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

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

“But If I Charge What I’m Worth, People Don’t Buy”

It’s a common error, and I see it all the time:

The idea that in order to land clients, you need to discount your work. “Otherwise I’ll price myself out of the market!”

Most of the time though, that’s not the problem.

Instead, the problem – and the solution – are to do with positioning.


Far too many people, including those with extremely superior skills, take the small, subservient role:

The position and attitude of a supplicant.

“Please mrs. Buyer, would you please buy this thing from me? If you don’t mind me asking?

“Oh, and wait: I’ll give you a discount!

“And throw in a bonus!

“Will you buy it now, please?”

Sounds weird?

It happens though in this format or something similar – and it’s a perfect way to talk a buyer out of the purchase.

When you sell, you’re the prize.


For the work that you do, how many potential clients are out there in the world?

Dozens, hundreds, maybe even thousands.

And how many of you are there?


That means that you are a super-scarce resource, with only 24 hours in your day and a method and Intellectual Capital that are superbly unique to you.

Scarce resource, you?

I’ll say.

And yes, of course you need to win the buyer over.

But that’s only half the story, and you just don’t win over clients by positioning yourself as someone who needs a favour and a blessing.

The other half of the story, that’s the client winning you over.

Getting your ok on working with them.

And that is why you can’t afford to set yourself up as if you were a commodity, and get all beg-y on the situation.

You’re unique and scarce.

You might well be in a saturated market, but you’re still a rare breed.

So whenever it comes to asking for the sale and enrolling your buyer:

Be the prize.




P.s. How to have a conversation with buyers that positions you as an authority and a coveted resource, without manipulation or faking it, that’s what you learn in my 10-week training programme. 

And in case you missed it: it’s available to you at $1500, but only until midnight, December 31st. If next year you want your buyers to enroll themselves, this is where you go to learn how to make that happen:



How to Sell More, With More Ease… And You Don’t Even Need to Know Kung Fu

You know that scene from The Matrix, where they upload kung fu into Neo’s brain, and he opens his eyes, and goes:

“I know kung fu!”, and then he proceeds to whoop Morpheus’ ass?

There’s a reason why that matters, for your business.

Because once you acquire a skill on a profoundly deep level, everything changes.

For example – and I can’t attest because I’m not very literate in terms of numbers – I have it on good authority that when you know mathematics, a ton of things in the world get easier and make more sense.

Or, what I can attest to: once you have the ability to write with precision, drafting an email or an article, or whipping someone’s draft into shape, becomes something you do as a matter of course.

As such, some skills function as a kind of meta-skill.

They enable and facilitate a type of ease and effortless mastery that translates into various areas in life, and in business as well.

No, you probably won’t improve your business results by learning kung fu, but you’ll sure as hell see more people buying your work, once you acquire the meta-skill of communication in a way that gets people to enrol in your ideas voluntarily.

Enter my proprietary LEAP Framework for Ethical Selling.

It’s an extremely powerful mental model for how you interact with people.

It changes the way you communicate, and the way you show up to conversations with buyers.

And everyone I’ve taught it to, has seen a dramatically positive effect in their results with buyers.

Discretion prohibits me from sharing details, but we’re talking about many thousands of Dollars worth of client contracts that my students have raised.

And, bonus: the sales process became a lot easier and more relaxed for them, and for their buyers as well.

Which is why I highly recommend you consider signing on as a student, because hey:

If you’re in business, you want buyers. Right?

Especially if you’re a purpose-driven entrepreneur and you want your work to have an impact.

That impact will always be contingent on the the number of people you can serve with your work, which means you only get to make that impact, when people buy.

More buyers, more impact. Simple.

And, incidentally, that’s the impact I want to make:

To see as many ethical entrepreneurs as possible acquire the meta-skill of communicating in such a way that buyers sign themselves up.

And until January 1st, the training programme that installs the LEAP sales framework in your ethical little mind, is yours at $1500. After that, it goes up to $2800.

Here’s how it works:

👉 Each week, for ten weeks straight, you and I meet on Zoom for 45 minutes.

👉 You’ll be guided through the ten pillars of the system, and you’ll learn how each stacks on top of the other so as to

👉 You’ll learn how to ask questions that make your buyer feel safe, so that they develop trust

👉 You’ll learn how to gain permission for asking more and deeper questions, as well as permission to ask for the sale (because one should never sell without permission!)

