Afraid of Being too Salesy? (ep. 36)

Knowing how to sell in an authentic and effective way is critical to helping your business succeed. In the 2nd part of this 2-part series, Pamela shares sales secrets that will help you make an offer in a way that feels great!

In this episode, you will:

  • Learn the 3 important questions to ask yourself before a sales conversation.
  • Discover the #1 must-do action to show up as your best self in a sales conversation.
  • Identify the 5 sales secrets that will have you look like a caring, heart-centered pro (even if you’re new at this)!

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Timecode Guide:

  • 01:53: Let’s talk about the 3 important questions to ask yourself before a sales conversation.
  • 06:15: Learn the #1 must-do action to show up as your best self in a sales conversation.
  • 09:11: Discover the 5 sales secrets that will have you look like a caring, heart-centered pro (even if you’re new at this)!

Resources Mentioned

Want to know more about how to attract your ideal clients online? We’d love to chat! Grab a Breakthrough Session with one of my coaches to learn how to create real impact and income online.

Podcast Transcription

Episode 36: Afraid of Being too Salesy?


Intro (00:00):
You’re listening to A Profitable Impact.

Pamela Bruner (00:02):
Knowing how to sell in an authentic and effective way is critical to your business. If you’re afraid of being perceived as salesy, it will hurt your sales. Getting over that is essential.

Gene Monterastelli (00:13):
Welcome to A Profitable Impact, where every single week, we help experts like coaches, healers, course creators, and other online professionals to expand their reach, to increases their impact in the world, and to be well paid for their extraordinary skills and talents. My name is Gene Monterastelli and I am the lead coach in Pamela Bruner’s Impact Accelerator coaching program. And now please welcome my friend, my colleague, and the CEO of Attract Clients Online, Pamela Bruner. How are you doing today, Pamela?

Pamela Bruner (00:42):
Doing well, Gene. And it’s the second part of our two parter on sales. You know I used to hate sales over a decade ago when I first started this business, but now I love them because I recognize how much of service they are. And knowing how to sell in an authentic and really effective way is critical to business success. So what we’re going to do this week is learn the three important questions to ask yourself before a sales conversation, and the number one must do action to show up as your best self in the conversation. Then what are the five sales secrets that will have you look like a caring, heart centered pro, even if you are new at this?

Gene Monterastelli (01:21):
And as the conversation unfolds today, if you’re in a situation where you recognize the fact that you would like to be having more sales, but you’re still not super confident in the process and how to engage with potential clients, we would love for one of our coaches to help you out with exactly that. You can book a free call with them by simply going to bookmybreakthroughcall.com. That’s bookmybreakthroughcall.com. And you can get on the calendar with one of our coaches so they can help you to be more comfortable and confident when you’re having sales conversations.

3 Questions to Prep for Sales Conversations

Pamela Bruner (01:53):
So let’s talk about those three important questions to ask yourself before a sales conversation. And I’ll tell you that this podcast episode actually came out of a conversation that I had with one of our clients who said, “The people I sell to are so heart centered. I’m afraid of being salesy.” And I said, “Are you afraid of being salesy? Or are you afraid of being perceived as salesy.” And she said, “You know what, actually, both.” And so we’re going to tackle both today in this podcast conversation because the line between I’m afraid I’ll be salesy, or I’m afraid they’ll see me as salesy, even if I don’t think I am, is a fairly thin line. So we’re going to actually handle both sides of that.

Pamela Bruner (02:35):
And so what are these three important questions to ask yourself before a sales conversation? One of them, if you know that you struggle with mindset around sales, is: What is my biggest fear? Right here, right now, as I go into this conversation, what is my biggest fear? And the answer to that question might be, I’m afraid they’ll say no. We talked about that last week with overcoming the fear of rejection. It might be I’m afraid that I won’t come off as an expert, or I’m afraid that they will think that it’s only about the money for me. There are a lot of transformational entrepreneurs, coaches, healers, and experts who have a great fear of being misunderstood in a sales conversation, being seen as inauthentic, or as salesy, or as pushy, or something like that, when what they’re really trying to do is be of service to prospective clients. So first question: What is my biggest fear? Identifying that is so important.

Gene Monterastelli (03:26):
And one of my favorite ways to do that exact thing, because intellectually we might have a sense of what some of those fears are, but we might have some hidden fears that we’re not exactly aware of or don’t have the details to. And so for me, if I’m trying to unpack what those fears are, the process is really, really simple. I imagine myself doing the thing that might be scary, in this case, having a sales conversation. And then I pay attention to what I notice in my body. So I might have butterflies in my stomach, or tightness in my chest, or a tightness around my throat. Once I have that physical sensation, then I just imagine that tension or that physical sensation can talk to me. And I just ask the physical sensation, “What do you think is going to go wrong?” And then just listen to the information.

