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

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

Wanting Something From People VS Wanting Something for People

Had a chat with an old friend – one of the guys who used to visit the monastery. He’s in business too these days, so it was fun to chat and compare notes.

And once again, I had someone tell me “I don’t like selling”.

“I don’t like that the moment you have something for sale, it’s a nasty situation, because it means you want something from people”.

Is that true though?

Me I’ve got plenty for sale, but I don’t want anything from anyone.

I want things for other people – not from other people.

I want for readers to enjoy a daily dose of healthy business thinking.

I want for clients to get the very best of me, and for them to transform their life and their business.

And for potential clients, I want for them to make the best possible decision, whether that means working with me, or not. Both outcomes are fine, as long as the outcome is best for the person I’m talkin to.

So my friend suffers from two problems: first is the good-egg problem, where the better kind of person someone is, the more they prevent themselves from getting out there and helping people.
It’s a very common thing.

Th second problem is in his way of thinking, because:

It’s never about getting anything from people. Not for people who operate from the heart.

And, when you also sell from the heart, when you enroll because you’d truly love to work with that person and they themselves buy in voluntarily, you’re not taking anything: you’re giving.

And as long as the sales conversation goes on, you get to give them super powerful and enjoyable conversations, the kind that will help and be remembered.

And if the stars align, the other person will stop you and say ‘How do I get more of this?’ or ‘When do we start?’ or ‘Take my money!’ – all of which are things I’ve been told.

It isn’t ‘I want something from you’, it’s: ‘If you’re this kind of person, I have something for you’.

And when it’s ‘no sale’?

Then it wasn’t for them, at this point. But if you do it right, you’ll have had such a pleasant exchange, that the non-buyer remembers it positively, which means they’ll be happy to hear from you when you follow up.

And you never know when someone will ready themselves to buy. (hint: it’s never when we’re trying to push. that isn’t ‘being ready’, that’s ‘being coerced’).

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

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

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

Details here.

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

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

And, always in that order.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There you go: ethical selling in a nutshell.

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

This 10-week training will do the trick…

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

Is This You?

In my work with entrepreneurs and leaders, there’s three things I keep hearing over and over again:

1: “I just don’t know how to sell my stuff”.

2: “Selling sucks – if only I didn’t have to sell, running a business would be so much more fun”.

And the biggest painpoint of all:

3: “I just can’t seem to sell at the rates that my work is worth”.

Do you recognise yourself in any of these?

If you’ve ever said any of these things, I might have a solution for you.

Because:

If #1 is your issue, you might want to adjust how you see yourself and your relationship to others.

Meaning: yes you do know how to sell. You do it every day, and everybody does.

‘Selling’ (or: exchanging value) is older than language.

We’ve always traded: safety, food, community, protection, companionship… selling is inherent to being human, in that everyday we find ourselves in situations where we try to have others see our point of view, and buy into it.

If you struggle with the 2nd problem: same thing. You have an idea of what ‘selling’ is, and you dislike that idea – but it’s not that hard to reframe it in terms of simply seeking to find common ground with people, enabling the both of you to move forward together.

And if it’s # 3 that does your head in? You can’t get paid what you’re worth, or people keep walking away even though your work is a perfect fit?

Then very likely, there’s a lack of empathetic alignment between what you’re trying to communicate, and what the other person is hearing, feeling, or thinking.

And for all these sales problems, I have a training that will cause a dramatic shift in your thinking and your sales process.

Now, this is not your standard sales training, with a 3-step close, and ‘the top 15 ways to overcome objections’, and ‘how to get past the gatekeeper’, and all that stuff that regular sales trainers teach.

No, with the LEAP Framework for Ethical Selling, you get a complete shift in how you relate to the kind of people who most need your work.

It enables better conversations, easier followup, voluntary buy-in from prospects at each stage of the enrollment process, and, best of all:

You develop a skillset and attitude that allows you to enroll more buyers, with more ease, without ever compromising your values.

If you’re the kind of person who wants to serve buyers, you might find it quite, quite transformative. 

But even if it’s not for you, or the $1500 price tag is out of reach for you, remember one thing:

Humanity has never not been in the business of selling things – or what Dan Pink calls ‘to sell is human’.

We all do it, all the time, always have done, and once you accept that ‘selling’ is a natural part of human interaction, you’ll find that it gets easier and easier, whether we’re talking about buyers, team mates, your spouse or your kids or anyone you want to get results with of any kind.

