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How Business Owners Can Move Past a Resistance to Selling

How Business Owners Can Move Past a Resistance to Selling

What’s the most important skill you need to master as a business owner? Nope, it’s not anything you can outsource and it’s not marketing. Without this one skill, you don’t actually have a business. Tune in today for some tough love business owner to business owner. Welcome, welcome to The Bold Money Revolution Podcast. I’m your host, with the melodious New York accent, Tara Newman.

If you’re just finding us, as our rapidly growing podcast stats suggest, you will find us one of the most bingeable podcasts on your podcast player where we talk about all the things you’ll likely be googling at 2:00 AM, all things money, math, mindset, and strategies to increase your sales so you can pay yourself like an expert. If you’re new, the very best place to get started with building a bold profit business is our Revenue Goal Calculator.

I know you had this bold idea to quit your boring mediocre grind of a job. 

(A.) You did it out of some level of necessity, or maybe you’re even thinking about this. I know there’s a handful of you who are listening to this podcast who are considering this as an option right now given our current economy and what is happening in the business climate where there’s a lot of restructuring and layoffs going on and you might be thinking to yourself, “Well, why not now? This sounds like a good time. Maybe take that severance and use it as buffer while I get this thing off the ground.” If you’ve been doing this a while, then you certainly understand where those folks are coming from. When you decided to do this thing, you did it out of some level of necessity or 

(B) you didn’t necessarily consider what starting and running a business would entail, you just wanted to be valued for your work, have more flexibility, and more time with your families. If that sounds like you, congratulations, you are the norm.

I just read a McKinsey study that is talking about what we’re seeing in the workforce right now, people leaving, why they’re leaving, who’s leaving. It’s a lot of parents, that’s what they’re reporting; 45% of people leaving the workforce to start their own businesses are parents because they want more flexibility and more time with their families.

If that sounds like you and you’ve been running your business for any period of time, now you’re trying to figure out how to pay yourself a living wage. Or if you’ve been doing this for an extended period of time, how to pay yourself like that next level of a living wage or that big promotional increase, because I get to tell you when I was in corporate, I worked my ass off for those three percent increases and now I get the luxury of giving myself way bigger pay increases than I ever, ever would have received in a traditional nine-to-five job, so maybe you’re paying yourself but now it’s time for that big increase.

You want to create that flexibility while navigating a pretty hefty learning curve of entrepreneurship. That learning curve doesn’t actually ever go away, it slows down, we can flatten the learning curve of entrepreneurship but it doesn’t go away, especially now during a time of historic uncertainty, and let’s face it, exhaustion.

The hard truth is that the answer to having a thriving business and a thriving you, isn’t actually a secret, it’s just unfortunately something many people avoid. That is the art and science of selling. 

If you’re anything like the women in The Bold Profit Academy, my private clients, men and women, and the many experts that email me on a regular basis, I want to unpack why you are also dang sales avoidant.

By the way, even salespeople in companies are sales avoidant. I want to just explain to you what is happening here for you that is probably holding you back, it’s stopping you from taking those next steps and really increasing the revenue and bringing in the revenue you need to be paying yourself.

One I hear, and I’ve had this one, “I don’t want to be like them.”

Them is whoever your them is. For me, it was the web celebs, it was the people that I was seeing online sell in a way that didn’t feel good to me, that didn’t feel in alignment with my values, that at times just even grossed me out. Whenever you’re like, “It’s sleazy, it’s smarmy,” you’re likely focusing on, and I hate to break this to you, we’ve got some cognitive biases that are happening here and you’re probably focusing on one person or an archetype of people when you think of selling being sleazy or smarmy.

Maybe you’ve had that one bad high-pressure experience and then all of a sudden, this gets translated into all salespeople are high pressure, disingenuous, lacking in integrity, unethical, sleazy, or smarmy. But that’s not actually true. What I have found, much to my own embarrassment, is when you actually observe and study the tactics and strategies that they’re using, they work, which is why they don’t go away, which is why the sleazy, slimy people who are disingenuous, the online internet marketers don’t go away because their tactics actually work.

As you mature and as you become wiser in your business journey, you will start to see—maybe hopefully, at least those of you who are working with me in some capacity—how those strategies work for you, how can we take those strategies and not have them come off that way because that is 100% possible. It’s typically what I teach and what I do.

The second issue that you’re having that I hear is sales, especially high touch sales is a waste of your time, you’re too tired, you’re too worn out, and it’s too hard. 

Yeah, I could see how you might think that because sales can be hard initially as you work through figuring out what works for you, what doesn’t work, what you’re going to want to improve, and there’s a lot of heavy lifting in the beginning, but that is the work that needs to be done to get to the point where your sales become effortless, easy, and full of ease.

