Success and Sales Confidence
In this episode, Donna Smith Bellinger and I discuss how to have sales confidence.
By listening to this episode you will learn how to turn your competence into confidence.
Today I have a very special guest, who is the sales expert. And her name is Donna Smith, Ballenger. Donna, first, welcome to the show. And please share with us about your background in sales.
Terrific. So I specialize in sales for people who hate to sell. I have over 40 years of sales, you see all that experience I got going on right there. I’ve got a lot of years of leadership and sales. And I have worked in high ticket. I’ve worked with authors and coaches, people in financial services, attorneys, all of those things.
There are some very basic things that occur in sales conversations that a lot of us were never trained for. Maybe we don’t like it, you know, you think sales sleazy, pushy, you start to deal with that whole? Will they like me, you know, kind of a thing, I don’t want them to think that or I feel like and we don’t want to do any of that stuff.
So I specialize in making this. So very simple for you. And you may have seen me with the international coaches Federation, I do sales training for them. And Morgan Stanley and Edward Jones and a whole bunch of other groups. I’ve even been on the stage of inbound. And for those of you who are in the digital space, you’ve heard of that. So that’s who I am. I’m also an international speaker and an author.
Wow, we love it. So I love that you help people who hate selling, because I you know, I talk to a lot of coaches and consultants who I work with, who do hate selling when they when we start working together, they don’t feel proud of their offers, they feel like it’s pushing. So what would you say to somebody who hates selling? What’s the first step to start to turn that around?
How Competence Articulates Confidence
Well, confidence comes from being able to articulate or state your competence. All right, does that make sense? confidence comes from competence, and your acknowledgement that you need to learn how to consistently communicate your competence, so that nine times faster. And I actually have no response I give out to my clients that says you must always consistently communicate your competence. That means that you have to do your research, and you need to understand why this person would be interested in hiring you. Far too often, there’s an individual who decides I’m great at this. I’m brilliant, I have all the answers. Who wouldn’t want this.
That’s not how you buy. If that was the case, we’d all be driving cars we can’t afford or living in, you know, these types of homes or that type of home or wearing whatever we would wear. We don’t buy that way. All right, for a lot of people they buy emotionally, and then they justify it logically. So if you have that engaging personality, and people always want to go, Yeah, that sounds so cool. But when they sit back and they think about it, they get buyer’s remorse. So you don’t get the contract, or the payment doesn’t come through, or you get a cancellation.
They weren’t really sold on what was it for them. All right. So do your research. And be sure that you understand, first of all, the way your ideal client communicates. If you’re a very linear thinking person, and everything for you, is, you know, logically plotted out, that’s wonderful. But if you’re talking to a person who’s visual, who says, oh, but imagine if picture this, I always dreamed that, then they don’t want to go through all of that other than that. Okay, so it’s important that you understand who you work best with, you must then be able to build a rapport.
No one goes to a networking event to buy. Rule number one, we go to build relationships to see and be seen and to again, communicate our value. So you must be able to do that you have to be able to build that report. The other thing to remember, is your body language, whether you’re in person, or you’re virtual, do you look engaging? Are you scholarly? Are you just waiting for your chance to talk as opposed to really processing what that other person’s needs are? And do you have a process to pre qualified people that you are talking to, to determine if you will be able to give them value. Because all money is not good money. And I have a process I teach my clients.
So it has to do with getting what I call, Yestamonials. And yes, it’s trademarked. But a Yestamonial is a recommendation, or a testimonial, if you like, That answers three questions. First of all, what was the situation that brought that person to you? Secondly, when do they have a light bulb moment? And thirdly, what was the result of their engagement with you?
The only way you’re going to get those accolades is if at the beginning of the conversation, and you’re building that rapport, you prequalify them in such a way that you understand in no uncertain terms, what they think an ideal outcome would be if they work with you. So it’s not what you want to give them. We all like to think, Oh, no, but it’s a brilliant idea. I’m great coach, my book is fabulous. Whatever it is that we’re doing, it’s not that.
Okay, it’s what is their return going? So that’s a five minute download on it, it would kind of quick, but you know, and now I can do you know, specific questions, but that’s kind of what the flow looks like. Yeah. And so when you’re pre qualifying an individual, you want to find out, do you want to know the recipe for that? I can give them for free?
I love it. You sure? I’m taking notes? I’m taking notes in the show notes in the comment section. So I because I’m just loving it. So of course, I want to hear it.
Okay, great. So when you get into the conversation, or pre qualifying individual, one of the things you want to find out is, how do they view the problem? Or the challenge? Okay, and how do they articulate what it is to say you’re going to learn how they communicate? And then there’s also going to be that question, this is something people frequently overlook. How long have you had that problem? Really? And what have you done to try and work on that? You know, have you just gone to books, podcasts, workshops? Did you pay for the workshop? Do you take all the free workshops you can find? Have you ever worked with a coach? Really? And what was the result?