👉 You’ll also learn how to get comfortable with hearing the dreaded ‘no’ – and in fact, you’ll discover how to get more people to say yes, by asking them to say no. Weird, but it works.

👉 You’ll discover how to make the sales process fun, and super-helpful for your buyers, because you’ll turn selling into an act of service.

👉 And, of course, you’ll acquire the mindset and mental model and communication & messaging skills that enable you to sell more, at higher prices, so that you get to have a bigger impact as well as earn the money your work is worth.

If that sounds good (and I can’t imagine who would say it doesn’t), then either go here to sign up before the price goes up, or reply to this email if you have any questions.


Do note: this is not one of those ‘ten steps to close a sale’ or ‘the #1 strategy to convince and persuade reluctant buyers’ or ‘always be closing’ BS kind of thing.

That stuff is so old-school, and in many cases, not exactly ethical, or indeed, nice.

Instead, this is a training that changes, in a very fundamental way, how you show up, listen, message, and communicate.

Kung fu for selling? Sure, I guess.

Anyway, here’s the link, in case you’re ready to turn 2021 into the year you exponentially increase your impact:

Helping good people sell more and generate a bigger impact



“They Need My Solution, but They’re Just Not Buying!”

Want to know why some highly-qualified prospects just won’t buy your solution?

Here’s the scenario:

To you, it seems clear: the problem this person has, is totally something you can solve for them.

And they are on board as well: they like you, they trust you, they know what’s in the tin and they’ve got the budget.

You have their solution, right here… and they need it, and they want it… so then why don’t they go ahead and buy…?

Annoying, to be sure, when the sales process stalls.

The good news is, there’s a simple, effective way for you to unblock stalled sales situations, and it comes down to problem-finding.

Because in many of these cases, where everything seems to line up and yet there’s no sale, it’s because we try to sell a solution for the ‘wrong’ problem.

You’re trying to sell someone on a problem that ‘isn’t worth solving’.

‘Our website is outdated and we need a new one’ is a good problem to solve, sure.

But for a business owner, an outdated website is not the actual problem.

Not if there’s other, bigger problems to solve first: make payroll, deliver product or service, manage the team, improve IT or fleet of vehicles… oh yeah, and then there’s that website.

“We’ll deal with that later, once I get this stuff off my plate.”

So the problem ‘outdated website’ isn’t worth solving for your buyer, at that time. Other priorities take precedence.

However, if you identify the actual problem, and the cost of not solving it – what I call ‘problem-cost’, everything changes.

Like so: “Your competitors have spiffy websites, with great SEO, and they’re signing on clients.

“And because your site isn’t up to date, you’re losing out on sales, while your competition is ‘eating your tortilla’, as they say in Spain”.

Lost sales? Overrun by competition?

Costly stuff – definitely a problem worth solving!

Your job as a seller isn’t to convince someone that their problem needs solving.

Your job is to identify the actual, underlying, costly problem – the one that’s the consequence of the surface-level problem.

Point at that, and watch how engaged your buyer becomes in deciding to solve the problem.

This kind of approach is what you learn, to a masterful degree, when you enrol in my 10-week training programme on ethical selling.

Each week we meet, 1 on 1, on Zoom.

You’ll learn the 10 pillars of the system, gain an in-depth insight into buyer psychology, and you acquire the ability to enrol buyers like you never thought you could.

Details and signup here.

Note: the price will go up to $2800 on January 1st.




“I Just Don’t Know How to Sell Myself!”

It’s one of the things I hear most often.

You might feel that way too, but:

Is it true?


Each time you interact with someone and you’re trying to get a result with them, you’re selling.

You’re selling them an idea, you’re selling them on collaborating, on showing up, on what you believe the best outcome.

There really isn’t any situation where you’re not, in some way or other, selling someone on something.

Even when you’re having a chat with a friend and you’re just shooting the breeze: you’re selling them on engaging with you.

And if what you’re saying isn’t interesting or relevant to them, they’ll disconnect.

No sale.

They’ll only ‘buy’ what you’re ‘selling’, as long as it’s interesting for them.

Another thing I hear a lot is:

“I just don’t like selling! It’s awkward and uncomfortable.”

I get that, but really that’s just because of a mistaken view on what selling actually is.