Gene Monterastelli (04:11):
So I’m not trying to intellectually figure it out, but I’m giving my subconscious mind the opportunity to bring forward the real emotional truth about what the fear is. Then after I get that information, I’ll ask a followup question of, “Great. What proof do you have that this could go wrong in that particular way?” Again, I’m asking the sensation and not trying to figure it out intellectually. And oftentimes, when I do this with our clients and ask that question, I could actually see them internally ask the question and go, “Huh, yeah, I’m actually afraid of,” and in that process what they’re doing is they’re bringing to light a fear that on some level, they implicitly understood, but by doing this, we make it explicit, which makes it easier for us to understand, to process, and to transform.

Pamela Bruner (04:59):
And I love that example in addition to the question because it leads really nicely into the second question, which is: How can I reinterpret that? So if I’ve got a fear, if I’ve got a belief that something will go wrong, perhaps I can reinterpret that to say, instead of, “Oh my gosh, I’m afraid that they won’t like me when I try to sell to them.” How can reinterpret that? People who are my ideal clients really like me when I sell to them. But people who are not my ideal clients don’t, and that’s okay. That’s a potential reinterpretation. And it takes a little bit of practice and a little bit of work to come up with these reinterpretations, but it’s so very valuable because those give you power statements in your business.

Pamela Bruner (05:45):
The third question to ask once you’ve looked at your biggest fear. What is the proof? How can I reinterpret that? Is who do I want to be in this conversation? And again, this gives you a chance to step up and say, “I want to be powerful. I want to be of service. I want to be an advocate. I want to open the doorway for my perspective client.” It is all of those things. But getting clear on that enables you to put a different identity in than the one that your fear is trying to give you.

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The Key to a Successful Sales Conversation

Pamela Bruner (06:15):
This actually leads really well into what I think of as the one must do action to show up as your best self in a sales conversation. And it’s to create what I call grounding statements. Grounding statements are things I believe, and they’re things that may fly out of my head in a stressful situation, like a sales conversation, if I don’t bring them in. The cool thing about grounding statements are you can actually speak them out loud to your prospective client during the course of a conversation and they fit in that conversation. And it’s so powerful to be able to speak a grounding statement as an affirmation as part of the sales conversation. So examples of grounding statements are things like I want to be of service to you in this conversation. Another one, one of my favorites is, you know the truth is, there are other people out there who do what I do. I’m really most concerned with you getting the results, with you getting the outcome you want, not that you get it from me.

Pamela Bruner (07:17):
And I love that statement because it really puts me in a position of being a partner, an advocate. And a simpler version might be, it’s really important to me that you get what you need. So as you think about the things that you might say that are both things that your prospective client, your ideal client, would love to hear and that help them know that you are authentic, and help them know that you are caring about this process. It also affirms it for you and removes fear and desperation and any of those other emotions that might try to creep into a sales conversation.

Gene Monterastelli (07:53):
Pamela, one of the things I really love about our conversations is you are consistently giving me new ways to think about things that I already know to implement them in a new way. So I have a little pre game checklist that I go through before I have a sales conversation, reviewing my marketing language in my target market’s language, so I’m not talking to process-y, and I also have a process of this. Who do I want to be? How do I want to show up in that energetic way? And occasionally, the phrases that you just shared come out of my mouth in the natural course of conversation. I’ve never thought about deliberately and intentionally stating my intent consistently in these conversations. And like you’re saying, it is going to help me to be more confident in that particular conversation. But it’s really good for the other person to know where I’m coming from and where I stand.

Gene Monterastelli (08:41):
And so in the past, this has happened accidentally just in the course of conversation. But this is now something that I’m going to add intentionally. I really love it as an idea of not just before, but actually during the conversation.

Pamela Bruner (08:52):
Yeah. You can bring yourself back to the energy and the state that you want to be in. And it’s completely available to your prospect right in front of you, and it seems natural. It’s a great thing.

Gene Monterastelli (09:04):
And it seems natural because it is.

