Episode #111:
How to Make Authentic Sales, Part 1

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Do you avoid conversations with clients in order to not be too “salesy?” In this invaluable two-episode series, Caterina discusses just what it takes to sell in an authentic way that feels good to you AND your client. Whether you have difficulty responding to sales objections or you get discouraged by not getting an insta-yes, this informative episode is guaranteed to help you boost your sales NOW!

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Expand Your Fempire Podcast #111 Transcript


How to Make Authentic Sales, Part 1


Welcome to Expand your Fempire with Caterina Rando, the podcast for women in business on a mission. Sharing ideas to support you to grow and thrive. Now here’s your host, Caterina Rando.

[00:00:00] Caterina Rando: Welcome back to another episode of the Expand Your Fempire podcast. This is your host, Caterina Rando, and I am blissing to be with you today. Because we are talking about an exciting topic. In fact, our topic is so exciting and important that we’re not doing one podcast episode on it, we’re doing two podcast episodes on it. And this is our discussion on authentic selling and authentic sales.

[00:01:06] I didn’t start off teaching sales. In fact, I started off wanting to do everything I could to avoid sales like many of the women entrepreneurs I meet. That’s why I started to speak. Because when you speak, you build Insta- influence. And then even if you’re not that good at selling, you can usually get a couple sells.

[00:01:30] Today I embrace selling. And let’s just take a moment to define authentic selling. Authentic selling is selling to people you genuinely know You can serve, or genuinely think you can serve, or genuinely want to find out if you can serve them.

[00:01:52] And also making sure when you’re selling that whoever you’re selling to is going to benefit from working with you and that they actually meet your client criteria.

[00:02:08] Now, we could just call it authentic serving, but the truth is, if I just said authentic serving, you wouldn’t know what we’re talking about.

[00:02:17] We have to say “selling,” and also I wanna make a very important distinction: marketing is letting everybody know through your marketing efforts-, your emails, your direct mail, your social media. Marketing is letting everybody know who you are and the value you bring. And of course, there’s many other ways to market your products and services.

[00:02:44] Sales is when you discuss, when you talk, when you actually have a conversation with a potential client about whether or not you can serve them and if what you’ve got to offer matches what they’re looking for.

[00:03:01] This is very important because a lot of people put sales and marketing together, they are not the same thing. Let’s be very clear.

[00:03:10] I was talking with a lady yesterday and I said to her, “Well, how many people did you invite to be your client this week?” And what was her answer? “Well, I sent out this email broadcast, and I did this posting on social media.”

[00:03:26] Okay, my friend, that’s lovely, but none of that is sales. Let’s be very clear.

[00:03:32] Caterina Rando: Now, why am I talking to you about this? I just taught my Thrive at Sales accelerator today, and one of the gals in the class, she said “Caterina, can we talk about dancing through objections? This is something that I say.

[00:03:47] Rather than saying overcoming objections, I call it dancing through objections. And the reason for that is because when you’re talking to people in a sales situation, you want to keep the conversation light unless you’re providing services that are not light. But even if you are providing services that are not light, you want to have people feel pleasant and good when they’re talking to you.

[00:04:18] This idea of making people feel miserable to get the sale, having people get off the phone feeling like if they don’t hire you, they’re gonna be a loser. That does not bode well for a long-term relationship. The goal is not to get clients, everybody. The goal is to get long-term and lifelong clients.

[00:04:41] And why am I telling you this? Because sometimes it takes 2, 3, 4 conversations before someone’s ready to get started with you. You don’t get the sale when you stop reaching out, you stop building influence, you stop circling back, and you stop inviting people to talk with you and connect with you and be with you.

[00:05:03] And I’m sharing this with you because at this point, after so many years of serving women, of teaching women how to sell in our Thrive at Sales Program, and also now having the privilege of certifying other women to teach my Thrive at Sales program, I have realized over and over that the biggest challenge is it’s not the conversation not being right, it’s not the inability to dance through objections, although we’re gonna talk about that one because that’s an area we can all upgrade. It’s not even in the circling back or the reaching out or the follow-up.

