The L.O.V.E. Method of Sales
Chapter 7 of Make ‘Em Beg To Be Your Client!
One of the most talented teachers I’ve had the pleasure of working with to write her book is named Theosophia Rose. Theosophia is a natural healer. When she looks in your eyes, you can actually physically feel your heart light up like a Christmas tree. And a hug from her is like a magical life force battery charge. Theosophia is soft spoken and unassuming. If you saw her at the Motor Vehicle Department, you would never guess she was actually a magical being. She operates Theosophia’s Wisdom School, which is a training ground for seekers and spirit guides.
She was earning a living wage doing her work, but knew she was meant to reach more people so her work could serve an even greater purpose. And honestly, so did I.
I asked her how she sold people into her program, and she said she would get on a call and talk to people if they were interested. I asked her of all the people she talked to, how many signed up to work with her.
“Oh, I don’t know, I guess just about all of them,” she said in her understated way.
Just about all of them? What? Who closes 100% of prospects? Can you imagine what it would be like to be a sales person at a car dealership where you closed 100% of shoppers who walked through the door? Or to be a real estate agent who signed every home seller they met? In the world, 100% close rates are few and far between. And for good reason.
Maybe you heard that story and thought, Wow! I need to see if Theosophia will help me close more sales. It’s easy to be envious of numbers like that, but there is a lie in those numbers. If you are closing 100% of offers you make, or even 50% of offers you make, and you aren’t hitting your monthly revenue goals, or making the difference you want, and reaching the number of people you want to reach, you aren’t making enough offers!
Get More Nos
I’m going to let you in on a big secret in the world of coaching and consulting. The reason most people don’t have as much business as they want is because they simply don’t make enough offers. My message to Theosophia, and to you, is to make more offers and get more nos.
How do you make more offers without chasing prospects down and sounding like a slimy sales person? Well, you make them come to you, of course!
Fresh blood is the life blood of business. A lot of people talk about building a list, but I have found a list is really a holding place for non-buyers. Your list is where your leads go to die. The best prospects to work with you are the ones who newly identified this problem in their lives and are 100% committed to solving it.
Imagine overnight your car was parked on the street, hit and run by someone, and demolished. You now have no car, a 30-minute commute to work, and a big ass problem. How long will you go without buying a car? Even if you don’t have money saved… even if the insurance won’t cover the full value of the car that was destroyed… even if you have other credit card debt you wanted to pay down first.
What are the chance you will just go without a car, join some marketing email lists from a few car dealerships, and wait for the right car or for inspiration to strike? How long will you sit on your couch and try to “figure out” the right car to buy? Are you willing to lose your job? Or risk damaging a car you borrowed? Or overpay for a rental car?
Maybe you will borrow a car for a little while or rent one. But I bet you will replace your car within 30 days.
Now I want you to imagine the person who would wait for 3, or 6, or 12 months to get a car. This person is now jobless, they are still, months later, complaining about the driver who hit him, suing the city for not having cameras on the street, and generally declining in health and vitality.
Is this the type of client you would want?
When you add people to your list and hope they will buy some day in the future, you are hoping for terrible clients.
The people on your email list who don’t buy from you within 30 days either don’t have the problem you solve, they don’t want to solve it, or they have found someone else to solve it.
A Holding Place for Non-Buyers
Over a decade ago, I was diagnosed with something called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). I came home from the doctor’s office devastated my diagnosis would make it impossible for me to get pregnant. Immediately, I got on every PCOS and fertility mailing list I could find. Not long after, I found out I was pregnant! It was a miracle. I still had PCOS, but I got lucky. After I had my son, I made a major effort to get healthy and lost over 100 lbs. My PCOS went away, and I was “cured.” But you know what? I’m still on most of those mailing lists. And I’m never going to buy!
The way to get clients begging to work with you is to consistently make new people aware of who you are and what problem you solve. Clients who will beg to work with you are in urgent need of solving this problem as quickly as possible. They need to get pregnant. They need a new car. They need you, now! If they don’t need you now, they aren’t going to beg to work with you. That’s the first thing you need to keep in mind.
