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

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

Buyer Objections and the Dreaded No… What if It’s an Invitation?

The other day, someone said: “When a buyer tells me no, or that they don’t have time to talk about my offer, I’m not really sure what to do.

“Usually, I default to trying again, push a little harder, try a different angle”.

Yesterday, someone else said: “When they tell me no, I just considered it a lost sale”.

Option 1, going in harder, will rarely work. If a buyer objects, at whatever stage and for whatever reason, there’s a fear going on, somewhere on a deep psychological level.

It’s the lizard brain signaling ‘danger’.

And if you press on, you’re only confirming to the lizard brain that it’s correct in warning the buyer of some sort of risk (even if it mistaken), and objections and resistance increase.

Option 2 – walking away from the sale – obviously doesn’t help either.

But what about a middle way?

What if someone’s objection or refusal isn’t a rejection, or the end of the conversation – but instead it’s an invitation?

What if you use the no as a starting point for a different line of conversation?

What if the no is an invitation for you to… ask a question?

After all, a no means there’s something going on that prevents the yes, and why not try and figure out what that thing is?

Like so:

Buyer says “No”.

You: “Excellent, thanks for telling me”.

You now know where you stand, and where they stand. And, you’ve honoured their stance graciously.

Next, you ask a question. For example:

“Can you tell me in what way the offer doesn’t meet your needs?”

Or: “Quick question: What would make it a yes?”

Or: “Shall I follow up with you at a later date, when you have more time?”

Or: “Is there anything else I can help you with?”

Or: “Would you like me to point at some resources that might help you solve XYZ? There’s a few books I know that might be useful to you”.

And if none of these seem appropriate, why not ask for an introduction?

“Anyone come to mind who might be interested?”

See, the no can never be met with force. It’s not nice, and not effective – not unless you’re a pushy seller and who wants to live in the 80’s anyway?

And the no is never the end of a conversation, not if you keep the conversation open.

And you do that by asking questions.

Make sense, right?

This approach – a completely non-attached, sympathetic and highly effective way of communicating with buyers, that keeps the conversation going and causes them to want to enroll – is at the heart of the LEAP Ethical Sales Framework.

And if you want to learn how it works, there’s more information here.

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

Why You Should ‘Never Check’ In With Prospects – 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.

Maybe 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. It signals want, and that’s the wrong signal to send.

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 Framework for Ethical Selling.

Stay tuned…

Cheers,

Martin

“If Only I Didn’t Have to ‘Sell’ My Work…”

“I wish selling my work wasn’t part of being in business”

You wouldn’t believe the number of times I’ve heard that…

But reality is that if you want a buyer, selling is not optional. It’s just part of business.

The good news is, that things are bought, not sold.

When a buyer says yes and signs or pays, that’s them making the decision.

So you as the seller, you don’t need to do any ‘selling’ the way you normally think of it.

Instead, your only job is to have a conversation, that makes it easier for the buyer to decide yes, or no.

You can have a conversation, right?

Well then… that’s all you need to do. Have a conversation.

But, there’s different kinds of conversation:

Those that meander, that don’t lead to an outcome or sale, that leave you tired and frustrated…

And then, there’s the kind of conversation that has a purpose, that clears things up as to whether a buyer wants your thing…

… and that elegantly leads to a decision, without any pressure or manipulation.

In order for you to have those conversations, I created the LEAP Ethical Selling Framework – and right now, as I mentioned yesterday, I’m running a special offer.

When you decide to get the 10-week, 1on1 training, you get a bonus:

A personal, 2-hour session, where we analyse the psychology of your buyers, and their motivations for buying from you.

With that, you’ll be able to create segments, and identify offers that will appeal to those segments.

In other words: we’ll spend 2 hours to reveal hidden opportunities, already present in your business.

That way, you’ll not just get the ethical selling skills, you also get extremely clear on where your biggest opportunities are for generating revenue without bringing in any new prospects.