[00:05:48]  The biggest challenge is usually almost always not talking to enough people. Really what I suggest is you use the four-by-four by-four equation. If you want four new clients this month, you’re going to take the number four, and you’re gonna say, “Okay, if I want four new clients, I’ve gotta talk to four times that, 4, 8, 12, 16 people.”

[00:06:19] And if I wanna talk to 16 people, then I have to take that 16 number and I have to times that number by four. Because the number of clients we want is 25% of the people we’re gonna talk to.

[00:06:36] Now, maybe you’re better than that. Maybe you have a 30% closed ratio or a 40% closed ratio, or a 50%. And I track this. Some weeks I have 50% closed ratio. Some weeks I have 80% closed ratio. Some weeks it’s not that good. Some weeks it’s 25. Some weeks might even be nothing, and then the next week is really good. The thing is, though, that you have to underestimate your close ratio and overestimate how many people you need to talk to.

[00:07:11] But here’s the thing that you know already is not everybody’s gonna close right away. So if you want four clients, you better have time to talk to 16 clients and 64 reach outs. Now you say, “Caterina that’s a lot of reach outs.” No, it’s not because you got all month to do it.

[00:07:30] And you’ll hear this again, but I’m saying it right now because you can’t hear it too much: the more people you talk to, the more clients you’re gonna get.

[00:07:43] And by the way, I’ve tracked this, I’ve tested this. The more people I talk to in a week, the more new revenue and the more new clients in the door. Bing, bing, bing. That’s what I want for you.

[00:07:58] Caterina Rando: The second challenge is that you get discouraged. Mary Jane, Sheila, Betty, Bob, Sue, they weren’t an insta-yes. And as a result, you get discouraged, you don’t circle back, you don’t follow up, you make up some fantasy story in your head that they must not wanna talk to you. When in fact you don’t realize they’re super busy, they have other things on their plate. You are not their number one priority. It is your job to reach out and invite people to talk to you. It is your job to circle back when they don’t talk to you. And it’s your job to make sales a priority in your business.

[00:08:41] Now, I have looked at this and studied this and taken many classes and read many books and listened to many experts on this, and here’s what I want you to know. Until you have a full client base, not 10%, 20%, until you have a full client base, 80% of your time is on sales activities.

[00:09:08] Now you say “Caterina, how am I gonna serve my clients?” Well, guess what? You’re gonna have time to serve your clients, and then you’re gonna focus on selling. Because remember that you have five jobs, not 25 jobs, your five pillars of building and expanding your Fempire: speaking, selling, serving, strategy, and self-care. What does that mean? Bookkeeping, graphic design, admin activities, shipping, not your job. And as a result, when you are doing all those things that are not your job, what you’re not doing is you’re not selling.

[00:09:47] And let’s be very clear: the goal is not just to do sales, the goal is to master your selling skills.

[00:09:57] Now, what does sales mastery look like? Sales mastery looks like you confidently inviting people to talk with you about working with you. Sales mastery looks like you not hesitating to reach out to people. It is you confidently, frequently, with momentum, reaching out to invite people to talk with you.

[00:10:24] Sales mastery is your ability to effectively, and with kindness and warmth and empathy and genuine caring, dance through the objections or concerns people are expressing about being a yes to work with you.

[00:10:51] As you know, I’ve been in business many years. I have had thousands, not hundreds, I have had thousands of clients; I don’t know the exact number it’s many. And with that, I have invited, enrolled, sold, 99% of all the clients for the last 28 plus years. I have had people help me with sales, and most of them have been not effective. A couple of them have been very effective, but they take forever to get a sale. They’re good at getting a sale, they just take forever. That doesn’t work. You might have a sales team. You might have a sales force. Great. I have heard many people say “you know, I would like someone else to sell for me.” Good luck with that. Because you are always gonna be the best one to sell you.

[00:11:46] Now, I know that you did not start your business because you wanted to be a salesperson. I know you started your business because you wanted to be a life coach, or you wanted to support people with technology, or you wanted to support people with their image, or you wanted to do branding, or you wanted to do social media. I know that’s why you started your business.

[00:12:06] Until you have a steady stream of clients, it is your job to invite people to be your client.

