Most people view sales as a dirty word. We love to hate being “salesy” and with good reason. Often, when I scroll through Instagram, I’ll come across a really captivating image and start reading the lengthy caption, thinking that person must have put a lot of thought into what they wrote. The caption starts out great. It may even have the makings of an authentic story, and then BAM! I’m a life coach who provides life coaching to life coaches and I help billionaires become trillionaires. Join my mastermind group now!
All across social media and email, we are being slapped across the face with sales for things we don’t want, and it feels icky. There are far too many grifters out there and it’s understandable that people are sick of being sold to. Sales has become a dirty word because the rampant selling that goes on today is bound to leave any heart-led person feeling dirty.
I’ve heard many heart-centered coaches discuss how they don’t want to be “salesy”. If this is you, I am willing to bet that you have probably engaged in some sales techniques yourself recently.
Think of your favourite anything – be it your favourite meal, or music album, or movie. Now imagine that your best friend has never experienced it. And you know they would absolutely LOVE it. What would you say to them?
That meal, or music album, or movie, is also a product, and you are selling it! Unlike the aforementioned Instagram grifters, you are not even earning a hefty paycheck or kickback from doing so.
Why was it so easy to sell someone else’s product to your friend, and yet you feel so deeply uncomfortable talking about your own services that you’ve so lovingly and intentionally put together?
Perhaps it’s time to ask yourself a couple of questions to help you get to the bottom of this.
Do you believe in your own product?
What does this question make you feel? For many people, the self-doubt is significant. Is there even the slightest doubt in you that your product could be better? It could come from a lack of self-love or it could have something to do with being a perfectionist, or having impostor syndrome.
These things need to be addressed. It doesn’t mean you have to wait for your product or service to be perfect before you deploy it to an audience. It could just be a mindset shift of letting good enough be good enough. It may be a matter of allowing yourself the room to grow and learn as you build, rather than having everything perfect right off the bat. Before you begin selling something, it’s your job to first buy into it yourself. If you are not fully buying into it, maybe it’s time to troubleshoot why.
When you built your product or service, who did you have in mind? Was it an old version of you? What was the persona of the client? These are fundamental exercises that you may have completed already. The product only needs to serve them, not the entire world. Wanting to cater perfectly to everyone is a recipe for paralysis.
This brings me to the next question during the sales process…
Do you want to take on this coaching client?
More sales, better numbers. That’s what we want out of our business, right?
But we have all also encountered several instances where the intention to get the numbers up is not in alignment with our values to serve the person who is ready and committed to change. If you get the sense that this client is not in alignment with the persona you had originally carved out, it’s important to have that brutal honesty with yourself and consider turning them down or recommending another coach to them.
In your discovery calls with them, even prior to making the “sale”, ask all the questions you would to determine whether they are the right fit. Perhaps the best thing you can do for yourself as a coach is to stop taking on the wrong clients. With the wrong clients, you’ll always need to convince them of your methods, or the process, of the timelines. It’s one thing to coach someone and another to convince them of your methods, or alleviating their doubt.
Maybe they are just not ready, or you are not a good fit for one another. Coachability should be a strong determining factor in whether you close a lead. You should feel excited to guide them, to work with them, and to spend time and energy on them. If you don’t, then be honest with them, and maybe it’s best to let them go with the truth, and allow them to develop some coachability.
Think about a scene when a man gets down on one knee to propose to a woman. All the checkpoints have already been crossed. They have already established that they are compatible, they may have spent some time discussing their values, their goals, their alignment on children, on family, on finances. He is ready to make the commitment, and he already knows what the answer to his question will be. It’s not a shot in the dark, and he is not trying to convince her of anything.
What’s wrong with closing clients who are not fully committed to you or to coaching?
The danger in doing that is that it will take away your energy from growing your coaching methodology based on your ideal client. You will end up wasting time on managing or micro-managing people, convincing people, or being overly salesy to them in order to keep them around or do justice to your pricing. Your program will evolve with those details in mind rather than the details that are required to serve your ideal client.
You and your business won’t grow to attract your ideal clients if you are spending time around that difficult energy. Choose your clients wisely.