Clean Selling - Christine Kane

During the early days of my music career, I had the hardest time with all the learning curves that came with selling myself. Who knew what intense energy sales had, or what a powerful force-field it is, especially for us sensitive types? (What about “build it and they will come”? Or “Do what you love and the money will follow?”)

Eventually I figured it out, and now, I want to share the things I wish someone had told me when I began this entrepreneur adventure.

And, as with many of the Soul-Sourced Business episodes, I’m telling one of those “did she really just share that?” stories about one of my first attempts at selling myself. Yes, it’s slightly pathetic. But my intention is that you realize that no one nails this sales stuff out the gate!

Then, I’m going to share a pre-sales process I built first for myself and then for my clients. It will help clear negativity, doubt and fear about selling. Best of all it’ll do this when you need it most: right before you have to make that offer to someone.

If you have any crappy feelings, assumptions or associations with sales, this one’s for you because when done correctly sales is a deep service to your prospective clients.

Episode Transcript

There is a really big deal in the energy you bring to a sales call. That shit matters.

Welcome to the Soul-Sourced™ Podcast, unconventional business advice for the highly creative, secretly sensitive and wildly ambitious entrepreneur. I’m your host, Christine Kane. Let’s do this.

Welcome everyone. This is the Soul-Sourced™ Business Podcast, and we are on episode number 40. And what I can promise you about episode number 40 is that you’re probably not going to hear any noises from Pearl, the wonder kitten or Finnegan, the loud cat, or even Zoe, or any of the geese outside or the birds or anything like that. And that is because it is late at night that I’m recording this and the reason that happened, and I’m going to go ahead and confess it, is that I got a little OCD about this episode and I just let it overtake the perfectionist in me. And the reason for that is because this topic we’re going to go through right now, matters so much to me. And it matters so much when I teach it to my clients. And it’s probably because I had such a hard time with the entire activity of selling throughout my career as a musician and all of the learning curves that came with it.

And I did not realize what an intense energy it is, what a powerful force field it is. And I really wished, I wish now that that I had a coach like me on my side, beause when I first started selling, I just threw myself into music. I threw myself into the world of music promotion. I did not have a manager. I didn’t have anyone on my side. I didn’t even have a coach at that point. And so selling was a very tough thing and selling myself and getting into clubs and getting into coffee houses, pretty much most of my days were spent having to put a lot of time into that part of my work in order to keep an entertainment career going. And I will go ahead and tell you that one, and I have only ever shared this with clients, so I’m going to go ahead and just put it out there.

And you know, the weird thing about podcasts is that anyone can hear them. I’m not saying anyone does hear them, but anyone can hear these pathetic stories. And I have had colleagues and peers of mine say things like wow, that was really brave of you to admit that, which basically means, wow, I would never do that. And boy, you came across pathetic. I’m going to do this because I cannot stand this whole posing as if we all nailed it our first times. I did not nail selling for, for a long time. And I get it when people don’t like selling. So my horrible story was, Oh God bless him, he was a club owner in Iowa somewhere, and I was trying to round up a tour and I had an agent who was booking my college dates, but I was trying to get into a really wonderful place in, I believe it was in Ames and I’m on the phone and the guy, he’d listened to my, he listened to my CD, he’d gone through my press kit. And I will say to my credit, I was just like a year or two into music, maybe two or three, I forget. But I was, I was still new to all of it. And, and he was kinda on the fence and he was debating between me and someone else that I actually uttered the words, “please. I’m really good.”

Needless to say, I didn’t get the gig, but That’s okay, ’cause now I can use it and tell these stories so that people don’t feel like they’re so alone when it comes to selling. And here’s the thing. So selling matters because there is a really big deal in the energy you bring to a sales call. That shit matters. And at the time I was kind of operating off the cuff and just letting a call be a call. And if my phone rang, I’d answer it. And I would not account for my own clarity, my own intention, what I was doing. And also the enormity of the task of selling yourself as a musician, especially when it’s just you and you’re getting started. So key thing here and why this, why I have been OCD about this, this particular episode is because the energy you bring to a sales call matters. And I want people to understand that.

