Beware of Business Cannibalism

It’s such a tricky trap, so easy to fall into:

Doing the work that supports your business, while postponing the work that grows it.

Your site, your social media updates, organising your files, emptying your inbox…

And while all those things are helpful, or useful, or even necessary, they should never be allowed to cannibalise the time you could spend on the activities that drive growth.

But this trap – business cannibalism – is exactly what causes the majority of struggles in business.

If your goal is ‘x number of clients’, then it’s good to ask, when planning your day (you do plan your day, don’t you?): Does this activity directly contribute to reaching my goal?

If the answer is no, then the activity is the last thing you should schedule.

Think of it like this: if you fill a bottle with sand, you can’t get the pebbles in.

If you fill your days with business maintenance, you’ll have no time left for business-growth.

Plan your important activities first, and fill the gaps with the other stuff.

And if there’s one big important growth activity to prioritise, it’s having conversations.

Because conversation build a relationship which causes trust, and it’s inside that a potential buyer becomes an actual buyer.

And I’ll show you  *how* to have those conversations, once you enroll in my 10-week ethical sales training, which is still in pilot launch at 30% off.

Let me know if that’s something for you…

Cheers,

Martin

What If You Just Ask?

People get so hung up on the selling thing.

Psychological resistance, self-value considerations, fear of looking pushy…

And a therapist could have a field day working through it all with you, but really selling is nothing very special.

It’s a person to person thing. Two people trying to figure out a way forward – or not, as the case may be.

What’s more human and natural than talking to someone, and helping them make a decision?

And as for that ‘looking pushy’ thing:

Why?

Just ask people. Like:

“Would it make sense to talk again next week?”

“Is it useful to you if I remind you in a month?”

“Is this a good time to talk about what it would look like to work together?”

“Sounds like solving that problem would have a big impact on your business/life. Should we look at ways I might be able to help you?”

“Given what you’ve told me about the problem and you agree that my thing will help, is this a moment where you feel that now is the time to solve the problem?”

See, you don’t need to force, or push, or anything.

Everything gets easier when you ask.

Ask for permission, ask for insight, ask for info… and yes, when appropriate: ask for the sale.

No pushing, just a question.

You’ll be surprised how well people respond – especially if you handle your sales conversations the way I teach.

Where and how? In a 10-week live 1on1 training via Zoom.

For a limited time, this is available at the pilot price of $1000.

This is a rare opportunity: a personal training session weekly, and direct email access to me throughout,

Plus, of course, the kind of homework that will cause a massive shift in how you handle selling.

And yes: you’ll learn a ton about how to ask the kind of question that makes a buyer want to enroll themselves.

So, a question: is this a good time for you to upgrade your selling skills?

Cheers,

Martin

Things Are Bought, Not Sold

The moment you tell someone “Do this thing”, they’ll rebel.

That’s why traditional selling is so icky.

A seller trying with all his might to show the buyer that the seller is right, and that the buyer needs to change their views and make a decision, and buy? Yuck.

But even if the seller is right – if he or she correctly surmises that their product or service is right for the buyer – that doesn’t mean they get to tell the other that they are wrong.

And like it or not, even if your heart is in it and you truly care, the moment you try to tell someone that your view must be adopted, you’re making the other person wrong, because you’re right. And that never works.

Hence the saying:

Things are bought, not sold.

Buying is inward, it’s a pull. ‘Selling’ is outward, it’s push.

This is why I teach entrepreneurs how to communicate in such a way that there’s no pushing, no ‘selling’, but instead there’s pull, and buyers buy, of their own accord.

If you want to learn how, there’s still a few seats open for my training on ethical enrollment.

Let me know if you want access…

Cheers,

Martin

Selling Is Not Binary

In business, your job is to help a buyer advance, get better, solve problems – your job is not to ‘close a sale’.

Sometimes people buy from you, sometimes they don’t, and that’s up to them.

It really depends on what that person needs, and wants, and the timing of your encounter. Maybe their best choice is to not buy today, but tomorrow or next week.

Because even if someone has the money to work with you, it also needs to fit into their plans and projects.

Whether you sell a product or service, in most cases a client will also need to dedicate a certain amount of time to the project – and that already starts before buying: even the decision to work with you or not requires an investment in think-time.

So if they don’t buy today, who knows what they’ll want to decide tomorrow or later down the line?

This is why selling isn’t binary. It’s not a ‘sale/no sale’ scenario, because if you see it that way you’ll shut things down if you don’t get a yes.

Instead, consider it a ‘sale/or something else’ situation, where ‘something else’ is an outcome that you both benefit from, and one that keeps you in touch.

This change in attitude does magic for the relationships and conversations you have, because it takes the pressure off the situation.

It creates encounters that leaves people feeling ‘I feel respected by you. I’m happy to talk to you again’.

Which is great, because what better person to follow up with, than someone who’s open to dealing with you again?

This kind of conversation and relationship is what I teach in my LEAP training for ethical selling.

It’s in pilot launch at the moment, and there’s still a few seats left for a live, 1 on 1, 10-week training.

Are you in?