You see selling as “that thing that thing that people do when they phone you up to offer you a ‘terrific deal’ on switching phone providers”.

But that’s not selling: that’s simply hassling people.

Selling – when done by nice people who care about others – is just a way of having a conversation intended to find common ground, to see where your ideas overlap, and trying to figure out in what way you would both like to move forward together.

Nothing awkward about that, is it?

“I can’t get the rates I want!”, is another common one.

If that’s the case, it’s usually because you’re focused on the wrong thing.

Meaning: you’re trying to have the other see how worthwhile your offer is, instead of trying to figure out how much it’s worth to them to solve whatever problem your work solves.

In other words:

You’re making it about what you think, and offer, and provide, instead of trying your to get on their side, and seeing what wants and aspirations they have, and which fears and frustrations.

Or this one:

“So many people who would really benefit and ought to buy end up saying no!”

If that’s the case, the same thing applies:

You’re making it about yourself, not them.

So then, what’s the remedy for these issues?

I can show you that.

Especially if you’re a good egg, an ethical entrepreneur who truly cares.

For people like that, I developed a framework for ethical selling that really shifts how you show up and interact with buyers.

You go from awkwardness to being comfortable.

From “can’t earn enough” to earning the money you deserve.

From low conversion rates to seeing buyers enrol themselves.

I turned this framework into a ten-week training programme, and it’s quite powerful.

Right now and until January 1st, it’s available at $1500, but after that it goes up to $2800.

There’s only 10 seats available.

You get 1 weekly, live, personal, 1 on 1 session, plus as much email support as you need.

So the question is:

Do you want to keep going as before, hit and miss, feeling awkward about selling, not earning what you deserve?

Or instead, do you want to handle the sales process in a way that’s in line with your values, and that enables you to enrol and serve more people than you ever have, so that you get to have a bigger impact?

If the latter is the case: there’s 10 seats left, and the $1500 price of entry is only valid as long as the year lasts.

Have a look here for more information:






They Need You

Whether you’re a coach, a CEO, an artist or speaker or author or inventor or software develper:

People need you.

That’s why you get paid to show up and do your work.

In other words, there’s demand for what you bring.

And, it’s incumbent upon you (and every other professional) to supply and bring that thing you do to people.

And if you’re then also someone with a purpose – doing your work because it makes a difference – marketing, promoting and selling go from ‘necessary evil’ to something you can do with pride.

After all, they need you – and nobody is going to search in order to find the needle (i.e. you) in the haystack (the marketplace for your kind of work).

No, it’s up to you to show up and be findable.

That’s how people who need you get to have what you do, and benefit from it.

That way you fulfill the purpose you do it for, and that’s how you make the money too.

And that purpose can be anything you want – it doesn’t have to be ‘end world hunger’ or ‘invent the next generation of batteries for Tesla’.

Whether you create inclusive workplaces, or coach executives, or run PR campaigns for social enterprises, or teach maths, or coach entrepreneurs on servant-leadership: you’ve got a purpose and it’s valid (and I do hope you know what over-arching purpose is).

Work for that purpose, show up to the people who need you, and:

Discover your own best, most fun, true-to-values method for growing your influence, business, revenue, and impact.

Because if we don’t manage to sell, those who need us don’t get our work.

And if that happens, there’s a harsh question to ask:

Are we actually serving our purpose?

That question and it’s answer – the why and wherefore of your work – that’s why I teach and coach on business and sales.

Because folk like us, we do this thing we do for a purpose.

It’s our job to serve that purpose, and that requires getting good at enrolling people in our work.

That’s how we get to serve our purpose.

And if that resonates and you’re ready to scale up and enroll more buyers, have a look here – I think it might help. 



How to Sell Things and Still Sleep at Night

“Oh if you like that movie, you should totally watch Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, said my mastermind buddy.

I wasn’t feeling it – I mean I like Star Trek just fine, but it never impacted me as much as some other scifi shows and films. And DS9, the few bits I’d seen, just didn’t grab me all that much.

He went on: “I really like it as a show because it’s kind of the forgotten stepson of the franchise and it’s the deepest one. Really interesting commentary on occupation, religious freedom, and racism”.

With that, I was sold. Must give it a try.

And I joked: “You should be in sales”.

Here’s why this matters, if you own or run a business.

