We All Hate Pushy Salespeople
No one likes a Delboy-style con of a sales person. No one likes the hard sell of the 1980s and 1990 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 feel that they are being pushed into buying something that they don’t want. But what about the heart-centred sales person?
What everyone who needs to buy something wants, is an intelligent, client-focused conversation with a someone who knows their stuff and is neither a 20th Century nightmare sleaze-ball, nor a timid, embarrassed and flustered mess.
The latter often happens when the coach in question fears that by even talking to a potential client about buying their coaching, the client will immediately reject them out of hand for being pushy.
I’ve recently noticed a spate of sales/business development coaches 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. Actually, specifically, I call a sale a sale.
The phrase heart-centred is, in my opinion, the absolute opposite of what you should be doing when you’re selling anything to anyone. 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 selling is you! It just shouldn’t be about you at all.
Focus On The Client
Good coaches talk to their customers and ask lots of questions to ascertain the customers’ needs – basically, a sales conversation is a structure coaching conversation. 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 you, or your 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 customer.
The Authentic You Comes As Standard
As far as the ‘authentic you’ talk is concerned, to be honest it makes me want to puke. Not because I don’t think that authenticity is absolutely essential to every sale you make (and all parts of our lives), but because putting it this way is so damned patronising. I am a very authentic individual. I’m also a very authentic saleswoman. It goes without saying, because the opposite of authentic is inauthentic or fake. None of my clients is a fake and nor am I. No one wants to buy anything at all from a fake!
In my opinion, both ‘heart-centred’ and ‘authentic-you’ marketing fluff is for those who are trying to appeal to coaches who need to sell, but don’t want to. Well, in my experience, that’s most coaches 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.
Guess what? It won’t!