The second thing is that when sales are done right, selling is service, and that’s a really hard one for people to grok, because there is such a resistance to that and people think of it as sleazy or tense or something bad. But when you really dive into what selling does and what it is, it is ultimately a service, but your energy has to be there. Your presence has to be there. Your awareness has to be there. And part of what inspired me to do this particular episode, because I’m going to walk you through, a way of managing your energy prior to a sales call, is because my client Vicky, who has been in M club for about four years, she just posted in our Facebook group a long post about this process of a woman reaching out to her and all of the little temptations along the way in the sales process with this woman, all the ways that she could go back to her old ways of being and her old reactionary self.

And she wrote on the day of the call, I took time to get centered and detached from the outcome. I followed the sales script and I shared how my program supports her in her key desires. And the, I’m not going to read her whole post, but at the end of it, she wrote, “I look back to four to five years ago before M club and to how I run my business systems and business now, and I am so grateful ” because obviously she got the client. So the thing is though, is that everything that she went through to build those systems and take that pause and get clear before the call came from honoring this idea of selling as service and that she doesn’t serve anybody by just, you know, doing what I was doing in the moment as a musician, which was just hoping to God, someone will see how great I am and tell them, please, I’m really good. That is not selling as service that is just like winging it.

So, and the another thing I, I often let people remind people of is the wonderful quote from Dan Sullivan about selling. And that is that “selling is getting someone intellectually engaged in a future result that is good for them and getting them to emotionally commit to take action to achieve that result.” And a lot of you have heard me say that quote before I, I talk about it a lot and I use it in reference whenever I’m teaching sales, but it is such a powerful one because It really does speak to the, you know, getting someone engaged intellectually in, in a result that is good for them and then getting them to emotionally commit because that’s the key piece is really understanding that people have to emotionally commit. And you as a, as an entrepreneur, as a business owner and as a salesperson, you don’t have to go into any major, huge deal systems or anything like that, but it really does serve you and most especially it serves the people you are going to serve. If you start understanding and honoring the sales piece of your business.

And the last thing I want to say before I go into the content here is that selling is an activity that is both on the Strategy Track and on the Soul Track of business. And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, it means you haven’t read, you have not read my book, the Soul-Sourced™ Entrepreneur, and I am not going to shame you for that, I’m just letting you know that part of why I can make little statements like the Strategy Track and the Soul Track of businesses, is because this podcast is called the Soul-Sourced™ Business, and I have a book called the Soul-Sourced™ Entrepreneur, and I teach that there is a strategy track in every business, which is all of that left brain stuff that people associate with business. And that is systems and sales and team building and marketing and copy and all of that stuff. But there is also running alongside that track, what I call the Soul Track. And this is where most of us don’t realize, but when we are going to get stuck, when things don’t work more often than not, we have to look at the Soul Track of your business. And selling has both a Strategy Track and a Soul Track piece of it.

And what I mean is that when you are doing a sales call, you probably want to start by having a script that you read or that you follow, or that you’ve somewhat memorized or something. And that is what Vicky said in her post, was that she had the script, it was all in front of her. And I give a very basic script to my clients and they can then go and riff off of it and improv. But at first, some of them read it word for word, for word, for word. And of course it depends on your business, on what you say on those calls and whether or not you use a script and how you use a script. But I do teach that pretty in depth, but the Soul Track part of it, is that even if you have a script, even, If you are reading word for word and you feel very confident in that, any time you are going to make an offer, place money on your services, place a value on what you do, whether you are a musician or you are a consultant, or you are a massage therapist or a therapist or a graphic designer, it doesn’t matter, shit’s going to come up. Maybe not for every single person, but I’m betting of your listening, you can think back to a time where maybe, maybe you didn’t utter the words, please I’m really good, but maybe you, you know, really low, like your energy just drained completely out of you because you gave so much power over to this other person, or because you were not prepared or because you just felt slimy, whatever it might be.

And that brings me to what I want to walk you through today, which is a process that I built first for myself and then for clients, for the time span before you get on a sales call with a prospect. So the process that I created is actually a tool. If you know me now, if you came to the Click Retreat, you know I’m, I am she who makes tools for my clients. And the reason I do that is because I think we all need sort of a framework to lay out in front of us and a process to follow, at least until we are comfortable enough with what is happening in this particular framework, that we can work it on ourselves without the aid of a tool. But for now, I’m going to walk you through some of the questions that are on this particular tool. And I’ll tell you why this matters in terms of how it manages energy and how it helps you prior to a call.

