I just love this gal! She hits the nail on the head every time with her newsletter. I am reprinting the latest installment because, as an artist, there is always struggle between the making of work and the selling/marketing of product. Molly Gordon hangs it out there for all to see and follow by example. She is a teacher of authenticity, knowing yourself, feeding your business and thriving as an entrepreneur. She is a North Star in my humble opinion. I HIGHLY recommend and encourage everyone to sign up for her newsletter and check out all she has to offer on her many links.
Volume 9, No. 8 • April 4, 2007
Molly Gordon, MCC
Sign up at Authentic Promotion
Make sure to check out her blog HERE
Get to know Molly HERE
AND don't forget Learn to Love Marketing
Feature: Bringing Sales Out of the Closet
Look Ma, No White Shoes!
Less than a Week and 4 Places Left in Authentic Wealth
Beyond Serial Self Improvement
Bringing Sales Out of the Closet
Over the weekend, a few readers sent notes in response to the Authentic Wealth reminder they'd received. One stated that the reminders were somewhat annoying and asked if it were possible to receive the newsletters but not the reminders.
As I read that, my heart speeded up, the bubble machine in my chest started manufacturing tiny spheres of free-floating anxiety, and my mind raced in self-defense, justification, and fear. Ah, the joys of being a highly evolved business owner.
In principle, I know that any feedback is valuable and that when someone takes the time to write they are giving me a gift. So why did I go on red alert?
Because I am coming out of the closet and it's scary.
What have I been keeping in the closet? How come? And what does it mean for you? For the answers to these and other gripping questions, read Look Ma, No White Shoes! below. I'm posting it on my blog, too, where you can pushback, cheer, or otherwise share your point of view. I hope you will join the discussion.
Look Ma, No White Shoes!
The used car salesmen in white shoes and belt with a loud plaid jacket has become an archetype of selling. As a result, you may -- like me -- have tended to keep sales in the closet, depending on the admiration of your network and the kindness of strangers to bring in revenue.
Do you do your best to provide value without asking for reciprocity? Do you write newsletters, blog, offer complimentary introductory session or other benefits to prospective clients but back away from selling to them?
How thoughtful. How generous. How unhealthy.
Yes, unhealthy. Because when you don't invite your customers to reciprocate, when you don't issue clear, open, and regular invitations to buy, you consign your business to a kind of financial anorexia.
The person suffering from anorexia has a distorted body image, and can languish and even die from starvation, while being convinced that they are fat. What's more, they are convinced that being fat is a fate worse than death (literally).
Do you have a distorted image of what it would mean to profit from serving others? Would it be okay with you if people saw your business thriving? Or do you cling to the notion that somehow starvation is a more artistic or enlightened path? Heaven forfend that your clients or customers would think you are in business for the money!
And of course, you aren't in business for the money any more than a healthy adult lives to eat. Yet, your business needs money just as certainly as you need food, and the more up front, clear, and effective you are at selling, the healthier your business and your relationships with your customers.
Sounds good in principle, but how do you sell effectively without pressuring your customers and alienating your audience? Keep reading.
Selling to Serve
Your customers and clients -- like you -- have a lot more on their minds than whether or not your work can help them. They could be crying out for what you offer, but distracted by slings and arrows of everyday fortune: leaky plumbing, aging parents, boomerang kids -- the list goes on and on.
In order to help them, you'll need to open your mind to selling. How do you keep selling from co-opting your values and your vision? The answer is to build service into sales and vice versa.
Keys to Selling that Serves
Begin with the end in mind. Stephen Covey had this one exactly right. (If you haven't read his classic 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, it's well worth your time.) Before you sell anything to anyone, remember why you are going to do it.
This first key is the most important. If it is missing, you will run out of steam before you even begin the sales process.
Remember the archetype of the white-shoed car salesman*? It runs deep, and unless you consciously establish the service foundation for selling every time you write copy or tell someone about your work, you risk getting blind-sided by shame. And guess what? As soon as shame starts to burble up in you, your customers pick up on it. Yuck!
Walk a mile in their shoes. What do your "just-right" customers need to know in order to make a decision? What could get in the way? What are the stakes if they fail to act?
How many couples would not be together today if one partner hadn't been willing to hang in there when the other hesitated? If the course of true love doesn't run smooth, why would the course of deciding to buy something that's a good fit?
