Ever Lost a Sale? Was it Because You Were Trying to Steer a Parked Car?

When you try to enroll someone and it doesn’t work, there’s typically two reasons:

The first is when we try to hard, when we push, when we try to persuade.

Good news for you: you can stop doing that. Boom: instant improvement in sales, fun, and relationships.

The second reason is when we try to steer a parked car.

Some people just aren’t in the market.

Oh they might have the problem you solve, and they might need it, and they might have the funds to invest – but for some reason privvy only to them, they’re not going to buy.

At least, not from you, or not at this moment.

It’s actually quite easy to tell, too.

Everybody, especially potential buyers, give signals.

It’s your job as the provider of a product or service, to read those signals, and you do that by applying empathy.

Stepping in the other person’s shoes, and asking yourself what the meaning is of the signals you get.

Very often, you’ll find that when you take the pressure off and you stop trying to steer a parked car, the conversation changes and something useful happens.

Could be they give you permission to follow up at a later date, or they might think of someone to introduce you to, or they might ask you the key question that actually does ready them to consider a purchase.

Whatever you do: listen in to the conversation in someone’s head, read the signals, and never be afraid to stop trying to steer a parked car.

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.

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 sales system, 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 – that new phase.

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

This week I’m putting together a webinar that shows you how the system works – should be ready for you next week.

Cheers,

Martin

Solving Problems vs Finding Problems

In marketing and sales, the common concept is that we’re here to solve a problem for our customers – and I don’t agree.

Oh I’m here to help and serve, don’t get me wrong.

But there’s two fundamental flaws in the problem-solving approach.

First, why problem?

Why start out with a negative?

It’s much more fun and far more effective to reframe a customer’s need in terms of ‘job to be done’.

You might think I’m nitpicking on idiom, but the mindframe in the two cases is very different, and makes for very different processes.

Think of a patient, talking to a doctor.

If it’s ‘I have a problem and I want it cured’, that’s where the conversation will go.

But if it’s ‘I want to be healthy, and I’m not because of ailment x’, the conversation will address the ailment, but also look at the bigger picture of what it means to be healthy.

Bigger impact, bigger ramifications.

My second objection to the problem-solving point of origin, is that if your thinking and inquiring is into what problem a potential buyer has, you’ll be working with two sets of assumptions: yours, and theirs.

If a client identifies a problem and asks if you can solve it they assume (by nature and default) that the definition of the problem is what the thing is.

But behind every problem is always another problem, an underlying cause, and looking at how to solve that problem can easily skip over the unseen elements.

“I have problem x”, they say, and you go “Well, my product or service fixes that”. Not much joy. They might buy, they might not.

Instead, reframe your conversation as ‘what job are you looking to get done?’

Meaning: aside from solving the problem, what overall outcome are they looking for?

If they want more website traffic, what consequences does it bring for them, beyond a higher number in a dashboard?

If a client wants spiffy ebook design, what set of outcomes are included, in getting that job done?

Better positioning, more professional look, more authority…

In other words: your job isn’t to solve a problem… it’s to *find* a problem – that way, you’ll be able to convert clients because they’ll know that you get the bigger picture, the overall holistic impact you’ll have on their life or their business.

Forget problem-solving, and become good at problem-finding.

And you do that by taking on the attitude of the investigator, the researcher, the anthropologist.

More on that over the next few days, where I’ll give you insight in the 9 pillars of my LEAP sales system.

For now:

If you were to hire a sales coach (hi!), what job would you want to get done? What else? What else?

Cheers,

Martin
The Sales Coach Monk

But… Don’t They See???

Isn’t it frustrating, when you see a solution for someone and they just will not buy into it?

But it’s so clear to you! You KNOW that things will change for them, and for the better!

Then how come they don’t enroll?

Don’t they SEE? It’s so clear!

Yep, it’s clear: to you.

And nope, they don’t see it.

Why?

Self-importance.

When you find yourself failing to create a client, or someone refuses to help or collaborate, it’s because you’re approaching the situation from a self-oriented point of view.

And the POV is your POV. You have the vision, and they’ll only see that vision, and buy into it, when you manage to show them.

And as long as your point of origin is your conviction that you’ve got it right and they need to change, you won’t enroll.

Instead, put yourself in their shoes.

Empathise.

Be a researcher, an anthropologist, asking yourself incessantly ‘what’s going on in that mind, in their world?’

What fears, aspirations, desires are present for them?

Do that, and you make the enrollment process about them instead of about your vision.

That way, people will be far more open to trying out your vision, and you’ll find yourself enrolling with much more ease.

I’ve practiced and honed this technique of ethical selling for decades, and it works, and people love the kind of conversations we have.

In fact, last week a student enrolled in my programme, and she literally said ‘take my money!’. Big smile on her face too.