What did you like? What didn’t you like? These are some of the questions that you want to ask. And the reason why it’s so simple and so basic, when you are offering your solution, don’t give them something they tell you they already did. And it didn’t work. Don’t frame it that way. Now, you know, you have to frame it in a different way. So they understand why you are different and why they should choose you. How do you do that? with stories?
Tell them your success stories. You know, if you go onto my LinkedIn page, you’ll see a lot of different recommendations and testimonials. And in one, I have a person who says, in one month of working with Donna, I sold more than I did the entire previous year. So a person who’s having that type of a challenge would go Yes, I would pay for that. That’s the whole point of having the stories so that you can make sure that you’re articulating their ideal outcome.
Yes, I was able to nail the man of my dreams. Yeah, that’s what I want to do. I was able to raise my visibility or drive more people to my website. That’s the kind of result that I’m looking for working with you. You want to be able to tell the stories that bring them into the conversation. Okay. There was a person attempting to sell me something recently. And when I said no, respectfully, this person did something I’d love.
The Importance of Success Stories
He asked what would have made it a yes. What is it that I did that didn’t work? It was very simple for me. You spent more time talking about yourself and getting to understand what it was that I needed. And when you did give me a story, it didn’t relate to my situation. So what I recommend to my individuals is record some of your sales conversations.
And play them back. For my clients, they know you record them and you send them to me. I go through them, and I work with them on that, and what that particular thing is going to look like for them, and so that they’re able to tell, was this person engaged, or were they not? Now, when you go out and you are networking, if your networking is not working, then you probably presented yourself not as a professional, but as a peddler.
Because people don’t like to be sold to. You just want to give them enough of your background. So that they understand that you know, you know what you’re talking about. But you want to communicate your value in such a way that when you have that follow up coffee meeting, the way that meeting reps is not by you saying Okay, so when do you want to sign up?
Or Okay, how many do you want? It’s for that individual to look at your site, you know, this was wonderful. And what would the next step be? How can we work together? Or they say, you know what, I’m not in the market for this, but I have someone I want you to meet. That’s when you know, that you consistent that you consistently communicated your confidence. That’s when you know you had the confidence to draw that person in? And to have them determined that yeah, I think I’d like to be an ambassador for you. I have a room of people I want to introduce you to because they’re willing to stake their reputation on what you’ve demonstrated, you can do.
Absolutely, yeah. And I love what you said about making sure that you are getting to know what they need and what they find valuable. And what is the ideal outcome for them. As I do see a lot of and one of the things we do in my coaching program is market research and making sure they’re talking to their ideal client and getting clear on their language about what their problems are with solutions they’re seeking versus just thinking, this sounds really good to me as the coach and I think everybody should want this. So I love the way you put that. And I also regarding the sales calls, I used to do sales calls for another coach and I also worked in sales.
For a long time, the last 10 years, I actually started when I was very young and had to have legal guardian sign my paperwork, and I love sales. But it’s because I really believe in what I’m selling. And I believe in providing a solution. And I don’t like when people have to keep searching and like struggling and listening to free things and like trying to piece it all together. So I have a I think one of the things I do as well as listen to my clients calls and give them some feedback.
But one of the things that I think they that I hear that they struggle with is at what point and I think you’ve kind of touched on this. Do you switch from building rapport to if somebody has a problem, you know, you can solve? When is the right appropriate time to make an offer? And I think what I heard you say is you want the other person to say, Where do we go from here, you’ve you’ve provided so much value? What’s the next step? What is there anything you want to add to that? As far as what’s kind of the shift?
How to Identify Transition Points
Or transition point? Yeah, what you’re looking for, and the transition is going to occur when you are telling your story when you’re telling a success story. And that person says that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. But nobody’s been able to do it. Oh, well, yeah, I do that for my clients all the time. Smile, wait, you know, and then they’re gonna be other times you’re going to talk to them, and they’re going to say, okay, but then what do I do?
Or what’s next? And how do I do this, and that is when you sit back and you smile. Remember that you are a business person, not a person who coaches, you are a business person, not just an author or a bit sorry, that and you smile. You say, you know what, that’s something I cover with my private clients.
That’s something that I cover in my whatever it is you’re selling. Love it, when you make it clear. And that’s when you know, you’ve kind of got them hooked. Right? You’ve talked to them and they’ve said that they only do free stuff. Oh, I just did the free stuff you know, because whatever whatever. If they are not historically making investments, then here you have to decide how hard you want to work with and for that person.
Because if they are going to be more concerned about the dollars that The outcome, that is probably not your ideal client, which means you don’t necessarily want to make an offer to them. But you may want to donate them to someone else who specializes in that type of a situation, there is nothing wrong with donating prospects to other people. Because if they have a good experience, they’re going to remember who recommended that individual.
