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

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

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.

What I see happen far too often, is that people rich with integrity and ethics stop there, give up, and start looking for the next candidate.

And I get it – it used to be the same for me.

When an opportunity broke down, I just moved on.

But if you do that, 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, but: fat lot of good that does.

Knowing that it’s your duty doesn’t make it any easier to do followup – especially if you’re a person who sticks to their values, and 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 buyer interaction a moment of joy.

Have fun talking to your customers, serve them, be yourself, be light.

You’re not there to be all dry and professional – or indeed, salesy – because who wants to talk to someone who shows up like that?

Instead, make the interaction about connecting, and learning that person, and figuring out what’s real and/or challenging 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 hearing 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.





Incompatible Currencies & Why They Prevent Sales

Whenever you find yourself in a situation where someone isn’t going along with the good ideas you have, or indeed: buying in to your offer, you need to ask yourself:

Are the two of you trading in incompatible currencies?

Because if you are, and you’re not aware of it, you’ll go nowhere real fast with that person.

For example:

A husband comes home to find his wife distressed and upset. Oops… something’s happened.

He sits down, listens to her troubles, and starts thinking of ways to help, to improve the situation, to fix things for her.

Useful, no? Girl’s got a problem, let’s help. Let’s fix this!

Except his wife grows increasingly frustrated and upset.

Until finally the whole conversation disintegrates: he ends up frustrated because she doesn’t seem to want his help, and she’s upset because ‘he just never listens’ to her.

In such a situation, the ‘currency’ she’s hoping for, is someone who listens and who gives her space to vent, so she can clear her head, get some clarity, and not feel alone in her troubles.

At that stage, she’s not looking for a solution, but instead she just wants him to be present.

He on the other hand, is trying to ‘pay’ a different kind of currency, in the form of quality problem-solving.

But that’s not what she wants – and so we end up with incompatible currencies.

This kind of problem arises when we interpret the other person’s situation, conclude that we know what they want, and proceed to try and give it to them.

And in that interpreting and concluding, we often break a sale.

A client might say: “I want a website with custom branding and e-commerce built in”, and on the surface that seems straightforward enough.

But below the surface, they might want different things, like:

‘A site that works, doesn’t break, and that’s easy to manage and update’.

Or: ‘A site that enables me to earn more from the traffic I’m getting’.

Or: ‘An online presence that I’m proud of’.

You can’t know what’s behind the obvious or surface-level issue – and even when you ask, you’ll only learn what they tell you, which may or may not be the complete picture.

So if you then go answer – and try to fulfill – the surface-level wishes, you likely speak to something that isn’t the real, true, deeper desire… and you might lose the client.

Whenever you try to help someone, serve someone, or try and do something in order to solve a problem for someone… but they’re not having any of it?

Very likely, you’re trying to trade in incompatible currencies.

Your job then is to figure out what it is that the other person actually wants.

That’s how you move forward with people, and yes: that’s how you get your work picked up and sold.

More about that right here, if you want to close more of the opportunities in your business 👉




Why Terrific Offers that People Truly Need Often Fail Completely

Ever came up with a terrific offer, a really truly helpful service or product that you just know people need, and then when you launch it or offer it… no takers?

Been there, done that, got the crickets. 🦗

Now that I’m building in public – i.e. developing something live, publicly, documenting my process on Twitter, I’m beginning to see why it’s often been like that.

See, in the maker community, there’s this notion of product first vs audience first.

Where the thinking goes: if you build your audience first, they will inform you as to what kind of product they want, and need, and will be willing to buy.

Which is just another form way of saying: market research.

Which is, of course, where all marketing and business success starts.

Fun fact: my first ever office job was at a call centre, phoning people up for market research. “Are you familiar with the Douwe Egberts brand of coffee? Can I ask you a few questions about it?”


Each time I’ve built a new offer – whether training, or coaching, or a course or paid newsletter, I always skipped over that step.

I always figured that I knew my audience and market so well, simply creating a thing and putting it out there would be enough.

Oh, the folly of my ways, right?

And to a degree that was correct – but because I never properly researched, I never knew with precision who needed the thing, and for which reasons, or with what kind of messaging.

Which is why most of the things I built never really took off.

The lesson here is that whatever you can do for people, however well you can do it, how big or costly or urgent the problems that you solve, you’re doing yourself – and the people that you want to serve – a big disservice if you don’t first study people’s needs and wants and fears and frustrations.

If you do what I did – just build something and put it out there – you skip over the diagnose phase of marketing and business building.

In the medical world, that’s called malpractice, which should give you food for thought…

So if you’ve ever wondered why people didn’t buy that awesome thing that you know they need, this might be exactly the reason why.

Maybe you didn’t research, study, build an audience.

Maybe you didn’t take the time and trouble to ‘learn your people’, as I call it.

And there’s countless ways to do it.

You don’t have to hire a call centre, nor do you have to build in public.

All you need to do is have conversations: learn from the horse’s mouth who will buy, for which reasons, and with what messaging, offer, and price.

Meanwhile, if you have done your research and you’re getting prospects into your business but you’re not happy with how often they convert, this will help.