So the tool itself is called the Clean Selling Tool. So it’s, we just call it, in Uplevel, we call it clean selling, and the way it’s different. And the the reason I created it for myself is that I started to, even when I was a musician, I began studying selling, and I sort of looked at when I was on tour, I started looking at my car as a learning library. So I’d be driving, driving through places like Iowa when I did start getting those gigs, Thank you, Ames. And I did actually get back to that particular venue. They did have me eventually, and I never joked with the guy about my terrible selling, but I did go back there, but I would be on the road, and I would listen to people like Zig Ziglar and Dan Kennedy, and, you know, all the guys, you know, all the people who sell. And one of the things that a lot of them just kind of blithely Passover in their teaching about sales, is the very real sensitivity that happens within you.

And I mean, if you know, Dan Kennedy, then, you know, you know, he’s very, very aggressive. And, you know, he says that he is, and he talks about people, you know, not having the balls to do stuff or stuff like, you know, little statements like that. And Zig Ziglar’s a little more gentle in his approach to that, but there’s almost always an assumption that everybody sits around thinking positively. And it’s one of those things about various success, gurus and law of attraction gurus that has always kind of driven me crazy, and that is that we are all expected to repress and resist when we have negative things come up, negative voices, scared energy, fearful feelings, play, feeling smaller than something. And so we hastily run around trying to stuff all of this, and my friend and acupuncturist, James Whittle calls this shouted down doubt. He and I were talking about this one at one point many, many, many years ago. And he just said, yeah, it’s the shouted down doubt syndrome. Like not allowed to have doubt and not allowed to have fear. We’re just going to stuff it, and we’re going to push it down. And we’re going to put a whole nice little veneer of positive thoughts on it.

And if you are anything like me or anything like any of my clients that does not often work very well. And the reason for that is it’s an entire chapter in my book. And that is because energy doesn’t lie. And that is the title of the chapter in my book, energy doesn’t lie. And so if you just pretend it’s not there and you pretend that you do not have fear around this call, you, aren’t not having self-doubt around this call and you’re walking around trying to shout that you can do this and you love yourself, or whatever the hell you do.

I have found that the energy itself cannot help but be present. It is there. And so the reason I designed this is because I wanted to bring a level of self-awareness and self-acceptance and things can’t release until they are given that a bill like that permission to be seen. And so that’s what this is. And I’m going to walk you through some of the questions of this tool, and have you consider doing something like this prior to any kind of a sales call. And I will tell you, um, cause I am not afraid to share things about myself. I use my own tools. I eat my own cooking. Is that, that’s the metaphor, I think?

So I, the last time I used this, it was a, um, two years ago. Uh, cause I, I will say the more you sell, the more comfortable you are, And I don’t, I don’t have as much energy around it now because I’ve, I’ve started to, I guess, anchor to the clarity of it. I know the service that I provide. I know myself well enough and I’m also, you know, I’m in enough, a good position now where I don’t have to be attached to the financial outcomes, which is lovely. And I like, I like being there. I’ve worked to get there, but I don’t have that, uh, enormous amount of tension. So I don’t do this as much, but I will say when I do new things, stuff comes up and I actually walked myself through this process before I sent my book proposal off to my potential agent who then became my agent. And so I did this entire thing in like complete entirety, wrote it all out, did the whole little turnaround that I’m going to tell you about. And, and I don’t, I cannot stand the whole thing of like, I did it. And then he called me 24 hours later, but he did. So, um, he loved the proposal. I had done other work as well. So I did my strategy work. You know, I had my, I had my book proposal all done and done well. So it wasn’t just that I winged it out there. And that’s not what this is about, by the way. I teach strategy and soul, because both matter in business, this is not just, Hey, make your energy good and you’ll sell to anybody.

The reason I, I love giving this to clients and sharing this with them is because more often than not, they do get the sale. But I also give, like I said, I give them a sales script as well, but they also bring this presence and awareness and, you know, dare I say, mindfulness to the equation. So they’re showing up a hundred percent present. They’re seeing their own fear. They’re seeing where they doubt themselves and it all comes to light so that it can be released more and more over the time that they’re doing this sales process.

