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

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

Truth, Evolution, and Sales

Tl;dr: If you missed yesterday’s ethical selling webinar, here’s the replay…

 

Let’s get started.

“Oh hang on, I need to take this call”.

A friendly chat with the groundskeeper of a place where I used to live. He pulls out his phone, listens, and says:

“Sorry, I can’t meet today – I’m not at home, I had to go to town for an errand”.

I look around me at the meadows, his horses, and his home just behind him.

Hm. A straight-up lie.

Ah but, it’s a little white lie, isn’t it?

Perhaps, but from that moment on, the trust I used to have for him broke, and it won’t get restored. Not in a big ‘he’s unreliable, avoid at all cost’ way, but enough to make me wary about what he says and does.

From that moment on, whatever he told me, it always gave me a feeling of ‘is it true?’

And the other day, during a conversation about the way politicians these days think nothing of pathological lying, someone said: “But isn’t truthfulness something installed by Christianity, meaning it’s only a social construct?”

Clever rhetoric, but no. That’s not how it works.

Truthfulness is an evolutionary imperative, no matter how cleverly the followers of corrupt politicians try to justify lying.

Humanity NEEDS trust.

We couldn’t have survived without it.

Imagine: thousands of years ago, I’d put on my bearskin and step out of my cave.

A fine day for gathering berries.

I’d grab my club and set off, and on my way to the valley, I’d run into another caveman.

“Seen any lions in the valley, last few days?”, I’d ask.

“Nah”, said the caveman. “There’s nothing out there, you’re safe”.

Imagine if at the end of the day I’d come home with scratchmarks and bites, because there WERE lions, and I barely made it out alive…

Don’t you think the first thing I’d do is crack my neighbour’s skull with my club…? Someone who thinks nothing of sending me into a pack of lions?

Of course I would!

It’s survival, baby. Evolution doesn’t care about values, religious or otherwise.

Evolution cares about just one thing: Survive.

And whether it’s on the level of threats in the wilderness, or telling white lies, you better believe that other people have a radar for truthfulness and reliability.

Which is damn important if you want to land clients, because the moment there’s even the slightest lack of trust, if a buyer as much as sniffs something that might not be true, there’s no sale.

So how do you use this principle in order to get more sales?

Simple:

Speak nothing but full truth.

You’ll be amazed what it does for the level of trust your prospects have in you, and that makes landing the clients a lot easier.

Here’s the replay of yesterday’s webinar, explaining in detail my ethical selling framework.

Enjoy!

 

Martin

“Take My Money!” (Helping Good People Sell More)

You’d think people only say that in The Simpsons or some other comedy.

But nope – that actually happened to me last year.

I was talking to an entrepreneur who was interested in the training on my ethical sales framework (webinar coming up in a few hours – don’t miss it), she seemed to be really on board, and when I simply asked if the training is something she’d like, that was her response.

“Yes! Take my money!”

I’ll admit, I was a bit blown away.

And, I admit it wasn’t only because of the ethical selling method that I use – this was a very ready buyer, who had been reading my emails, was a perfect fit, and who’d been sent to me by referral.

Because obviously, there’s a lot that goes into the mix, if you want to sell your work.

You can in theory sell anything to anyone, but you’ll need to be a high-level scoundrel if you want to, say, sell somebody a bridge. (Yes, can be done, has been done. Not nice).

And I doubt that you, or anyone who reads me, is a scoundrel of any level.

So that leaves folk like us, who do right by people and sell things that make a difference, with a dilemma:

If we’re going to make a difference, that will only happen when people buy.

And that’s where the good-egg problem comes in: when a high-value, high-integrity entrepreneur doesn’t sell, because values get in the way.

The solution, as you’ll learn in the webinar, is to sell more because of – not despite – your values.

And in order to do that, you don’t need to use any sort of 6-step selling formula, or 24 replies guaranteed to overcome objections, or closing techniques or even persuasion methods.

No, people like us just need to figure out how to enable a buyer to self-select, so that they enroll themselves in your offer, just like that lady did last year.

And how do you figure that out how to let a buyer self-select?

I’ll show you in a few hours from now… if you sign up for the webinar here. 

See you there?

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

 

How High-Integrity Entrepreneurs Make Followup Easy

What do you do when it looks like a sale is going to close… and then it doesn’t?

Everything looks good, the other person is on board, they may even say yes… but then something goes wrong, and the buyer doesn’t buy.

In my work I see over and over again, how people rich with integrity and ethics stop there.

And I get it – it used to be the same for me.

When an opportunity broke down, I just moved on.

And if you do that too, you’re leaving money on the table.

