using our powerful voices to say no during sales calls
*First published via email on Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Click here to subscribe.
This past weekend, I was hanging out with a recently reconnected high school girlfriend - which has been WILD just seeing how much we have both changed or not changed :D - and she shared a sales call experience with a coach that she had recently. My heart hurt hearing her story because I could relate to where she was coming from and where the coach was coming from, too.
Have you ever been on a sales call with someone and felt pressured to buy?
Lol, I think that's actually what people think of when they think of sales calls.
But when we're looking for help, like with a therapist or a coach, and not a product to buy, we don't expect to be pressured to buy. We want to know that the coach is not trying to get us to buy because it's in their best interest. We want to know that if we hire them, they will have our best interest in mind.
Once we get a feeling that they don't have our best interest in mind, we already know they won't be a good fit. And we spend the rest of the call trying to politely say goodbye. It's the most awkward feeling.
But then the coach goes on to say things like, "you have to fight through the fear" and "decide to change for yourself" and...my favorite, "How much is your health and happiness worth to you?"
And then I feel cornered and guilty and confused, and I don't like it. I start questioning myself, "Is it my inner self saying no to this or is it really my ego? Are they right? But I feel like throwing my phone against the wall and throwing up. And I don't have $9,000!" It's the most awful feeling!
Unfortunately, these kinds of questions are actually part of a script that marketing experts teach. It's widely taught. But it doesn’t make it ok.
They tell us to ask these questions even if we feel uncomfortable asking them because we have to understand and believe in our worth as coaches. It's our JOB to coach people "through their fear" during a sales call. We have to understand that if they don't invest the $5,000 to work with us, their lives are going to be SO MUCH WORSE in a few months and as coaches, we CAN'T LET THEM DO THAT TO THEMSELVES.
As a coach, I remember getting off these scripted calls feeling pretty gross.
Convincing someone that they need to work with you or their life will be over is manipulative. I knew I needed the money and was trying to convince them (and myself) that I could work with them.
In fact, I was still using scripts last summer. But for my latest consultation calls, I ditched them.
Because I believe in what I do, and I believe that I can really help people (who are good matches) without needing to convince them of anything. My prospective clients have every right to decide for themselves if they are energetically aligned with me and even want to work with me. They might still want to work on their problem, but I might not be the best match for them. They have every right to decide for themselves if they would like to say yes or no.
And sometimes, we just plain aren't ready for "help." And we are also allowed to OWN this.
We are allowed to say, "No, thanks because I don't want to." When we guilt ourselves (or someone else guilts us) into "receiving help because we should," we end up perseverating the feelings of guilt and bitterness and self-hatred.
Everyone has their own path in life, right? Some people are ready to take action, and some people aren't.
No matter what, all of us are going through exactly what we need. The best thing we can do is to allow ourselves and others to be where they're at.
At the same time, this doesn't mean we need to stay quiet when we feel hurt or wronged.
As a prospective client, if I spoke my truth and said, "No, thanks," it would have been a powerful experience for myself AND the coach on the other end.
By saying something like, "You know what, this doesn't feel aligned for me, and I thank you for your time," as soon as you know it's not a match, you're being respectful of your own time and energy, as well as the coach's.
And I think some of these sales call happen so that we can learn to own our voices. They are opportunities for us to speak up for ourselves.
It’s powerful for me just because I'm practicing my VOICE, without any excuses or apologies. That's strength and inner peace!
And it may be powerful for the coach because she might end up pausing to consider whether her energy is coming from love or fearful ego.
Our voices are powerful.
These days, my sales calls involve a lot more questions and listening than anything else. I'm not trying to convince anyone to work with me. I'm not chasing a sale. And some people book a call with me expecting (and sometimes even asking) me to convince them to work with me, but I hold my boundary and explain that I am not here to convince them because it's in their power to decide that for themselves. If they have questions, I am happy to answer.
I focus on connecting on a heart level. I explain the purpose of the call - to learn more about what they want help with and see if it's a good match for what I do. I ask if they feel connected to me and if they’d like to hear more about working with me. If they do, great. If not, I ask if they’d like other resources to check out and we part ways with love.
Doing the calls this way feels so much better, there's less pressure on both sides, and it's empowering for me and the prospective client.
Have you ever had a sales call like the one my girlfriend shared with me? Whether as a prospective client or as a coach? How did you respond when you felt like you no longer wanted to go through with working with them?
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