Cheers,

Martin

“You Don’t Need a Coach…”

“…You need a vacation.”

Takes guts to say that to a person who wants to work with you.

And no, it wasn’t me, but a business coach in the States I interviewed yesterday.

And, it’s the perfect example of integrity, and selling with true concern for the other.

Sure this coach could probably have signed on a client, and I’ll bet it would have been a super helpful experience for that person – but that would be akin to saying “What they really need is a good meal, but we’ll sell them cake, instead”. Nice to have, but not what’s required to do the job.

If you want the best for others, you sell them what they really need, and want – not what’s ‘also nice’. Not if ‘also nice’ doesn’t solve the problem they hope you can solve.

Now this kind of thinking is good and all, but how does it help you actually enroll more buyers?

What do you say? What do you ask?

How do you build trust?

Yes rapport is there, but how does that help, actually – what do you do with rapport?

What do you need to know before you can ask for a sale, and what do people need to know before they’ll welcome that question?

I could spend days answering questions like that – which, incidentally, is why I write these daily articles (hi!), but the problem with articles is that I can only go so deep.

If you want to really learn the ins and outs of making enrollment fun and profitable, a deep dive would help.

And for a limited time, that deep dive can take the shape of a weekly meeting, where I train you step by step, personally and live, in how to sell your work with integrity and profit.

Because those two *can* go together.

Here’s what a student, Zoey Zoric, had to say:

“This course has really changed how I approach sales, and how I approach my clients.

Your weekly homework assignments had me look for opportunities, and start conversations with people I’d normally never approach.

Selling has become something infinitely more fun- it’s a completely different game now”.

Now Zoey is an artist – and artists are some of the most encumbered people, where it comes to dealing with selling. To go to ‘infinitely more fun’ in 10 weeks is, I believe I can say, a lot.

And, halfway through the course her views and skills had already changed so much, that she had – I believe – 27 or 35 sales in a 1-weekend art show.

Such is the result of learning my ways…

Enrollment is open for the pilot programme, at $950 for ten weeks, live personal sessions, with direct email access. Limited seats (I’m actually thinking of taking on only 5 students instead of 10).

Want to go from ‘selling sucks&I don’t know how’ to ‘I can do this and I enjoy it’, the way Zoey did?

Then hit that reply button, and let me know. I’ll be in touch with details…

Cheers,

Martin

Wanting Something From People VS Having Something for People

Had a chat last night with an old friend – one of the guys who used to visit the monastery. He’s in business too these days, so it was fun to chat and compare notes.

And once again, I had someone tell me “I don’t like selling”.

“I don’t like that the moment you have something for sale, it’s nasty because it means you want something from people”.

Is that true though?

Me I’ve got plenty for sale, but I don’t want anything from anyone.

I want things *for* other people – not *from* other people.

I want for readers to enjoy a daily dose of healthy business thinking.

I want for clients to get the very best of me, and for them to transform their life and their business.

And for potential clients, I want for them to make the best possible decision, whether that means working with me, or not. Both outcomes are fine, as long as the outcome is best for you.

So my friend suffers from two problems: first is the good-egg problem, where the better kind of person somene is, the more they prevent themselves from getting out there and helping people.
It’s a very common thing.

Th second problem is in his way of thinking, because:

It’s never about getting anything from people. Not for people like us.

And, when you sell from the heart, when you enroll because you’d truly love to work with that person and they themselves buy in voluntarily, you’re not taking anything: you’re giving.

And as long as the sales conversation goes on, you get to give them super powerful and enjoyable conversation, one that will help and be remembered.

And if the stars align, the other person will stop you and say ‘How do I get more of this?’ or ‘When do we start?’ or ‘Take my money!’ – all of which are things I’ve been told.

It isn’t ‘I want something from you’, it’s: ‘If you’re this kind of person, I have something for you’.

And when it’s ‘no sale’?

Then it wasn’t for them, at this point. But if you do it right, you’ll have had such a pleasant exchange, that the non-buyer remembers it positively, which means they’ll be happy to hear from you when you follow up. And you never know when someone will ready themselves to buy. (hint: it’s never when we’re trying to push. that isn’t ‘being ready’, that’s ‘being coerced’).

Now, the good news: if you’re like my friend and you don’t like selling, I’ve got something for you.

Right now, I’m running a pilot-programme for the ethical selling course that I wanted to launch a while ago, but didn’t.

Once I launch it properly, it’ll be $1500, for a 10-week video course with email support and a community membership.

But because this is a pilot programme, I’m giving the training live, 1on1, for a limited number of people, and while this offer lasts it’s $950 for the ten weeks.

Ten seats maximum.

Includes email access to me, and Q&A after each weekly training module.

So, are you a ‘good egg’ and you want to have more impact, and have more fun enrolling clients?

Then this programme was meant for you. More tomorrow… (or get in touch for details).

Cheers,

Martin

Selling From the Heart…?

The sleazy salesperson squeezes people, bullies them into handing over money, and it’s usually based on greed.

The everyday seller tries to sell based on need.

