Good Ideas? Volunteer Nothing

Good ideas abound, and they’re a dime a dozen.

But unless someone accepts a good idea, it’s little use.

And each day, we volunteer our good ideas to others.

“This thing would really help you!”

“Have you tried XYZ?”

“Dude, you’re holding it wrong – that’s not how it works”.

“Darling, maybe we should stop and ask for directions?”

If you’ve ever volunteered good ideas, you’ll know how rarely they get picked up. It takes a special relationship, or at least the right circumstances, for someone to pick an idea and run with it.

Meanwhile, each time you suggest something, the other person subconsciously is being told that they’re wrong, which is exactly why so many good ideas get lost.

Nobody likes to be made ‘wrong’, and while our intentions may be excellent, our coming out unbeckoned with our good ideas, just doesn’t work.

Everything changes though, when someone asks for our good ideas. That’s when they listen, consider, and often also implement.

This principle – inadvertently ‘making someone wrong’ – is why so many sales opportunities break down.

So how do you get your child, your spouse, your assistant, or indeed your buyer, to ask for your good ideas?

Well, you can’t ‘get them to’. We don’t control other people.

But, we can be the best possible partner in the conversation, for them to want to know, and ask for, our good ideas.

How?

Volunteer nothing. Offer no good advice. Have no excellent recommendations for them.

Instead, learn that person. Investigate what they’re up against. Ask questions and keep asking them, until they ask you: “What would you do?”

Then you offer your idea, and then you’ll very likely see it heard, considered, and maybe even adopted.

But until they ask?

Volunteer nothing.

Not only is it respectful to leave the other to ask instead of taking the high-ground that comes with knowing what’s best for others, it’s also vastly more effective.

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

Who Sells the Talk?

A couple of years ago, working with a number of artist clients, I was shocked to see a greedy trend in the gallery world: where artists used to be represented by a gallery, now increasingly galleries ask rent fees in order for an artist to hang their work.

Now, it appears that the same trick has appeared on the public speaking field.

Last week I had a meeting, to discuss my giving a talk at an upcoming local conference. Seemed like a nice organiser, the theme and other speakers fit my area of interest&operation, and hey: public speaking. Good for making connections&getting the word out.

And then she drew up a price list and started talking about the different price levels.

“Just a sec”, I said. “We’re talking about giving a talk – a speaking engagement, right? Not renting a stand?”

“Yes, a talk”.

“Ok, I’m just checking, because normally people pay me for giving public talks”.

She was quiet a bit, and then: “Erm… we sell talks”.

Seriously?

What she sells isn’t a talk, it’s floorspace and an audience. The speaker sells the talk.

“Ok, well why don’t you send in a proposal and a quote, and we’ll see if we can fit it in”.

In the end, I didn’t. It would probably be fun and useful, and paid, but:

Aside from the fact that I consider it wrong to charge an artist for wallspace or a speaker at a normal conference for floorspace, it’s a sign of bad business thinking.

The argument is ‘we need to cover our costs’ – but that cost should be covered from other things, such as ticket sales, revenue share on sales the speakers make, book sales, workshops… there’s a hundred ways to create revenue around a conference.

But if the organiser does it by charging the very people who bring life and value and content to the affair, there’s something wrong.

A gallery should be so confident in their ability to attract the right audience, that they’ll take their commission, but charge nothing.

And likewise, a conference organiser should have a marketing plan so well thought-out that they know they’ll cover their costs from ticket sales.

If they don’t have that in place, how do I have the confidence that there will be people in the room?

A paid speaking gig sounds like a nice opportunity, and it is – but only if I can develop it with people a) who share my values and b) with whom there’s alignment in the way we both see how things should be done.

Opportunities abound. Pick only the ones with the ‘right’ people, and you’ll save yourself a lot of time and a lot of disappointment.

Cheers,

Martin

Trust, 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”, stay stuttered.

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

“Guys, I know you’re not from Endesa. You’re with the competition, 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 them’.

Be truthful, and you’ll be seen as respectable and reliable, and guess which kind of people most like to buy from?

Cheers,

Martin

The ‘Good Egg-Problem’

Most people I come across in my work (clients, fellow coaches, podcasters, authors, students etc) are terrific people, with values such as integrity and truthfulness high up in their list of priorities.

