We All Hate Pushy Sales Techniques
No one likes a Delboy-style con of a sales person. No one likes the hard sell of the 1980s and 1990s timeshare salesforces and their ilk. We equally don’t want someone to insinuate themselves into our lives, via our phone and try to sell us insurance or anything else. No one likes to be pushed into buying something that they don’t want.
What everyone who needs to buy something wants, is an intelligent, client-focused conversation with a coach who knows their stuff and is neither a 20thCentury nightmare salesperson, nor a timid, embarrassed and flustered mess.
The latter often happens when the person in question fears that by even talking to a client about buying their coaching, the client will immediately reject them out of hand for being pushy.
There has been a recent spate of individuals come into the sales arena for coaching, who, in an effort to try to convince people that they don’t really have to sell at all to build a coaching business, talk about ‘heart-centred’ selling. Or even more squirmy – to me anyway – selling as your ‘authentic self’.
As a straight talking northern woman, I find that the one thing my clients appreciate is exactly that; straight talking. I’m not rude, nor am I particularly outspoken, but I do call a spade a spade. Specifically, I call a new client a new client.
The phrase heart-centred is, in my opinion, the absolute opposite of what you should be doing when you’re selling anything to anyone – but especially coaching. The reason I say this is because heart-centred is talking about your heart. It’s talking about you and the one person you should NOT be focusing on when you’re talking to a potential client is you!
It shouldn’t be about you at all.
Focus On The Client
Coaches who do understand how to build their coaching businesses talk to their clients and ask lots of questions to ascertain the clients’ needs. There is nothing ‘heart-centred’ about this, it is good, old fashioned, professional behaviour. The focus of the conversation, for both of the individuals involved, is the client and the client’s needs.
Not the coach, or their achy-breaky heart.
Not only is this client-focused way of selling going to get you a much better result, it removes the horrible sick feeling that we sometimes get when we even think about selling. The sick feeling is created because your whole focus is on you and not where it should be, which is on the client.
The “Authentic” Comes As Standard
As far as the ‘authentic you’ talk is concerned, to be honest it makes me cross. Not because I don’t think that authenticity is absolutely essential to every client you engage, but because putting it this way is so damned patronising. As Robert so rightly pointed out in his blog post Do You Say You Are Authentic?, authenticity is about topics, not people. People are genuine, topics are authentic.
I am a very genuine individual. I’m also a very authentic business builder. It goes without saying really, because the opposite of authentic is inauthentic or fake. No one wants to buy anything at all – but particularly not coaching – from a fake!
In my opinion, both ‘heart-centred’ and ‘authentic-you’ marketing fluff is for those who are trying to appeal to scaredy-cats who need to sell, but don’t want to. Well, in my experience, that’s most of us to begin with, to a greater or lesser extent. However, this fluffy language doesn’t make the selling mind-monkeys any smaller, in fact, I think it’s dishonest practice. It somehow suggests that with enough kittens, puppies, hearts and pink flowers, the job will do itself.
Well guess what? It won’t!