How to Prevent Headaches When Selling

The roadworks in my street do a great job of showing just how fearful – and deeply irrational – human beings are… and, it’s a perfect lesson in who to sell or not sell to.

This town (Salobreña) is built on a rock, and the streets are steep, narrow, and bendy. And because half the pavement in the old town is tore up, normal traffic laws are suspended.

So you get two-way traffic, up and down narrow streets and around blind curves, on streets that are intended as one-way only.

Now because everyone is civil and you can’t really drive fast here, everything works. People give way, respect each other, shows respect and patience, and traffic flows in a more or less fluid way.

But some people are afraid, fearful of what’s around the corners. And so they sound their horns incessantly, constantly announcing that they’re around a bend.

Me, I never even touch the horn. If you drive carefully, and you watch out, you see who’s there, and you’re always going slow enough to break on time.

A careful driver doesn’t need a horn here. But those people, they don’t trust.

Even though they’ve managed it through life for 30 or 50 or 70 years, they don’t trust their own driving skills and ability to react.

They’re afraid, and it’s irrational.

But, fear overrules the mind, and so they make one hell of a ruckus in my neighbourhood.

Anyway, the lesson today?

Don’t try to sell to people who would sound their horn.

If someone doesn’t trust themselves enough, you’ll find you have a damn hard trying to have them trust you enough.

People who are nervous, fearful, jittery, yes you can sell them things. And sometimes your sales conversation is what they need in order to get to relax and trust (meaning: trust you, as well as  their own evaluation and decision-making).

But pay attention, and watch out for the signs of someone who isn’t going to switch and become trusting.

These are the kinds of (non) buyers who can take up a lot of your time, without ever making the big decision to work with you – which you’ll agree is a major headache.

Your time is better spent with people who don’t need convincing, and who need help getting clarity instead.

Those people already trust you enough to let you advise them.

Sell to those people.

Cheers,

Martin
The Sales Coach Monk

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 affraid 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, I’ve never been a big fan. Too much hype, too much stage antics.

But seeing this? Bleh. I wash my hands of it all.

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.

Do you need more and higher-ticket sales in your business?

And maybe a sales coach is what you want?

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

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 *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, they might simply not be ready, 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.

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.

On another note: do you feel that working with a sales coach would help your business?

Do you want to have a conversation, and see if this is the right time for you (and obviously, whether I’m the right guy for you)?

Then hit reply, and let’s set up a time to chat.

Cheers,

Martin

Truth, Evolution, and Sales

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

A friendly chat with the groundskeeper of a place 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 liar.

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 never got restored. Not in a big ‘he’s unreliable, avoid at all cost’ way, but enough to make me wary about what he said and did.

Always a feeling of ‘is it true?’

The other day, talking 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?”

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

Humanity NEEDS trust. It couldn’t have survived without it.

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

A fine day for gathering berries.

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

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

“Nah, says the caveman. It’s been quiet for days, you’re safe”.

Imagine if at the end of the day I’d come home with scratch marks 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! 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, there’s no sale.

How to 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.

Cheers,

Martin

Perspective in Sales: Yours vs Theirs

It would seem to make sense, that in order for someone to enroll in what you propose (be it buying, or buying in to a non-business related vision you have), you need to find out how to get that person to see what you see.

You have a vision for their ideal outcome, right? You know that if they go along with your proposal, they’ll benefit. You see it clear as day.

So, the job at hand becomes ‘how to convey my vision’.

But as you’ll have experienced – in life as well as in business – that’s hard to do.

People have their objections, their fears, their reasons why and why not… and if only they would SEE… right?

Well, the good news is that you can safely stop trying to sell people on your vision.

It’s much easier, and much more effective, to step into *their* vision.

Because a sale happens in the world of the other person, not yours.

It’s the vision that they have, that determines whether or not they’ll buy into your proposal.

Because once you see their side of things, you’ll be able to ask the questions they need to hear, in order to get clarity, remove doubts, and dissolve fears.

That way, their vision adjusts, so that it ends up matching yours. And that’s when the sale happens.

How to do that?

Simple: use empathy. And not the kind where you empathise with their problems, and give them a shoulder to cry on.

I’m talking about the empathy that enables you to see their world, through their eyes.

Put differently: it’s perspective-taking.

It’s not their job to take your perspective – instead, it’s your job to take their perspective.

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, and your sales will be much much easier.

And when you watch my training this Thursday, even more so.

Registration here: http://martinstellar.com/leap-ethical-selling-system/

Cheers,

Martin

Quality | Vision | Decision

You as a provider of quality good or services, you know that when someone buys from you, it’s good for them.

Otherwise, an ethical person wouldn’t be in business. People like us aren’t here to pull one over on buyers.

But for someone to trust you so much that they’ll buy from you, they need to know that, on a visceral level.

And for that to happen, they need to have a vision of what your product or service will do for them.