In order to consistently make new people aware of who you are, and what problem you solve, you still must spend a minimum of 10 hours a week making new people aware of you. Once they are aware of you, offer to serve them with your free book or your free webinar. If they are not willing to give you their contact information in exchange for that free service, they aren’t going to beg to work with you. Don’t worry about them.
If they do opt in for more free information from your book or class, they are raising their hand to say they have the problem you solve.
Don’t sell anything. Just listen and love.
I want you to imagine someone standing in front of you, looking you in the eye and saying: “I have the problem you help people solve. Will you help me?” Would you turn away from them and walk the other direction? I bet you wouldn’t. And yet, that’s what most coaches actually do at this point.
Someone opts in to their lead magnet, and the coach just ghosts on them.
My biggest, deepest, most frequent marketing advice to my authors is this… The best way to get clients to beg to work with you is to LOVE THEM.
I tell my clients to imagine each person who downloads their book or registers for their webinar as a whole person. A person with a cranky spouse, a banged-up baby toe, a weird uncle in prison, a boss who sexually harassed them, an ex-boyfriend who still sends them weird messages on
Facebook – just a whole actual perfectly, imperfect human. Then, to treat that person like a person. Just love them as a fellow human. Be interested in them and curious. Don’t look at them with big dollar signs in their eyes. They aren’t a transaction, they are a person. And you can love this person without ever making them an offer.
The reason Theosophia basically closed all of her sales calls was because she saw each person in 3D. The reason she didn’t have as big of a platform as she wanted was because she wasn’t talking to enough people.
Many marketing experts will tell you about building a big list and sending them tons of pre- written emails. I say no to all of that.
It’s one thing if you are trying to sell lots of things to lots of people, but as a coach or a consultant, you just can’t do a good job and get good results selling lots of things to lots of people.
The maximum number of clients I’ve seen a coach or consultant take on successfully is about 20 a month. Most of my authors start with the goal of bringing on just one or two new clients a week. To get one new client a week you need four people to request to talk to you. And to get four people to request to talk to you, you don’t need tons of fancy automated email funnels and websites. You need email, or some sort of messaging tool, and you need to coach, care about, and get to know probably a dozen or two people each week. If you are sending a few personal, love-filled emails a day to hand-raisers who have opted into your lead magnet, you will end up with four or five requests for conversations, and one of those will make an offer.
But those conversations with the right people can’t happen, unless you are still doing the awareness activities that will allow you to regularly and frequently give away your book and your webinar. If you aren’t, then having more conversations won’t help, because you will be talking to people who aren’t urgently in need of solving a problem. You will end up trying to convince them why what you are selling is great, instead of looking them in the eye, listening to their problem, and, if you can help, offering to help.
To prepare for our sales call, it is your responsibility to remember this person with this problem has a whole life. I use an acting technique to really imagine them in their fullness as a human before the call. Sometimes use a candle, or a crystal, or an essential oil to help get grounded and remember there is nothing to sell but only love between humans to be shared. My personal belief is that while we are all individuals with free will, at the same time we are waves on the ocean, deeply connected and truly one. If I show up to a sales conversation WANTING to influence their free will or WANTING them to buy from me, I am dishonoring myself. It’s my job to stay as clean and pure from wanting an outcome as possible. I don’t know a lot about Buddhism but this is my rudimentary understanding of the concept of detachment with compassion.
I believe our job is sales is to stay 100% committed to relieving suffering, while staying equally committed to nonattachment and non-grasping. It’s not my job to know what serves humanity at the highest and best, it’s my job to be a channel for that to come through me whatever it looks like.
Introducing the L.O.V.E. Sales Method
Part 1: Let ‘em Know They’re Safe
Once your lead has expressed, through additional conversation, that they really do want to solve the problem and they would like to know more about what working with you to solve the problem might look like, I find the most effective approach is to get on a phone call with them. Doesn’t matter if it’s a video call or just voice, but I would schedule a full hour to really get to know them and discern if it would be a good fit to work together.