The ethical person enrols a buyer by staying true to values such as integrity and truthfulness.

And the lover of life, the spiritually inclined, the person who lives by ‘other before self’?

That person sells from the Heart.

If you’re in the first group, I can’t help you.

If you’re in the second, I can show you how to sell more exactly by not being needy.

And if you’re in the 3rd or 4th group?

Then I can show you how to fall in love with selling, and how to sell from the Heart.

And you can learn that, plus a bunch of ways to use friendly and non-pushy conversation techniques, in this here training, without signup or cost: http://martinstellar.com/ethical-sales-training/

And if that framework appeals to you and you want an in-depth, 1-week training?

Then watch your inbox tomorrow, because I’ll have a super interesting offer for you…

Cheers,

Martin

On Barbers, Clients, and Taking a Knee

It took a while to find the right barber in this town: everyone I tried did a good job, but not *my* job – they’d cut my hair the way they wanted, not what I asked for

(In one instance, I actually ended up with a Tintin haircut. Not what I had asked for).

And then I found Jose: super nice guy, talks too much (the way barbers apparently learn in barberschool) and: cuts my hair just how I want it.

I don’t blame the other barbers in town: what you buy there, is what they see as most suitable. It’s their art, their style, and good for them.

But what you buy at Jose’s, is what you asked for. Both options work, and both are valid.

And in fact, I respect the other barbers for their method.

The fact that I have a particular wish doesn’t’ mean it’s their job to execute on that – for that, I need a different barber – apparently, one named Jose.

Clients can often come up with requests that are reasonable enough, but that aren’t what you specialise in, or what you enjoy doing.

That doesn’t make them wrong, it just means that maybe you’re not the person to help them.

Often, we try to accommodate. To include the thing, because that way we get the sale – and it’s often a terrible idea to do that.

For one thing, you’ll end up doing something outside your expertise and that’s of little leverage, or something you don’t enjoy, or both.

But adjusting to requests when we shouldn’t also reduces the chance we’ll close the sale.

Wait, what? We’re giving people that extra thing they want – doesn’t that make them more eager to buy?

Maybe, for some people. But a savvy buyer will see that you’re taking a knee, and it will look desperate, and they’ll back away.

Instead, see if you can solve their need in another way. Help them find and select someone to do that job. Or introduce them to someone in your network. Or maybe there’s something else that you can do for the buyer, that gets them the same outcome, but in a different way.

But never do a haircut that you’re not comfortable doing, and expertly so.

Cheers,

Martin

If It’s Not Alright…

It reads like one of those fluffy, new-age inspired quotes that are so popular with the kids on social media:

“Everything will be alright in the end – and if it’s not alright, it’s not the end”.

It’s easy to think of situations where that doesn’t really apply – but there’s one situation where it very much does apply: Sales.

When you’re talking to a potential client, ‘alright in the end’ hopefully means ‘they bought your thing’.

But most people freak out when ‘in the end’ turns into ‘no sale’, and treat it as if it’s the end.

But it’s really just the start of a negotiation.

When a client says no, there’s no reason to act as if everything is ruined – not as long as you’re still conversing with them.

If someone is talking to you, part of them wants something that you have.

And unless it’s said outright, ‘no’ rarely means ‘no, go away’.

Instead, it means ‘not that, not like that, not right now’.

To which the perfect reply is: ‘then what, then how, then when?’

Cheers,

Martin

Shipwrecks and Optimism

We’re always building ships. Whether we’re an entrepreneur, an employee or a work-at-home-mom: at any given moment, we’re trying to create a ‘ship’ – a way, a method, a means: to get from here to there. From A to B.

And cultural theorist Paul Virilio had it right, when he said: “When you invent the ship, you also invent the shipwreck”.

And while I’m all for optimism, I do know that there are rocky shores out there, and you know, I’d really like to avoid them.

Which is why a pre-mortem is so handy.

Which is a review of plans and potential outcomes, from the point of view of ‘well at least we’re lucky we made it out alive’ or ‘wow, we never saw that one coming’.

This isn’t pessimism btw: it’s sanity.

Sure, you know it’s going to work out. Of course your plan is excellent, and your drive and wits and experience are more than sufficient. You totally got this.

Except if things unexpectedly turn complicated or overly complex – and you hadn’t considered, solved for, those possibilities.

If you would have taken the time to think about ‘IF it goes wrong, HOW will it go wrong?’, at least you’ll see trouble coming before its here, and you’ll have thought about what to do if it does come.

Note that I’m NOT advocating pessimism or spending the next week pre-analysing every possible worst-case scenario. Instead, I’m suggesting you consider the difference between crashing on a shore, or *thinking about* crashing on a shore.

Because the harsh truth is, optimism is a terrific way to not avoid easy-to-avoid disaster. Most of us would rather pretend nothing can go wrong than to think about the possibility, which has the uncanny side-effect of it becoming more likely that something might go wrong. Funny how that works.

If you’re building a ‘ship’ right now… what ‘shipwreck’ are you also building? In which ways could things go wrong – and how can you avoid that or remedy it if it happens?

Cheers,

Martin

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