The mistake most sellers make, is to focus on their own, personal vision of that buyer experiencing the benefits of a purchase.

But, as I’ll never stop saying: in a sales conversation (or indeed: in business) it’s not about you.

It’s about the buyer, their fears and frustrations, their wants and aspirations.

And, it’s about *their* vision, not yours.

As long as your sales conversation centres around how well you think the purchase will benefit them, you’ll have a hard time creating buyers.

So instead, focus on *their* vision.

Make the conversation about them. Use your empathy to step into their world, because a sale happens not in your world, but in theirs.

And in that world, you will see their vision, which includes concerns, fears and objections.

And once you’re in their world, you’ll be able to see their vision – and as the conversation progresses, they’ll be able to buy into your vision.

That’s how you create buyers, in a way that’s 0% pushy or manipulative, and 100% fun.

It’s taken me 25 years to figure out how to do that most effectively.

And it bothers me to no end, when I see good, honest business owners, who deliver quality, but they don’t manage to create enough clients, or they keep having to sell at prices that are too low.

That’s why I created the LEAP sales system, and it’s why you’ll be able to learn the fundamentals of it this Thursday, in my training webinar (which comes with a Q&A)

Here’s where you can register: http://martinstellar.com/leap-ethical-selling-system/

You can skip it, or you can attend and experience a big shift in how you sell your work… choice is yours…

Cheers,

Martin

Values –> Alignment –> Resonance –> Sale

Whenever someone buys something, there’s something that resonates with them.

Somewhere in the mix of desired outcomes, emotions, trust and thought, there’s a ‘vibe’ that goes ‘yeah. want’.

If ever you came out of a conversation with a buyer and they didn’t buy, it means that there was element of resonance missing.

So how do you create resonance?

That’s a long and complex answer – which you’ll hear in next week’s training webinar – but one very simple way to improve the level of resonance, is to start with one of the deepest psychological elements:

Values.

You have things that are values for you, things that come before anything else, should not be violated. Principles you live by.

And, so does your buyer.

Usually when talking to people, you’ll discover whether or not you have values and principles in common.

If you don’t you’re out of alignment with that person – which isn’t a disaster, but it does make it more likely that you won’t reach enough resonance for them to buy.

The solution?

Put yourself in front of people who have similar or same values as you do.

That way, the moment you start talking, you’re aligned on a psychologically important level. Usually not even consciously.

But as you converse, you’ll both discover that you have more and more values and principles in common.

Each time they discover that, they feel more aligned with you.

And that makes it SO much easier to create a client, compared to trying to enroll someone whose values are far off from yours.

Making sure your buyer-conversations are with people who are aligned with you is one of the quickest and most powerful ways to increase your conversion rate.

Did that click for you?

Then don’t miss the free webinar – you’ll see a lot more things click, where it comes to sales.

Here’s where you register…

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 for whom?

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.

But what about you?

I’ll assume your work is excellent, worth the money, 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 a 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.

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

Want more of this, and the whole LEAP Sales System spelled out in detail?

Then register ye here for a training webinar: http://martinstellar.com/leap-ethical-selling-system/

Note in case you’ve already registered: I’ve moved the date forward, to: Thursday 18 April, at 17:30 CEST, 12:30 Eastern.

See you then,

Martin

 

Why You Should Never Check In With Clients, and What to Do Instead

You’ll have had it happen: someone tells you that yes, they want to buy your thing.

A day goes by… a week… two weeks… no payment, no news.

A lot of business owners then shy away and give up, but the smart ones follow up.

“Hi, I’m just checking in to see…”

Terrible idea. (Pet-peeve time: check in with someone? What, is your prospect an airport?)

Seriously though: saying that you’re checking in sends the wrong message.

(Also: using the word ‘just’ isn’t a good idea, because psychologically, it reduces the size of what is probably an important decision for them).

But the real problem is, that you saying you want to check in, makes it about you.

It speaks of neediness, and that breaks trust.

You need that sale, but if they decide to buy, it’s because – first and foremost – buying from you *is good for them*.

Checking in says the opposite: it’s good for you.

What to do instead?

Ask a direct question, with the intention of helping them.

Examples:

“Is there anything you need help with in order to make a decision?”

“Is there any confusion or lack of clarity you’d like me to clear up?”

“Am I correct in assuming that right now might not be the right time for you?”

Or, the powerhouse question: ask for a no.

“I understand this might not be the right time for you – can you let me know it’s a no for the moment, so we can both move on?”

Very often, asking for a no removes the last objection to buying, the trust and confidence issue.

Asking for a no clearly empowers them, gives them the right to veto, gives them full ownership of the decision, and very importantly:

Asking for a no makes it super clear that you’re not needy. Bam: more trust. And often: a final decision to move forward and become a client.

All this, and more, in the LEAP Sales System, which I’ll reveal shortly.

Stay tuned…

Cheers,

Martin

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

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