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

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

Acts of Service… Acts of Devotion… and SELLING???

Last year when I developed my signature LEAP framework for ethical selling, I experimented for a while with the moniker ‘sales coach monk’ – something that one of my mentors suggested.

But then another mentor held my feet to the fire:

“That sounds nice, but what does a ‘sales coach monk’ bring that another sales coach doesn’t?”

The answer might surprise you.

See, back in the monastery, we worked with a concept called ‘active devotion’.

Because it’s all very nice to sit and meditate and feel all spiritual and stuff, but it’s in applying yourself to activities that serve the other, the community and the world at large, that real spiritual, or personal, transformation takes place.

Exemplified by that Zen story, where a new student says to his master: “I’ve eaten well, thank you. When does my training begin?”

And the master replies: “Right now: go wash your bowl. After that, there’s wood that needs chopping”.

Active devotion is a deep and powerful tool for change.

It’s serving something beyond self.

And that’s what a ‘sales coach monk’ can teach you:

How to make the process of selling (or: enrolling people, or ‘moving people’ as Dan Pink calls it) something that is in itself an act of service.

You serve the other in making the best decision for them, at this point in time – whether that turns out to be a yes or a no.

And for those who have a spiritual orientation in life, you can even take it a step higher than ‘act of service’: make selling an act of devotion.

And that has nothing to do with beliefs, or religiosity.

You’re devoted to things, regardless of what you do or don’t believe.

You’re devoted to your kids, your spouse, your horse, your hobby, your crossfit or the novel you’re writing… and, if you’ve got Heart and your business exists to make things better… then you’re devoted to your business as well.


Right. So then, what if you make the process of enrolling people itself, an act of devotion?

Meaning, you devote yourself to serving a buyer as best as can – you devote yourself to giving them the best possible outcome of interacting with you.

In other words, you come from the heart – not from your wallet.

The result?

Sales conversations that people absolutely love, where they’ll be far more eager to buy from you, and – if you get it right – where people might literally tell you “Take my money!” (No joke – I’ve actually had a someone say that. Twas fun).

Is that the kind of sales conversation you’d like to have with your people?


I’ll show you how.

You can schedule a 20-minute sales audit right here. I’ll also show you how the ethical selling framework goes together, and if you want the 1 on 1 training, we can discuss what that would look like.






Wanting Something From People VS Wanting Something for People

Had a chat 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 a nasty situation, 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 the person I’m talkin to.

So my friend suffers from two problems: first is the good-egg problem, where the better kind of person someone 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 who operate from the heart.

And, when you also 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 conversations, the kind 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’).

So remember: selling the way nice people do it, is about having something for someone, wanting something for them.

And I have something for you, if you want it:

A 10-week, personal, 1 on 1 training on ethical selling.

Details here.






The Three Biggest Mistakes You Could Make When Selling – Avoid These at All Cost!

The first one is blindingly obvious: too much talking, not enough listening.

If you want a buyer to care about what you know, or do, they first need to know that you care about them and their problem.

The second mistake, is selling on features and benefits.

The saying goes: features tell, benefits sell – but that’s only part of the story.

What *really* sells – and amazingly well – is a person’s own desire… meaning, their wish to gain a positive outcome, or alleviate a burden or solve a problem.

And guess what: listening and asking questions that facilitate insight and discovery, helps your buyer discover just how deep the desire goes.

The third mistake is the hardest to get around: being afraid of the no, and therefore not asking for the sale.

It’s hard to hear no, because nobody likes being rejected – and the fact that ‘no’ to your product or service isn’t a personal rejection, makes no difference. It still feels bad to hear no.

But, being open to a no, or welcoming it – or, best: asking for a no – is the best move you could ever make in the process of sales conversations.

For example:

“Here’s an idea… I don’t know if this will fit into your world, so tell me if it doesn’t, but: what if I could help you solve XYZ problem – should we talk about that?”

