Lowering the Shield – the secret to non-pushy sales
I know that as a heart-centred business owner it is easy to feel anxious about entering into a sales situation because of a fear of inadvertently coming across as pushy.
But the thing is, without a really good understanding of what is happening energetically in the sales interaction it is really easy to unintentionally do just that – and push away the client who really does need your help.
There are a lot of things that I can teach to you ensure that you never come across as pushy and that your client experiences your sales conversation as positive and supporting – and leave them really excited about the idea of working with you!
But the biggest thing of all I could teach you to help avoid any sense of pushy-ness or awkwardness is about Resistance in sales. In particular the resistance that your potential client has towards you.
Resistance? You might think, but they are interested in finding out more about my services… why would they be resisting me?
Well, think about how your client is feeling:
Think for a moment about how your potential client might be feeling when they come to you for that first consultation or discovery session. And also when you first enter the sales process – maybe following a networking event or online interaction.
On the one hand they have something that they really would like to get some help with, a problem that they want to put right, or something that they want to change – this could be getting out of social media overwhelm, getting freedom from a health condition, losing weight or getting more clients.
So they might be feeling:
- Desperate, hopeless, frustrated, unhappy or scared because of this issue and the impact it is having for them.
- Hopeful, optimistic – maybe, just maybe, you could be the one to help them and all this could change!
- Both of these sets of feelings are pulling them “towards” you and the help you can give them.
But they are also feeling:
Suspicious, nervous – they are worried that you are going to try and “sell” them something, to push them into something they don’t want to do, to leave them feeling awkward.
And so they have their Resistance up
When I talk about resistance to my students I always have a visual image in my mind.
You know those plastic riot shields that the police use during demonstrations and disturbances?
Well it’s as if the client is coming to you holding one of those up in front of them.
Energetically the client is saying to you: “I really hope you can help me with this thing, really I do and I’m open to finding out more – but I don’t trust you yet so get right back over there in that corner and don’t come too close.”
So resistance acts like an energetic force field that the client is uses to “protect” themselves against your sales advances (it doesn’t matter if you have no intention of using your “sales advances” they’ve been here before, and they don’t trust you yet !)
Now the problem is that when your client is feeling that way it really doesn’t serve either of you.
For you to have a truly effective heart-centred sales conversation you need to be able to guide the client through a conversation to a decision to work with you – IF it’s right for them and IF they feel it is right for them.
And for this to happen it requires the client to be available to connect – both with you but also with what feels true for them and the decision that is in their best interest. Which very well may be to work with you….
… but they can’t come to that decision if all of their mental & emotional energy is going into resisting you.
So the number one task of a genuinely heart-centred business owner who is committed to having effective sales conversations but without leaving your clients feeling uncomfortable is to ask your client to lay that shield down to one side so that you really connect.
How do you get them to lay down the shield?
There are a number of thing you can do to help your client feel “safe” enough to put down this shield and here are some of them.
1. Make it OK to say No
I always say that if a client is going to feel safe enough to say “Yes”, they have to feel safe to say “No”. So always make it really clear to the potential client that it is safe to explore things with you and that it will absolutely OK with you if they decide not to work with you if it doesn’t feel like a good fit.
2. Set it up as a 2 way Process
For most of us, if we are doing business in a way we love which means we don’t work with every client that approaches us. We only want to work with those clients where we know we are a perfect fit, where we will love our work, and we know we will deliver our very best results. So the sales process isn’t a one way process it’s a two-way process. You are assessing them, they are assessing you – and that is just how it should be. So make sure your client knows this so they know you won’t be trying to force them into something that isn’t right for both of you.
3. Ask Permission
There are always going to be potentially awkward moments in a sales conversation. For example, that moment where you’ve been finding out more about them and now you are positive you can help them (in fact you feel quite excited about it!) so you want to jump in and tell them all about how that would work – your programme, how it works and what you charge. And this is where things can feel a bit awkward if the client isn’t fully open to hearing you. All you need to do is ask their permission to tell them about your programme or service and explain how it would work. This way the client doesn’t need to pick that shield back up again to fend you off.
If you do these three things consistently and regularly in your sales conversations you will find that your potential client lays down that energetic shield and is available to truly connect – to you in the moment, to themselves and what they truly deeply want for themselves, and to whether you are the right person to help them get that.
And this is how you have beautiful, heart-centred sales conversations that lead to delighted clients and a business that you love.
Does this resonate with you? Maybe you remember a time when you didn’t buy a service you wanted because your resistance was on high-alert – even if you might have benefited. I’d love you to share your experience in the comments below!
And if you’d like to learn how to have effective, comfortable sales conversations that feel comfortable for everyone sign up for my “7 Steps to Yes!” e-course in the box top right.
With Love & Gratitude,
Thank you Catherine! It’s what I have been practising ….getting the permission is so valuable to lowering down the shield permanently with a client … Thank you for the coaching:))
Hi Rebecca, it’s lovely to hear from you – and I’m glad you’ve been practicing this element of the conversation – it is SO essential
Thanks, really useful to remember.
I’m glad you found that useful Suparna – thanks for the comment! 🙂