[00:12:15] Now let’s not forget the influence equation: visibility plus value plus consistency equals influence. The challenge is that many times women are so focused on the visibility, i.e. the social media, and they’re delivering value, but they’re not being consistent with their sales follow-up.

[00:12:38] Do not hide behind your computer in business. What do I mean by that? Yes, do your social media. If you want clients, though, you have to invite people to be your client.

[00:12:51] Now you can have your funnels and you can do all that internet marketing, that’s fine. Most people are not gonna sign up for your big thing without talking to you.

[00:13:03] Talk to people, build relationships. Because remember, we’re not just looking for clients, we’re looking for long-term and lifelong clients, and that’s about relationships.

[00:13:14] Do you know what ladies say to me? They say “you know, I was in that program. I signed up for that, but I don’t think that person even knew my name. I don’t think they knew what my business was.”

[00:13:26] That doesn’t feel good. And when, someone does not feel good about their investment, they’re not gonna keep coming back.

[00:13:35] Now I’m speaking to you as a business mentor that has clients that have been with me for several years. I’ve got clients that have been with me for more than 10 years, more than five years. Most people don’t come in and leave. Because why? They get massive value.

[00:13:58] But also I’d like to believe, and it is my intention, that all my clients feel seen, heard, valued, welcomed, cared for. They know that they matter and they know they have massive value to bring.

[00:14:15] Now, before we continue, I want you to ask yourself that question. Do all of your clients feel seen, heard, welcomed, valued, even appreciated, know that they matter, and that they have massive value to bring by you?

[00:14:34] Because even if you’re delivering them massive value, if they’re not feeling good about their relationship with you and about being seen by you or not seen by you, they’re not gonna stick around. I want you to reflect on this, because I wanna talk to you about sales objections. But guess what? When your clients keep coming back, you don’t have to get as many sales, because your recurring rate continues to go up. That’s what I want for you.

[00:15:05] So let’s put attention on providing outstanding client care, but balancing that with time for sales and you having support in your business. Remember you’re the Beyonce of your business. I don’t know if you’ve heard me say that before. You’re the Beyonce of your business. What does that mean? You’re the talent. You do what the star does. That’s the speaking, the selling, the serving, the strategy, and the self-care.

[00:15:34] Now, eventually I want you to get sales support, someone who’s helping you book appointments, someone who’s confirming your appointments. Now you say “well, Caterina, I have my appointment link.” You can still use your appointment link, but you’re gonna get a lot more people booking appointments when you actually invite people to a conversation with you.

[00:15:55] Test it right now. Go send your link to 20 people and see how many appointments get booked, and send a direct message to 20 people that says “Hey, Sheila, I’d love to talk with you about X, Y, Z. Here’s a couple times, when is good for you?” and see which gets you a better response. Because I guarantee you the personal reach-out will get you a much better response.

[00:16:22] Eventually I want you to have sales support. The sooner, the better. Your sales support person can help you with reach outs. They can help you with inviting people to your workshops. They can help invite people to whatever you’re doing. I love having some sales support and I encourage you to get there. But until then, it’s your job.

[00:16:43] And get support with the other aspects of your business, and start to do a time diary and see where your time is going. Now, I like doing a time diary as much as I like doing a diet diary, which is not much. But guess what? It will help you understand what’s taking your time away from your jobs, speaking, selling, serving, strategy, and self-care.

[00:17:11] Okay, take a deep breath with me. As I mentioned at the top of our time together, I was teaching my Thrive at Sales Accelerator today. One of my clients said “Hey, can we talk about dancing through objections,” which is a term I like to use.

[00:17:27] And I wanna talk with you about that, because I find that many women, they take the first “no” and they run the other way. I remember a long time ago, a lady called me and she wanted to talk to me about her services. And I said to her something like “you know, my calendar’s really full right now. I have a lot going on” blah, blah, blah. And she said, “okay, well, would you like to talk next month?” Now we did talk next month. I did eventually hire her after several reschedules.

[00:17:59] What would’ve been better, though, is if she said “well, tell me a little bit more about what’s going on with you.” And then if she said, “well, can I take a minute to tell you how I can help you with all that?” Did you hear what I just said there?