Right? Totally. Yeah. And I think that there’s more than just making a sale considered as valuable. But having a referral network, somebody writing you a nice review, based on the free coaching you gave them or something like that, or, like, you know, there’s just more than one, it could be a long term relationship, you never know where it will go. So, um, one of the other things that you just touched on is, it’s too expensive?
Or am I the kind of person who invest in whatever problem I’m looking to solve? So how does somebody you know, there’s a, there’s a difference between managing an objection for something being expensive or an investment. And it’s just somebody who’s a tight what we call a tire kicker, they just, like free stuff all the time, and they will suck all the free stuff out? And how do you manage the the expensive? Or it’s too much money? Objection.
depending upon what it is that you’re offering. It looks like a part of your pre qualification. So when you’re asking them, what have you tried this that any other? Ask them? What does it cost you to not have this problem is? What’s it looking like? Are you stressed? How many times do you have to go to the doctor? How many medications are you taking? What’s your family life? Like? What are your options on your job? You know, where is this costing you? and help them to put a figure on it. So they can really, you know, quantify what it is that this is costing them. And then you’re able to, you know, quite confidently say, this is what it is. Yeah, here’s the story.
And this is what I do know, I had a person I was speaking with the other day, and they told me exactly what they’re spending on. I’m sorry, what people pay them for their particular service. And so I said, Okay, terrific. You’re losing business. You’re not closing any people. to clients. You’ve paid, you’ve covered the investment. Alright, you’ve probably lost more than two clients recently, right? Yeah. Okay. Where do you want to go? What do you want to nice, you know, you can keep doing what you’ve been doing and keep getting what you’ve already had.
And that’s fine, because the first rule of sales is not to be attached to the outcome. My mission statement states that it’s not the transaction, it’s the testimony. One, good referral, one good testimony will get you more clients. One bad one can cost you your business. So all money is not good money. It’s not the transaction. It’s a testimony to your reputation. It is your brand. And that’s what also has you quite confident in talking about what you do, because you’re resting it on the outcomes you’ve been able to provide.
Right? Yes. And one of the things that I think a lot of people struggle with is their worth, because maybe they are new, maybe they don’t like they don’t have a ton of testimonials yet. So and when we first talked, you started, you shared with me something really unique about the difference between men, salespeople and women. And so I kind of want you to touch on that. And I want you to touch on what if they don’t see themselves as worthy for asking for the sale. They know they can help someone but they’re like, but do I deserve this money? Or I would I love it so much. I would do it for free, or whatever it is. How would you respond to that?
Okay, well, one of the things you and I talked about was the fact that we’re sheep. We follow winners. Right? And if you don’t have a lot of testimonials, and and so you’re having that little you know, insecurity going on, within you. Everybody had a starting point. You’re not unique. The universe doesn’t have it in for you, please just get over yourself. Okay, that’s something that’s happening here. But you want to first of all remember, and I think I remember the analogy you talked about the throwing, so And it’s somebody that one, that one, okay? Ladies, it’s not about the shoes, it’s not about the hair, it’s not about whether or not they will like you.
This is not a sorority, this is a business. When you walk into a sales meeting, you don’t hear a man going, Oh, I didn’t feel like they were hearing me. I didn’t feel like I was being respected, I didn’t feel feel has nothing to do with any of this. So if your partner your loved one was to come home and say, I could have made a $5,000 sales today, but I didn’t feel like they liked me, if I really pushed hard on this, you throw something at him? What do you mean, you didn’t ask for the sale, you know, that is something that’s very, very important for you to see yourself first, as a business owner, not as the brand and not as the service. But you’re a business owner, a successful business owner gets paid.
And if you are uncomfortable asking for your value, they will read you as a rookie. If you can state your value, and even if you don’t have a lot of testimonials to go with it. You can say, you know, before I started my own business, I did this, I did that I did this, I did that. I and people would tell me, you provided this, you provided that. And now, I decided instead of making a whole lot of money for a bunch of bank, grateful people, I’m going to do it myself. Do it my way. And that’s
Yeah, well said. And so if somebody because there’s two different ways this can work, the salesperson might not believe in themselves. But then on the other side, your prospect, let’s say you do believe in yourself. But the person you’re talking to you saying oh, no, I don’t know, because I made an investment in myself before and I didn’t follow through, or I am you know, I tend to procrastinate, I don’t know if I can really get this done. Like, what would you say if the prospect doesn’t necessarily believe in themselves and invest? You know, investing in themselves? Is that just a lost? Cause? Or what do you think sometimes
it is? Sometimes they’re just waiting for someone to be the heart. So the situation, you know, and so it’s like, Okay, so in other words, you’re telling me that you like this, whatever it is that’s going on, you’re okay with it. And you’re okay with struggling through this. For right now, waiting for the perfect time? Or the perfect situation is that what you’re waiting for perfection? Doesn’t exist? doesn’t exist. So are you? Who do you care about most? And I’m going to give you a family member or whatever, whatever? Do you feel that you are the role model? That you would like to be for that individual? Or do you feel that this particular situation is keeping you from living into your full potential? And are you willing to settle for that? And have them see you as that person?
