When I first started my business some 3 years ago, I was forever criticized by many people who started up the same time I did. Almost all of them never got going in business or left after 6 – 12 months and I can see now exactly why it played out this way.
Even though I am a Marketing Mentor, I actually signed up for a “Life Coaching” course which included a Certificate in Small Business Management and such. I learnt some amazing things, the Private College I went too was technically adept – but there were some dark sides to this experience. I think the whole Motivation, Goal Focus and Dealing with issues side was outstanding, but the whole “Hard-Selling” and people with minimal training thinking they can “Out-Do” Psychologists in helping people on the edge was just pure scary.
The college that I went too as well had a reputation as being massive hard-sellers in the industry. They have a very bad reputation in that regard and during my time there, they were non-stop trying to upsell me products, courses and really other things that I just didn’t need. They really sold products to people that could barely afford it – but this is a story for another time.
In this article, I want to more focus on the “Sales Strategy” and Logic that they taught. It never felt right for me from day 1 and although I have a lot of respect for some of the great things they taught me – their Approach and Ethics on this issue I completely disagree with. To best explain this, I will put their mindset vs. my mindset when it comes to money and the Sales side of things:
[Coaching College – Sales Logic]:
– Commonly said “Fake it till you make it”. Say “YES” to everything that you can do it (whether you can or not).
– Put on your “Super Man” outfit and place yourself above the client.
– Use Contracts, Charge Deposits and never let people break them (as if they are, they don’t “Want Success” or some approach like that).
– Charge as much as you can, as quickly as possible.
– In Sales situations, use Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Sales from Stage Techniques to force them to decide as quickly as possible.
– Never tell Pricing in advance. Warm people up then tell them and push them into a Sale.
[My Own – Edward’s Sales Logic]:
– Be Honest and Fair with your Skills & Limitations.
– Respect the client and their appropriate skills.
– No Contracts, Based Agreements on Trust and let them select the timeframe.
– Charge a Fair amount and slowly increase it over time as my experience increases.
– Tell people the facts and let them make a decision in their own time.
– Don’t Sell from Stage, let people decide in their own time and focus on relationships.
Many even to this day criticize my approach and say I am “Soft” and all this type of stuff. What is interesting is that the people often giving me this critique are not business owners or I know I would be earning more than them – without the bad reputations they have!
I had this interesting Mentor push me around about 2 years ago. He laughed at me for not having contracts and had a very bad reputation as a “Hard-Seller” and got minimal referrals.
When I started out with this logic and build my business on these values, I actually found out I MADE LESS MONEY than everyone else at the start. This is because they would charge way more and have big contracts locking their clients in for say 12 months.
Over time what I found was that I would slowly build my client base and many of the Hard-Sellers / Contract people would get lots of complaints and would rarely deliver on the massive promises they made.
What happened – Contract or Not, people would either break them – or they “Serve” their contract kicking and screaming all the way. When they are out of their contracts, the Hard-Selling Consultants ex-clients would run around bagging these people to the extreme.
So 6 to 12 months later? I built my original client base that I loved who gave me my next generation of clients and referrals. The Predators had bad reputations and had nothing! Some would go from Networking Group to Networking Group and maybe last up to 2 years, but eventually they run out of steam. Even though I have argued doing the right thing without contracts / force to clients from a commercial viewpoint – ethically it’s important to consider that element too.
I don’t think any reasonable person wants to build a business based on Hard-Selling, Force and Manipulation. We all want to do it the right way with integrity and caring for people!
My advice? If you have been given the Hard-Sell advice in Professional Services please don’t drink that Kool-Aid! Sure, you may make more money in the short-term, but is is a Deal with the Devil you will come to regret.
Winning isn’t everything. Winning the right way is everything!
Thank you for the read and have an awesome day or night!
Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor and Slow Stable Growth Lover!