The way is through, not around, which is what many of you are trying to do is you’re trying to get around this being what you think of as a waste of your time or too tired or too worn out. But I actually think both of those things are just scratching the surface of what’s actually happening, so I want to pull back some layers and I want to speak to this in normalizing what’s happening because none of this makes you a bad person, none of this makes you broken.

We can address all of this, and quite easily as long as you’re willing to be open-minded, to adopt a beginner’s mindset, to see what’s possible, to get a little uncomfortable because let’s face it, that is going to be a part of this journey as you start to move past that resistance to selling to a place where you sell more effortlessly in a way that feels fun and easy on your energy, and you start to actually start to like it.

I love selling. I love enrolling people in my programs. I couldn’t always say that but today I can. 

Firstly, you haven’t ever been taught how to sell with empathy, emotional intelligence, and in a way that positions your services as a valuable solution to your buyer situation. You have been taught to poke and prod at people’s pain in a way that feels icky, in a way that does not feel good, in a way that feels like you are profiting from somebody else’s misfortune. None of that is actually selling.

Two, there’s fear. Yeah, you are afraid mostly not because you will sound slimy but because this is not something you’ve practiced or made habit or developed comfort with. What you’re afraid of is the unknown and uncertainty that comes with doing something new. When we try new things, we usually fail and flub our way around for a bit before we start to gain mastery. I certainly know that is true for me.

Failing and flubbing with sales feels very high stakes when you are running a business because you’re likely putting a ton of pressure on yourself to make the sale. You’re telling yourself something very horrible is going to happen if you’re unable to do that and you’re creating an environment of stress, anxiety, high pressure. That is not the energetic environment where sales thrive because energy is a critical component of selling and doing so in a way that’s in integrity to who you are as a human being. We talk a lot about the energy of sales in The Bold Profit Academy.

The third reason, is you’ve got cognitive biases that are hurting you, they’re holding you back. You want to avoid selling so you seek out solutions that will confirm your desire to avoid actual sales activities and building the skills. These perceived solutions come in the form of Facebook ads, social media gimmicks, over-stylizing your brand, and working on your website. Because if you really looked at what worked, you would realize it’s not any of those things in particular.

Some examples of what resistance to selling looks like. 

I’m currently working with a woman who is in the process of leaving her 20-plus year corporate career. Her first order of business before starting to work with me was this concept and this thought around her website and content, what kind of content did she need to create.

Since working with me, she hasn’t set up a website or written a single piece of content but she has worked through a ton of self-confidence and imposter syndrome so that she can conduct the proper market research, i.e talking to people, setting up a payment system so she can receive payment, understanding her finances even though they’re at zero but having a financial plan for these early stages of her business so she doesn’t blow all her cash on shit that doesn’t work. What she has been able to do then with this information is quote over $20,000 worth of business.

Here’s the kicker, sure, if she gets some of that business, I’d be thrilled. She’s in The Bold Profit Academy, if she got $5,000 or $6,000 worth of that business, it would pay for the program and that would just make me thrilled. I actually don’t want her to get all of this business because we need to see where the cracks are, where wasn’t she clear, where could she have asked better questions, where her offer needs some tweaking, and where we need to understand her target market better. Yes to sales, and making more money actually comes through failure and flubbing, which I know is hard to take sometimes and hard to understand, but that 100% is the truth.

Here’s another example. 

On a Revenue Goal Calculator call, if you download the Revenue Goal Calculator like I have suggested many, many, many times, sometimes we offer a 15-minute walkthrough of the calculator with me so that you can be accountable to filling it out asking your questions and we get to meet each other and we get to know each other. This is a no-pitch call. I’m not pitching you anything.

But a woman on this call shared that her best clients, after we decided how much money she needs to be paying herself, what that would look like in revenue, what she would have then for expenses and her taxes, and all of those things, I said to her, “This is easy. You’re right there, you could do this. This is not unattainable.” She looked shocked because in her mind, she’s seeing this as “I don’t know if I can do this.” She shares with me that her best clients, the ones paying over $10,000 have come from in-person events, situations, and referrals. However, she’s plowing all of her time, money, and energy into social media.

She’s only a handful of clients away from being able to pay herself the $70,000 that she wants to pay herself but only if she gains the lead generation and sales skills to close the premium level clients. This is common, most of you are doing this, you’ve got blind spots here, women have a very hard time being observant, and finding and creating those opportunities that will get them paid. We default to what I call faux work and faux work is doing the stuff that doesn’t lead to a result but putting a lot of time, money, and energy into it.