This will help.

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

 

Is Every Business a Relationship Business at Heart?

On one side, there’s business and sales and clients and selling… but on the other side, there’s relationships and communication.

Because no purchase is ever a strictly technical transaction.

Any time someone buys something, there’s a conversation going on in that person’s mind.

When you join that conversation, i.e. when you really *get* your clients, the conversation deepens, and a relationship starts – and inside that relationship, is that conversation.

Put differently: being in business means you’re in a relationship business.

It’s you, a thing you do, another person, and a problem they want to solve – and those are all related.

And if all works out well, you get money and they get your solution.

But only if the relationship is quality, and the conversation is about that other person and their needs and aspirations.

Here’s where it’s very easy to go wrong: far too many people talk about their offer and their accolades, but those only serve to persuade, and that automatically triggers resistance and defensiveness.

That way, the conversation doesn’t improve and the relationship doesn’t transform from ‘Tell me how you can help me’ to ‘Help me figure out if I should get your help’.

And that switch is crucial.

Initially, you’re a listener and provider of information, and that information is related to an existing problem or goal.

But after the switch, you’re a helper, serving someone in making the best decision for themselves.

Put differently: the ‘switch’ is a moment where the relationship changes.

When that change happens, a potential buyer has gone from being curious to being interested, and good things can happen from there.

But, only if you take care of the relationship.

Because the sale happens inside a conversation, which exists in a relationship.

In other words: whatever it is you do or make or offer or solve or provide:

Ultimately, you’re in the relationship business.

Now, I often get asked ‘how’. How to have conversations that work, how to build relationships, how to ask for a sale, how to ask questions that clearly show you’re not pushy and are looking out for their best interest?

“How, Martin, do I land more clients?”

Well, one way to do it is getting my 10-week, 1 on 1 training on ethical selling.

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

 

“If Only I Didn’t Have to ‘Sell’ My Work…”

“I wish selling my work wasn’t part of being in business”

You wouldn’t believe the number of times I’ve heard that…

But reality is that if you want a buyer, selling is not optional. It’s just part of business.

The good news is, that things are bought, not sold.

When a buyer says yes and signs or pays, that’s them making the decision.

So you as the seller, you don’t need to do any ‘selling’ the way you normally think of it.

Instead, your only job is to have a conversation, that makes it easier for the buyer to decide yes, or no.

You can have a conversation, right?

Well then… that’s all you need to do. Have a conversation.

But, there’s different kinds of conversation:

Those that meander, that don’t lead to an outcome or sale, that leave you tired and frustrated…

And then, there’s the kind of conversation that has a purpose, that clears things up as to whether a buyer wants your thing…

… and that elegantly leads to a decision, without any pressure or manipulation.

In order for you to have those conversations, I created the LEAP Ethical Selling Framework – and right now, as I mentioned yesterday, I’m running a special offer.

When you decide to get the 10-week, 1on1 training, you get a bonus:

A personal, 2-hour session, where we analyse the psychology of your buyers, and their motivations for buying from you.

With that, you’ll be able to create segments, and identify offers that will appeal to those segments.

In other words: we’ll spend 2 hours to reveal hidden opportunities, already present in your business.

That way, you’ll not just get the ethical selling skills, you also get extremely clear on where your biggest opportunities are for generating revenue without bringing in any new prospects.

After all: it’s easier to get a repeat sale from a customer, than it is to find and convert somebody completely new.

And that bonus session will enable you to get those repeat sales.

Too much to explain here, so if you’re interested in selling better without compromising your values, and you’re also keen to leverage the super valuable asset called ‘your database’, have a look here, and see if this is right for you.

Now, I can’t offer this bonus forever, so it’s only available for the next seven days.

Check it out…

Cheers,

Martin

Niche –> Alignment –> You –> Sale

You can get all marketing-technical when it comes to finding the right niche for your work – and it’s useful, if only for the ‘huh, they made that for me!’ reaction people have when you get your niche right – but it’s easy to forget that a niche consists of people.

So who are the best people to talk to? Who are your most likely buyers? What are they like? What do they care about? What do they need to hear, in order to care about my thing?

Questions like these are what an entrepreneur’s business – or nightmares, depending where you’re at – are filled with.

And nope, it’ll never get easier, you’ll always have to re-think and re-adjust, as your business and your person evolve.

Here’s three questions though, that may help you shift your thinking:

1: What values would I love to see in my buyers?