[00:18:14] Here’s the first super tip I wanna give you about overcoming objections: you ask, if you can ask before you ask. For example, Sheila says to me “Caterina, love you, love your community, love being in your program. I’ve gotten massive value. I’m simply too overwhelmed right now to look at what’s next.”

[00:18:40] Now, before I ask if I can ask before I ask, what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna first find her right. This is where a lot of people make a mistake, because they wanna invalidate wherever somebody is. They wanna say “well, I understand you’re overwhelmed, but you know… blah, blah, blah.” No!

[00:18:57] You wanna say “oh my gosh, Sheila, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re overwhelmed. Well, we can absolutely revisit this later. Before we do though, is it okay if I ask you a question?” Did you hear that? I just asked if I can ask before I’m gonna ask. Sheila’s gonna say “yes, Caterina, go ahead.” I’ll say “Sheila, let me ask you this question. If time was not an issue, if you had all the time in the world, would you want to join me for the XYZ?” whatever program I wanna talk to her about, let’s say the Thrive With Retreats Leader Program. She’s gonna probably say “Caterina, absolutely. If time wasn’t an issue, I would be an insta yes.”

[00:19:42] Now let me say this —super tip alert, super tip alert, super tip alert– there are two objections that people are gonna tell you that they have. They’re gonna tell you they don’t have time. They’re gonna tell you they don’t have money.

[00:19:55] Those are the two objections that people are going to present with. Because here’s what they’re not gonna present with: they’re not gonna say “sweetheart, I don’t know if you have any value for me.” They’re not gonna say “honey, I’m further along than you.” They’re not gonna say “are you kidding me with that price? Who the hell do you think you are?” No, they’re not gonna say that.

[00:20:21] They’re gonna say “I don’t have the time,” or they’re gonna say they don’t have the money. Meaning that their time or money resources are alternatively allocated.

[00:20:33] Now, that is another one that comes up. And when that comes up, I ask if I can ask before I ask, and I say something like “is it okay if I ask you a couple questions about that?” They of course say “sure.” And then I ask them what they’re covering, and I ask them when they’re done. And the reason why is because I don’t want to coach or consult or support someone who’s in three other programs.

[00:21:05] Sometimes if they’re in one other thing, that’s specific for something, that’s fine. But you don’t want your clients, if you’re a coach, you don’t wanna have your clients to have five coaches. Now they might have a wellness coach and they might have a relationship coach and they might have a business coach. That’s fine, but you don’t wanna have three business coaches or three business consultants, because then they don’t know who to listen to, and it can be a lot of stress for them.

[00:21:31] So I’m gonna ask “well, when are you complete with that?” If somebody says to me “I’m done with that in six months,” you know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna build influence with them for those six months. I’m also gonna invite them to my next thing, whatever it is, my free workshop that I do once or twice a month to build more influence. I’m also gonna talk to them about what’s happening in six months because for the most part, I always know what’s happening in six months because I plan far in advance. And by the way, this is another super tip for sales.

[00:22:13] I often hear people say, “Well, you know, Caterina I’ve done so many workshops I’ve done so many seminars.” And let’s be very clear. There is something that I like to call the “myth of the seminar.” Because it doesn’t give you mastery. It only gives you education. And this is important.

[00:22:39] By the way right now I am overcoming an objection to somebody signing up for my workshop or my group program because when they start to say to me, “Well Caterina I’ve done so many sales seminars already.” I say, “Yes, that is wonderful. Here’s what you didn’t get. When you do a seminar, you simply get in education and insight. You don’t get ongoing support and ongoing guidance and a structure that keeps you focused and moving and creates accountability and gives you encouragement. And the best part, community.” See all that is me overcoming that objection of they’ve already done so much.

[00:23:26] I recently got a new client – an insta client. If you’ve listened to some of our other episodes, you know that there’s four kinds of clients from my perspective, and one of them is the Insta client. And here’s often what you’ll hear when people are talking with you, you’re having a sales conversation.

[00:23:45] They’ll give you a list of all the big investments they’ve recently made and of course, I got this one. I spent $15,000 on this, and I spent $12,000 on this, and I spent $10,000 on this. Well, you know what that tells me, My friend? That tells me that this person has resources.

