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

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

“Is It Still Ethical to Sell at a Time Like This?”

Saw that question on Twitter the other day.

And I get it. We’re all reeling to some degree or other, and don’t we have better things on our minds, besides business?

Well yes, we do: Smile. Or do you have anything better to do?

(Ok, that’s a bit snide, but I really really mean it: smile. It’s better).

But that business and selling thing…

Should we? Is it right? Does it matter? Is it ethical?

Well, think of it this way:

You’d better hope your baker keeps selling bread.

It would be nice if you supermarket keeps selling and serving your needs.

If your phone breaks, hopefully someone is selling new or second hand ones, or selling repair services.

Petrol, for those who need to get to work, such as medical, transport, foodstuffs professionals…

The online platforms you use for your business, they’d better keep operating and taking your monthly payments.

Now these are obvious… of course they should stay in business and keep selling. They’re important, for all kinds of reasons.

But if you think that because you’re a solopreneur, or a coach, or an author, or literally whatever it is you do or whatever reason you’re telling yourself why you should take your foot of the gas, that you’re not supposed to be selling your work, you’d be making a mistake.

And another thing: it’s not that you have to keep operating and selling if you don’t want to, but there’s nobody ‘exempt’ from operating their business.

Because whatever the world is going through, it will always have an economy, and you’d better hope that it keeps working, in whatever way.

Without an economy there’s little left except barter, and humanity is no longer organised in a way that makes barter easy on a wide scale. Besides, barter is just another form of economy, so my point stands.

‘The economy’ is a big, big thing, spanning continents and industries and demographics and crossing all kinds of societal and cultural divides… a huge, complex, web. And while I don’t know a whole lot about ‘the economy’, I do know this:

An economy exists, and functions, by virtue of people trading things of value against each other: buying and selling things. And the more that happens, the more things can happen. Hopefully, good and ethical things.

But without an economy, things suck a lot more for people. (Kind of like smiling, in fact: if there’s less of it, life is less fun).

So the question ‘is it still ethical to sell’, can be replaced with a more important question:

Do people still need what you do?

If the answer is yes, and people also want it, but you’re struggling to enroll people under current circumstances, you might want to check this out.

It’s a complete system that helps you identify exactly what your past buyers need from you, right now, and how to present in such a way that they’ll buy it.

Only two more days to get the 1,5 hour training a pay-what-you-want.

Your baker is selling bread. Go and keep selling your stuff. And then go give your baker some money.

Smile as you do so.

Cheers,

Martin

A Lesson George Bernard Shaw Wants You to Learn

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” — George Bernard Shaw

Ok, it’s presumptuous of me to speak for Mr. Shaw – but, whatever.

I’ll take that liberty, because I’m sure he’d be happy if more people realised the wisdom of his words.

Because yes, we often think we communicate, when actually we don’t.

That is: we think we communicate thing A, and then act all surprised (or even upset) when it appears that the other person heard thing B.

If you’ve ever been in a situation where you found yourself thinking ‘why are they not getting it?’, then that’s what happened.

You said one thing, but the other heard another thing.

Of course you can blame the other for being stubborn or contrary, and in some cases that may be at play – but even then, that does not exonerate you from the responsibility of communicating in a different way, and trying to find out how to get your message across.

And this applies everywhere: In business and selling; at home; with your spouse or kids; with your students or team mates or prospects:

It’s on us to find the way ‘in’, and figure out how to get the right message across.

Misunderstandings are not ‘their fault’ – they are ‘our responsibility to fix’.

And here’s the secret: saying more won’t help more.

In fact, when you think that communication has taken place but it hasn’t, the more you keep talking, the bigger the misunderstanding will become.

Put differently: if the other person doesn’t seem to get you, explaining harder will be counterproductive.

Instead, ask questions.

Because unless you learn more about the other person and what they heard and what they think of it, how are you going to accurately adjust your message?

When you find that a buyer (or friend or team mate or spouse) isn’t getting what you mean, ask yourself this:

What did they hear me say?

How does it differ from what I meant?

What should I ask them, to figure out how to adjust the message I’m trying to communicate?

A useful tool in all communication – and especially in the context of selling and signing on clients.

Incidentally (actually: intentionally) that’s why the IP to Profit system I designed to help you generate sales from your customer list, starts with asking questions.

It’s the only way to figure out what current, pressing, costly problems your past buyers have – and you need to know that, if you’re going to make them offers that they’ll want to pick up.

Doing so will enable you to keep serving and keep earning, even when right now everything is so complicated for most every business. 

Check out the system here…

And in case you missed it: you can access the 1-hour training at whichever price you like, even free – it’s pay-what-you-want, but that will go back to the normal $49 ticket soon.

Cheers, 

 

Martin

 

 

It’s the Singer, Not the Song: Your Revenue Needs More Than Just a System

When I launched the IP to Profit system back in spring, for developing a new revenue centre out of your customer list, my coach said:

“In such uncertain times, how do you know that a system will work?”

Brought back memories of that Stones song: It’s the singer, not the song.

Because he’s right.

Not just in uncertain times, but always:

We can’t ever know if a system will work, because any system depends on how you use it, how well it’s executed.

Everything hinges on how we show up to a task or a project.

How we operate, implement, execute.

The song (i.e. the system) might be good, but if it also ‘sounds’ good (gets you sales) that’s because of the ‘singer’ (you, the one operating the system).

And the IP to Profit system is no exception.

Sure it’s really well-built even if I say so myself, and yes it’s got all the steps to go from market research, through the copy you need to write, through selling and optimising your campaign.

And yes, you can make a revenue centre around your Intellectual Property, even at times like these…

…but it’ll require the best of you.