The trick here, is to look for shared values. When you have the same brand of ethics, integrity, morality and values as a potential buyer, you’re more likely to get along – to have rapport, even before the first meeting.

This bit is a must-have: shared values are what make selling SO much easier.

2: What would you take a stand for, and what would your ideal buyer take a stand for?

This contemplation isn’t about must-have, but rather: nice-to-have.

Perhaps you’d take a stand for equality, but John Prospect might be all over workplace health and fair treatment. John and you don’t need to take a stand on the same things – so long as they are similar enough for you two to have overlap in terms of purpose and mission.

That helps you align, helps you two move forward together – which hopefully will include moving forward in a professional (i.e. paid) relationship.

3: What drives you up the wall, and what about them?

In your ideal buyer… what are the kind of things that they loathe, resent, would never stoop to, condemn, or remove from their life?

And what about you… what kind of thing really gets your goat, makes you angry, is unjust, should stop or change – what would you stand up against?

The overlap of what you and the other consider as ‘this is wrong, it should change’ is where you have a shared drive, an energy: a motivation to make stuff happen.

Again, these are nice-to-haves in terms of matching – not specific hard items like the values in point 1.

How to make this work:

Do some journaling, make lists, map things out. Be exhaustive and brainstorm-y.

In the center of the Venn diagram, start jotting down aspects and qualities about your ideal client – the kind of person inside of your niche that might be in the market for your work – AND they’ll have so much in common with you, you could have been friends for years.

None of this guarantees a sale – but it’s a damn fine way to find people you can move forward with, in some way or other.

And because you’ll have so much common ground, the chances of them buying go up enormously.

Every day I help entrepreneurs – coaches, trainers, consultants, designers, authors – land more clients, by getting real specific about identifying, and finding, the people they love working with and who are ready to buy.

And yes, my clients and I have things in common: we agree that truthfulness, integrity and justness are inviolable values.

We both take a stand for doing right by people, and using commerce as a way to improve things – and we don’t abide things like racism, bigotry or divisiveness.

So if you’re like that too and you’re ready to convert more opportunities into sales and stop losing so many opportunities, I can help with that.

Ready?

Cheers,

Martin

Don’t Close the Sale – Do This Instead

I’ve never liked the idea of ‘closing sales’. To me, it’s the complete opposite of what actually happens when someone buys.

You buy new shoes, and within days your knees or your back stops hurting.

You buy a new mattress, and wake up more rested than you have in years.

A new car, computer, or phone, and man what a joy to use a brand new piece of kit!

You hire a professional to do a specialised job for you, and suddenly you’re in the safety and comfort of knowing that something you need is being taken care of expertly.

All these, and all other purchases, have one thing in common:

They open up a new phase in the life of the buyer.

Not only that: when people buy, they open up a new version of the relationship they have with you or your brand.

They open up a phase of change.

Because buying things is transformational, and the more important or costly the purchase, the bigger the nature of that transformation.

That’s why in the LEAP Framework for Ethical Selling, I don’t teach how to ‘close a sale’.

Instead, I teach how to empathetically position yourself in such a way, that your potential client willingly steps into – opens up – that new phase.

It’s much more fun, and it’s super effective.

And, you can you learn how to do it yourself, with my 9-week, live, 1 on 1 training.

More information here…

Cheers,

Martin

Lead With Values and Sell More Because of Them

When I talk about ‘solving the good egg problem’ – meaning: helping good folk sell more because of their values and not despite of them –  that means there’s quite a bit of variation in the kind of businesses that I’ve worked with.

Over the years, I’ve worked with coaches, consultants, ghostwriters, designers, architects, startups, healthcare, web developers and yoga teachers and SaaS founders: I’ve worked with all kinds and sizes of businesses.

On the surface, that looks like bad marketing, because if I am ‘for everyone in general’, my marketing would say ‘I’m not for anyone in particular’.

Except I’m not for everyone.

Sure I like working with coaches and consultants and people in tech – but I don’t necessarily think in terms of ‘niche’ or ‘industry’ or ‘demographic’.

What you do as a business owner can be whatever you want – but I can only work with you if and I have shared views on items such as values, integrity, and truthfulness…

And, very importantly: the idea of running a business that does something useful.

That’s my ‘niche’ – the psychographic make-up that you and I have, and whether or not we’re aligned in how we see certain things that matter a lot to us. Like values, and stuff.

That’s who I’m for: people who see business and service and money and marketing in a way similar to me: a force for good, to be used strategically and with purpose and intent.