Because if you do, you need to sell your work or products.

Without sales, you don’t have a business.

But most people have hangups about selling.

Limiting beliefs, erroneous views, and of course the bad taste we have in our mouths, seeing how sleezy and corrupt and unethical sales can get, if it’s the wrong person doing it.

But, as per Daniel Pink: to sell is human.

“Shall we go get a pizza?” –> selling someone on an idea.

“Don’t beat up your little brother” –> selling your toddler on learning and adopting societal norms.

“Eat your greens” –> selling your kid on learning to do what’s best for them.

“Will you marry me?” –> selling your partner on forging a lasting bond.

Sales are a tool for creating an exchange of value, nothing more or less.

Another tool is a hammer, a tool made for putting nails into things.

And both tools are agnostic of ethics – it’s the handler of the tool who puts on the ethics and morals. Both can be used for right or wrong.

So, if you have doubts or concerns about sales, or if you think selling is bad, or that you’re not good at selling, here’s the solution:

Transfer enthusiasm, because in the end, that’s what selling is.

It’s what my buddy did, and it works, and it’s ethical.

He suggested reasons that might make me care, by appealing to values that are important to me.

How to transfer enthusiasm?

That’s a long story and it’s what I show my clients and students, but the basic rules are as follows:

1: Be real. If you’re not enthusiastic about what you’re selling, you’re selling the wrong thing.

2: Care about the other person and their needs. If someone buys something, it’s because they want their life to improve, in whatever way. To be effective at selling – and I mean: transferring enthusiasm – you’ve got to actually care about them and the outcome they’re looking for.

3: Listen. Not for the cue on what you’re going to say next, but really, truly, listen to what’s going on in the other person’s mind and emotions.

4: Once you ‘get’ what’s going on for them, make sure that your replies are tailored to join the conversation that’s going on in their minds.

5: Ask for a decision. Note that this is different from pushing people into one.

6: Accept ‘no’ with grace and gratitude. The person who says no has just freed you up from a conversation that won’t lead anywhere useful either for you or for them.

That’s something to be grateful for – you get to move on with your life, and they too.

You now have more time to seek other potential candidates, and have conversations with them.

Bonus: you get to sleep at night, because you know you’ve operated with ethics and true human concern.

More bonus: you’ll always be able to restart the conversation with the person who said no, because you treated them with care and respect.

Now: Do you want to get really, really good at having those kinds of conversations, and develop your ability to enroll people – AND feel good about it?

Then this training will do the trick. 






Righting Wrongs?

A savvy business owner sees a hole in the market, and figures out a way to fill it.

A savvy and compassionate business owner sees a pain in the world, and finds a way to ease it for those who suffer from it.

These are the people we all know, and their products and marketing (good as well as bad) are there to be found wherever we look.

And then there’s a third kind of business owner.

This type isn’t in business just because there’s a need, or a hole in the market, or because they found a way to make money: instead, they’re in business because they’re on a mission.

People like that, they see a status quo that they refuse to accept, and they make it their mission and their purpose to right the wrong that they see – to change the status quo.

For me, the wrong that I see, and that I want to fix, is that ‘the nicest people, those most concerned with making things better, are often those who struggle most to grow their business’.

That to me is wrong, because it means that the less nice, the more aggressive or less scrupulous, they do move forward, while good eggs don’t.

I stand against that, and my mission is to make the good eggs – those business owners who actually care – grow and profit the way they deserve.

Which does of course raise the question: how do you grow your business and sell your work, in an ethical way, while not compromising your values?

The answer is too long to explain here (for that, you’re cordially invited to today’s Flash Training Sales For Nice People, link below).

But for now, remember this:

Your values don’t have to stand in the way of your growth – they can in fact enable your growth, and impact, and sales and money.

In fact, the ‘trick’ is to not worry about your values getting compromised, but to simply lead with values.

That’s how you solve the good-egg problem: you get to enroll more buyers not despite, but because of your values.

Want to learn how to make that happen, when talking to a potential buyer?

I’ll show you.

Click the link 👇, and I’ll see you in a few hours, at 5PM CEST / 8AM PST.

Join the free training Sales For Nice People here.







A Super Simple (and Powerful!) Reframe to Eradicate “I Don’t Like Selling”

“People love to buy, but loathe being sold to…”

If the idea of selling is difficult or uncomfortable for you in any way, remember this:

People love to buy, but loathe being sold to.