As they say: the fortune is in the followup.

And sure, then you get the gurus telling you that you must follow up because it’s your moral and ethical duty to make sure that the right buyer gets his stuff from you, and not someone else, and – well, fat lot of good that does.

Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier to do followup – especially if you’re a person who sticks to their values, you treat people with respect, and you don’t want to be a nuisance.

So then, how do ethical people do sales and follow up?

What made the difference for me, and: could it work for you as well?

Maybe. Most probably: yes.

It’s really simple, too:

Make every customer interaction a moment of joy.

Have fun talking to your customers, serve them, be yourself and be light.

You’re not there to be all dry and professional – or indeed, salesy – because who wants to talk to someone like that?

Instead, make the interaction about connecting, and learning that person, and figuring out what’s real and/or trying for them.

When you do that, you leave people with a feeling of “Yeah, I feel respected by you. I’ll talk to you again”.

Do you see where I’m going?

When you have conversations people enjoy, they’ll be open to hear from you again.

They’ll welcome you following up – they’ll thank you, even.

Once I got this, following up with folk became as natural to me as writing these daily articles.

But it’s not just about how you follow up – it’s about how you do everything everything in your business.

Do those things – including having sales conversations – in a way that makes people love dealing with you.

You know, like friends do.

That way, you’ll never have to fret about following up again.

Cheers,

 

Martin

Oh, and: if you haven’t yet, make sure sign up for this free training, where I’ll show you how the above works…

Here, Let Me Show You Something – Because People Love to Buy, but Loathe Being Sold to

That quote: “People love to buy, but loathe being sold to…”

That’s exactly why I’m so excited to show you the inner workings of the LEAP framework for ethical selling, this Thursday.

Because I’ll bet that you have something for sale that truly makes a difference in your buyer’s life.

And – forgive me for making assumptions – you want to see people buy that product or service you have.

But, you do want to stay in alignment with your values, right?

You don’t want to coerce, or be pushy, or manipulative – because hey, you want to sleep at night, knowing that your values, your integrity, and your ethics have not been violated.

If I’m correct in assuming these statements ring true with you, we have a lot in common.

And as an ex-monk, ethics and integrity matter MUCH to me, just like they do to you.

Which is exactly why I never ‘sell to people’.

Instead, I just have a conversation. I ask questions, pay attention, tune in to what’s going on in the other person’s world.

And, most importantly, I let people make up their own mind, on whether or not to buy from me.

The result? Fantastic conversations that people are happy with whether or not they buy, and fantastically engaged and happy customers, when they do.

So what’s my secret?

Ain’t no secret.

Other than: I show up to serve.

Specifically, serving means that I help people get the clarity they need on making the best possible decision for themselves, at this point in time.

And if that decision is a ‘no thanks, not today’, I don’t fret.

Whenever that happens, I know I’ve stayed true to my moral compass, and I’ve helped someone choose what’s right for them.

You can do the same thing, once you realise that ‘selling’ – or enrolling – is nothing more than facilitating a decision-making process, which in itself is an act of service.

Want to know the full scoop, learn the ins and outs, of how an ex-monk creates clients, so that you can transform your own sales process, and sign on more people, with more ease, at the rates you deserve?

Then I’ve got a webinar for you: this Thursday, 17th of September, at 2PM CEST / 8 AM Eastern, co-hosted by Will Saunders – founder of Good Will Studios – a ‘branding for good‘ creative agency.

It’s free, it’ll transform how you handle that whole sales thing, and it’ll make your buyers love having the enrollment conversation with you.

Register here, and see you there…

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

Don’t Close the Sale – Do This Instead

I’ve never liked the idea of ‘closing sales’. To me, it’s the complete opposite of what actually happens when someone buys.

You buy new shoes, and within days your knees or your back stops hurting.

You buy a new mattress, and wake up more rested than you have in years.

A new car, computer, or phone, and man what a joy to use a brand new piece of kit!

You hire a professional to do a specialised job for you, and suddenly you’re in the safety and comfort of knowing that something you need is being taken care of expertly.

All these, and all other purchases, have one thing in common:

They open up a new phase in the life of the buyer.

Not only that: when people buy, they open up a new version of the relationship they have with you or your brand.

They open up a phase of change.

Because buying things is transformational, and the more important or costly the purchase, the bigger the nature of that transformation.

That’s why in the LEAP Framework for Ethical Selling, I don’t teach how to ‘close a sale’.

Instead, I teach how to empathetically position yourself in such a way, that your potential client willingly steps into – opens up – that new phase.

It’s much more fun, and it’s super effective.