A lot of that faux work happens on social media. It’s not yielding you the best return for your time. Personally, that’s really important to me because you all want more time with your families, you all want more personal freedom. I have personally, like many of you, have paid our dues. We have already done the grunt work. We have already done the things that didn’t get us that payday, that didn’t get us the highest raise. That might not have gotten us a raise at all. I just was saying, I worked super hard for three percent. I’m done doing that. I’m allergic to that stuff.

Here’s my last example. 

A woman in The Bold Profit Academy was shocked at how quickly she was able to create new business when her only action from me was to go grab coffee with other local business owners. Just start building relationships. Just put yourself out there one person at a time. She came to a live Friday call like an awkward baby giraffe not knowing what to do with all the opportunity she just created. Those are the problems I want you to have. Those are great problems. Those are the problems we want to be solving.

It’s not that social media, ads, webinars, etc., don’t work. They can, and they do, but here are my two points of caution, because here’s what happens: 

An ad comes across your feed telling you that this is the absolute way to book yourself solid, you are feeling insecure, you’re lacking confidence, you’re lacking clarity, you’re confused, and you say, “Oh my god. I need this thing. I need this tactic that is going past my feed right now.”

The first point of caution, a lot of these online business tactics are more expensive than you think.

Online business in itself is billed as a low barrier to entry, you don’t have to lease office space, you can work out of your home from your laptop computer, in your fuzzy slippies, and all that stuff, but it is very, very costly in terms of systems, tools, team, tech, ads, and all that stuff that if you don’t have a good handle on it, you will bleed your business dry.

Even if you do have a good handle on this, a lot of what happens with these, it’s really no different than in the tech startups, they grow broke, that’s what we call it, growing broke. That’s why you’re starting to see these tech startups laying people off. Coinbase is one of them. I posted on Instagram a letter from the CEO in there, grew too quickly. Amazon’s got the same problem, grew too quickly over the last two years. Peloton completely collapsed, grew too quickly.

Those are just the businesses that we know and that we’re seeing, but I know behind the scenes, there are a lot of other businesses out there like that. We don’t want you growing broke. Because acquiring customers will cost you money, sales cost time, energy, and money. You are correct if you’re like, “Oh, sales feels exhausting.” Well, that’s your perspective but sales do cost time, energy, and money, so we want to make sure that you’re mindful of this and that you are able to convert your leads to sales.

We want to make sure you’re finding the highest quality leads and we want to make sure that you’re able to convert them to a sale, delivered to them in a way that exceeds their expectations so that they become long-term customers. Because the cost of that sale becomes worth it when you can retain the customer, when that customer refers people to you, when they can’t wait to give you a testimonial and share how great it is to work with you or to buy from you.

Then even if you solve their problem and they go away, they come back when they have something else that they can work on with you, you can reactivate them easily. That is how you make money, not by constantly acquiring new leads. Relationship building or relationship marketing takes more time, yes, but has a much greater ROI. When you focus on the right relationships, they can have value well beyond client acquisition.

I talk about this all the time. People are like, “Tara, why do you do sales calls all the time? Why do you do sales calls so much?” Because I like meeting new and interesting people. Because even if they don’t buy from me, I get an understanding of what they’re experiencing and I could come on here and share these things with you. You can then get value from understanding what other small business owners like you are experiencing.

Even if people don’t ever work with me, there is so much value in that relationship. Maybe it becomes a collaboration or a partnership in some way. Maybe they come on my podcast, I go on their podcast. It’s not always about making a sale in the black and white context in which we think about it. There are people who get on phone calls with me and then buy from me years later.

I have this woman in The Bold Profit Academy, if you’re listening, I love you, she has been a listener of this podcast since it started in 2017. In 2020, she applied for my mastermind and I said, “Hey, listen, I think that you are going to be much better served in The Bold Profit Academy and then let’s see how you do in there. If you want to join the mastermind, you’re absolutely more than welcome. But I think some of the jobs that you need done in your business right now will be handled really well in The Bold Profit Academy and it’s going to save you some money.”

For whatever reason she didn’t join The Bold Profit Academy and a year later, she booked another call with me and she joined The Bold Profit Academy. Sometimes, it’s not always overnight and we have to be okay with that, but we’re building businesses for the long term. That’s where that sustainability piece comes into play. That’s how we build endurance.

The second point of caution around this is social media, webinars, ads, podcasts, blogging, these are all tools that you can use when you understand and have a clear sales process.

Having a process is greater than having tools because at any given moment, as we’ve seen over the last two years with the changes around big tech, one of these tools can and will stop working and you just need to find a better or new tool to use, but you understand why, you understand why that tool is in your sales process and it’s an easy shift to another tool, another platform, another way of navigating people through your sales process. This is where things start to become more effortless when you have an understanding of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

Takeaways as you look at resistance to selling.

