The Secret Sauce of Sales. It’s Not Selling.

This post was written by Denise Hedges and has been reprinted with permission.

Denise Hedges is a passionate speaker and results-oriented Personal and Business Coach. Denise specializes in working with busy professional women and small business owners who want to be more successful and fulfilled in their careers, while having more time, balance, and joy in their personal lives. Denise has helped hundreds of women, nationally and internationally, create the lives they want through keynote presentations and customized workshops, as well as individual and group coaching.

I’m good at “sales.”

salesKnow why? Because I don’t do any selling.

You know the other reason I’m good at sales? I don’t care whether someone says yes or no.


Look, I do my best to understand what the prospective client wants and needs. I tell them what I think I can do for them and what results and benefits they can expect to get from working with me.

I address any concerns they have, and then it’s up to them. Yes or no. I’m not attached.

Do I want people to work with me? Of course. Am I sad sometimes when someone I really like and thought I could help says, “No thanks?” Sure. But I’ve learned something.

My job isn’t to persuade anyone to do anything. My job is to facilitate a process … of helping people get where they want to go. If I can be a part of that process as it moves forward, great. If not, fine. Either way, as long as I’ve done my job well, it’s all good.

And that’s why I’m good at sales. I take my needs and wishes out of the equation. Kind of ironic, isn’t it, given that most people think successful selling involves imposing the force of your personality and convincing arguments or slick tricks on the other person in order to squeeze out the result you want?

Hey, it’s not like I’m some Zen master or some selfless, saint who doesn’t want what’s best for me.

It just became clear to me that my being unattached worked better for everybody … me and the prospective client. In fact, it was an essential factor to my being successful as both a coach and someone trying to fill a practice.

It allowed me to be there for them completely, even when it meant saying, “You don’t need coaching … at least not right now. What you need is _____.” That’s what a coach or any service professional does. Our job is to be there for people at all times, including during the “sales” process. It’s not about us and what we’d like to see happen or what we need.

Here’s what else makes you good at sales.

You listen for their concerns … and acknowledge them. There’s a tendency when you want people to hire you to try to “overcome their objections.” No.

Listen, acknowledge the concern, and then, if it’s not something that should be holding them back, address it straight up. I was speaking with a woman recently who was concerned that my business building system might not work for her. We did two things. We looked at her mindset around selling and how it might be stopping her, and I also spoke plainly to her as an expert. I know what works and told her so.

Did I say that to win the business … to persuade her? No, I said it because it’s the truth and what she needed to hear.

Two more things that makes you good at sales …

You get at what’s really there for the would-be client. You probe to find out what’s truly bothering them and holding them back. Not from doing business with you. That’s secondary. What’s holding them back from going after what they want?

You have to uncover the hidden issues and allow them to give voice to their unspoken thoughts and feelings.

And you have to say what’s there to be said, even at the risk of sometimes offending or losing business. If you think it’s in their best interests, you have to speak boldly and directly.

Wow. Not what you thought made you good at sales, is it? But it is … and best of all, you never have to become someone other than a caring professional to make it work.

Be unattached. Listen. Acknowledge concerns. Listen some more and get to the heart of the matter. Say what needs to be said and confidently offer your services if appropriate.

Can you do these things? Sure you can.

That makes you a potential sales magnet … whether you know it or not.

All opinions, advice, and experiences of guest bloggers/columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, practices or experiences of Solo Practice University®.

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2 comments on “The Secret Sauce of Sales. It’s Not Selling.

  • This is so self-affirming. I really don’t like having to be a “salesman” so I don’t act like one. It’s not in my nature and that’s okay because by simply being helpful and sincere I’ve found success. So far so good!

    • Erik, I’m of the same mindset. When you look to help someone resolve their problems there is no need for gimmickry. If the client determines that in order to solve their problem they need to hire you, then a retainer is signed. It’s that simple. However, there are certain skill sets to overcome those silent inhibitors to help the potential client open up enough to establish a meaningful rapport. So, having good people skills, being an effective communicator, and a good listener all come into play.

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