Think of this like running a corporate meeting. You need to set the tone and be in control. This isn’t a democracy, it’s not a conversation between two equals. You are the leader. You are the authority. You are the author. You are the person who has the solution to their problem. They may not want the solution to your problem in the end, but you are the person who has that solution, so you have to run the call.
If you make it seem like, “Hey, I want to talk to you about some ideas for what we could do together,” and they get to give their ideas, and you get to give their ideas, and together you’re going to collaborate on a solution, you’re really not putting them in a position to succeed. They’ve already proven they can’t solve this problem. They would not be on the call if they could solve this problem. If they have come so far as to show up on the call, you owe it to them to show up as the person who is already their coach. Their coach has to have the solutions for them.
If I said to our prospects, “How do you think we should write your book? Let’s talk about what ways you work best.” That tells you, “I don’t know how to do this. I’m hoping you do.”
Limit your small talk at the beginning, as you aren’t there to be their friend, you are there to see if you can help them solve their problem.
I recommend you start the sales call with a question of, “Why do you want to invest your time today to solve this problem?” You want to remind them that their goal today is to focus on solving this problem.
Once you get that answer, you want to really kick off the call by setting the agenda. Here’s what I say:
Okay, here’s how today’s call will work. First, I’m going to ask you a bunch of questions so I can find out more about you and what you’re trying to accomplish. Then, I’ll tell you what I’ve got going on over here, and you can ask me any questions that you want. Then, we’ll decide if it’s a fit to work together. Does that make sense?”
The three parts of that agenda are very important, the first thing is, I’m going to start. I’m in charge. I get to ask you questions. You’re going to get them to agree to this. You’re not being an asshole, but they’re getting an hour of your time, this is how we do it.
You wouldn’t go in to a doctor’s office and expect them to tell you like, “Hey, can you use that stethoscope? I really think you need this one to check my ear.” The doctor’s like, “Here’s how it’s going to work. First, I’m going to do a physical examination. Then, I’m going to ask you some questions. Then, you can ask me any questions. Then, I’ll give you the diagnosis and we’ll decide what the next steps are.”
You have to be that doctor. This cannot go out of order. The first thing is, “I get to ask you questions. I’m the doctor, I’m doing a diagnosis.”
Now, the second part, there is a bit of a trick to. I don’t use many tricks. I don’t like anything where we’re trying to trick people, but there is a trick here and you have to understand it. What I say to set the agenda is, “Then, I’ll let you know what I’ve got going on over here.” There is a trick to that sentence, here is what the trick is: I don’t know if I want to sell you anything. I leave myself an out. Remember I said, you aren’t necessarily going to offer your services to everyone you get on a call with? In my case, I can only make offers to a small percentage of people. I don’t want to lie when I set the agenda, so I don’t say, “Then, I will describe my program to you.” I say, “Then, I’ll let you know what I’ve got going on over here.” Because I might share to them about, I don’t know, some free webinar I have coming up. I might share with them that I would love to give them a free copy of my book, especially the one they haven’t yet read and seems to fit. I might share with them many other things that may not be my program. If I make a promise at the beginning, “Then, I will tell you about my program,” I now need to either be a liar, or tell them about my program. I’m not willing to be a liar, so I have to tell them about my program. But I may not want to, because by the end of the call I’ve decided they may be not somebody I want to work with in that way.
This is the key to success on a sales call. It is not how you do the close, it’s not about how many bonuses you throw in, it is how you set yourself up as alpha. If you promise them you will tell them about your program, then you’ve got to tell them about your program, and you’ve already lost the sale. I only tell people about my program if they are a fit for my program. I love and respect my prospects enough to not tell them about stuff that is not a good fit for them.
The third piece of this teeny tiny paragraph I start the sales call with is: “Then, we’ll decide if it’s a fit.” The prospect thinks the goal is to get information and go think about it, but I know the purpose of this call is to make a decision as to whether they are going to solve this problem. I get them to agree to that from the start.