For the next 5, 10, 15, 20 years? I also have a tendency to ask people, where would you like to be in five years? 10 years? 20 years? What would it look like for you to be? thinner, more successful, happily married, whatever? What would it change in your life? And then how bad do you want it? Please don’t do on a scale of one to 10. How would you I hate that I know I’m getting ready to get sold. Please don’t do that.
Just don’t do that. But you want them to actually tell you what it is and the difference it would make in their quality of life. And then it’s like, Okay, are you ready to go ahead and make that happen? And it’s your choice. I can’t make you do it. I can help you. And, I can guide you. And with your permission, I can kick you in the butt regularly. But how bad do you want it? Because if I want it worse than you do, I can’t help you.
Right? That is so true. Yep. So what about if somebody says, okay, yes, I do want this but I need to think about it. I need more time to think about it. What would you say to that?
Okay, first of all, you didn’t prequalify them properly. Okay. I specialize in refusal aversion. Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah, you can if you answer all of the pre questions, you know, and you understand who the buying committee is, and and what they pay for, and what they get out of it. And you all are very, very clear on that. Then, the most important thing is, you know, I have to pay about it. Okay, fine. And I appreciate that you need to think about it. Now, while you’re pondering that, is there anything that I described to you that you don’t fully understand? No. Okay, so do you understand the value of those? Yeah, I do. Is this something that you really want to do?
Yeah, really want to do it? Okay. If you really want to do it? When do you feel you want to do it? Well, eventually, All right, great. So see, it’s not a high priority for you. And if it’s not a high priority for you, I’m good. You don’t have to think about it. It’s not bad. Right? I can handle No. Right? You’ll find that sometimes when you take it away. They’re reaching for it. No, no, really. Gimme, gimme, gimme, I do want it right now. It’s a limited offer.
Yeah, you know, we started in two weeks, we started in one week, I only have to open it. You know, and, and you have to have that sense of urgency. But don’t push him into it. Because a person that you feel you have to maneuver or talk into the limit is not going to do the work. Right? They don’t do the work. You’re not going to get that Yestamonial.
Yep. Well said, you know, so don’t have a problem with saying, Well, you know, what, if this isn’t good for you, in four months, when we think about doing it again, if you do it again, then that’s fine. One of the things I used to do with my people is I would tell them, okay, these are the programs, this is what I do.
You can join one of my programs when I’ll be starting on such and such a day. Or you can have me all to yourself. Which do you prefer? Yeah, right. I love that. Or either or. And I run very few group programs, because most people won’t be all to themselves to discuss strictly their challenges. They don’t feel like going through the sad stories of everybody else in the group.
Right? Definitely. And I like I think the key theme here is your framing. You’re constantly asking questions and inquiry, but you’re also each step has a purpose, a pre qualification, building rapport, seeing if this person is, is, you know, someone who would do the work, because at the end of the day, the sale part and delivering your programs, probably the easy part for most service providers, they probably feel like I got that part. I’m a good coach, you know, I know what I’m doing. But you want to make sure it’s for the right person for the right reasons.
And you know, that you’re not dragging anybody into it, like you said, because you’re right, that costs you sometimes way more than not working with the person. So really good stuff here. So where can everybody find you and connect with you after they listen to this episode?
Well, thank you, Hailey. Again, thanks so much for having me. You can find me on LinkedIn, because that’s where most businesses done. And you would simply look for Donna Smith Ballenger. You can follow the hashtag ask DSB, a SK DSP. And that’s another way you can find out where I’m showing up and what I’m offering. Finally, you can also apply to join my Facebook group, which is the Elevate Sales Coaching Cartafé. I do live, work and training every single week in that. And we also support each other in a variety of different verticals.
I love it. I just put that down. And we will have that in the show notes at haileyrowe.com when this podcast goes live. And thank you so much for being a guest and sharing your wisdom with us.
Thank you so much Hailey for having me and thank you for sharing your audience man. Thank you.
About Donna Smith Bellinger
Donna Smith Bellinger is a Professional Speaker and Author. She specializes in working with those who feel they have “hit the wall” when it comes to personal or professional growth.
- Hour of Champions Facebook Group
- Complimentary Business Consult
- Health Coach Nation: Marketing, Business, & Mindset for Health Coaches
You can find Donna Smith Bellinger on her website here.