And, you can you learn how to do it yourself, with my 9-week, live, 1 on 1 training.

More information here…

Cheers,

Martin

Trust, Fibs and Sales

“Hi, we’re from the electricity company – we’d like to ask a few questions to see if you could maybe save on your monthly bill”.

Two kids – boy and girl, about 22 years old. And I knew they weren’t from ‘the electricity company’ (Endesa, in Spain), but from one of the many competing ‘open market’ providers.

“Endesa”, I asked?

“Um… yes”, they stuttered.

I tried to smile, but probably failed. Trying to be nice though:

“Guys, I know you’re not from Endesa. You’re with a competitor, and you want people to switch providers”.

Gobsmacked, they stared at me.

“I know what your job is – in fact I teach people how to sell, but real selling is about ethics, you know?

“Knocking on people’s door is one thing, but telling lies? C’mon, is that the job you want?”

I know, I was being pedantic – high moral ground and so on. But I don’t like being lied to, and if a couple of kids knock on my door and try to BS me?

Then I guess they’ve just sold me the privilege of throwing a little lecture at them.

Now, if you read my articles, I doubt you’re the kind of person who would tell a blatant lie to a buyer.

It’s not the kind of thing people like us do.

But what about fibs and little white lies?

It’s easy to say something like “I was just in the neighbourhood so I thought I’d drop in”, but people know that it’s not true, and that means you instantly reduce the amount of trust they have in you. Even if it’s a seemingly innocent fib.

And the fact of the matter is: people need to trust you in order to buy from. Especially these days, with all the hucksters and liars out there.

It might be scary to be completely honest in all cases, but it increases trust – fast! – and makes selling a lot easier.

Fib, and you’ll be seen as ‘one of those’.

Or be truthful, and you’ll be seen as respectable and reliable – and guess which kind of person a buyer is most likely to buy from?

Exactly.

Cheers,

 

Martin

P.s. I’ve decided to do something different: normally, when working with clients, it’s in the shape of a 3-month coaching programme. The upside of that is an intense and transformative process, but the downside is that the cost makes it inaccessible for many people.

So to make ethical selling and business growth coaching available for more of my readers, I’m offering 2-hour one off sessions, at $150. There’s limited availability, so if you’ve been on the fence about working with me, this is your chance to spend 2 hours and get the best of what I have to offer. Let me know if you’re up for it, and we’ll set up a time.

Push VS Pull, and the Worst Thing That Can Happen to a Person

There’s a reason why imprisonment is the punishment of choice across the world.

Not because it’s very effective, but because – bar solitary confinement and capital punishment – it’s pretty much the harshest punishment there is:

To remove a person’s autonomy.

For someone to no longer be a free agent, to not control their own decisions, is horrible.

And in selling your work, removing the other’s autonomy is pretty much the worst possible thing you could do.

Right? Who in their right minds would ever want to tell a buyer what they should do?

I’ll be you agree, and yet:

It’s staggering to see how many people (unwittingly) end up removing the buyer’s autonomy.

Now you probably think “Yeah, but that’s not me”.

Are you sure though?

Because:

When you try to persuade someone…

When you try to convince someone by making a powerful argument…

When you skip over someone’s objections, fears, or doubts… and you continue to make your case…

That’s when you are in fact, in a subtle way or not, removing a buyer’s autonomy.

And because that’s the worst thing you can do to a human being, it’s not very likely to result in a sale – and if it does, chances are you’ll end up dealing with buyer’s remorse.

It’s never a good idea to push someone into a sale or a point of view.

What is a good idea though, is to invite someone in.

Invite them to consider a viewpoint.

Invite them to consider a purchase.

Invite them to ask you questions, or even better:

Invite them to tell you what concerns they have.

Doing that has the opposite effect of pushing people:

Instead of them putting up barriers, they’ll lower their guard and consider what you’re telling them.

And if at some point they accept the invitation to buy, they do so under full control and autonomy, and you bet that’s a way to buy that people love.

So today, I’m inviting you (see what I’m doing here?) to reflect on situations (with clients or with anyone else in your life) where you’d normally try to push an agenda on others (hint: it’s those times when it seems like an uphill battle), and see if you can turn your agenda into an invitation.

Next step: put it into practice. Invite instead of push.

And here’s another next step, for those entrepreneurs who, for once, just want to remove the whole awkwardness from the sales conversation.

I can show you exactly how to do that, with a 9-week training on ethical selling.

More information here.

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

Timing and How Not to Break the Sale

They might seem like a perfect client for you, and they might seem really keen on working with you.

And yet, there’s indecisiveness. Vacillating, no decision.