5 Secrets to Become a Sales Pro

Pamela Bruner (09:11):
So let’s talk about five sales secrets that are going to have you look like a caring heart centered pro, even if you’re new at this. So number one is something that a lot of sales training will tell you to do, and that is take control of the conversation at the beginning. But I’m going to give a different reason for taking control. A lot of them say, “Well, you want to take control so you can make sure you close the sale.” I don’t believe that. I don’t believe in that anyway. I believe that you want to take the control because it’s very comforting when someone has a challenge in a particular area, to feel like they are talking to an expert who’s got a handle on the situation. So when you take control of a sales conversation, you are saying, “I am an expert. I’ve got you. We’re going to talk through this. It’s going to be okay.” If you seem hesitant or tentative, and you want them to lead the conversation, you’re giving up the ground of your expertise, and you don’t want to do that.

Pamela Bruner (10:09):
The second sales secret is to summarize both their vision and their pain, and what this means is repeat it back to them. It’s not uncommon for a newbie in sales to listen to what somebody’s saying, well, I’m struggling with this, I’m struggling with this, I’m struggling with this. And they go, “Okay. Got it. So let’s talk about what you want.” Wait a minute, you’ve blown right by their pain. You’ve blown right by the struggle that they actually have. And if they’re not deeply aware of that struggle, they’re unlikely to say yes to you, and that means they’re unlikely to get the transformation you provide. Not a good thing.

Pamela Bruner (10:45):
So when they say, “I’m struggling with this, and this, and this, and this,” you get to say, “Let me repeat that back to you and make sure I’ve got it right. So what I’m hearing is this is a challenge for you, and this is a challenge for you, and this, and this. Do I have that right?” That really reaffirms both you’re listening, you’re caring, and it helps them to focus on what this is costing them.

Gene Monterastelli (11:09):
The other thing it does, Pamela, is it validates for them what they are saying as being real and true because oftentimes, we’re in a circumstance where we’re struggling with things internally, where we think, “Well, I’m the only person that is struggling with this, and I need to get over it,” and to have another person say it out loud back to us, going, “So what I understand you’re saying is this, this, and this,” by me saying, “What I understand,” I’m saying, “I understand you.” And that is such a good and valuable thing. It’s great for building rapport in a sales context, but I think it’s also just a really great skill in engaging with another human in that particular way.

Gene Monterastelli (11:50):
The other thing that I find really valuable about doing that and repeating it back is I say, “So I’ve heard you say this and this and this.” And they’ll go, “Yeah, and.” And they’ll either expand on what they just shared, or they will add even more detail to what they just shared because they’re feeling safe and comfortable and in a place where there is rapport, and so they’re willing to be more honest with themselves and they’re willing to be more honest with us about the magnitude of the situation that is going on. And the more detail I have about someone and their struggle, the easier it is for me to share something with them that is going to be useful because I know what the actual struggle is. So it gives them the opportunity to build on what they shared with us.

Pamela Bruner (12:33):
Great point. So the third secret is that questions are more important than statements. So you want to use questions, even if what you’re trying to do is educate a little along the way. Now I don’t actually believe a sales conversation is a place for education with one exception. Often, I will interpret, help someone interpret their struggle as evidence of a particular problem. Like if somebody says to me, “I just don’t have the clients I want,” I’m like, “Well, are you talking to people about working with you? Or are you just not having those conversations?” “Oh, I’m not having those conversations. I don’t know where my people are. I don’t know how to invite them to conversations.”

Pamela Bruner (13:15):
And then I’ll say something like, “Well, that sounds to me like it’s a marketing problem. Does that make sense to you when I say that?” So I’ve turned what might be a statement, well, young lady, you have a marketing problem, which sounds very authoritarian, and I’ve turned it around and turned it into a question to say, “That sounds to me like a marketing problem. Does that resonate?” And then if they say yes, I now have helped them identify that they have a particular problem that my program solves. So I’ve just asked questions to make the connection between the symptoms they’re experiencing and the actual problem they have.

Pamela Bruner (13:54):
The fourth sales secret is to know that almost everyone you talk to cares far more about the outcome of working with you than they do about the features. And often as coaches, or healers, or experts, we focus on features like, hey, you’ll get three coaching calls a month, and you’ll get this many PDF hand outs. And you’ll get this many minutes and that kind of thing. Those are all features, which means they describe the details of the program, or the details of the system that you’re offering. Most people care about the outcome. What are the benefits? What are the big picture benefits that they’re going to get when they work with you?

Pamela Bruner (14:34):
Now there’s one exception. It’s the type of person we call a researcher, who basically processes by knowing all the details. You’ll be able to recognize a researcher if you’re talking to one. But if you are a researcher, if you know you are, and the people you’re talking to are not researchers, please don’t give the features. Please don’t tell them all about that. Give them the benefits and see if they ask about the features.