Ninety-nine percent of the time at this point, they say, “Sounds great.” By the way, if they say anything than other than “sounds great,” get off the fucking phone. It’s a trap. Bad, bad, bad news. If they’re like, “Actually, I just wanted to know how much your program costs, first.” “Fantastic. Thank you so much for asking. Here’s what I know, if you need to start with that question, I know we’re not going to be successful working together, and I don’t want to waste anymore of your time. I honor that 100%, and I’m sure you can find someone who can solve this problem, who can provide that in a way that you can accept. I just know that starting with that question means you’re somebody who I’m not going to be able to help, and I have loved getting to know you and I wish you the best of luck. Bye!”
Hang up the phone. They’re going to be troublemakers the entire time. You will regret having them as clients. They can beg you all they want, but your answer should still be no. I promise you, from the bottom of my soul, it will save you money, and it sends a message to the universe that you are only working with action takers who are willing to let you be the alpha.
If they are communicating, “No, I need to run this hour,” they’re going to tell you the entire time how to solve their problem, which they know doesn’t work, but they can’t help themselves. They are going to be such a hard client to work with and they will not get results. You will work twice as hard. You will get half the results. Then, at the end of it, they will ask for a refund. You’ll be like, “Oh my God, but I worked twice as hard with you than anyone.”
If you do not properly start the call, you will most likely not close it. Almost nothing else matters if you haven’t gotten that part right.
Part 2: Open your Ears and Your Heart
The next part of the call is the longest part of the call. It tends to take me about 30 minutes. At a high level, what you’re doing is you’re saying, “Tell me where you are. Tell me where you want to be. What do you believe is the problem? Why haven’t you solved this problem already?”
Here are some of the specific questions I ask:
- Where are you currently with your book?
- Where do you want to go with your book?
- What does success look like?
- If your book is the most successful thing you did, where will you be a year from now?
- What have you tried to get your book finished and get those outcomes?
- What roadblocks did you face along the way?
- What have you done or invested to overcome those roadblocks?
- What worked, and what didn’t work?
- What do you think it’s costing you not to have your book?
- Would you have more clients, more free time?
- How much longer are you willing to keep doing it your way?
- Some people have plenty of time for trial and error, are you happy to do that?
In this section, this diagnosis section, your job is to listen. Ask the questions, keep them focused on diagnosing what the problem is, and decide if you can help solve it. If you can fix this problem, and you’re 100% sure they want it fixed, then, you can move to the next stage. One of the things I listen for is why they have failed in the past. If they blame their last coach or consultant, just know, you will be next. Is that the type of client you want?
Most of the time, I’m not even really listening as closely to the words as I am to their energy. I’m listening to what’s the problem that I see as the doctor, and what is the dream come true that I
hear (in their energy and nonverbal cues) they really want. When I really get the problem in their words, and the dream come true in their words, it looks like a little light bulb above my head.
Part 3: Voice Your Idea for Them
To transition to Part 3, I almost always say something like that, “Okay, I totally get it. I have an idea for you. We are now transitioning into the part of the call where I tell you what’s going on over here.” And, “I help people with your problem, get your dream come true in this amount of time. We can usually do that in nine weeks. I like to do that in a one-day VIP session so we bang it out.” Don’t give them the dates, don’t give them the time, don’t give them the cost, don’t tell them how many calls they get with you. Don’t tell them about your student center or your worksheets. Don’t talk to them about meditation. You’re going to tell them, “You have a problem. You want this dream come true. I help people get this dream come true. Here’s how long it will take. How does that sound? Do you have any questions?”
Make sure you’re repeating their words back to them. If you give them your words or wishes for them, instead of describing the gap they just told you they wanted to close, you will, likely, lose the sale. It will sound like you are begging them to be your client, instead of the other way around. You cannot put words in their mouth and close sales. When you get to the idea part, repeat their words. You’re not going to describe the program. You’re going to lead. Part one, we set the agenda. Part two, do the diagnosis. Part three, have an idea and share with them, can you get them that solution or not. You could end the call right there, if not. If you can help them, tell them, “I can get you this result. What questions do you have for me?”
