Selling Made Simple (#817)

Over the past couple of days, I’ve really enjoyed participating on a “Creating Clients” seminar given by Supercoach Academy faculty members Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin. We were challenged, cajoled, and at times even coddled through the process of facing up to and breaking through our fears about enrolling clients and selling our products and services in the world.

While there were a number of wonderful strategies shared throughout the weekend for inviting conversations and making powerful proposals, I became fascinated early on by a simple question that was being asked by the still, small voice in the back of my head:

What would selling be like if I didn’t know anything about how to do it and was completely comfortable with that fact?

The first thing I realized is that I would show up without much on my mind. I wouldn’t fill my head with affirmations about my self-worth or “visualize success”. If I had any intention at all, it would simply be to see what I could best do to assist, help, or serve the person in front of me.

Not having much on my mind would leave me very present. This quality of presence would ensure both high quality listening and a natural, unforced human connection.

I wouldn’t need to prepare any questions because anything I wanted to ask would arise instinctively out of my curiosity and interest in answering fundamental questions like “what would make the biggest positive difference in your life right now?”, “how can I serve you?”, and for myself, “do I want to?”

Because I’m comfortable not knowing what I don’t know, if you asked me anything that I hadn’t thought about, I would just think about it in the moment. If a satisfactory answer didn’t come, I would promise to get back to you when I had an answer and then keep my promise.

I wouldn’t have any fear about telling you the cost of my product or service because (as Steve repeatedly pointed out throughout the weekend) it would be no more significant than giving you my phone number so you could get in touch if you wanted to speak further. And if I hadn’t already decided what my fee was, I would make it up based on what would make me want to choose you as the next person to serve.

My lack of agenda would inoculate against the appearance of much “sales resistance”, and concepts like “overcoming objections” would become irrelevant because my job is to find a way to serve you, not to find a way to get you to do what I want. In fact, selling would never feel forced or manipulative because if I couldn’t find a way to serve you that I actually wanted to do, I would just move on to the next person.

If I wasn’t enjoying my sales and enrollment conversations, I would know that either I had slipped into thinking my job was to “make a sale”, or that perhaps I wasn’t terribly convinced that what I had to offer would actually be of service.

As the essayist Lawrence Platt writes:

“If you’re experiencing enrolling others in your possibility as a chore, it’s likely you haven’t yet completely distinguished your possibility. If you possibility is authentic, if it’s clear, if it’s genuine, then it’s inspiring to you. When it’s inspiring to you, then it’s inspiring to others.  No effort is required for it to be enrolling.  Inspiration grounded in possibility is naturally contagious: everyone gets it, everyone wants it. It literally enrolls others by itself.”

When we began enrolling Supercoach Academy three years ago, my first instruction to the enrollment team was that I would evaluate their effectiveness by how often I was thanked by potential students for allowing them the chance to speak with my team. I figured that if we found a way for people to feel grateful for being “sold to”, chances were we would not only wind up making sales, we’d also wind up building strong relationships for the future.

What made my reflections this weekend so powerful was the realization that “sales as service” isn’t just a clever ideology – it is the most natural and unforced way to sell, and as such will provoke the least internal resistance to the process.

In other words, when selling is really about you, not me, it’s really fun to do. Since I’m enjoying doing it, I’ll do more of it. As I do more and more of it, I’ll get better at it. And when I start getting noticeably better at it, chances are I’ll begin to enjoy it even more…

Have fun, learn heaps, and a belated Happy Mother’s Day to all!

With all my love,

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