Which is awesome, because it’s great to deal with people who share the same values as we do.

But the more people I meet, the more it seems that the higher on the scale of integrity someone is, the more conflicted their relationship with selling – and as a consequence, the lower their success rate in terms of signing on clients.

Do integrous people sabotage their own results?

I don’t have enough data to say yes or no, but it sure does look like it.

I call it the ‘good egg-problem’, where high integrity is (seems to be) correlated to low sales results.

But listen: if you live by values, then logically the work that you do is good, worth the money, and something that people ought to buy, right?

They buy, you serve, and that’s how you make your money. Right?

Then why not take the sting out of ‘selling’, and let your values guide you?

As in: if integrity matters to you, and you want to do right by people, then helping someone make a decision *is* doing right by people.

I mean, you’re not going to force anyone into buying anyway, because integrity says we don’t do things like that.

So you’re there to have a conversation about a choice the other person is considering.

You help them get clarity, identify desire, discuss doubts and objections, and figure out if your thing is right for them, at this moment.

And, since integrity is central to your life, you happily accept yes or no, depending on what’s right for that other person. The only outcome that you’re attached to, is the right decision for that individual.

This way, you turn ‘selling’ into an act of service… something that’s actually quite aligned to your values.

Does that take the sting out of selling for you?

Cheers,

Martin

“Can’t They Guess?” Maybe They Can, but Is That Their Job?

Of course the other person has intelligence. And ears, and intuition.

They know how to compute and make sense of what you’re saying.

But, when you want to get results with people in any sort of way, you shouldn’t give people the job of trying to figure out what you mean.

It’s your job to make sure your meaning gets across, and gets registered on the other side just the way you meant it.

But very often, we don’t do that job.

We say vague things, or give ambiguous messages, or we use catch-all words, like ‘you know’ and ‘kinda’ and ‘wow’.

But what does ‘wow’ mean? It underlines an emotion – but which one? And because of which impression, experience, thought, or insight that you had did you get to feeling ‘wow’?

Pretty unfair to let someone else do the job of figuring that out, isn’t it?

Even worse, when you don’t speak clearly and unequivocally (meaning: there’s only one possible interpretation of your message) you give the other person a job to do, where they need to spend cognitive resources, and guess what:

The other person will be too lazy, disinterested, or occupied with their own thoughts, to do that job for you.

And there you go: misunderstanding, confusion, broken communication, and in the context of business: no sale.

Want to move your relationships, sales, and conversations forward?

Then let everything you say have only one possible interpretation. In other words: take on the job of communicating so well that you’re understood, instead of leaving the other person responsible for figuring out what you meant.

Cheers,

Martin

The Shift: Serving Customers Before They Buy

As a coach, I meet lots of people – and it’s amazing how many folks are hung up where it comes to selling their work.

Stressful, ‘no good at it’, awkward, ‘I just want to do my work without having to sell it’… these are some of the things people tell me.

It’s a sad state of affairs, especially since most people have a truly valuable offer, are good people, and genuinely want to serve their buyers.

But, until you land a client, you don’t get to serve that client, right?

Actually: wrong.

If you really want to serve a buyer, then your serving them starts before they buy.

If you deliver a rocking product or service, then your first order of business is serving your buyer in the process of making a decision.

That decision being: whether or not to buy your thing.

It’s a bit like coaching, in that sense: you’re not there to convince or persuade, but to hold a space where someone reaches their own clarity, uncovers their own motives for making a decision to buy, and where they enroll themselves into saying yes and sending you money.

This shift in attitude – from ‘I got something and I need to figure out how to get people to pay me’ into ‘Let’s help this person figure out if they actually want my thing’ makes all the difference.

It changes the dynamics, creates conversations that are zero % pushy and 100% enjoyable, and lands you buyers that really want your work (i.e. you drastically reduce buyer’s remorse).

And, if a prospect doesn’t buy, they’ll remember you as someone with integrity, and they’ll very likely welcome it when you follow up again in the future.

It’s a significant shift, with big consequences, and all it takes is for you to reframe what a sales conversation is about.

From selling… to serving… so that you get to serve your buyer even more, once they buy.

So how does that sit with you… are you ready to shift your framework, and move from selling to serving?

Cheers,

Martin

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