When you stand in your just-right customer's shoes for a while, you'll see what steppingstones they might need in order to buy something that will truly serve them.
Are those steppingstones for everyone? Of course not. Is that a problem? No, and to find out why not, keep reading.
Dance with no as well as yes. When you are clear about who you are serving and how, open your heart even wider so that people who don't need what you offer or who are not ready to buy, are free to decline. Rather than arming yourself against someone's decision not to buy, open yourself to it.
Imagine a prospective client or customer considering and then deciding against your offer. Watch them closely in your mind's eye without pretending to know what they are thinking. Just watch.
When you let go of what you think that they think about you, what do you see? Do you notice that they are simply taking care of themselves as best they know how? Good. Now notice how your heart eases as you unhook your self-esteem from their choices.
This heart's ease completes the circuit from intention to serve to decision to sell to blessing all of your prospects whether or not they decide to buy. Selling becomes a conversation in which you advocate for those folks who want and can benefit from your work so that they can notice, consider, and decide.
*By the way, I love my car salesman, DJ Dougherty at Peninsula Subaru here on the Kitsap Peninsula. Why? Because he served me in every step of the sales process. Two and a half years after buying "Blanche" from him, I still tell everyone I know about how happy I am with my car and with the process of buying it. How would it be if your customers told their friends about you because they loved the way you sold to them?
Like this issue? Please feel free to pass it on or to reprint the article on your Web site or in your own e-zine. All I ask is that you forward the newsletter in its entirety and/or that you include the following paragraph and copyright line if you reprint the article.
This article originally appeared in the Authentic Promotion e-zine and is reprinted with permission from the author. Molly Gordon is president of Shaboom Inc., a coaching and training company that delivers hope, help, and hilarity to Accidental Entrepreneurs so that they can thrive doing work they love. For more information, visit http://www.shaboominc.com.
Copyright 2007, Shaboom Inc. All rights reserved.
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This mailing is part of a regular series of more or less weekly newsletters and informational mailings about our products and services. It is sent only to confirmed, double opt-in subscribers who have signed up at mollygordon.com, shaboominc.com, authenticpromotion.com, learntolovemarketing.com, or by emailing a subscription request or signing up at a partner Web site.
Less than a Week and 4 Places Left in Authentic Wealth
Is it possible to work for yourself and feel really good about money? Absolutely. To find out how, make a cup of tea, click on this link, and check in with your wise self. If Authentic Wealth is a fit for you, fill out your application today. The next series will not be offered until Fall.
That link again.
Beyond Serial Self Improvement
Self-help books are a dime a dozen, so when I see something really different, it gets my attention. Here are two books, both by friends of mine (I love saying that!), that break the mold. They are beautiful to behold and they invite engagement. If you are hungry for a resource that will ask more of you than magical thinking, take a look.
Get Unstuck and Get Going
Michael Bungay Stainier is an Aussie, a Rhoades scholar, an the 2005 Canadian Coach of the Year. (If he weren't so fun, he'd be insufferable.) His book, Get Unstuck and Get Going on the Stuff that Matters is part oracle, part Muse, part mentor. It's designed to get you out of your rut and into action. It's also one of the most beautifully designed books I've ever seen.
That kind of beauty has a price, and future editions will be redesigned to reduce production costs. There are only a few of the original edition left, so if it calls to you, grab one now.
The Life Organizer, A Woman's Guide to a Mindful Year
The title of my buddy Jennifer Louden's new book doesn't quite capture the richness of this book. That stands to reason, because Jen has broken the life-balance/life-planning/organizing mold, and it's hard to categorize her accomplishment.
The Life Organizer is more than a guide. It's like a mentor who can read what is written on your heart. And, like Michael's book, The Life Organizer is beautiful to hold and to use. I don't know about you, but beauty sets an entirely different context for planning than a DayRunner.
The Life Organizer is for you if you feel like you've been trying to fit your life into a shape that doesn't support all that you are.
Publication and Reprint Info
U.S. Library of Congress ISSN: 1530-311X
Unless otherwise attributed, all material is written and edited by Molly Gordon, MCC. Copyright (c) Shaboom Inc.(r) 2007. All rights reserved. Visit our extensive archives at www.mollygordon.com .
You may reprint material from Authentic Promotion in other electronic or print publications provided the above copyright notice and a link to http://www.authenticpromotion.com is included in the credits. Please send a copy of the publication along with a note referencing the reprint.
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