Here’s why this is useful for your own marketing:

Your values, or those that your company embodies, influence the experience your clients have with your business.

When you then lead with those values, in all your marketing and sales efforts, you’ll start to attract the kind of people who seek a provider who has certain values in common with them.

So when I work with clients to grow their business, an important job is to figure out what experience your customers have had, what that says about your values, and how that informs the communication (i.e. marketing and sales) you should be putting out in your messaging.

Because when you have the right values in common, the sale is already half closed, before you even talk to a new customer, because you’ll already have a lot of rapport.

That’s why I believe an ethical, for-good business should always lead with values.

Makes the entire process of marketing and selling so much easier – and, you’ll consistently end up talking to people you love dealing with.

If all this rings true, and you want to enroll more of the opportunities available to you:

I’m re-launching the LEAP Framework for Ethical Selling – a 10-week 1 on 1 training programme, designed to help you create sales without ever having to go against your values.

More information here.

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

Every Business a Publishing Business

It’s said that every business is a publishing business, but I’d say it goes further:

Every individual is an independent publisher.

We publish all the time, it never stops.

We publish our thoughts, the food we make and share, we publish our helpfulness and our embrace, we publish our values and our goals and our tweets and our care and concern…

It’s all there, for everyone to see, so long as they pay attention.

Now why is it that so many businesses don’t get the attention they deserve – people just don’t seem to pay attention?

Because those businesses don’t make publishing a focal point in their marketing. They just do it willy-nilly, or as an afterthought, or as ‘content strategy, guys – we need a content strategy’.

At the far end of doing it wrong are the companies you bought something from 3 years ago, you never heard from them since then, and suddenly they mail you to say ‘We’re still open, despite the virus!’.

Yeah, wow. Man I suddenly love that company SO MUCH! *clicks unsubscribe*

A little bit better but still not the kind of publishing people really pay attention to: companies who only mail their list when they have a sale going on or something new to offer.

And then, there’s pretty much the holy grail of publishing: Seth Godin, who has been sharing a useful idea with his list 7 days a week, for years running.

And while your humble narrator isn’t quite as steadfast as Seth, I can tell you that sending daily emails is magnificently powerful.

It takes 20 to 30 minutes a day, and clients show up to work with me, when they’re ready, and all I need to do is share something that I hope is useful, daily, and publish it.

What could be easier?

Meanwhile, the process automatically creates a library of articles – actual assets – that I can repurpose and turn into books, trainings, slideshows and so on, creating more assets that I can then publish.

Whatever it is you do, you’re a publisher.

And whether you write daily, or publish videos on Instagram or Youtube or articles for an industry publication:

It pays dividends to take your publishing seriously.

And that is one of the things I help people with: building a lightweight, easy to maintain publishing strategy that creates visibility, a loyal audience, sales, and revenue.

Are you ready to get serious about publishing your business, strategically, with minimal effort and maximum efficiency?

Then let’s talk, and see if we ought to work together…

Cheers,

Martin

He Not Busy Being Born…

I never got into Dylan, but I do know he’s an awesome poet – and I love me some good lyrics.

Saw him quoted the other day – you may know it: “He not busy being born is busy dying”.

And at times like these, that’s truer than ever.

If right now you’re not reinventing how you operate your business and marketing and sales – if you’re not working to reinvent yourself or rebirth your operations – you might end up in trouble, or end up unable to fix the trouble you’re already in.

Of course this isn’t new.

A business is either constantly being innovated and optimised, or it should expect ‘shock by change’, at some point in the future.

Soon or later, problematic or disastrous – trouble ahead unless we reinvent.

And if, at this moment, you’re trying to figure out how to reinvent things and you’re asking ‘How do I keep selling?’ rest assured that you can stop doing that.

If you want to keep selling, the question should be:

‘What are my people’s needs, right now, under these circumstances?’

This, too, applies to business under any circumstances – but if right now you want sales keep to keep rolling in, that empathic way of approaching your market will a) give you answers as to what solutions people need, and b) make you stand out from all the tone-deaf competitors who simply keep pushing out their offers, as if nothing has happened.

If you want to be busy being born, be busy learning people.

What do your people need?

What if you’d be in their shoes?

What’s it like to be them?

That attitude, the answers to those questions, and a recipe for having conversations with people that identify those needs and that position you as the single best source to fill those needs, is what you’ll learn in this 1-hour training.


Cheers,

Martin

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