And that’s exactly why I’m so excited to show you the inner workings of the LEAP framework for ethical selling, tomorrow in my Flash Training: Sales for nice people.

Because once you get that – once you understand how to make it easy for people to buy, all your struggle in selling your work will change.

And besides: I’ll bet that you have something for sale that truly makes a difference in your buyer’s life.

And – forgive me for making assumptions – you want to see people buy that product or service you have.

But, you do want to stay in alignment with your values, right?

You don’t want to coerce, or be pushy, or manipulative – because hey, you want to sleep at night, knowing that your values, your integrity, and your ethics have not been compromised.

If I’m correct in assuming these statements ring true with you, we have a lot in common.

And as an ex-monk, ethics and integrity matter MUCH to me, just like I imagine they do to you.

Which is exactly why I never ‘sell to people’.

Instead, I just have a conversation. I ask questions, pay attention, tune in to what’s going on in the other person’s world.

And, most importantly, I let people make up their own mind, on whether or not to buy from me.

The result? Fantastic conversations that people are happy with whether or not they buy, and fantastically engaged and happy customers, when they do.

So what’s my secret?

Ain’t no secret.

Other than: I show up to serve.

Specifically, serving means that I help people get the clarity they need on making the best possible decision for themselves, at this point in time.

And if that decision is a ‘no thanks, not today’, I don’t fret.

Whenever that happens, I know I’ve stayed true to my moral compass, and I’ve helped someone choose what’s right for them.

You can do the same thing, once you realise that ‘selling’ – or enrolling – is nothing more than facilitating a decision-making process, which in itself is an act of service.

Want to know the full scoop, learn the ins and outs, of how an ex-monk creates clients, so that you can transform your own sales process, and sign on more people, with more ease, at the rates you deserve?

Then you ought to join tomorrow’s Flash Training…

Add it to your calendar for either Google Calendar, or MacOS/Outlook

See you tomorrow!






Your Way, or No Way?

In your business, how do you handle the sales and price and T&C parts of being a freelancer or solo owner?

Specifically, when clients try to haggle, or try to make you play by their rules – what do you do?

It’s very common for us to then start to appease the buyer.

But when you start to reduce your price, or you agree tot terms you’re not happy with, you’re setting up for an experience that will disappoint your buyer and you as well.

In fact, the more you let go of your own rules, the lower level of customer satisfaction, no matter how good of a job you do.

Saw this tweet the other day:

“Just said goodbye to a potential client because they wanted me to go against everything I’ve learned and start work without a deposit payment.

“But we’re BIG and you’re small. You can be flexible.”

They replied: “No. It’s because I’m small that I can’t be”.

Now this is a correct and true response – but it’s also the wrong one.

Because how big a client is doesn’t have to affect your terms and conditions, and shouldn’t.

Because with that reply, the client heard ‘you’re right, you’re bigger and therefore you’re dominant’.

In other words, the client shows up with a big social ‘frame’, and says ‘And you are small, so you do what we say’.

If you then agree with the first part of the statement, nothing you’ll say afterwards will change things for the better.

It’s a lost case.

But if you’d ‘break their frame’, and show your own, bigger, authority frame (which is rightfully yours, as the business owner), you might have a chance.

So a good and useful reply would be:

“Size doesn’t matter.

“You are asking me to sell you this work, which means I also need to tell you my terms and conditions, which I’ve just done”.

With two sentences, you can turn the tables, and position yourself back where you belong:

As the business owner, where you state your terms and conditions, that a client may refuse or reject – and which they certainly may complain about if they want, but which is your prerogative and duty to protect.

I know it’s cool and scary and exciting when a big company wants to buy your work.

But don’t be intimidated, and never let them bully you just because they’re bigger.

You run the business, you get to define your terms and conditions. You get to decide whether or not business is ‘your way, or no way’.

This element of ‘social frames’ is a big part of the ethical selling framework I’m teaching this Friday.

Don’t miss it – still time to sign up:



P.s. If you can’t make it or you’ve already got the selling process nailed… would you help out and share this invitation with your people? Thanks much!


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 change 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’, then join my free webinar Friday next week, where you’ll learn how to sell more not despite, but because of your values.

Registration here: Sales for nice people.






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