Meaning: By itself, the IP to Profit system itself isn’t enough – it’s down to you, and your dedication and attitude and execution.

If you’ve got those in place, then you *might* be able to make your IP earn you money, even if the business world right now is in full VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity).

Point is, if you don’t use some sort of structure or framework or system, it’s hard to know what to do, and in which order.

And from the actions you take, it’ll be hard to measure what worked best so that you can iterate and optimise, if you’re not using a testable system.

And that’s why the IP to Profit system is so useful:

Not because it promises the end-all solution, but because it gives you a framework in which to operate, enabling you to indeed show up as your best self, and get the most out of it.

And, it enables you to get the most out of your single most valuable asset:

Your list, your database, all the people in your world you can talk to and help.

And to leverage that asset in a systematic way and keep your serving and selling going, consider getting the system: a 1-hour training, yours to have and own, slides included.

It’s pay-what-you-want (including free, if you want) until next Friday. Don’t miss it…

Cheers,

Martin

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. 

Cheers,

Martin

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. 

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

Buyers Are Not Liars

In the world of conventional sales (as opposed to ethical sales, the way I teach it), there’s a saying that ‘buyers are liars’.

Which in itself is pretty nasty and cynical thing to say – and complete devoid of empathy (where empathy is, again, part of the way I teach selling).

Sure, a person might say ‘I want it’ and then not follow through.

‘I’ll send the check’ and then it doesn’t arrive.

‘I’ll be there at noon’, and then they don’t show up.

‘This problem at my company needs solving, now’, and then they stop responding to your calls and emails.

Is it because they were lying?

Probably not. People say things for a great many reasons, and who knows why they say one thing and then do something else?

They know, is who.

And, guess whose job it is to figure out why they said something that didn’t end up being what happened?

Your job – the job of the seller.

Here’s the thing:

In a selling situation, when the other says something, you need to test what they say.

Not, again, because someone would be lying, but because we as humans, all of us, assume stuff.

We take things at face value.

‘Yeah I like it, I want it’, and we instantly assume that the deal is done.

But it ain’t, not until the money is in your account or the contract has been signed.

But when you assume that thing A also literally means thing A, and that ‘yes’ means ‘it’s a sale!’, you bypass that other person’s reality.

Whenever you assume something about someone else – and we do it all the time – you break rapport and create a disconnect.

It’ll show in your reactions, your questions, your body language, the way you structure your sentences… and that other person goes ‘Hey wait a minute, I never meant/said/implied that’.

And… they’re gone.

This is precisely why my framework for ethical selling starts with questions, then answers, and, very importantly, pillar three: meaning.

What someone says is one thing… but what does it mean?

What are they really trying to say?

What did they not say?

What do they mean for you to hear?

And, is that what you heard… or did you hear what you wanted to hear?

What’s said is one thing. What’s being heard is another. And what was meant is something entirely different.

Learn your buyer. Test your assumptions. Ask more questions.

Let your buyer tell you whether or not you actually heard what they said.

That’s how you enroll ethically, with empathy, and yes, with success and profit.

And if you want to learn how to do that, this training is available at $1500, until Jan 1st – after that, price goes up to $2800.

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

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.

 

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

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!

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

Selling Is Not Binary

In business, your job is to help a buyer advance, get better, solve problems – your job is not to ‘close a sale’.

Sometimes people buy from you, sometimes they don’t, and that’s up to them.

It really depends on what that person needs, and wants, and the timing of your encounter.

Maybe their best choice is to not buy today, but tomorrow or next week.

Because even if someone has the money to work with you, it also needs to fit into their plans and projects – and, it has to be a problem they want to solve with urgency.

Whether you sell a product or service, in most cases a client will also need to dedicate a certain amount of time to the project – and that already starts before buying:

Even the decision to work with you or not requires an investment in think-time.

So if they don’t buy today, who knows what they’ll want to decide tomorrow or later down the line?

This is why selling isn’t binary.

It’s not a ‘sale/no sale’ scenario, because if you see it that way you’ll shut things down if you don’t get a yes.

Instead, consider it a ‘sale / or something else’ situation, where ‘something else’ is an outcome that you both benefit from – and, an outcome that keeps you in touch.

This change in attitude does magic for the relationships and conversations you have, because it takes the pressure off the situation.

It creates encounters that leaves people feeling ‘I feel respected by you. I’m happy to talk to you again’.

Which is great, because what better person to follow up with, than someone who’s open to dealing with you again?

This kind of conversation and relationship is what I teach in my LEAP training for ethical selling.

It’s in pilot launch at the moment, and there’s still a few seats left for a live, 1 on 1, 10-week training at the current price of $1500 for the full training.

Are you in?

Cheers,

Martin

Making People Happy

Sane and ethical business owners don’t just want the money:

They also want their buyers to be happy for having purchased.

But wanting happy buyers isn’t enough.

You also have to want the money – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

If you don’t have financial goals for your business, and you only measure how happy people are, or how many of them you have, you’re working to reach a moving target.

How much happy? How many people happy? How scalable is their happy, if you’re not looking at the financial goals that enable you to re-invest, scale up, reach more people, make more people happy?

I meet a lot of wonderful people, committed to doing stellar work and serving clients.

But everyone I meet who only wants happy customers, and does not also want to reach specific money goals, struggles.

And you don’t have to struggle.

All you have to do is want the best of both worlds:

Want happy buyers.

Want the money.


Cheers,

Martin

P.s. Oh hey, and the best way to get happy buyers? Use a sales process that makes people want to enroll in your work, eagerly and voluntarily. You can learn that sales process with my 1 on 1 training on ethical selling.

get the book

and discover how to sell the way nice people do

You’ll also receive a short daily email on ethical selling and business growth.

Get the FREE eBook...
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy