Non-Sleazy Sales: Accelerate Your Business Growth with Diane Helbig
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Non-Sleazy Sales: Accelerate Your Business Growth with Diane Helbig

 

From the Accelerate Your Business Growth Shownotes:

Annie P. Ruggles joins me for a dynamic conversation where she shares her hulk-like disdain for hard sales, tacky self promotion, and overly competitive sleazeballs in order to break the misconception that the art of selling and the art of manipulation are one and the same.

Annie P Ruggles is the Founder and Dean of The Non-Sleazy Sales Academy, where she’s guided hundreds of people toward making deeper connections, lasting impressions, and friendlier, more lucractive transactions and conversions.

Her crowning achievement is her ability to help coaches, healers, and other helpers sell their services without feeling slimy, queasy, or untrue to their ethics.

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT:

Announcer
Welcome to Accelerate Your Business Growth with your host Diane Helbig. Diane is a leading small business development and leadership coach, author and speaker who is passionate about sharing valuable ideas, tips and techniques with business professionals worldwide. Diane brings you the world's experts and gurus and all things business, whether it's sales structure, social media, planning, or plateauing. Guests bring their expertise and energy to each episode, when growing your business is your focus. Accelerate Your Business Growth is the show to listen to. Got a topic or guest suggestion? Let Diane know. The goal is to make sure you have the information you need to move your business forward. Thanks for joining us. Settle in and enjoy.

Diane Helbig
Hey, everybody, thanks so much for joining me. Today's podcast is sponsored by Audible.com. We are offering you a free trial, you can go to Audibletrial.com/businessgrowth to sign up for that trial, and then check it out, look around, check out the audiobooks but check out the other content as well. The Accelerate Your Business Growth podcast continues to enjoy inclusion on list of the best podcasts to listen to. And I think that is just a huge privilege and honor and I am also aware that it's because of the guests. These are folks who have expertise in particular areas of business. They join me for a conversation where they share their expertise with all of you. Today is no exception. My guest today is Annie P. Ruggles, and she is the founder and Dean of The Non-Sleazy Sales Academy, where she's guided hundreds of people toward making deeper connections, lasting impressions, and friendlier, more lucrative transactions and conversations. Her crowning achievement is her ability to help coaches, healers and other helpers sell their services without feeling slimy, queasy or untrue to their ethics. Welcome to the podcast. Annie.

Annie P. Ruggles
Thank you so much, Diane, I'm delighted to be here.

Diane Helbig
Well, I am delighted to have you here because I think you and I are, you know, probably sisters from another mister...

Annie P. Ruggles
I have such a book crush on your book. I mean, I have a crush on you, don't feel left out. But I do have a major book crush.

Diane Helbig
It's like, you must think it was just you speaking!

Annie P. Ruggles
Well, yeah, it's like, oh, but it's the exciting kind, right? It could go one of two ways. It's like, ah, she wrote my book. Like, ohhhhh, I'm not the only person out here trying to tell people that selling isn't nasty until you make it nasty. Okay. Awesome. I'm not alone in this. And that's generally the route I take.

Diane Helbig
Yeah, Yeah, me too. And that's part of the reason why I wanted to have you here, like, Oh my gosh, like another voice talking about this just just helps people hear it, and embrace it. And then it's all good.

Annie P. Ruggles
And that's what we desperately need. We need to de-stigmatize sales and the act and art of selling and without that, we're going to continue to watch more major corporations disguises small businesses killing small businesses, and we're going to watch more heart centered, you know, values driven, "I just want to help people" people fade away into a landscape where they can't hack it, or think that they can't, because their definition of selling is not true. Right?

Diane Helbig
All right. Okay, so so I want to dive into this, because so many of the, you know, small business owners out there, and I think especially the the heart-centered ones, avoid sales like the plague. And right, it's like, there's no way I'm going to do that. Okay. Will you talk about what that "Sales Avoidance" is? And how you would suggest that they get over that? Yes.

Annie P. Ruggles
So the "Sales Avoidance" shows up in one of two really key ways. The first one is keeping yourself in a hamster wheel of over-marketing and never actually asking. So I'm putting out social posts every day, I'm showing up, I'm talking about my stuff. I'm trying to get more visible, I'm trying to use social proof. But I'm never actually saying, "Hey, here's how you buy, here's where you buy, here's why you should buy and here's the price in order to buy." That's the first form of "Sales Avoidance" is just straight up avoidance. The one that I see just as often as that, if not more, is when people are laying all of this gorgeous relationship building foundation with someone. And then when it comes time for them to receive in exchange for all that they have given, they almost actively self sabotage, and shoot themselves in the foot in myriad ways in totally changing who they are, and employing a tactic that is not in keeping with their values or ethics. In you know, talking themselves out of the sale. I've heard that so many times, Diane, I'm sure you have too. But I've listened to hundreds and hundreds of calls, where people literally will basically tell their clients not to hire them. What?! I'm all for not having clients that are not the right clients. For you. That's one of the main tenants of not knowing is like if someone's not a client for me, I'm not going to take that money. That is not what I'm talking about. I am talking about when you have an incredible rapport, when someone has their wallet in hand, and then the seller decides to bring their anxiety, their bad feeling their lack of confidence, their Imposter Syndrome, or any other combination of that casserole of nasty emotions onto the sales call where it has no place to be. And then the client who four seconds ago was so totally ready for the transformation that they're about to undergo that now they have second thoughts now they have new objections. Now they need time to think it over because this seller convinced them that may be this was not their best interest. What?!

Diane Helbig
Okay, so I'm so glad you brought that up. That feels like it's a it's an unconscious thing that they're doing. Is that fair?

Annie P. Ruggles
Absolutely. Absolutely. And I want to be extremely clear, although I'm going to be like picking on people in this segment. And saying some stuff for dramatic effect, like number one. The reason I know so much about Sales Avoidance is I had to stamp it out of myself. Number one, so all of these sins, all of these misdemeanors, all of these crimes of selling, I have committed them all. right? Absofreakinglutely. And if you had told me at the time in my business, "Annie, you're sabotaging your success. You're not including yourself, you're gonna burn yourself out." I would have fought you tooth and nail, I would have said "what are you even talking about? I am working so hard. I feel like I sell every day." It was so subconscious that I would have been offended. But when I actually looked at why the success was not happening, not only for me, but for my clients. That was even clearer. I had these people I was working in marketing and branding. I had these incredible talented, driven people coming to me, we were laying out red carpet marketing, gorgeous cutting edge marketing, and and launches seemingly fell on deaf ears and I thought what the heck is going on here? And what I realized was, marketing is not the same thing as selling. And if you avoid the sale, you shoot your marketing in the foot.

Diane Helbig
Right like you shouldn't even bother doing marketing if you're not gonna have sales attached to it.

Annie P. Ruggles
Exactly. It's extremely expensive - yeah - in all currencies. It's time consuming. It's energetically draining. It causes it. I mean, you have to summon up willpower to put yourself out there in that way. And it's expensive. Yeah, like you're draining yourself in myriad ways. If you're not going that final mile, that's what I literally acquainted to with my clients all the time is, if you trained for a marathon for years, years, and then you got within one mile of the finish line, and thought, "you know, this is good enough for me, I'm going to call it quits and go get a brunch." That is the exact same thing that you do when you market with so much intention when you put yourself out there with such ardent desire to help people, but then don't actually ask if they are willing for you to help them.

Diane Helbig
Wow, this is it's so true. Oh, my gosh. Okay. So let's talk about asking for money in a way that feels good. Awesome. Okay. So

Annie P. Ruggles
I'm like, awesome. Yeah, I guess let's do it all day.

Diane Helbig
Go for it. Give us some ideas, because people are thinking that like, "okay, I hear you but it still feels uncomfortable."

Annie P. Ruggles
Okay. So this is going to be and I say this on like, shows all the time, because I am a very effusively loud, introvert. I am an introvert, but I am a loud one. And so I understand the irony of what I'm about to encourage people to do. But the first and best advice I can give you on a sales call, when you're naming a price, is after you say the price, there's a very important two part process, say the price, ask a question about how the price lands on the person you're talking to. And then here's the most critical kicker, Diane, people are gonna want to write this down, SHUT UP. Hush your beautiful, brilliant mouths. Shut up. Because when I listened to all those sales calls, the number one point where insecurity and imposter syndrome and anxiety, and all the stuff that I mentioned, comes in the place that shows up with aplomb. It's like magnetized to you saying the price, right? And so what happens is, I hear this all the time. "Okay, so the price for that is $2300. You know, but $2300 is a lot of money. And I understand that we're in a global recession and and then I don't even know, recession. I mean, we're in a, what's the word, the, you know, the pandemic, we're in a pandemic, and, and you're a really nice person and you're the referral of a referral. And I have a friends and family program. So you know what, you know what, you know what, okay, hold on, I misspoke. It's not $2300 I have a payment program, or a payment plan. And by the time that I factor in your friends and family discount, any referral fee, and the fact that you found me on Instagram, okay, hold on. How about $300? Is that work for you?" What? Don't do that say The Price Is $200 or The Price Is $2,300? How does that land on you? Or it's $2300? Is that about what you were planning to invest? Or any other question that puts it back on them and then shush up and let them think. You cannot make a decision when someone is squawking at you.

Diane Helbig
I love that. I so appreciate it. And I think people need to realize that when they go through that whole thing, what they're really doing is saying to the prospect "what I'm offering you isn't worth even $300."

Annie P. Ruggles
Right! and and all that clients that you had up to that point like "okay, guess you were putting up some bravado babe, if you're not going to commit to your price point." And I am all for accessible pricing. I am a high priestess of the Church of low ticket. I love it. I don't have a problem with high ticket but it's not the only way to sell. So it's not that I'm only an advocate for charging things that are not accessible. That is absolutely untrue. I love a good payment plan and I love a good ladder of services with The graduating price point and all of the other tricks that you can do that are really just designed to help make you accessible. However, the main crime that I see, and when you boil all of this down, it comes down to the fact that we are selling from our own wallets. And our own wallets are not a good indicator of what someone else is willing to pay.

Diane Helbig
Wow, that I've never heard that before.

Annie P. Ruggles
Put in your next book, quote me.

Diane Helbig
You put in your next book.

Annie P. Ruggles
Alright, I will. And I'll talk about and I'll quote you, but know - we do right? Let me put it this way. Yeah, so I am a sales trainer. And right now, I am relying on funnels that I have established and perfected over the last several years. So at this point, although I'm sure that there are blind spots in my business, hiring a sales trainer is not one of my main priorities. So if you asked me right now, if I would pay my own rates for my own training right now, my answer would be no, because I don't have that need. But if you ask me the next time I launch something new. And I'm really concerned about the holes in my business that I don't see if I would pay my own rates for a sales trainer, the answer would be absolutely yes. Because in that aspect, I have a need, right? But when we go to people, and we say things like, "Well, I know it's more expensive than what you were probably thinking" before you even say the price, you're insulting your own price. And so what we want is in avoid a pricing objection, we put down our own pricing, cuz we're assuming that there's going to be a pricing objection there, when they're very well may not be because right out in the middle of the pandemic, in the middle of everything going on in the middle of frickin winter. There are people right now, at whatever minute you are listening to this, I guarantee you that someone is walking in to a store and spending more money than your highest ticket offering on a purse that they will use one time, and they feel great about that transaction. And if they feel great about it, I'm not judging it. Right? If they were sold to well, and they're happy, they want that person to go on their shelf, I'm not judging it. But how dare you judge your own price points before you even say it? And that also goes for the tip that I see all the time where people are like, isn't this so cheap? Were you expecting me to say so much more? I don't like you don't know that it's cheap. Like you don't know that it's cheap for them either. Don't put your budget in your clients mouth, it doesn't belong there.

Diane Helbig
Yeah, that's great. That is great. I want to pull on this a little bit as far as

service providers, pricing effectively. So, you know, really owning the value of what they do. As I was talking to somebody earlier today about, it's not about the amount of time you spend, it's about your expertise. It's about the value that you're bringing. And so, you know, what advice would you give to someone who was trying to identify what their package price should be, or you know, what their price point should be?

Annie P. Ruggles
The internet is literally covered in pricing data. Because if you talk to someone, if you get their marketing spiel, they could tell you they're making every single Okay, hold on. How many of us have seen a Facebook ad this very week, where a coach says, "I made 755 gajillion dollars last Tuesday in one hour," right? We've all seen that. We've all seen that. And all of us are like, "Huh, that smells like a bunch of BS" or we're like, "oh, easy button! Yay!" depending on the day, right? Like they all get us sometimes. But I can't base what I think I should price my competitive product or service for based on what my competitor claims to be earning in a Facebook ad. That's not going to work, right. But what I can do I can go to their networks, I can see who in their client networks. I know, if I have a good relationship with them, I can reach out and say, "Hey, do you mind if I ask what you paid for something?" if you can say specifically it was this or that now that I would only recommend doing if you have a relationship with that person, like they're also your prospect, or your friend or something social. But the other thing is, Who are your competitors, go get in their pipelines, you're not spying on them, use your real name. Don't be shady, we all check up on each other, you may as well be honest about it, but go see what they're charging, and then see if the people in their world are happy with what they paid. When you get a good cross section of that with 23456 competitors, you're gonna start seeing the patterns. And then you ask, is that price point? That's the median of what I'm finding? Is that an appropriate amount to ask of my clients where they are on their learning curve? Ah, because if you haven't heard that you look at is dealing with people that are more advanced than your people than their price points probably going to be higher than yours. Yeah, right. Or is what they're offering is a year long mastermind. That's going to have very, very different pricing than a month to month call-based membership, right. So make sure you're comparing apples to apples here. But all of your competitors pipelines are on the same internet that yours are. Yeah. Go do your homework, Nancy Drew.

Diane Helbig
That is great. Yeah. I Love Nancy Drew..

Annie P. Ruggles
I told you, we're sisters.

Diane Helbig
I know, I'm telling you, I want to take a quick sponsor break, and then we're going to continue. So this podcast is thrilled to be sponsored by Audible.com. And I am certain quite certain that you know that Audible.com has 1000s of audiobook titles that you can choose from, but you might not know about all the other content, like Audible originals, and podcasts, guided meditations and news and you know, in all different genres, and all different interest groups. So, head on over to audibletrial.com/businessgrowth, sign up for the trial, it's a free trial, sign up for it, and then go exploring, check out the content, one of the things I think you might notice is that you can get all of this different audio content on the same place, like it's one of things I love about it, because I don't have to switch platforms to do a guided meditation and then go listen to a book. So take a look, I think you're gonna love it, and probably find more things than even I am aware of. Today, we are speaking with Annie P. Ruggles about how to sell without being sleazy. So, Annie, I'm loving this, I just seriously, I think this is so great. That was great input on you know how to figure out what your pricing should be. I want to shift a little bit to this whole concept of "know, like and trust." We hear it. Hopefully people believe it and grasp it. But I am curious, from your perspective, what is the most important piece of that?

Annie P. Ruggles
"Know, like, trust, be asked to spend money." There has to be a transactional ending. Otherwise, the romance just goes on and on and on and on and on and on forever, until your prospect gets bored, and will leave you for someone more forward.

Diane Helbig
Interesting, right. So they're gonna marry someone. Yeah,

Annie P. Ruggles
they're gonna be, you know what, they'll probably be really sad about it too. Because then when you get actively selling, and this certainly happened with me, people are like, wait, I could have hired you. Oh, yeah. Well, and I think what do you mean, you could have hired me? Oh, I was putting, I was putting marketing out every single day. What do you mean that you could have hired me? Of course you could have hired me. Why do you think I kept talking about that program all the time? Well, did I actually ask you to buy it? No, I told him where the sales page was. Did I actually ask you to go there? Did I give you a place where you could see everything laid bare all about what I provide? Why I provide it, how it's delivered, what quality standards I have, what guarantees I offer what pricing I offer? How I take payment? Have I? Have I said any of that to you? Because if not, then I'm dating you forever. And you're getting sick of it. Yeah. Because that's what "know, like trust" is. "Know, like, trust" is relationship marketing dating. Right. It's your meetcute, you meet them, they meet you, okay, you're aware of each other. They get to know you through that. And they're like, wow, this person is really smart, and savvy, and generous and cool and fun, and whatever you are, right. And then they're like, wow, this person, I'm getting a good impression for them. They're not employing a bunch of sleazy tactics. They're not twisting arms, they're not putting me down. They're not being rude and horrible about my pain points, but they're also addressing them, I really feel like I could trust this person, I really feel like I could open up and partner with this person. Okay, I guess I'll just sit here and continue to absorb their free content until one of us dies. NO!

And honestly, as much as I will joke and scream about it, that final missing piece has killed more small businesses. Yeah, then I can count because we're told, oh, if they know me, and they like me, and they trust me, my business will be successful. Yes, you will have a liked and known brand. If you work hard to be visible. If we work hard to provide content, if you work hard to provide value on various platforms. Awesome. Amazing. But at the end of the day, you have to put yourself out there with a willingness to receive and a system to back that up, or your business will fail.

Diane Helbig
Yeah, it's so I mean, I feel like there's a lot of assuming going on, that a lot of small business owners are not realizing that they're leaving all the activity in the hands of the prospect, instead of guiding that process and guiding that conversation.

Annie P. Ruggles
Yep. Yep. I mean, we've all we've all experienced this in, you know, a sales floor situation where you'll go into I don't know any of the places where, you know, people have different styles toward "I'm going to be the first person to say good morning when they walk in" versus "I'm going to hang back and and wait to see if I'm asked" right? Like all my friends in retail will tell you that different clients require, you know, different brick and mortar sales approaches. And that's totally fine and true. But we've all been the buyer in a room full of "wait and see" salesmen. Yeah. And the second one approaches you you're like, fine, I guess I'm going with you because I'm tired of standing here being ignored, even though every single one of these people had told me Hey, welcome to Best Buy. Okay. Thanks for welcoming me, will one of you please show me where the speakers are? and help me decide which one to buy. If not, I'm just gonna stand here until ultimately I either go up to someone with a bad brand feeling in my mouth and beg them to help me or I'm going to go You know what, I'll go home and I'll order it off Amazon. At least I can read customer reviews. Don't do that with your online business or your brick and mortar. Be proactive in the sale. You don't have to ride them. You don't have to annoy them. You don't have to armed with them. You do have to say, if you have a problem, I will solve it. This is where you go to enlist my help. That's it. Just tell them that just make that one final commitment to cross that finish line. If you don't, you're leaving your client in the lurch.

Diane Helbig
Yeah, and and oh my gosh, I'm so glad that you you just said that because I think people don't realize that, that that I mean I know from personal experience like the impression you get is no okay then I guess you don't want to My business well, I okay, I guess you're not interested in helping you solve a problem. So, okay, I can take a hint.

Annie P. Ruggles
There, right? Or even people that don't take it as a bad thing will then start to test your boundaries. And this happens a lot with my coaches healers and empaths, who I call my ask avoidant do gooders, right? Where people will say, well, so and so has given so much to me, and has never asked a single penny of me. Amazing. I'm just going to keep picking their brain forever. Yeah, this is the best, why would I pay if I don't have to? And they're not thinking in in a mean way. They're not thinking that they're hurting your business, by consuming the content that you're freely giving. They're thinking that they're helping you by commenting on it or sharing it with their friends or every now and then they might send you a referral, kind of, but they like, I think she's selling something I'm not really sure. But anyway, you should follow her on Instagram. That's the referral. Oh, no. Right. That's

Diane Helbig
not a referral. Right? Not a referra. Yep. And really, you know, the impression that the business owner is giving is, this is this is what I do. I give it away. Right. You don't have to buy it from me. Right? Yeah.

Annie P. Ruggles
and generosity within boundaries is gorgeous. generosity within boundaries is truly a virtue, but generosity with no boundaries. As a small business owner, I call that martyrdom by marketing.

Diane Helbig
Yeah. Right. Right. And then you're really, when you think you're serving, you're really not. Yeah.

Annie P. Ruggles
And you're leaving the prospect out with their hand out? Well, you know, that there are people in your industry, regardless of your industry, or what you offer, you know, you know, that some people in your competitors that do not care about that client will not treat that client, the way that you would treat that client is not as invested in their success as you would be is not as honest, open approachable as you would be within boundary. Right? You know, that you if you're listening to me blather at you at all? It's because you believe that you are a good person and you're trying to be a good person in business, you know, that your ethics, values, morals, style, and level for caring is greater than other people in your market. Why would you throw your prospects to the wolves instead of just asking them to choose you in a more formal way?

Diane Helbig
Ah, good. That's a great way of looking at it. Hmm. Okay, so what do you say to someone who says to you okay, but selling is manipulative?

Annie P. Ruggles
Yeah, it is. It totally 100% is because if you look up the definition of a manipulation, it means to lead someone to feel or act in a specific way. Diane, what is one of your favorite movies?

Diane Helbig
Oh, Steel Magnolias.

Annie P. Ruggles
Steel Magnolias. Oh! drink your juice, Shelby. Okay. So, when you're watching Steel Magnolias and Ouizer is making you laugh. And Sally Field is making you cry. Yeah. Are those actresses those brilliant Shirley MacLaine and Sally Field actresses? Are they not manipulating the daylights out of you in that moment? I guess the point of the movie at that moment to make you feel something, yes. Therefore, that movie is manipulating you. 100% just totally true. But here's where we get stuck. Sleazy selling manipulates the buyer or prospect to buy whatever the seller wants, regardless of what the buyer needs. That is not only a manipulation, that's the budding you know, joy of a con, or selling under duress. Okay. Yeah. But if I need in order for you to make a decision for your best interest based on a problem that you want to solve or a need that you have, whether your need is I want a new pink blouse, or I need to leave my husband, whatever that need is. Whatever, whatever that need is. Oh my gosh, I lost my train of thought on that picture. Sorry, guys. When selling husbands, what am I going to know? But the if I'm if I'm helping them get over the hurdle of resistance, if I'm helping them get started, if I'm helping them cross the starting line, then Am I manipulating them? Yes, I am. But I'm I'm manipulating them against their own will, because it is giving me a thrill. No, absolutely not. But if you're selling someone, something and you're helping them see the truth of the situation, the truth of themselves in this situation, then you're not doing any more manipulating than Sally Field is. And actually, you're doing even less because Sally Field is playing a character, and you're telling the truth.

Diane Helbig
Right. Okay, so So really, the feeling that I have is that there's a negative connotation around the world word manipulating. And so there's negative, bad manipulation, and there's positive, good manipulation. And you just have to be in the right, headspace. Right, you have to not be trying to get one over on someone, get them something they don't need, or want.

Annie P. Ruggles
Make yourself a solemn vow in whatever way that means you. But make yourself a solemn vow that you will never sell someone something that they do not want or need. And if you make that solemn vow, and if you take it seriously, and if every time you walk into a selling situation, whether that's a networking event, a sales call, speaking gig, a podcast interview, whatever it is, if you say I am here, to provide value and receive compensation, if it is a good fit, then you're not going to hurt anybody.