Say that to a potential buyer, and you’ll be giving them the right to veto, which means you respect and emphasise their autonomy, and that means they won’t feel threatened, rushed, or pushed – which obviously means they’ll be more open to considering what you have to offer.

Obviously, there’s a lot more that can go wrong, when selling – but these three need attention and improvement, before anything else.

And, while I don’t know if my work will fit into your world, I’m happy to schedule a 20-minute sales audit with you, to see if I can help.

After that we can discuss ways to work together, or if you don’t need further help, we simply part as friends.

Sound fair?

Let me know, and I’ll send you a schedule link.



Now They See It, Now They Buy

There’s a guy I like to learn from – the late Jim Camp, known as the world’s most feared negotiator.

One of his lessons is that ‘vision drives decision’, and since every sale is effectively a negotiation, it’s really important that you work with your prospect’s vision.

Because unless they see themselves experiencing the benefit of your product or service, your only chance to cause a sale is to force the issue – and we’re nice people, we don’t force people into buying.

Now, most people try to persuade a vision onto someone.

They make compelling arguments, they proffer explanations, they paint the ‘after’, they point out the problems that remain without the purchase…

But it’s much more effective to have a prospect develop their own vision, instead.

That way, they own the vision instead of ‘borrowing’ it from you, which makes it far more likely that they’ll also buy your work.

And the best way for someone to develop their own vision of ‘problem solved because I bought this thing’?


The last thing you want to do when selling, is tell people what to see.

Instead, ask questions that have them gain clarity and insight, and they’ll develop their vision all by themselves.

What kind of question to ask depends on many things – from the product or service you offer, to the personality of the buyer, the price point, your own personality… to name but a few moving parts.

But, as long as your questions come from a place of empathy (i.e. putting yourself into their world), you’ll be fine.

Empathy shows the other that it’s about their results first, their decision second, and your sale last.

And that’s exactly the kind of ethical, integrity-based selling that I teach.

Want to dive deep on what questions to ask your particular buyers, so that they’ll happily build their own vision and desire, and volunteer ‘How does it work?’ or ‘Where do I pay?’

Then the LEAP Framework for Ethical Selling might be just the thing you need…

But, before making any decisions, let’s have a short conversation, and see if that 1 on 1 training truly is what will help you enroll more buyers.

Just pick a time here…






What to do When ‘the Face Ain’t Listening’

So you’re talking to someone whom you’d like to buy in to your idea – buyer, spouse, team mate, etc – and you realise:

They’re not buying in. No matter what you tell them, they don’t seem to be enrolling in your idea.

So you try a different approach, different logic, another kind of appeal to their senses…

But nope, no cigar – they still don’t seem to get the sense and usefulness of that thing you’re trying to have them see.

You’re talking to the hand, and the face ain’t listening.

When that happens, you need to realise that you’re trying to reason with the other person’s emotional world, and that’s something that will never work.

Their emotional senses are looking for the stuff that feels good, and you’re here, trying to appeal to their intellect, intelligence and insight.

Obviously, that will go nowhere: the other person’s emotional world doesn’t understand stuff – no matter how compelling, logical, and sensible your argumentation may be. Emotions are not meant to understand. It’s not what emotions are for.

If you’ve ever thought to yourself “But why don’t they see what I’m saying, how come they can’t tell that it makes sense what I’m saying?”, then you’ve been trying to reason with their emotions.

And you can explain until the cows come home, but the rational mind won’t deal with information if the emotional world doesn’t feel it yet.

The other person’s emotional world is large, mostly subconscious, and it’s got power to overrule the mind, because the subconscious is tasked with keeping us safe, watching out for threats. It knows more than the mind does, it intuits – and it’s a paranoid gatekeeper.

Looks, feels, sounds, like a potential threat? Best to err on the safe side, and act as if there is an actual threat.

In terms of evolutionary psychology, that’s how the subconscious helps us live another day.

Now obviously, it’s illogical that they’d feel some sort of unconscious threat: after all, you’re not trying to harm anyone, or force anything on them – but that lack of logic is exactly what the irrational nature of emotions is about.