Buyer Psychology, Impact, and Pricing Your Work – and Making Selling 10x Easier

What would you prefer: a dollar, or ten dimes?

Sounds like it’s the same thing, but it isn’t.

See, there’s a common misconception in the mind of many business owners:

That selling at a lower price point makes it easier to land clients.

But that’s the kind of sloppy thinking that makes for a tough business to run.

Think about it:

For every lead that you create, you have to spend resources:

Money, time, mental resources, and so on.

If you then try to create a client at say $100, you have to spend ten times the resources to reach *counts fingers* $1000 in revenue.

And then you have to deliver your service – your coaching, training, consulting, whatever it is you do, ten times.

But if you try to create a $1000 client, you have just reduced your efforts and the cost of generating that client by a factor 10.

And the ‘secret’ is that it’s usually just as much work to land a $1000 client, as it is to land a $100 client.

So far for the logic.

Next up: the psychology of the buyer.

If you do something really valuable for people, something transformative, something that gets them a high return on the investment they make with you (whether that’s in terms of cash returns or changes in their life), you want people to buy because of the value you deliver.

Your best buyers are those who want the impact you provide.

And if you price your work low, you’ll end up talking to people who aren’t looking for high impact and high ROI, but instead they’ll be looking for low price.

And the psychology of low price is that as long as the dollar amount you propose isn’t what they’re happy to spend, no amount of promised impact will convince them to hire you.

In other words: there’s value-buyers, and price-buyers – and price buyers are very, very costly because they tend to be very hard to convert.

Whereas value-buyers are more discerning, easier to identify, less concerned about dollar amounts – AND they are overall much more fun to work with.

A price-buyer thinks in terms of scarcity. They want ‘value for money’, and while you should obviously provide value for money, that kind of buyer will always want more, because they tie value to a dollar amount.

Value buyers however, tie value to impact.

And if you position yourself right, and put yourself in front of people who want impact, you’ll find that they’re far easier to enroll.

Yes it’s scary to ask for the big bucks, but you’ll find that people who want to buy impact are the kind who are much less concerned about the actual price.

And, bonus: that’s also the kind of buyer who is more likely to actually have the money to invest with you.

So before you go out and underprice yourself, ask:

Who do you actually want to work with?

People who count dollars… or people who size up the impact you can deliver for them, and base their decision on that impact – the outcome you promise?

As for me and the impact that my work delivers:

I can help you get comfortable with selling your work, and get really good at it.

And the impact of that… well, that’s huge.

No more stress, no more awkwardness… and instead, an approach to enrollment that both you and your buyer enjoy.

And, you’ll be working to earn a dollar, instead of ten dimes – and that’s a lot easier.

Want that?

Then talk to me, and let’s see what we can do.

We’ll take 30 minutes on Zoom to see where you’re at, and whether the 1on 1  LEAP training on ethical selling is right for you.

If it is, we’ll take it from there, no pressure.




Fix, Prevent, or Improve?

There’s three kinds of value a business can deliver:

You can Fix, Prevent, or Improve.

When something in the world or business of our client is failing, we can offer to fix it.

If there’s an immediate, painful problem, you need to offer your buyer a fast, practical solution.

Then there’s Prevention, where there’s fear or a threat, because of a current or future risk.

Disruption in the marketplace, changing laws or treaties or algorithms…

For that kind of client, you use trusted, reliable, proven solutions. You solidify what’s going well, and remove bottlenecks and obstacles.

And then there’s Improvement, where you help your client go from good to great – you upgrade things.

Here, you bring knowledge, skills and creative thinking, in order to identify assets to be leveraged, and you bring them together to take a client to a level they couldn’t have reached on their own.

The reason I’m sharing this, is because it’s a handy model for choosing what to work on in your own business as well.

Often, we double down on trying to fix something that’s failing, hoping that once we’re done, life will be good.

Which may be the right choice, but what if you’d ignore the failing part for the moment, and instead we first improve something that’s already working?

There’s things in your business that are working well, that if you were to push forward on them, might end up working awesomely terrifically well.

And sometimes, it just make more sense to let something that’s broken be broken, and maximise on something that’s already pretty good.

(Especially if you know, in your heart of hearts, that you’re going to procrastinate the hell out of the fixing you say you need to do anyway.)

Sometimes, it’s better to do what will work, rather than do what you tell yourself would be right.

And if the thing you want to improve, is the number of qualified prospects who say yes to your offer, then I made this for you. 



Stewardship in Sales

An average seller tries to reason with people:

“Once you understand how good of a choice it is to buy this thing…!”

A good seller though, works with benefits and desires and outcomes:

“You’re telling me you want outcome X, which is precisely what we created this offer for. It looks like this is the thing you’ve been looking for”.

But a terrific seller works relationships and service:

“I’m here to help you get to the right decision, be it buy or don’t buy. Talk to me about any concern you may have, I’m not pushing anything here”.

And someone who sells with a purpose, from the heart, out of sheer desire to make a positive impact?

That person seller sells stewardship:

“I’m here to make sure you’re taken care of – by me, and by the product or service you’ll be using. I’m here to be a steward over your outcomes”.