So, if you want that kind of results, enrollment is open for the pilot programme, at a 30% discount.

Let me know you want the ethical selling skills that only a sales coach monk can teach you.

Here’s where you can schedule a short discovery call, to figure out if this programme is right for you: https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=11652475&appointmentType=544906

Cheers,

Martin

Is This You?

In my work with entrepreneurs and leaders, there’s three things I keep hearing over and over again:

1: “I just don’t know how to sell my stuff”.

2: “Selling sucks – if only I didn’t have to sell, running a business would be so much more fun”.

And the biggest painpoint of all:

3: “I just can’t seem to sell at the rates that my work is worth”.

Do you recognise yourself in any of these?

If you’ve ever said any of these things, I might have a solution for you.

Because:

If #1 is your issue, you might want to adjust how you see yourself and your relationship to others.

Meaning: yes you do know how to sell. You do it every day, and everybody does.

“Selling”  (or: exchanging value) is older than language.

We’ve always traded: safety, food, community, protection, companionship… selling is inherent to being human, in that everyday we find ourselves in situations where we try to have others see our point of view, and buy into it.

If you struggle with the 2nd problem: see above.

And if it’s # 3 that does your head in? You can’t get paid what you’re worth, or people keep walking away even though your work is a perfect fit?

Then very likely, there’s a lack of empathetic alignment between what you’re trying to communicate, and what the other person is hearing, feeling, or thinking.

And for all these sales problems, I have a training that will cause a dramatic shift in your thinking and your sales process.

I’ve not launched the training officially yet, but enrollment is open for the pilot programme.

In the future, it will be a 9-week course, delivered by video – but for a limited time and for early adopters, the training will be live, 1 on 1, and with Q&A at the end of each call.

Meaning, you get 9 weeks of recurring calls with me, training you on how to enroll people in a way that’s fun, effortless, 0% pushy and 100% ethical.

Oh, and: there’s a fat discount going on at the moment too:

Once I officially launch the programme, enrollment will be at $1500, but for early adopters the rate is $1000.

So, if you recognize yourself in any or several of these problems (Selling suck/I can’t sell/I can’t get the rates I deserve), then this training will make a big difference.

Interested?

Then here’s how it works:

First, we schedule a 30-minute call, where I’ll introduce you to the framework, explain how it works. I’ll ask a few questions to see if it’s a good fit for you.

If (and only if) we both feel that this is the right time for you, we schedule your first training session.

If not, no hard feelings and no pressure.

Want to enjoy selling, be better at it, and earn more?

Then this link is where you can schedule a call: https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=11652475&appointmentType=544906

Talk soon,

Martin

I’m on a Mission. Join Me?

Everywhere you look, you’ll see people trying to rally troops, further agendas, create change, start or lead movements.

So many people with a mission, and a vision for the future of their lives, their family, the planet, their business, their customers…

And while there’s many a bad apple in that set, the majority of these people are trying to do good things, for good reasons.

But, many of them are ‘doing it wrong’.

Meaning, it’s all too easy to fall into a default attitude of trying to persuade others.

“Buying this product (or service) will do you good, it’s the perfect solution”.

“Eat your greens, you’ll grow big and strong”.

“Fund my mission to Mars, because humanity needs it”.

“Wrap up, it’s cold outside”.

“Put the cap on the toothpaste!” (otherwise I’ll give you hell until you do – though that’s rarely said outright).

“Hey, you really need to start exercising again”.

See the pattern?

All those approaches are a push, it’s trying to persuade people.

And the reason that’s such an uphill battle, is that nobody likes to be told what to do.

Nobody likes to be sold to.

But, most everyone loves to buy, or buy-in.

So, what if there’s an easier way, one that is build on empathy?

What if instead of trying to persuade people, you’d try and figure out what would make that person want to buy in, and enroll in your vision?

What if, instead of push, you turn your vision for what you hope they’ll do, into an invitation?

That way, the other person makes a decision of their own accord. They have ownership over it.

They themselves buy in.

Much more fun – and far more effective – than trying to persuade.

Me, I’m on a mission to invite everyone to fall in love with the concept and process of enrolling others.

Join me?

Cheers,

Martin

“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 with cleaning rooms, or do gardening work, or help with building projects.

Much nice to sit in the garden and feel all spiritual and 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 why I was able to create a training system that makes enrolling people fun and effective.

It’ll take a few more weeks to get it ready, but before long you’ll be able to watch a webinar where I’ll show you how to sell and enroll with ease.

Watch this space,

Cheers,

Martin the Sales Coach Monk

The Best Way to Get People’s Help, Purchase, or Support

Everything is easier when others are on our side, help our cause, contribute to our mission.

