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

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

Interesting vs Useful

While asking questions and listening are at the heart of ethical selling, there will come a moment – more likely several – where the buyer wants you to say something.

Answer a question, explain something, repeat something…

That’s a crucial moment, because the way you handle that determines whether or not your sales conversation will go smoothly, or instead ends up a struggle.

Most people, when it’s their time to talk, will go for ‘interesting’, which leads to statements like:

“We’re the world’s largest XYZ”, or “I work with some of the most influential authors” or, “We’re an award-winning agency”, or “I was talking to Richard Branson about that last week”, or whatever message is thought to add weight.

The problem is not that these statements don’t make you look interesting.

The problem is that they do.

But a buyer doesn’t give a damn about how interesting you might be.

A buyer wants to know how interested you are in them.

And that doesn’t mean ‘interested in the money they might pay you’

They want to know how interested you are in understanding, and solving, their problem.

And for all you regular, normal, non-world’s-largest, not-connected-to-celebs business owners out there: the good news is that even if you’re as boring as a wet sheet of paper, you can still sell your stuff, and at good prices too.

How?

By being helpful.

If your thing doesn’t help, people have no reason to buy it – and you can already start being helpful before people even buy from you.

And, if you want a buyer to understand how much you could help, and how useful you could be, you show them.

Because the most useful person is someone who shows an interest in whatever problem or challenge we’re facing.

So when it’s your turn to talk, you can safely skip over all the things that make you look interesting.

Instead, say things that are useful: share insights, ask clarifying questions, suggest ideas or changes, and above all, and before anything else:

Make sure the buyer knows that you really get their situation.

Because it’s super useful to talk to someone who gets us – there’s no way we won’t get something useful out of the conversation.

And even if they don’t buy then, they’ll be happy they spoke with you, and you’ll be welcome when you reach out again.

There: an easier conversation, with better positioning.

And an open door once you follow up, just because you didn’t try to look interesting.

Ain’t that useful.

Cheers,

Martin

P.s. You can learn how to have conversations like this, where buyers love the way you show up and learn them, here.

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.

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

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 👉 http://martinstellar.com/helping-good-people-sell-more-and-generate-a-bigger-impact/

Cheers,

Martin

 

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.

Cheers,

 

Martin

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…

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

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

 

 

How to Use Generosity to Improve Your Marketing and Sales

If ever you wonder why your marketing isn’t working better, ask yourself:

“Have you built enough generosity into it?”

If the answer is ‘yes’, ask:

“Am I being generous to the ‘wrong’ kind of person?”

Because if you give to takers, your gift goes nowhere and your generosity is wasted.

Adam Grant writes about givers, takers, and matchers, in his book Give & Take.

Research shows that givers – generous people – tend to be the most successful.

But, generous people also tend to be the *least* successful.

The difference between successful givers and unsuccessful givers, is that the successful ones don’t give to takers.

That’s not selfishness or being uncaring: it’s efficiency. It’s putting your resources where they’ll have most impact. For you, the recipient, and those that they give to.

Takers are like a black hole: whatever goes in, never comes out again.

Matchers and givers however, give back or pay forward, or both.

Be generous to those two, and hope that takers will learn someday.

But don’t give to them.

No matter how big your heart is, you’ll never have enough energy to make it worthwhile to give to takers.

They’ll just want more and you’ll burn up whatever resource and goodness you have; it won’t benefit them, or you, nor anyone else

Point is, generosity – in marketing and sales – is an enormously powerful driver.

It’s leverage.

It rests on the principle of creating value, before asking or wanting anything.

Do things that are valuable.

Make things that are valuable.

BE valuable – and not just as a human, because you already are.

Be valuable as a professional. In your marketing and sales.

Tune in to the people you want to serve, create something they’ll love and that will help them, and give it to them.

The above was a tweetstorm I wrote, off the cuff.

And the last tweet was:

“Huh. Looks like I wrote a tweetstorm.

“Well, best turn it into an article, and send it to my subscribers.

“I hope they’ll get something valuable out of it.”

See how it works?

This is just one example of how you can create value – and I hope this one was valuable for you.

Cheers,

 

Martin

P.s. If you’ve got your marketing dialled in but you feel you could improve your ability to enroll buyers, this will help.

 

 

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.

How to Not Try, and Actually Help People

It’s kinda cruel, how we’re wired.

The more someone else struggles or suffers, the more we feel it and the more we want to help them, make things right.

But more often than not, we get exactly the opposite result… and it’s only down to trying too hard.

For example, you’ll know that I’m very hot on meditation. It’s a wonderful thing, I’ve done it for 25 years, it’s done me tons of good, has scientific backup as to positive effects…

And yet, you’ll never see me make a case for meditation – not until someone asks me.

Because if I were to try and persuade someone to try it, it would mean ‘trying hard’ – and the problem is that today someone might be swayed by my recommendation, and try it, but because the choice was made because of my clever pitch and not because of their own inner pull, they’ll likely find it a disheartening experience and give up. Trust me, I’ve seen this more times than I can remember, since I started meditating 25 years ago.

And then they might consider themselves ‘not fit for meditation’ or vice versa, and never get back to it.

So by trying too hard, I would risk putting comeone off their own course. Much better to help those who want change, or meditation, or growth or whatever, and who want to start it now.

Self-motivated, self-inspired. It’s the best way for anyone to step into change, and the best way to help with that is by helping the other find their own solution, and not imposing our own good ideas on anything or anyone.

Now back to opening lines: the more we care about someone, and the more we hurt seeing their struggle, the more important it is to give the other space for wanting change or help, instead of proffering our help and suggestions before that person is ready.

It goes completely against our mind’s direction, because we know – our minds know – that we can help, that there’s a solution, that if only they’d listen…

But the mind will have to suck it up, because the more we try, the more wrong the mind is in its conviction.

Go ahead and try, helping someone who isn’t ready yet… has it ever worked?

Most likely, you ran into resistance and objections, and the other person’s process didn’t speed up, no matter how hard you tried.

Could even be that things stalled or slowed down, or maybe the conversation got difficult…

Or maybe you’ve been on the other side, where someone just wouldn’t stop trying to fix things for you and didn’t give you space to even think.

All because of ‘trying too hard’.

Their efforts didn’t exactly help you, right?

Pay attention to the gut-wrenching feelings of grief and compassion and pity and helpfulness, at seeing another person’s struggle, and when you notice them: check yourself.

You might just be on the verge of giving the person the very opposite of what you want for them.

Be available, ready, present, but be careful not to hamper the other’s process by inadvertently getting in the way.

If you really want to help, create a space and a conversation that enables the other person to seek and find their own inner pull, and avoid trying too hard to help.

Which, incidentally, applies to all kinds of relationships and conversations: spouses, children, vendors, team members, clients and prospects.

No matter who it is: the harder we try to help, the easier it is to help less. But now you know what to look out for…

Cheers,

Martin

 

P.s. This whole attitude of helping people to want help by not trying to help so forcefully, is the foundation of my LEAP framework for ethical selling, and it’s really effective… and it actually helps. Both you and your buyers. More information here.

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