Gene Monterastelli (14:55):
And this is, I mentioned a little bit earlier how I have this pre game checklist, this is another one of the reasons why I have a pre game checklist before I go into a sales conversation. Oftentimes, I have sales conversations in the afternoon or the evening, which means that I have worked with clients before I’m having these conversations, which means that I have spent my day enmeshed in my process, in my tool set, in the features, and how things are executed. And when it comes time to have the conversation with a new potential client in a sales setting, I need to let go of that and return back to: What is their pain? And what is the outcome that they’re looking for?

Gene Monterastelli (15:33):
And so that’s the reason why I review my marketing language before I have the conversation, so I’m not falling into this trap of talking about how I work and what the details are because they don’t care about that until they know we’re painting a picture of getting them to an outcome that they want. And it’s the hardest thing for me as a person who spends all day doing my thing to remind myself that they’re not ready for that conversation until they say yes and we engage in the work.

Pamela Bruner (16:00):
Great. And the fifth secret is one of my favorite statements in an entire sales conversation, which is a transition statement between asking your prospective client for information about the problem and what they’ve tried and all of this, and transitioning into making an offer. Now a lot of people will interpret this as a transition that is, oh, I’m going from teaching to selling, or I’m going from connecting to selling. I don’t see it that way. And as I share this transition statement, which you can write down and are welcome to use, you’ll see in the statement how this really sets you up as a partner.

Pamela Bruner (16:40):
Based on what you’ve told me, I believe I have a resource for you. May I share that with you now? I’ll say that again. Based on everything you’ve told me, or what you’ve told me, I believe I have a resource for you. May I share that with you now? And the reason that I say that, the reason I have that transition statement is there’s a lot packed into that one little statement which is, I’ve listened to everything you’ve said. In my expertise, I have a resource, and I’m asking for your permission to share it. So I’m not launching into an offer. I am not pushing my program or product on them. I am asking for permission based on my listening and my expertise, so it’s a great transition statement.

Pamela Bruner (17:25):
So whether it’s using the three questions before a sales conversation, or grounding statements, or making sure that you’ve got these sales secrets incorporated in your process, the more you do it, the more you practice, the more you’ll show up as an authentic, effective sales person and be able to grow your business and make more of a difference in the world.


Gene Monterastelli (17:45):
And so as you’ve heard over this two part series as we’ve been talking about sales, you can see Pamela and I really love having sales conversations because a sales conversation is an opportunity for me to be able to share my gifts, my talents, and to make a transformation in the world. If you are in a situation where you’re excited about the thing that you want to share, but you’re still not feeling comfortable stepping into a sales conversation like this, we would love for you to have an opportunity to talk to one of our coaches so they can help you to position yourself in that place where you look forward to sales conversations because it’s an opportunity for you to serve.

Gene Monterastelli (18:21):
All you need to do to book one of those conversations is go to BookMyBreakthroughCall.com. That’s BookMyBreakthroughCall.com. And you can get on the calendar absolutely free with one of our coaches, so they can help you to set up your sales conversations and to set up your mindset so you’re able to show up truly from a place of service, which means you’re going to have the impact that you want. If you’ve enjoyed the conversation we’ve had today, and you know someone else in your life who would like to be more effective and efficient with their sales conversations, please be our ambassador and pass the episode along. It will make a difference for them, which means that they will be having a bigger impact in the world as well.

Gene Monterastelli (19:00):
If you have a question, or a comment, a topic that you’d like us to cover in a future episode, we would love to hear from you, so we can serve you as well as we can. To do that, all you need to do is go to AttractClientsOnline.com. Click on the contact link, shoot us an email. Make sure you put in the email that this is for the podcast. We would love to be helpful in the future in that way.

Gene Monterastelli (19:22):
If you haven’t done so already, you can subscribe to the podcast absolutely free. You can find the show in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, Audible, basically everywhere online you get audio. All you need to do is search for A Profitable Impact. And when you find the show, make sure you subscribe, make sure you follow, and turn on those notifications so that every single week, when a new episode comes out, you’re notified right away, so you can enjoy the education and the goodness. For A Profitable Impact, I am Gene Monterastelli. Until next time, I hope you have an impactful week.


Pamela Bruner - Attract Clients Online Blueprint

Building a business as a coach or expert is challenging, especially if you’re trying to find your clients online.

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