Whether you want to raise awareness about pollution, get your team to perform better, improve communication between your teams or you want a buyer to say yes and become the owner of your thing:

You need others to buy in to the vision that you have.

You need others to enroll in your vision, in order to contribute to your mission.

And most people completely sabotage their efforts.

“You should eat your veggies, it’s good for you!”

“I think you ought to buy my course or book or webdesign or SEO services – it’ll solve exactly the problems you just described”.

“Together we can start a movement to clean up the oceans. We need you to join us”.

See the pattern? (And: are you one of the very very few people who never make that kind of mistake?)

In all these examples, it’s about what you think would be best for the other.

And sorry, but nobody likes to be told what to do, or what’s best for them.

Communicate as above, and you’ll directly work against your mission, whatever form it may have, because it’s push, and it’s pushy.

It’s this attitude that has given ‘selling’ a bad name.

Instead, try the opposite: create a way for others to want to be pulled in.

People love to buy (or buy in, if it’s about a ‘sale’ that doesn’t involve money), but everyone loathes being sold to.

When you can create a vision in the other, of a kind and intensity that they want to be part of or step into, it’s that vision that will pull them in.

It’s a much nicer, more ethical, and far more effective way to get people to help us further our cause.

Cheers,

Martin

Random (or Deliberate?) Acts of Service

A warm day in Granada, bustling streets, beautiful people.

I step onto a zebra crossing and see a girl on her hands and knees, middle of the road, frantically reaching left and right. Just outside of her reach: her eyeglasses.

I’m about to move towards her and help, when someone else quickly bends over, grabs them, and puts them in her hand.

A random act of service. Beautiful. I smile and carry on my way.

Oh sure, you can call it an act of kindness, and it certainly is.

But really, that’s euphemising a beautiful quality of humanity:

The ability to serve others. Which, incidentally, is also what a healthy business does (and please: don’t say you ‘service’ clients. They’re not cars).

Serving is one of the most important things we can do in life, because it does what every single spiritual tradition, all sages throughout history, and most philosophers recommend:

Put ‘other’ before ‘self’.

Now, all this is well and good. We can commit random acts of service at any moment.

Helping a kid with their homework. Cooking that special meal for your lover. Helping a charity with your skills. Giving someone that car you don’t actually use, when theirs breaks down.

All very nice for the ethically inclined, for those who care about others and their well-being.

But what if…

What if you could apply this – the attitude and intent of serving – to the very act of turning a stranger into a customer – apply service to the process of selling?

What, in effect, if you’d make the sales conversation an act of service?

I hope that this notion blows your mind, at least a little.

Because when your intent is to serve a potential buyer inside of the conversation, all kinds of good things happen.

They’ll trust you more, they’ll share more about their painpoints and their doubts, they give you permission to follow up, and, yes, they’ll be far more likely to buy from you.

Why?

Because when you serve a prospect, the clear message is that your only interest is for them to make the best possible decision for them, at this point.

Even if – ESPECIALLY IF – that decision is to not buy from you.

Think about it: why would you ever want someone’s purchase, if that purchase isn’t perfectly right for them?

Serve your buyers. It’ll grow your sales and your revenue.

Cheers,

Martin

Selling? Try Mindmeld Instead

Got an email this morning, from one of my readers who scheduled an appointment to help me with my research in product market fit, asking how do we connect?

Phone, skype, telepathy, mindmeld?

Made me laugh, but then I thought about it. It’s actually really serious.

(In case you don’t know, mindmeld is an ability that the alien Vulcan race has in the Star Trek franchise, to create telepathic connections with others.)

At first I thought: she’s been reading me for a long time, which means my articles must mean something to her – so in a way, there’s been a kind of mindmeld going on already. A sharing of ideas, which get absorbed and influence the mind.

And then I realised: when you’re in a conversation with a potential buyer, the same thing occurs. Or rather: ought to occur, if a sale is to be the result.

And not in some new-agey telepathy way: I’m talking more about alignment between two minds.

Which is actually a real, physiological and measurable phenomenon:

When two people agree, or share ideas – in other words: are aligned – the patterns in their brain activity increasingly start matching eachother.

So it’s not telepathy or mindmeld, but it’s a super useful notion to work with, when talking to a potential buyer.

If there’s no alignment, there’s a host of other things missing: trust, confidence, belief, desire and so on.

And unless everything lines up for the other person – unless they believe they’ll benefit from their purchase as much as you believe they will, they’re not going to buy.

So if you’d like to improve your results and skills at selling your work, you could do worse than to seek alignment.

In other words: think a bit more like a Vulcan.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to help me with my research as to who would benefit most from learning my LEAP ethical sales system, all it takes is 20 minutes on skype.

Just let me know you’ll help.

Thanks!

Martin

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