So that’s what it’s all about. And so I use it, my clients use it. It’s one of our, I always say that it is one of our most popular tools, but it’s one of our most used tools. Like people do it pretty regularly. And it’s really the activity of bringing a hard core level of intention to the sales call. And I know some of you may not do sales calls. Some of you may not use a sales script or ever use a sales script and that’s completely fine. But I do think that as you know, section two of my book, it’s Soul-Sourced™ Entrepreneur, talks about, is that managing your energy, managing your power, as an entrepreneur is something that you are always going to be doing. And so that’s what this tool does. It really helps you start to manage your own power and manage your own energy as you’re doing something that is uncomfortable, frankly, selling is for many of us very uncomfortable.

Okay. So the first part of the Clean Selling Process is really understanding you, your intentions, and then also what’s going on maybe behind the curtain or under the hood, whatever that might be. So the first question you want to ask yourself, always, is what is my ideal outcome for this call or for the zoom or whatever it may be, or for your book proposal, you know? And so this is where you just go nuts, right? Any dream you have about this, what you, you know, what you want most of all. And obviously, it’s going to be to get the sale, the highest price, whatever it might be. Then we get all that out in the open. We put that out there. And then we go into the little dark corners of our own little mental vortexes.

So the first question I have, where that’s concerned, is what are my prejudgments about this person? And the reason we ask this, and I think probably the most important reason I put this on here is that, especially as a musician, the prejudgments are always going to be about them being better than you, them being, you know, resistant to you, them, you know, whatever it might be. And I find a lot of times with my clients, especially clients who are healers or artists, is that they are selling to people who are more wealthy than them. Um, I have one client or had one client who was a healer and she was working with very, very high power CEOs who, one of whom, would like fly private to come see her and work with her. And, you know, she would sometimes remark, like I couldn’t imagine ever making the kind of money these people have and it was affecting her sales process. And so we worked for a while. She was working with me for several years on those assumptions and those prejudgments and, and whatever she saw. And so if somebody, you know, we’re in a culture where if somebody has more money than you, oftentimes your prejudgment is going to be, they’re better than me, and this doesn’t by the way, always mean that you’re going to be, you know, smarmy and play small and be sad in a pathetic.

Some people when they, when they prejudge that that person is making more money than them, or better than them, they go into their little pattern or, you know, you know, I refer to the Enneagram, but they, they go into sort of a pretense mode and try to one up that person or be better than they really are, or kind of put on a false face. And that’s not good either. So it’s really good to get all of your prejudgments, just cleared the hell out of your head about this person. Anything you see them as, you know, they’re better, they won’t want they’re they’re this way, they’re that way and get them out onto the paper. So you, I like the writing process for this.

Next is a question that are what are, what are your prejudgments about selling to this person? And this is where we start to mine the whole terrain for your own stuff, about selling in connection to this particular person. And this might be where you go into, they’re going to think it’s slimy, selling is really lame. I really shouldn’t be selling if I were any good people would just want to whip out their credit card. I shouldn’t have to sell, like all the stuff that might come to come to mind to you about selling. So after you have emptied yourself of all the little prejudgments about the selling and about this person, we’re going to go into the assumptions you have about the call and about your role on the call.

So when I mentioned that I did this process for myself before I sent my book proposal, what I wrote was what are my assumptions about this email that I’m sending, and trust me, I had many. And so the assumptions about this call and your role on this call, uh, this is very good, especially if you are new to selling and you are going to start looking at how your projecting these assumptions onto the other person, what they might think about you, what they might be thinking about this call, what, what you might think about this call, like secretly I’m selling to them, and that might be slimy. And you’re just going to clear all of that out. Any of the assumptions you have about this call, about your role on this call, anything that’s good, that’s bad. What we’re really trying to do is empty everything out that is a judgment, that is an assumption, that is even positive, negative, whatever it might be, it doesn’t matter, we’re getting out of that, all that topsy turvy stuff that is though,t that is what we lovingly call mind fuck, and we’re getting it out of you and we’re letting it all have a place to be, and we’re really getting it out there.

So I guess I lied to you guys at the beginning when I said that Finnegan was going to be quiet because now he’s not going to be, and we’ll just let him go.

