"I charge $X,000."
"Oh. I had a feeling."
"Uh, is that a good thing or a bad thing?"
"Well, before I go into calls like this, I try to imagine what I would be willing to pay, just to prepare myself before I hear the offer."
"Well I guess I'll take that as a good thing..."
It's day 36 of my 100 days to a $10k month challenge, and an important milestone:
It's my first official "sales call" with a "prospect" to pitch my "product."
(The "lead" is a "referral," by the way.)
So as you can probably tell from all my fancy deluxe business lingo,
I've been studying sales!
A process which, in today's online climate, might look something like this:
- find someone somewhere that looks like they would buy what I have to offer
- suggest we schedule a call
- have the call
- take prospect on a journey through their emotions as they discuss their pain points
- smoothly inject my offer into the conversation: the solution to their problems, a dream outcome too incredible to pass up
- keep quiet after telling them the price
- close the sale–collect payment ASAP!
Forever, this has been the entrepreneurial task I've run and hid from: the last thing I ever want to do is treat another human being as a source of money. (Been there, done that.)
But you gotta do what you gotta do to feed your kids, right?
Yes? No? Maybe it's more nuanced than that.
So after some soul searching, I came to a realization:
Society teaches us to try to control situations.
Yet my intuition has always encouraged the opposite. Controlling never really works out for me.
Not long ago, it dawned on me that I'll never be able to escape sales calls on this path to creator sovereignty of mine... but I can still remain pure about it.
I Choose... Business Ethics
That laughable 7-step process above is basically the extent of my sales call research, because at a certain point I started getting really fed up with what seemed to me to be general premise of a sales call: a mission to treat another human being as someone with something we want.
Understanding human psychology to capitalize on the natural chemistry of our brains to sell something...
At first, it felt ethically dubious to consciously play on another's emotions to achieve my own goal.
But I didn't study hard enough.
Soon I was recognizing that it's just an important detail to a bigger picture.
Walking to the co-working space in the brisk Argentine air, a Hormozi podcast finally offered me the missing piece:
But how persistent would you to get yourself to go and buy it, because of the dream outcome it would produce?
That's how much you need to believe in your product.
Back to the drawing board:
Do I believe in my product that strongly?
Well yes, actually.
Sigh of relief.
The next step seemed obvious. I just continued to repeat to myself a mantra:
"they want this, they need this,
and they will be grateful that made them aware of its existence."
I started to see things in a new light. It dissolved most of the fear I'd always felt surrounding the concept of selling something.
And you'll never guess what happened next
So on the same day that this important truth hammered home—
I won't do it for your money;
I WANT TO WORK WITH YOU
—a friend refers someone to talk to me about getting their brand business started.
Hmm! The universe is at play, again...
Neither of us has any idea what to expect, almost like a blind date in the solopreneur space... so I decide that I would treat this as my first sales call.
I spend some time looking at her social content and then come up with a "script" that feels good:
- Ask questions--where are you from, what's your life like, etc.
- Start probing into their process and problems.
3. Decide if I would even want to work with this person.
4. Gauge the specifics: are they a good fit?
(Why? Listening! It's simple respect for others, as far as I'm concerned.)
Finally, if they are indeed a fit so far:
- Introduce and share so much good stuff about the offer that they ask how much it costs.
6. Say the price. Don't defend it. Let it sink into the proceeding silence.
Suddenly, we're reflecting on our experience of this sales call together!
Once the call is nearly over, she wants to thank me for being respectful through this whole thing.
She appreciates that I wasn't shoving my offer at her, trying to manipulate her emotions into buying it, and pressuring her with scarcity, time limits, etc.
(All the stuff you're supposed to do. All the stuff which has repelled her from several other similar offers that she's been pitched in the past few weeks.)
She quite appreciates my whole approach, as a matter of fact.
This is the utmost validation for me.
(Not to mention, thanks to my AI calI recorder, I also get a testimonial for the sales call! ... lol)
You can bet your boots that I post that testimonial to Twitter, too:
So did you make the sale, Jordan?!
This is the part that will probably drive experienced sales people crazy.
There could not have been a more successful sales call, in my book...
But I didn't close it.
She's learned enough about herself to know that making impulsive decisions is not in her best interest.
(I know that lesson, myself.)
So we leave it there for the time being... She's inspired, I'm inspired, and she'll let me know next week what her decision is.
(Yes, I ask if I should follow-up with her and she says the same thing I would say: if you follow up with me it might make me resistant... so it's best if you let me contact you.)
I'm sure experienced salespeople (or pick-up artists) reading this are shaking their head right now.
But truth be told, I still feel really good about it.
I feel fulfilled that I was able to connect with another human and offer something I truly believe in as just another day in the life, and continue on with my day afterwards.
But it doesn't end there
So after tweeting that mini reflection on the experience, this comment comes in:
He basically sums it up here, which simplifies the whole thing:
If we can't help them, then we don't try to sell to them.
Simple as that.
The purpose is to provide a service. Not rip someone off.
We host a Space about the ethics/philosophy of sales and really dig in some more. This guy knows his shit. (this is why I love X, btw)
It turns out, how I ended up doing the call is exactly how you're supposed to do it:
I just hadn't done enough homework. (Or I was learning from the wrong sources.)
The next day...
By now I'm working on a YouTube video on this whole subject, because I'm finding the shift in perception quite astounding.
All it takes is a little thought experimentation and experience, and suddenly the world has opened up to me.
Sales are a good thing!
(or rather, they don't have to be the mark of late-stage capitalist desperation)
Not only that, but mid-afternoon I get a notification...
She publicly announced my first sale, without even a DM to me! Ha.
And I have to agree with her... this is also the business I want to create.
I want win-wins everywhere
based on true desire and a feeling of alignment.
Officially 1/1 on my sales calls.
What this teaches me
In conclusion, I'd like to just observe the following things:
- Sales should encourage empathy.
- Breaking out of a comfort zone can be healing.
- Learning new skills can shed light on unseen perspectives.
- Remaining strong in my integrity didn't f*ck anything up!
- I should probably try to schedule more sales calls.
Thanks for tuning in, fam!
There will finally be some video content again next week, I've been smashed busy working on this ayahuasca podcast episode... it has been a huge endeavor.