Diane Helbig
Right? Right, right, because your mindset

Annie P. Ruggles
is inflicted, when you sell someone, something that is not right for them. Make yourself the one promise that you won't do that. And you will have a blameless selling style, you will be above reproach. And you will also set yourself up for better customer service issues. Because you're not going to have a whole lot of buyer's remorse, you're gonna have some that are always people, they're going to have a little freakout or sticker shock or a you know, an expense comes up and they can't afford something anymore. Life happens, right? But you're gonna have so many fewer customer service disasters, when you're only selling to people that are that right mutual fit when you're only selling in a way that's a true win-win. And most people wouldn't dream of doing anything else anyway. So the majority of people that are promising themselves that they will only ever sell what someone wants or needs. They're probably already only selling whatever they wants or needs. But they're giving themselves the permission slip to go ahead and sell.

Diane Helbig
Right. Right. Right. That's exactly it. And I think that that when they make that promise to themselves, and they realize that that probably is what they're already doing. That's empowering, right, because liberating. That's what I always say to people. Listen, what I'm about to tell you is liberating. You're going to love this, because I'm going to tell you not to do all the stuff that makes you uncomfortable. Yeah. Right. Because Because that's the sleazy part we are not gonna do.

Annie P. Ruggles
Absolutely. The arm twist is the sleaze. Yeah. Yeah. We think it's we think it's the pain. Talking about the pain. It's not the pain is a necessary part of it. We buy things to solve problems. It's how we treat people in relation to their own pain in the form of the arm twist. That makes it sleazy.

Diane Helbig
Right, right. Yep. Yep. Well, yeah. And of course, you know, you're preaching to the choir bear with me, because I totally am on board with this.

Annie P. Ruggles
Because you literally wrote the book on this?

Diane Helbig
You're right. I did. Because this is, you know, I was in sales. I mean, sales sales, right. I was someone who had to, and I fought it tooth and nail at the beginning. I didn't want to be a salesperson. And then I realized, Okay, wait a minute. I don't have to be like that. I can be over here problem solving with people. I can be honest with them. I can, you know, set it at the outset that I'm not gonna try and sell you anything. Let's have a conversation.

Annie P. Ruggles
And let's have a conversation. Right? My version of that I tell clients at the beginning of my calls, "this will become a sales conversation if and when we mutually decide that it should." Nice. Right? Right.

Diane Helbig
just I love that. Yeah.

Annie P. Ruggles
It's so liberating for the listener, I have been told by more than one client that they hired me in that moment. That is the first thing I say after I say hi. Because what they're expecting is for me to come in and cram my spiel down their throats, and then force the decision out of them. What I say instead is, listen, I want to get to know you, I want you to get to know me, I got questions about you, you got questions about me? We're gonna answer them. And then this will become a sales conversation, when or if we mutually agree that it should. Then, people go, okay, sign me up right now. Because if you're gonna teach me how to sell like that, that's what I need to know. But to me, I was like, Damn, I was just being honest.

Diane Helbig
People should be writing that down, or listening to this over and over again, because that is gold. It's so great. It's just it's so liberating for everybody. And any, you know, people are listening this going on, I could do that. I could say that. You could do that.

Annie P. Ruggles
Of course, you came from a background in selling, I came from a background in service. I didn't noooooot want to sell at all. And my only my only history with what I thought of as selling at that point, was selling other people's stuff when I had to, like my college jobs when I saw happy hour parties in a bar basement filled with roaches, like that's what I would associate with selling is like, Hey, would you like a free party, and having to make that call, like 600 times a day? Like I, that is what I thought selling was. Because that was me cramming a schpeel down people's throats. And so one of the first things I thought was, what if I never put myself in charge? What if I always make sure that the buyer knows that they are driving? And I am just navigating? What if I could build them up into a position of power at the very beginning of a call? What would happen then? And what happens then is people are real with me about their actual objections. So help them handle them. They don't go to me because they asked me questions or are legitimate about their needs for following up at a later point on the call, because they trust me, I get less resistance, I can handle the resistance that I do get better. I can focus on answering questions about what makes me different, or what makes my programming effective. Because I'm not sitting there, baby bird, barfing up food into my clients. EWW.