After all: it’s easier to get a repeat sale from a customer, than it is to find and convert somebody completely new.

And that bonus session will enable you to get those repeat sales.

Too much to explain here, so if you’re interested in selling better without compromising your values, and you’re also keen to leverage the super valuable asset called ‘your database’, have a look here, and see if this is right for you.

Now, I can’t offer this bonus forever, so it’s only available for the next seven days.

Check it out…

Cheers,

Martin

Selling From the Heart…?

The sleazy seller 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’ and ‘purpose over profit’?

That person sells from the Heart.

If you’re in the first group, I can’t help you. Well, I could – but I sure ain’t gonna.

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.

And if that framework appeals to you and you want an in-depth, 10-week training?

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

Cheers,

Martin

Quality | Vision | Decision

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

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 it’ll be good for them.

They need to sense 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.

Not is it about your vision for their ‘after’.

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 worldm and as the conversation progresses, they’ll gradually 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 framework for ethical selling.

The replay of last week’s live training is here, for anyone who’s ready to improve the way you enroll your buyers, and make it more fun, more humane, and lots more effective.

Let me know what you think…

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

When They Resist… Are You Selling Them an Identity They Don’t Want?

It’s curious that the following is one of the less quoted ideas, in business and marketing:

“People don’t buy products – they buy different versions of themselves” ~ Steve Jobs

Yet it’s one of the most powerful notions in business, so if you take away anything from today’s missive, let it be this:

A purchase – even a small one – relates to self-view… it says something about a chance in identity for the buyer, most often on a subconscious level.

And the bigger the price tag, the more impactful and meaningful the change in identity.

This gives us as sellers a massive clue, especially when we find that our prospect isn’t buying in.

So when you encounter objections, or resistance or fears, there’s a couple of things you need to do.

First: back down. I know it’s tempting to push on, argument more persuasively, highlight the benefits and so on, but don’t.

If someone resists, you’ll do better playing judo than playing force.

That other person has a reason for their resistance, and your working against it will only make it stronger. So give them space. Have them explain the why of their doubts or objections.

Next, put yourself in their shoes.

As in: how do they see themselves?

What vision of themselves, and their world, and their place in it, have they formed?

What story about who they are, do they tell themselves?

And once you have a bit of an idea of that, ask yourself:

What version of themselves am I asking them to buy into?

And, finally, the ultimate question:

Can they identify with that vision, that version of themselves?

More often than not, you’ll discover that there’s discord, some lack of alignment for them.

You see an outcome-focused ‘next’, where they have bought from you and experienced the benefits (the famous before/after concept).

They however, also see problems, complications, and a bunch of unknowns.

Even though they might trust that they’ll get the outcome you promise, they also need to see their lives as fundamentally better, and themselves as significantly upgraded by having bought from you.

When someone isn’t buying in, it’s very likely you’ve been trying to sell them a version of themselves they don’t really want – or, a version that they’re not aware they want.

You as a seller, you’re asking a buyer to become someone different.

And instead of asking them to become who you think they should become, figure out who they want to become, and invite them to become that.

As for you, my dear reader: who would you like to become?

If you were to work with me, what next version of you would you want to become?

If the answer is ‘I want to become someone who sells with more ease while staying true to my values’, have a look here and see if the 10-week training might help you, because I created the LEAP Framework for ethical selling exactly to help purpose-driven entrepreneur become that…

 

Cheers,

Martin

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…

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.

After all, you have a vision for their ideal outcome, right?

You know that if they go along with your proposal, they’ll benefit. You can see it, clear as day.

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

But as you’ll have experienced – in general life-situations as well as in business: that’s a damn hard thing to accomplish.

People have their objections, their fears, their reasons why and why not… but if only they would see what you see… then they’d buy in!

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 when a sale happens, it happens not in your world, but in theirs.

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 overlapping with yours.

And that’s when the sale happens.

So how do you do that – how do you create a shared vision?

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 is here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/helping-good-people-sell-more

Cheers,

Martin

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