[00:24:03] Now, even though they’re telling me all this maybe thinking that I’m gonna be thinking, “Well, they must not have any left.” that’s not what I’m thinking. I’m thinking they got a lot of resources if they’re able to make those types of investments. And sometimes then what I’ll say is, ” wow, that’s really great, You’re investing in your business.”

[00:24:24] And then I’ll say, “You know, I realize that you’ve made these significant investments and I wanna check in with you and see if money wasn’t a concern or if you had endless resources, would you in fact be an insta yes for this program or this whatever it is?” And if the answer is yes, then all you have to do as an authentic salesperson… and by the way my friend, if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re in sales. I know you may not like to think of yourself as a salesperson. You probably didn’t start your business cuz you wanted to be a salesperson. But guess what? Unless you have a sales team, you are it. Right? We’ve already discussed that.

Because when somebody tells you, “Oh yes, if money was not a consideration, I would definitely be working with you,” that’s great because all you have to do now is work out how they can pay for it.

[00:25:26] And another potential client the other day who did become a client in the same call, not an insta client, this was probably our third or fourth sales conversation. She said to me, “Caterina I’ve done this and I’ve done that and I’ve done the other thing and I would love to start to work with you next year.”

Okay well everybody guess what? That is really nice to hear But you know what? Wouldn’t you rather that they start to work with you today? And so I said to her, “my friend you know I’m blissing because anytime you’re ready I would love to work with you May I make you an irresistible invitation to get started right away?”

[00:26:10] Now everybody wants to hear what it is. And guess what? In fact, let me tell you something. I say it all the time, something like this. “Would you like to hear my irresistible, irresistible, irresistible invitation to get started today?” Even though they just told me no. They always say yes because they’re curious to hear what’s the irresistible invitation.

[00:26:33] And guess what? I made her the irresistible invitation. And she was insta-yes even though she had just been a no. Now we made the deposit smaller. We gave her, some months to pay for the investment.

[00:26:48] Let me tell you something- if it’s just about the money you can work through that.

[00:26:53] But the thing is also what I want you to recognize is people are gonna say they don’t have the time or they don’t have the money. That’s the objections that people will tell you.

[00:27:04] What I want you to hear is that often means that they’re just not there yet. They need to get used to the idea. Or you need to build more influence. Which is why continuing to dance through the objections, never take the first no. Hope you remember that. You ask a question, you dance.

[00:27:23] I said to another person I was talking to recently, I said to her, when we got to this part where she said, “Not now.”

[00:27:30] I said, “Hey, that’s totally fine. I’m here to support you. Whatever works for you. And let me ask you this question. If you were ready. Is this what you’re looking for?”

[00:27:40] She said, “Oh yes, this looks really great.”

[00:27:41] “Okay, great. If this is what you’re looking for, let me know what results would you want if you were a yes? Not necessarily today, but when you would move forward with me, what results would you want?”

[00:27:57] And then she told me what results she wanted, and guess what? Totally matches what we do, the results that other clients have gotten.

[00:28:05] So then when I can tell her, when she says, “Well, I’d really like to significantly grow my sales.” And I can say, “Well, guess what this client grew her sales 183% over last year. Another client is in a new business after taking this class several times, and she’s one of the top new people in that company for sales.”

[00:28:31] Okay. Are you following me? If you know exactly what they want, then you can speak exactly to those particular results that they’re looking for. Bing, bing. But you can only do that when you continue to dance after they’ve already said no or not now, or something like that.

[00:28:54] I hope you’re blissing as you listen to this, and I hope you listen to it five times because the way to master dancing through objections is to dance through objections.

[00:29:05] Caterina Rando: Okay, my friend, I know this has been an info-packed episode here on the Expand Your Fempire Podcast. I do wanna strongly encourage you to listen to it again. I wanna encourage you to take notes. I wanna encourage you to take out in here what you feel would be good for you.

[00:29:25] And you’re gonna wanna come back next time for part two because this topic is so important. My friend, as you know, if you can’t sell, you can’t serve. And the more you get to serve the more lives you get to uplift.  

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Expand Your Fempire with Caterina Rando.

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