Christy’s eyes were dilated when she reach out to me.
“I have to get more clients or my husband will make me go back to work.”
I could actually feel her desperation through the phone. She couldn’t stomach the thought of going back to an office job but the thought of turning into a Ginsu Knife salesperson felt almost as bad.
“I just don’t want to turn into one of those people who try to sell you things,” she said referencing her mom-friends who were pressuring her to quit coaching and start selling LuLaRoe.
Christy thought she needed a sales coach. She had seen the headlines on Facebook.
Close more clients.
Win more business.
10 customers in 10 days.
The promises of gurus who teach sales to experts all circle around closing business.
I told her, “I think that is BS. I never try to close business and I don’t think you should either.”
What happens when you try to close business is that you get a bunch of clients who you don’t like and who don’t like each other. What I try and do instead is create a community.
“Were you in a sorority,” I asked her (knowing she was because Alpha Kappa was mentioned on her FB page.)
“So do you remember RUSH? Every year you would look for girls who were a good fit for your group. You had to like them and they have to like you. Independently you had to get to know and CHOOSE each other. Why? Because you were building a SISTERHOOD. This community had to be filled with people who chose each other.
I never try to close sales. I try to create a community I’m excited to be a part of — just like you were doing every year at RUSH.
The Community is the Behind the Secret Sale
I sell book coaching services and writing a book is hard. It’s easy to want to quit and to doubt yourself. I help our authors of course, but what if they were in a group of authors whose values and beliefs didn’t align? What if they all had different goals, different genres, different levels of expertise?That would be a pretty crappy community to be a part of.
Now let’s imagine that authors is in a community of writers who face the same challenges and struggles and found a solution to overcame then. You guessed it! Massive success!!!
Because I am not trying to close sales, but instead build a community of rockstars, I never feel like a Boardwalk Pitchman. I am vetting potential community members and they are vetting me and the community. If there is a fit — we will help each other. If there isn’t we can part as friends.
Everyone who is a part of The Author Incubator knows that he or she is surrounded by other WRITERS and FRIENDS who are going to support each other. We’ve built a safe space where we can share our emotions and all the challenges that come with book writing.
I’m picky with my authors for a reason. If they do not share the same goals, views or strategies, they won’t gain any benefit from our program (and also will be a burden to the other writers). I need to be able to have a sound, concrete understanding and support of the book topics my writers choose to write about7. This ensure that I am able to back their passions and ideas, but only builds on the partnership that I foster with each and every author.
When someone launches a new book, I host a red carpet event at the Author Castle to bring everyone together for a lavish event to celebrate the hard work that was put into the book. We foster community. We foster support. And we foster each other. The Author Castle is not only meant to be my place of work, it’s my HOME where I live with my husband and son and our cats. So I don’t want just anyone milling around my house! We created it as an intentional safe space for our community of authors — not clients who are essentially strangers. My author community is just an extension of my family.
If I like an author’s book idea, I put my all into it. It adds an extra layer of trust when I like the HUMAN BEING behind that book and the relationship will go above and beyond. If they were just clients, they would just know I was helping them for my own gain and profit. But if they FEEL that I genuinely love their work and who they are, they will push further every time something stops them from finishing their book. This is turn also helps me continue to run and grow a business of successful authors.
So their books will be better, our lives are better, our work is less burdensome and fatiguing, and we all work as a team. Everybody wins here! I would encourage you as a business owner/entrepreneur to see beyond the initial business layer of a client relationship.
And this is what I told Christy. STOP SELLING! Don’t take those online sales classes. Instead, create a supportive and nurturing community for your clients and embark on a mission to grow that community ONLY with people who are a dead-on perfect mutual fit.
Originally published at medium.com