Diane Helbig
Yeah. You're not trying to convince them of something.

Annie P. Ruggles
No, I'm trying to listen. Yeah, I'm trying to see if I am the right provider for this person, right? <OVERLAP>, if I'm just gonna sit here and blab the whole time? How am I possibly going to determine whether or not we're a fit when I literally know nothing about you.

Diane Helbig
Exactly, exactly. That that is a big part of the misconception of what selling is supposed to be because so you know, somewhere along the line, people were taught that the minute that with prospect, they're just supposed to start talking and not stop. And if they're eloquent enough, then the other person is going to realize that they just can't live without whatever it is. And the truth is the people, the prospects not listening, because it does it's not tethered to anything that's going on with them.

Annie P. Ruggles
No.

Diane Helbig
So there they have no interest.

Annie P. Ruggles
Yeah, no, why would they?

Diane Helbig
Right, right. Yeah, I don't know. Oh, my gosh. And I obviously I still love this conversation. And I think what you're doing is brilliant. Will you share with the listeners, you know how they can find you the stuff you've got going on, please?

Annie P. Ruggles
Heck yes. So you can find all kinds of gooey goodness on my website, which is anniepruggles.com. And that includes my masterclass, Making Selling Easy Without Getting Sleazy, my free quiz called, "Empath is your special gift killing your business?" Spoiler alert: it's not. all the podcasts I'm on, my own podcast Too Legitimate to Quit. Instantly actionable small business strategies with a pop culture spin. All of that is at anniepruggles.com. But listen, what I want listeners to do more than anything, is next time you're going into a selling situation if you're uncomfortable, I want you to do two things. Number one, pat yourself on the back because it means you care about the prospect. And then number two, what I want you to do is I want you to send me a DM on either LinkedIn or Instagram, LinkedIn, I'm under my name, just search for me, you will find me shoot me a DM I will not tell the LinkedIn gods that I don't know you or whatever the threat is on that. And on Instagram, I'm @anniepreneur which is a n n i e p r e n e u r. Do not go into another sales conversation without a little bonus or boost if you need one. The easiest way to get one is just messaged me. If I miss it, I'll get back to you as soon as I can. But I'd be glad to help you in the moment when you need it the most.

Diane Helbig
Wow, that is so great. Thank you for that. That is really and folks you got you know you should be connected to Annie, taking her courses, taking her programs, whatever it is, you will feel so liberated. And you you'll do more business because you'll be asking for it.

Annie P. Ruggles
It's a game changer. A Game Changer learning to ask and learning to love it. It's liberating for you. It's refreshing for the client. That's why I call it Win-Win selling because then you can both walk away. You can say, "heck yeah, I made a non-sleazy sale today." And the client can say "finally, finally I'm getting what I want."

Diane Helbig
Yeah, yeah, it's so true. I'm so grateful. Thank you so much for spending time with me today.

Annie P. Ruggles
It has been a blast, my sister from another mister, my book crush. Thank you for having me.

Diane Helbig
Oh, absolutely. And listeners. Thank you. You are who we're doing this for. And boy, did you get a great episode today? You'll have to listen to it a couple of times because there were some really incredible information in this one. I'd also like to thank our sponsor Audible.com do yourself another favor, head on over to audibletrial.com/businessgrwoth Sign up for the free trial and go exploring. It'll be fun. It'll be educational, you'll find a whole lot of stuff that you didn't even know was available. As always continue to prosper and be curious. And until we meet again at another episode of accelerate your business growth. Goodbye and good day.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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