Earning income independent of an employer, whether you consider yourself a solopreneur, a business owner, or an entrepreneur, is a math equation that can easily be reverse-engineered so you know exactly the steps you need to take.

This sucks for some of you, it sucks for a lot of you, and it sucked for me because I’m very aware of the behavioral component that’s involved. I’ve experienced all the same insecurities, lack of confidence, emotional ups and downs, and cognitive dissonance that comes with being in, a part of, on the fringe of online business culture.

But at the end of the day, this is a math problem. The only way to work through your behavioral stuff—and I say behavioral because I’m tired of talking about mindset in a space that doesn’t talk about mindset in a way that feels good to me with my background in psychology—there are behaviors that you’re going to need to work through, and conditioning that, we’ve been a part of in this system, but you can’t think your way through that, you can’t mindset all the time your way through that, you have to take the action to see what that then transpires.

Do you feel activated? Why do you feel activated? What is behind you feeling activated? For a long time, I would be frozen around visibility. Everybody else was out there shaking their thing, all over Periscope at the time and I couldn’t do it. I’m like, “What is wrong with me? Why am I so broken? What is happening?”

But I was activated because of my experience as a kid being bullied. Being visible felt very not safe for me. A lot of what’s happening for you around your behaviors is self-protection. Something is causing you to feel not safe in your body and you’re self-protecting. We have to be able to work through both the math problem and those layers of self-protection to get you where you want to be.

But at the end of the day, I want you to be able to replace your income from your traditional job, then step into what more than enough looks like for you and your family while being able to have the endurance to go the distance required for small business ownership. Because the rewards, both monetary and non-monetary, of owning your small business are so very, very worth it. But these two things need to go hand in hand, in tandem. That is why in The Bold Profit Academy, we talk about energy, mindset, and strategy. It’s all of those things.

The Bold Profit Academy is here to help you design a sales process that lowers pressure, serves your clients, generates real qualified leads and revenue, no more anger and resentment about giving all the things away for free and people not purchasing, no more confusion, no more overspending on tactics that may or may not work. We’re giving you the quickest path to put dollars in your bank account because I don’t know about you, but my tolerance for over-complication is gone. I don’t have it. My boundaries these days are becoming bolder and bolder because my threshold for BS is lower and lower and lower as is some of yours, I suspect.

How to join The Bold Profit Academy? I want you to hop on the waitlist. We take four new folks a month into that program. I reach out personally to invite you in and to answer any of your questions. I now have to say, it’s me personally from my Gmail account because I’ve had someone say, “I thought this was an automated thing,” and you’re all so used to automation and ignoring automation but it is actually a human. It is me.

In Q3, we are talking all about aligning a sales process that feels good, that feels in integrity, that feels in alignment with your values and your personality. We teach live Fridays every month at 11:00 AM ET. We have one call a month for math, money, and mindset. This last call that we did was all about the economy and really breaking down and giving you the information you need to navigate the emotional tidal wave that comes with opening any app and seeing a news outlet with their recession porn these days.

We talked about what’s happening, why it’s happening, who is the fed, what is their job, what are the tools they have, what are some of the headlines you can expect to see over the next few months? Are we going to have a recession? If we do have a recession, what is going to happen? How can you handle that? We are preparing the women in this program to sell in spite of there being this noise in the world. That is our Q3 curriculum all around sales process.

But the first thing you’re going to do when you join us is go through the 30-day onboarding. Through that 30-day onboarding, because people always ask me, “Tara, this is a 12-month program, is it going to take me 12 months to get results?” No. It is our goal, it is my driving ambition for you to make back the investment in the first 30 days. When I say make back the investment in the program, currently, the price will be going up this year, but currently, it is $5,500 to pay in full or $500 a month. We are looking to get you a return on your investment in the first 30 days of $5,000 to $6,000.

If you’re not sure if that’s possible for you, I will have a call with you prior and we will discuss whether or not I think that is actually possible or what your more likely ROI would be. The ROI comes in one of three, or all of three forms. One, you’re going to go in and you’re immediately going to make money. We’re going to have you find the opportunities that are laying right around you that you have not seen.

Two, you are going to save money but not to penny-pinch it, to repurpose it. Through saving that money, you will then repurpose it to whatever you want, but it could in theory be repurposed to paying for the program. Or three, you’ve had some kind of shift in energy and mindset, in belief, in behavior that is then going to be worth $5,000 to $6,000.

I think it’s probably going to be worth six figures personally just because I’ve experienced these myself, but that is what we are aiming for in the first 30 days of you joining us. Right now we are on a roll. The majority of women coming into the program are getting this result within the first 30 days. We are really super excited for them and we celebrate everybody on a weekly basis. Make sure you hop on over and get on The Bold Profit Academy waitlist.