Part 4: Empower Transformation
Now, they’re going to ask you for the logistics. When they do this, they are inviting you to be their coach – this is totally different than you telling them about your program which is what most coaches and consultants do. They’re going to ask you, “How does it work?” Give them the critical details but just the facts, don’t sell, don’t convince, don’t tell them it’s awesome, or it works, or you know you can help them.
You wrote a book about the problem and now you are going to apply that book to them.
Continue to probe: “What other questions you have for me?” You are not going to give them the price or sell them anything until they say, “How much is it? How do we start? When do we start? What’s the next step?” That is how they will “beg you” to be your client.
Here’s the point where you might hit some objections. You’re going to give them the logistics. You’re going to give them the price, and you’re going to say things like, “How does that sound? Do you have any other questions? Are you ready to get started? I would love to see you solve this problem. I’ve got a space this week. I would love to get you in and get you going.”
Remember, anything you do to convince at this point, like, “I really think this would be good for you,” is going to scare them away. Your whole mantra for this last part of the call is to just lean the hell back and let them come to you. No pushing. The only thing you’re allowed to say is some version of, “Do you have any other questions? Can I answer any other questions? Are you ready to get going and solving this problem?”
If they raise an objection, you want to have an answer for that.
If they say, “Now isn’t the right time for me. I’m super busy with (whatever, my newborn).” I might say: “Listen, I totally get that. I know when I had a newborn, I wasn’t ready to step up. The only thing I heard you say was, you needed to do this now because you have a triathlon coming up in six months. I just want to make sure, because there’s two things I’m hearing, and I just want to serve you on this call. You either don’t want to do the triathlon in six months, or you do, and then you need to solve this problem now. I don’t hear another plan. If the timing is wrong, then, you don’t really have this problem. We should just take it off your list. Let’s consider it done.” All of that listening from the diagnosis comes into play at this stage.
Let’s say they say, “I have to talk to my husband first.” I would be like, “I totally get that … maybe you guys have an agreement or you need him to be flexible on something else. I’m happy to stay on hold while you call him. It’s perfectly fine with me.” I just have never seen anyone hang up the phone with me, go talk to their husband or wife, and come back with a yes. For most people, “I want to go talk to my husband” is a very polite way of saying, “No, thank you.” What runs through my mind here is something I may share with the prospect, i.e., “I would much rather see you leave with an empowered no, than giving your husband the power, because what we’ve been talking about the whole time, in a way, is that your husband holds the power and you need to find a way to establish your own identity and your own career path. Now, we’re just giving that away to him again, and I can’t, in good conscience, let you do that. What you’ve told me is you want to claim your space, you want to claim your power, now is the time to do that, and you need to be the one responsible for getting this return on investment.”
“You told me earlier, you want to earn $10,000 a month. This $2,000 investment, if you go to your husband and say, ‘Hey, I made this investment because here’s what I’m going to do.’ That holds you accountable in a totally different way than if you give him all the power. I would rather you just say, ‘No, thank you. I don’t actually want to establish my own power and make $10,000 a month. I would rather keep giving my power to my husband, that’s what feels good for me.’”
The way you respond to the objections has everything to do with what you learned in the diagnosis, and what you’ve observed in your prospect on the call.
You have now learned the L.O.V.E. Method for closing sales. If you follow these four steps, and price your program accordingly, you will end up turning about one in four prospects into clients. If you are closing better than one in four, I recommend raising your prices by 10-20%. If you are closing fewer than one in ten, I recommend re-reading this chapter, listening back to your sales calls, and perhaps taking some additional sales training. Almost certainly, you are trying to “sell” your prospect on why he or she “should” work with you, and that is a common mistake that is easily fixable.
It won’t surprise you to know my first advice to Theosophia was to raise her prices. That filled in some of the extra revenue she wanted, which enabled her to invest in getting her message to more spiritual healers. When she raised her prices, she started to get those Nos. And Nos are great, because they create space for even more aligned clients that get even better results. Being willing to let some good candidates go to make space for great ones is how movements quickly get momentum and reach a tipping point. That’s the power of selling with L.O.V.E.
Get the rest of the chapters of Make ‘Em Beg To Be Your Client! here.