And then here’s where it turns around, and I actually do have a big line in the center of this tool for my clients to use. And this is where once you’ve gotten all of this stuff out, you’re going to take a deep breath, and you’re actually going to take a moment to intentionally release all of these perceptions as you exhale. So you’re really just consciously letting them go and kind of letting them fall away. And I know that sounds a little easier said than done, but if you really look at this as giving them permission to fall away or inviting them to fall away, as opposed to pushing them and telling them to get the hell out of here or stuffing them, we’re not doing that. We’re just bringing an intention to it. We’re saying we see them, and then we’re just giving them the chance to fall away. And then we turn this around.

What we’re gonna do next is we’re gonna answer some other questions about who we truly are. Now. Some of you know, the, uh, experience I had with my very, very first coach, when I told him that I had that voice in my head that says, who do you think you are? And he actually made me answer it. He goes, let’s answer it. Let’s let’s do this. Who do you think you are? And it was this really big game changer in my life. We’re going to do a little bit like that here. And we’re going to actually say, what is, what is, what is my role here? Who am I? And the question I have here is if I looked deeply into my heart of hearts, what would I see to be my truest intention for anyone who chooses to work with me? And this is the intention that you most want to align with. And so for any of us, some of us, like I’ve worked with clients who have had maybe a client that didn’t work out or something got went wrong, or it went badly, and there can be a lot of like really deep doubts that come up like, Oh my God, this person was really negative. And then they left and it got ugly. I don’t even know if I have the, what it takes to sell to someone again.

And this is where this kind of work is so hugely important because all of us have clients who turned out to not be great, or they weren’t ideal, or they didn’t like us, or we didn’t do whatever. It happens, you know? So what we want to do in those times is know that this is part of what happens with business. It’s the way it is. And so we come back and we align again, we realign with our intention. So what is your truest intention for anyone who chooses to work with you? And that is always what we want to remember, because I’m betting that if you’re listening to this podcast, there is not a single person listening, going. Yeah. Who cares? I don’t give a shit, whatever. I just want money. I doubt that that’s going on there. And yet, if anyone ever accuses you of that, you’ll take that shit on. Like, you’ll just feel like, Oh my God, it must be true. And so this is why we always want to remember to align with our truest intention. And so that brings you back to center right there.

And then the second question we want to ask ourselves at this point, is what is the value of what I offer and what difference would this make in this person’s life? And this is where again, you really go right down. What kind of value do I deliver to people? What kind of difference could this make for this person? Because if you are, you know, in my client pool, at this point, you’ve already sent out a questionnaire. You’ve already seen what’s going on in their life before you get on any call with them, ’cause we do a lot of prep work. So we want people to already be invested before they come to this call. And so you’ve already seen a lot about them and you know, what difference it could make in this person’s life, but it doesn’t hurt to write it down and get very, very clear about it by putting it into words on paper.

And then the last question is really about anchoring into the present moment and remembering who you are. And you answer the question, who do I want to be as I do this call? And for all of us, I, you, it, no matter how uncertain you might feel, if you’re in a mastermind, let’s say, or you’re working with a coach or you’re feeling just by yourself, all uncertain, we all have those times where you know how powerful you are, you know, how good you are

And that’s who you want to anchor to when you’re about to do a sales call. And so you really remember that as you’re stepping onto that call and this and that is it. I mean, that is the clean selling process that I have my clients go through. And I mean, there are some deeper, more subtle pieces to it, but that’s the gist of it before you get on a call and I’ve seen for myself just major shifts. And then I’ve also seen for clients time and time and time and time again, how this has really changed their whole, uh, trajectory in how they sell and how they think about themselves as salespeople, and really start to fall in love with the process of selling. Because at the end of the day, it really is letting somebody be seen, letting somebody answer questions and letting somebody get as Dan Sullivan says, emotionally committed to their own results. Because if not you serving them, helping them and guiding them, then who’s it going to be?

And I will leave you with that until next week. Thank you guys for listening. If you haven’t gotten my book, it’s called the Soul-Sourced™ Entrepreneur. You can go grab it on Amazon. And if you haven’t left a review for this podcast, I would love it. If you would go do that and leave a little blurb, leave a little comment, Please, please. I’m really good. No, I, I really, I didn’t just say that, but I will leave you with that. Thanks. You all for listening. I’ll see you guys next week. Bye everyone.