So. If ever you find yourself reasoning with someone who’s just not getting it, seeing it, buying in to your idea and vision:


Something in their subconscious triggered an emotional defense or disconnect, and hammering your point is only going to strengthen the defense.

Stop, and instead get that person to talk. Ask questions such as “What’s on your mind” or “What does this situation look like to you” or “Are there any concerns you have about any of this” or “If you were master of the universe, how would you solve or arrange this?”

The actual question you ask depends on the situation, but the important thing is that you get the other person to share their view, the vision that they’re working with.

With a bit of luck, you’ll uncover the reason why their emotions block understanding or adoption – which gives that person the validation that their concerns are valid, and that will help them trust you enough to at least try and see – i.e. understand – the sense of what you’re trying to say.

In short: never try to reason with emotion, because it’s a ‘face’ that will never listen to reason.



P.s. And here is where you can enroll in a 10-week personal training, to help you become proficient at ethical, empathy-based selling. 



Permission –> Trust –> Vision –> Decision –> Sale

And, always in that order.

A potential client will only make a decision to buy, when they are good and ready – and that means, they need to *see* themselves enjoying the benefit of having bought your thing.

That’s the vision element of a sales process: getting to the point where they see the vision you have for them.

But before they’ll buy in to that vision, they need to trust you.

Unless there’s trust, they’re not going to have that vision.

And, in order to gain trust, you need to gain permission first.

Permission to explain, permission to ask questions, and, yes: Permission to ultimately ask for the sale.

And so selling in an ethical way, where you have sales conversations that people enjoy, works like this:

First, you gain permission – to explore their situation, to address objections, to discover what they need.

Do that right, and you’ll earn their trust. Trust that you’re looking out for them, that you’re not just in it for the money, and – very importantly – that your product or service is what they need, and that it’ll solve their problem.

That trust causes people to get curious, to ask you questions, and that builds a vision in their minds.

And once that vision is ready, and they’ve sold themselves on wanting your thing – that’s when you get to ask for the sale, and that’s when they make the decision to buy (or not).

And if they don’t, you graciously accept their no, and you continue the conversation (i.e. you follow up in a pleasant way) until such time that they are ready.

There you go: ethical selling in a nutshell.

Hey, and what if the nutshell isn’t enough for you, but you actually want to get your head around ethical selling, and get really good at it?

This 10-week training will do the trick…






Let’s Break Things

Gutenberg said: ‘Copying texts by hand? How tedious, how inefficient. That ain’t right’.

And he went on to invent a printing press, and he broke how things were done.

Steve Jobs said: ‘Computers big and bulky, and only for corporations? That ain’t right’.

He went on to put a personal computer in every household.

Abraham Lincoln saw slavery, and said: ‘No you don’t’ – and became one of the people most associated with abolishing it.

Just a few random, yet impactful, instances of people saying ‘that ain’t right. I’m going to break that’.

History is full of examples like these.

And if you look at the world we live in, I’ll bet there are quite a few things you consider wrong.

Things that should change, be disrupted, be righted, be broken and replaced by something better.

At what point does it become right for a politician to lie?

What makes it right for a corporation to please its shareholders, whilst treating its customers like cash-cattle, and damage the land in the process?

How is it right for a (social) media corporation to foster hatred and divisiveness, with its clever algorithms designed to hook people and keep them addicted to fear and panic?

There are many things in the world that just ain’t right, and as a business owner, you get to choose whether or not you help break them, and build something better instead.

And it’s wonderful to see all the driven and passionate founders and coaches and activists and authors and researchers taking a stand, and saying ‘this ain’t right. I’m going to change this’.

If you’re an entrepreneur who is in business to break thins so that something better can be built, you’re my kinda hero. Keep going.

And if you also want to move faster, break things faster, and build a better new faster, then maybe I can help.

Hit reply and let me know what wrong you’re righting, and let’s have a chat.




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