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Can we talk about sales for a second?
Do they bring up any FEELINGS or anxiety for you?
For me, the thought of selling as a new coach sent me directly to my couch…in the fetal position…where I stayed.
Who was I to be selling coaching?
WHAT ON EARTH DID I KNOW?
WHY WAS I SWEATING ALL THE TIME????
If selling makes you nervous, congratulations! You are in the right place.
I think that most people who are drawn to coaching find selling #notawesome, because we are so focused on wanting to help, we feel like asking to get paid is….wrong.
But no more!
It’s not wrong to pay your doctor for their expertise, right?
It’s also not wrong to pay your therapist, or your hairdresser, or anyone who provides you a service the benefits your life.
If fact, wouldn’t you feel weird if you DIDN’T pay your hairdresser? We have a cultural norm around give and take, and exchange of goods and services.
So, it’s totally okay to sell, is what I’m saying here.
But, instead of calling it selling, I want you to do this instead…so let me introduce you to:
THE AGONY OF SALES PART 1
In this blog, which I’ve now decreed as PART ONE with my most flourishing use of all-caps, we are going to focus on your mindset for selling – because until you feel good about YOU, we can’t really make progress, no?
First Mindset Action:
Let me first say that you aren’t selling so much as educating.
You shouldn’t be scared of offering to help people in exchange for payment, but you shouldn’t be focused on “the sale” so much as “educating people on how you + coaching can help them solve a problem that is causing them pain.
So, take the word “sale” out of the equation.
Next, say this to yourself: “I’m just here to educate.”
How does that feel?
For me, the weird creepy desperation-sweaty look I had been sporting when I first started my coaching business disappeared when I made that simple connection.
(I said to myself)
“I’m only invested in helping them learn and reach a good decision. Not in forcing a sale.”
So instead of meeting people and wondering how I could segue the conversation into my coaching business, instead I started to meet people and just listen to them, and if I had some insight that I thought could help them, I’d offer it up (after determining if they were interested).
If someone talked to me about how they hated their career, then I’d probe, and gently find out what they hated.
If it was a problem that was systemic and a coaching fit for my business, I’d gently ask them if they’d ever thought about getting help, like coaching.
If they were new to the idea, I’d explain what coaching was.
If they had thought about it, we would talk about their thoughts around how coaching could help them. If they wanted to know more, I’d explain how I personally could benefit them, and then I’d help them make a decision on my offer.
(Keep reading for the critical second step. DO NOT STOP HERE!)
Second step: Remember that coaching is a luxury.
You know how great coaching is already. You know it’s INCREDIBLY important.
But, sadly for us, the world hasn’t quite caught up yet.
So, to get your selling mindset right it’s important to remember WHAT you are selling. You aren’t selling shoes (necessity), groceries (necessity), or Netflix (necessity in my world).
You are selling what is, to most people, a fairly expensive luxury.
So, given that you are selling a luxury, how can you demonstrate to people how powerful coaching really is to their DAY-TO-DAY lives?
Apple is a good case study for all of us, because they are selling a luxury product in a world where their competitors offer things so much cheaper.
How do they do it?
First off, they are in touch with their customer wants and needs. Apple isn’t designing for everyone, Apple is designing for people who fancy themselves coders, innovators, trend-setters, cutting edge folks.
Apple *for the most part* knows what we want as their customer, and they give it to us in a slick, luxury way.
They produce commercials showing us how cool our lives will be if we use their magic phones, or design on their special computers, or even wear their *kind of ugly* watch.
They show us what we imagine ourselves to be – i.e., cool people living fun air-brushed lives that are interesting.
Then they allow us to experience their products. We can go and play in the store, and the store is big and open and fun.
They aren’t telling us we absolutely need “to be living our most authentic selves” they are instead showing us what that can look like. They are selling us what we WANT. Not telling us what we need.
We wanted 1,000 songs in our pockets.
We wanted super thin gorgeous laptops.
We wanted to be considered cool by proxy.
So, we bought their expensive products.
Now turn it to you
Think about the way your coaching changes lives – not in broad coachy terms like “abundance” or “clarity” or any of those words that don’t really mean anything.
Think about how your coaching changes lives on a day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis. Talk to people who are your potential clients about what they want.
Imagine moments, imagery, words to describe those moments in a way that almost everyone can connect to as soon as you speak them.
So, instead of saying something like: “I know you hate your job, I can help you find a better one.” Give people a moment they WANT like this one: “Coaching can help you find a better job, the kind of job that makes you not want to go home at night because you are sitting at your desk, completely in the zone, with no idea how much time has passed. And instead of feeling tired, you feel ENERGIZED. You actually have to tear yourself away you love your work so much. Imagine that.”
See the difference?
When you are so in tune with what your clients want, it’s easy to speak their language. And when you speak their language you aren’t selling to them anymore, you are just having a conversation.
And you feel WAY less skeevy.
And they like you a lot more.
And the agony of selling? Well, that’s something that no longer bothers you :).
So get out there and try it!
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