“Nurturing, Beautiful, Loving, …”
Are these words you use to describe your conversations with potential clients?
I didn’t either. Until I was lucky enough to meet Heart-Centred Sales Expert Catherine Watkin and her ‘7 Steps to Get More Clients Saying Yes!’ process. Then everything changed.
Catherine teaches you how to transform those conversations in ways that are totally natural, comfortable and of service to both sides.
So your ideal clients get the help they need – and you get to make the difference you want to make and receive the income you deserve in return. Win-win!
In this month’s guest blog, Catherine shares some of her best wisdom and insights with us.
For more of her magic, be sure to check out the free resources at the end of her post.
Over to Catherine
“Nurturing, Beautiful, Loving …” These are the words that clients of mine use all the time to describe the process of having conversations with potential clients.
But they didn’t always. These same clients used to use words like ‘Dreading, feeling sick, avoiding …”
But sales as nurturing? I do know how counter-intuitive that can sound when you first hear it. How can something that you’ve come to think of as inherently sleazy, manipulative and self-serving be described as beautiful and nurturing?
Well actually it starts with you …
You see, in the work that I do with heart-centred business owners I find that the biggest block for them isn’t necessarily not knowing what to do – after all there is no shortage of sales training out there – just google “closing techniques” and you’ll see what I mean.
No, I find that the biggest block is how these business owners are thinking about sales – and the emotions that this brings up for them.
You see most clients I work with have gone into business because they feel called to make a difference to others. Yes, they want to make a decent – even abundant – living from this work. But money isn’t the primary motivator.
And what I find is that when this group of very caring, passionate, purpose led people are told “if you want to get clients you will have to learn how to sell” all of these thoughts and emotions come rushing to the surface:
“I have to be pushy, I have to manipulate this person for my own gain, I have to pursue the client, use psychological techniques to close them or overcome their objections – and that gives me a knot in my stomach, it’s just not who I am.”
So seriously, is it any wonder that these beautiful, heartfelt people shy away from having sales conversations?
Well, I’m here to tell you that there is another way. And it’s not pushy or sleazy. It really is deeply nurturing and supportive.
Don’t believe me yet? Let me show you how.
(1) Focus on Connection
In traditional sales the primary focus is on “closing the sale” or “getting the Yes”. The problem with this is that the client can end up feeling that you are chasing them or out for your own gain. It can cause them to want to pull away from you, to close up. They don’t want to share the information you need to hear if you are to help them.
In heart-centred sales we shift the focus to a deep connection with the potential client. Through the conversation you want to find the answers to the questions:
“Where is she at? What is she struggling with? What has brought her to the point where she is even speaking with me?
What does she really want? And what does she really need?
Could I help her with this?
Am I the best person to help her? Do I truly believe that?”
This sense of deep connection, where the client’s needs come first, creates a magical space that feels more like a collaboration or partnership than a traditional sales interaction.
(2) Listen Deeply
OK, I know this one is so obvious you are tempted to skip past it. You already know it’s important and you know how to listen, after all you do it with your clients all the time. And I know that to be true – after you start your work with your client.
The problem is that many of you come to your sales conversation with a thick veil of your own concerns (technical term: “stuff”) in the way:
“I really need this client, if I can’t get two clients this month I might have to go back to work.
What if he says No? I’m not sure I can take another rejection
I’m not really sure what I’m doing, what am I supposed to say? What if I accidentally come across as pushy?”
And so your energy is primarily focused inward on what is going on for you and only a percentage of your attention is available for the client. When you can put yourself, your own fears, your own needs to one side for a period of time and focus fully on the other person, that is when your client feels deeply heard.
(3) Help them feel Safe
Part of your job in a sales conversation is that of making your client feel safe. Connection is a two-way stream. It can only happen when both of you are open and involved, and for the connection to be true and authentic your client needs to be able to trust you.
Above all they need to be able to trust that you are not out for your own gain, and that you are not going to be pushing them into something they don’t want to do, leave them feeling awkward or uncomfortable, or be leaving them messages every day for the next two weeks.
So make sure your client feels safe by setting your conversation up as exploratory, a chance to find out more about each other. Let them know that your work isn’t right for everyone and that you are OK with that – that they can feel free to say No to you at any time.
You also allow them to feel safe by being confident, sounding like you know what you are talking about, not stumbling over your words when you talk about pricing or payment options. After all, everybody wants to work with an expert who they can trust – and if you are uncertain about what you charge or how your programme works then so will they be. In other words if you are wobbly your client will feel wobbly too.
Nurture your way to “Yes”
These three things combined, the genuine sense of connection, the safety, the feeling heard, combine to make your sales process a nurturing and healing experience for your client.
And when your client feels heard, cared for and supported they will be more likely to feel drawn to want to do more work with you.
And because a sense of trust has developed they will believe you when you make the recommendation that they sign up for your 3 month programme.
They might say “Yes please! I’d love to work with you” or they might say “No thank you, this isn’t for me right now”. But whichever it is they won’t feel they have been “sold to”. They will feel like you care. And because they’ve had a positive experience they will be delighted to send other people your way, and your business will flourish from referrals.
Over to You
Do you genuinely look forward to a sales conversation or do you get a knot in your stomach just thinking about it?
If you love those conversations now, what was the turning point for you, how did you make the shift from seeing sales as pushy and manipulative, to seeing sales as a vital part of your service that simply helps people get the help they need?
We’d love to know. Please share your tips and wisdom in the Comments below.
Want to learn more about heart-centred sales?
Sign up here for Catherine’s free series of short training videos ‘The 7 Steps to Yes’ for authentic sales conversations.
This isn’t about learning new techniques that help you feel better about yourself but still leave you without clients. I can personally vouch that Catherine’s approach is very practical and gets great results – just without the “icky” bits, no closing, convincing or manipulating involved. What a relief!
About Catherine Watkin
Catherine is the UK’s leading expert in Heart-Centred Sales. She works with heart-centred business owners who are gifted and passionate about what they do, but struggle in business because they feel awkward when it comes to selling their services. She teaches them how to have effective sales conversations that feel authentic and comfortable – and get great results.
Sign up for her free series of short videos “The 7 Steps to Yes!” for authentic sales conversations.