It’s a yes, but not a ‘hell yes’.

Whenever you’re in a situation like that, be careful not to break the trust they’re building up.

Yes you might know for certain that paying you and becoming a client would solve exactly the problems they described – but they’ll only experience that solution if they buy when the time is right, and it’s the right time for them.

And that’s where most sales break.

We’re too keen, too eager, too needy – and so we try to rush, to persuade, to make a compelling argument.

The result?

The buyer shies away.

Whereas if you take it easy, sit back, ask more questions and take the pressure off, you’ll often find that the buyer shares concerns that haven’t been addressed yet.

Or, it might turn out they’re simply not ready yet, for whatever reason is relevant in their world.

And when you can handle that ‘not ready’ elegantly, with a ‘No problem, let’s talk again in a few weeks’, there’s a very big chance that when next you talk, they will be ready.

But if they aren’t and you try to persuade them?

They won’t be open to you following up, and when you do they’ll feel that same kind of indecisiveness that stopped them in the first place – if not outright resistance.

A sale is a good thing for you, of course. And you should strive to get them.

But a sale is never right if it’s not the perfect time for the buyer.

After all, your business exists to serve your buyer, and your sales process should serve them just as much.

That’s the whole secret of ethical selling: to make the sales process itself an act of service.

And so long as you don’t try to rush or force things, sales will close when the time is right.

As always: let me know if you’re ready to make this way of selling part of how you operate.

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

They Need You

Whether you’re a coach, a CEO, an artist or speaker or author or inventor:

People need you.

That’s why you get paid (be it in fees or salary) to show up and do your work.

In other words, there’s demand for what you bring.

And, it’s incumbent upon you (and every other professional) to supply and bring that thing.

And if you’re then also someone with a purpose – doing your work because it makes a difference – marketing, promoting and selling go from ‘necessary evil’ to something you can do with pride.

After all, they need you – and nobody is going to search in order to find the needle (i.e. you) in the haystack (the marketplace for your kind of work).

No, it’s up to you to show up and be findable.

That’s how people who need you get to have what you do.

That way you fulfill the purpose you do it for, and that’s how you make the money too.

And that purpose can be anything you want – it doesn’t have to be ‘end world hunger’ or ‘invent the next generation of batteries for Tesla’.

Whether you create inclusive workplaces, or sing with Alzheimer patients, or run PR campaigns for social enterprises, or teach maths, or coach entrepreneurs on servant-leadership: you’ve got a purpose and it’s valid (and I do hope you know what yours is).

Work for that purpose, show up to the people who need you, and:

Discover your own best, most fun, true-to-values method for growing your influence, business, revenue, and impact.

Because if we don’t manage to sell, those who need us don’t get our work.

And if that happens, there’s a harsh question to ask:

Are we serving our purpose?

That’s why I teach and coach on business and sales.

Because folk like us, we do this thing we do for a purpose.

It’s our job to serve that purpose and that requires getting good at enrolling people in our work.

That’s how we get to serve our purpose.

And if that resonates and you’re ready to scale up, let’s talk and see what we can do.

Cheers,

Martin

Indispensable If You Want to Get Results With People

If you’ve ever driven on the Boulevard Périphérique (the ring road around Paris), you’ll know that the Parisians have a… well, very special way of driving.

It’s sketchy, sometimes aggressive, very unpredictable, and requires that you pay very close attention.

And when it comes to lane closures and merging traffic, you’ll know how hard that can be.

No matter how long your signaling light is on, or how much you try to nudge your way into the other lane, it seems people just don’t give a damn.

But a while ago, in what some consider the worst possible city for driving, magic happened:

I had to merge to the right, many cars were passing by, and nobody let me in.

But then I leaned forward and to the right, and looked at the driver next to me – he saw me, nodded, and instantly slowed down to create space for me.

Why did he do that?

Eye contact.

Connection.

One human signaling to another, and the other picking up on it – because we’re hardwired to connect with those who petition a connection.

And that’s where we often fail to get results with people: we don’t signal a connection request. We don’t connect our humanity to the other person.

But once you do, and the other person reads ‘I see you’, everything changes.

So if ever you’re trying to get results with someone, be it selling or getting collaboration or having someone hear you out, and it’s not working, ask yourself:

Are you trying to push your own agenda, or are you seeking to connect?

No matter how right you are, or how good your idea or product or service:

Connection is indispensable if you want to go places with others. Connect first. The rest follows from there.

How to create those connections, and move forward with people – and yes: land more clients – is something I can show you in a 10-week training on ethical selling.

 

Cheers,

Martin

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