That seller btw is the one who gets the easiest sales, most referrals, and best clients.

Sell stewardship.

Let people know you’re there for them, looking out for them

Oh, and for those readers who want to learn how to do that: I’m here for you.




How to Make Selling Easier by Looking at Your Buyer’s Perspective

It would seem to make sense, that in order for someone to enroll in your offer, you need to find out how to get that person to see what you see.

Once they see your vision of their ideal outcome, then they’ll get on board.

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, 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!



You can’t sell people on your vision.

Instead, you need to step into their vision – or what psychologists call ‘perspective-taking’.

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.

And 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.

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.

Learn how to do exactly that, in my 10-week 1on1 training on ethical selling.

Details here:






I Have No Idea What I’m Doing – Full Steam Ahead ⛴ (build in public)

If you look at people around you, it’s easy to think others have it figured out.

The earnings, the fame, the success.

But everyone, in the end, is just an infant in an adult-shaped suit.

Trying to make it work, best as can.

Even the successful ones, all you get to see is the showreel.

And I promise that their behind-the-scenes is messy as hell.

In my case, I generated many thousands of dollars in sales for clients in just a few days, just by sending a few emails.

I’ve shown people how to triple their consulting fees.

I’ve helped a co-working space reach $25.000 in monthly revenue in less than a year.

I ran a little introduction campaign for a software engineer, which ended up with his application becoming the goto platform in a huge niche.

But for myself?

Well, if I look at this cutting-room floor, there’s a ton of deleted scenes.

Especially last year, when I should have been one of the people who pivoted and grew his business because of, not despite, the upheaval in the business world – but nope. Pretty tough year.

What can I say? It’s the cobbler’s kids who don’t have any shoes to wear.

So I’m going to try something different – what the young ‘uns on Twitter call ’build in public’.

Which means I’m starting a project, to ultimately build a web-app.

And, I’m going to be sharing my progress publicly.

I have no idea what the roadmap is, or what stages I’ll need to go through, or indeed what challenges I’ll be facing.

But damn the torpedoes: full steam ahead.

All I know is that I have a methodology that is extremely profitable for my clients, and I want to make it something hands-off, automated, and ultra affordable.

In these emails I’ll be sharing some of the progress, but if you want to see the full story unfold including all the gory details, follow me on Twitter.

And with that said:

Anchor up!



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”.

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

So how do you create that? How do you have the kind of sales conversation that resonates so much with people that they buy?

Lead with values.

The things that you’d get on a barricade for, and the things that you consider wrong.

You have them, and so does your buyer.

When talking to people, it’s easy to 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 an extremely important psychological level.

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

Each time they realise 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 have a look at what the LEAP Framework for Ethical Selling can do for you…






The Advantage of Disadvantages – and How You Can Turn That Into Revenue

The late Dutch football coach Johan Cruyff had a way of creating his own aphorisms – some of which said little (“The ball is round”- Thanks Johan, we hadn’t noticed) but others were quite smart:

“Every disadvantage has its advantage”.

Now at this time, when literally every person and every business struggles with a major disadvantage, this goes much further than ‘the advantage is that you can pivot into online services and offerings’.

For example: a lot of your competition has slashed their advertising and marketing budgets (always a bad idea in times of crisis), so you can increase your market share by doubling down when others are slowing down.

And on that note: advertising gets cheaper during a crisis. If you want visibility, now’s the time to get it.

Or: if you’re a hairdresser, you’re currently not making any money – but everybody and their housemate is buying hair clippers. As a barber, you can sell those, along with training videos on how to cut your spouse’s hair, and perhaps personal sessions that address the nature of an individual client’s type of hair. Big opportunity. Big advantage.

Or: there’s going to be a massive increase in learning habits, so anyone who has something they can teach, will suddenly have a much bigger market.

Or: customer needs have changed dramatically – people buy different things, or for different reasons, or to address. different problems.

Companies that continue trying to sell the old way, without adjusting to the new circumstances and the changed buyer needs, are going to struggle. See Blockbuster Video – they didn’t adjust, went out of business, and that opened up a large market, which turned into a fine advantage for that little startup called Netflix.

And you bet that a lot of your competitors – especially the big boys – are going to pivot and adjust too slowly – meaning, you can suddenly get access to, and a listening ear with, prospects who would normally happily buy from the big boys and not be aware that you exist and that you rock your work.

Another advantage?

Especially in the B2B space, there are suddenly a bunch of problems that used to be ‘nice to fix’ and that have suddenly become ‘need to fix’.

I.e. for a lot of the work that you can do, there’s now an urgent need, instead of a someday-need.

If you can spot those needs and adjust your offer and messaging, you can sell faster than you used to.

To make that easier for you, I built a system for getting exactly the right offer in front of your past customers. 

If you take the time to implement it, you could, in theory, generate new sales from the people who already like you, and trust you, and have paid you, in under a week or two. 

And that system is, only today, available to you at any price you like – you get the 1-hour training, with step by step instructions, for as little as a dollar. 

Time’s running out though, so here’s where you can get it before the price goes back to $49 👉






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