you enrolling more buyers…

Cheers,

 

Martin

Are You Selling Them a Problem?

Did a coaching session a while back, which gave me a super useful insight you might find handy.

I was asked: “Martin, I have the hardest time recruiting people for these franchise opportunities. What do you suggest?”

I had him explain his process to me, and when he was done, I told him:

“Stop trying to sell people a problem”.

Obviously he was confused, because what he’s selling is actually a great opportunity.

But an opportunity for whom, and at what cost?

Because to start a franchise, even if the cost to entry is $0, means that you’re taking on a huge, enormous, all-consuming ‘problem’.

You know this, since you’re an entrepreneur: Building and growing and running a venture is HARD work and will be so for many years.

To 99.99% of the population, that’s a ‘hell no!’ kind of problem.

It’s only for the daring, the crazy, the true heart & soul entrepreneurs.

Starting a business, of any kind, takes a very special kind of person.

The kind of person who LOVES working ongoingly, on solving big hairy complex ‘problems’. Or challenges, if you want a more constructive framework.

An entrepreneur is someone who doesn’t just accept the ‘problem’ of being in business – people like us, whether consciously or not, we love problems.

Getting our hands dirty, extracting every ounce of creative problem-solving we have in us.

So for this franchiser, his solution is simple: go present the option to just that kind of person.

Skip talking to anyone who is the employee-type, and not the entrepreneur type.

Because anyone who doesn’t have the entrepreneurial gene, all they’ll perceive is a big problem, and that’ll block them seeing the opportunity.

The guy I talked to, he can make his life easier and his number go up, by only having conversations with the right kind of person.

But what about you?

I’ll assume your work is excellent, worth the money, solves problems, and yet… why are not more people buying your thing?

Could it be that, in the buyer’s perception, buying your stuff somehow represents or causes or includes some sort of problem?

Think about it: what, in your offer and your marketing, could be problematic for the buyer, in some way?

Are you, somehow, ‘selling them a problem?’

Sure, ‘finding the money’ or ‘am I willing to part with that cash?’ can be a possible problem for them, but beyond that:

In what other ways might you, unwittingly, be selling a problem?

Here’s a simple, quick fix, if you feel this might be why you’re not getting more sales:

Keep your offer simple.

You wouldn’t believe how many sales fall through simply because the package (or it’s presentation) is too complex and too overwhelming.

And when there’s overwhelm, there’s confusion, insufficient confidence, and lack of trust.

Confusion and lack of clarity are some of the biggest buy-blockers – but they’re easy to fix.

Simplify, and you remove those barriers to entry in the mind of the buyer.

And as always: drop me a line if you want to have a chat about the specifics of your own sales process, and how to enroll more buyers.

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

Doing the Next Thing Right vs Doing the Right Next Thing

When choosing what to do, there’s a difference between doing the next thing right, and doing the right next thing’.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to do the next thing right. Kaizen, improvement, measurement & iteration… if you want to go places, it’s important to do things right.

But that ‘doing the next right thing’ – that’s a really astute way to describe what my work is about:

Helping entrepreneurs do the right things, and in such a way that everyone gets better and money gets made.

That’s what an ethical business is about, if you get to the heart of it: doing the right things.

Making things better.

And that’s why I so much love doing this ethical sales coaching work.

Because once you figure out what is the next right thing, and you’re able to select the next profitable right thing, that’s when buyers enroll themselves.

Because if you make ‘the next profitable right thing to do’ a returning issue in your business, everything will get infused with not just the idea or intention, but the actual action of doing the right things.

And people can tell.

You’ll causes massive change – in how you operate, how your team treats their work, the way your buyers respond… it’ll shift things, across the board.

Make ‘the right thing’ your goal, and all the right people will start to fall in love with your brand.

And if you choose the profitable right thing to do, they’ll give you money as well.

It’s fun, and it’s perfect for people who live and operate by values, and who are in business in order to make things better.

And if you want to grow your business and want to figure out which things you should do that are the both the right and the profitable thing, you know where to find me.

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

 

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