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Hey, hey! Following the recent live training series on mapping out a Values-Driven Launch, I wanted to dive into creating a Values-Driven Sales Process that will surely be a huge part of this overall strategy!
Inside this episode, I name some of Kelly Diels’ work around the Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand and how so much of what this model promotes is a feminine-washed version of misogyny and what we need to shift into instead.
Inside a Values-Driven Sales Process, we’re intentionally de-conditioning ourselves from a lot of the so-called “best kept” sales & marketing tactics and running them through our values system instead.
The result is a sales process that:
Let’s dive in!
Links mentioned in this episode:
Hello, hello friends and welcome back to the show! I feel like it’s been a whirlwind of a week over here with school getting out already, my oldest turning 7, wrapping up this current enrollment period for this brand new 6 month offer, and diving into a strategy intensive today and tomorrow to prepare for my first round of raising capital for the Money Map App.
All good things, but big things and it’s definitely been a fuller season for a week or so, but business is cyclical like that – tiny little sprints here and there and then vibing back down to a normal pace.
I wanted to start this episode with a framework I’ve found really helpful that will offer some context for our topic for today, especiallly around creating a Values-Driven Sales Process inside your own business.
Now, I hope even mentioning the words “Values-Driven Sales Process” gets you excited to no end for how you want to operate in the world and if so – you’re so my people!
But this is really a process I’ve intentionally curated for myself over the years that has not only allowed selling to feel good for how I want the process to feel, but intentionally designing this process for how I want my potential clients to feel too!
Now, your Values-Driven Sales Process will be unique to you as it should be, but I hope this episode gives you a lot of rich ideas for what this can look like inside your own business!
But first – let’s dive into the antithesis of a Values-Driven Sales Process, which centers the brilliant work of Kelly Diels and the phenomenon she’s labeled FLEB or the female lifestyle empowerment brand that takes up a lot of space in our online industry.
Now, I definitely haven’t dove head first into all of Kelly’s work, but even naming this concept of FLEB is a helpful anchor point for what I want to dive into today because I think a lot of us are struggling under the image we need to convey as business owners in order to be high-vibe (especially being in the right ie. perfect energy in order to sell), for everything to always be wonderful, to always have an answer, to always be positive, and more or less have a constant smile on our face where we’re pretty, we’re pleasant, everything is great, etc.
Does any of that sound like some other toxic systems that create that similar pressure??
Ding, ding, ding my friends – because while this whole Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand is promoting that key word “EMPOWERMENT”, it’s also deeply rooted in misogyny and toxic systems that are actually quite disempowering for those who choose to play by those rules or for those who are unconsciously subscribing to those rules not even realizing the invisible pressure this system is placing on you.
What I know to be true is I’ve spent the past 8 years learning so much around running, growing, and scaling a successful online business and embedded in the very culture we’re all swimming in are a lot of harmful misogynistic practices that we’ve all learned because whether we like it or not, this industry has been born from patriarchal & capitalistic norms that have prioritized efficiency over connection, profit over people, manipulative psychology over empathy, sovereignty, & humanity.
And no matter how much we dress them up with new language and call them different things, the roots are still there until we uproot them.
Now, I’ve had the great privilege of learning from a lot of people who have done their uprooting work and still, regardless of the level of pruning, there are still imprints of those patriarchal and capitalistic lineages within all of us. None of us are free from it, which is why it’s even more important for every single one of us to continue doing our own uprooting.
Now, I will lean on Kelly hear to dive into all the problematic layers and nuance of FLEB, but the piece I wanted to highlight is where this intersects with sales strategy, common sales practices, and even sales beliefs that aren’t serving this industry and are the opposite of what a Values-Driven Sales Process means.
First, a lot of the FLEB model, from my understanding at least, leans on the idea of selling a lifestyle, selling proximity to power/prestige, and selling possibility in the sense of “I’ve been able to do this and so can you” when that’s SO not the whole story.
Every single person in this world has different levels of privilege they’re working with, different amounts of spoons, and most definitely unique obstacles that do not create a level playing field.
The reason these sales tactics work though is because it preys on people’s innermost desires that if they invest money to be “in your energy” they can create results simply through osmosis. Someone else’s success will “rub off” on them, so to speak and who wouldn’t love for that to be possible?
Now the thing is, this isn’t totally far fetched, but it’s definitely not the whole truth.
Being surrounded by positive people who are high-achievers, for instance, will certainly have an impact and influence on how you think & approach things. But it will not absolve you from having to do the actual work, which will require ‘gasp’ a lot more hard work than this FLEB model will let on because if there’s another thing FLEB sells, it’s “easy”.
And oh how we all love to buy easy.
What this whole concept has done over time though has greatly disillusioned the very real realities of all the hardship entrepreneurship contains. So much so that when business is hard, we think we must be doing it wrong or we’re misaligned when in reality – business is simply the hardest thing so many of us will ever do.
I want to be very clear that building a business requires a shit ton of hard work and hard work doesn’t have to mean unsustainable. But it does mean persistent. Whether that persistence is showing up from the inner work side of things or the outward creation of things, or in the most likely scenario – a healthy dose of both.
FLEB tends to dismiss the importance of an intersectional lens. It also dismisses the hard work and nuance that goes into actually getting results. It can also include love-bombing and all kinds of other maladaptive sales tactics that sadly work quite well, but they’re certainly not pushing our culture forward and it’s keeping a lot of female-identifying entrepreneurs sick from the embedded misogyny of contorting themselves for the male gaze disguised as feminine empowerment.
And it’s my firm belief, we’re all getting free from this a little at a time and we’ll always still be getting free from this because all of this is so deeply rooted in our macro-culture and surely our micro-culture of the online space.
So now that we have some context of what we’re NOT doing, I want to shift gears into what I want to invite you into instead!
Creating a Values-Driven Sales Process means you’re intentionally deconditioning yourself from a lot of the so-called “best sales and marketing practices” that have been handed down through program after program regardless of how many times it’s been translated.
We first must start by evaluating what are the so-called best sales & marketing practices we’ve been subscribing to, how do those align with how we want to feel, how do those align with how we want our people to feel, and how do those align with our business values that literally act as our North Star for how we want to show up in the world.
In the last training I did around mapping out a Values-Driven Launch I decided to create this launch lesson email series on the backend, which was a lot of fun to write and also layer in some extra wisdom I’ve gained over the years.
One of the launch lessons we talked about during the live training as well as in the follow up series was all around Values-Driven Sales.
I want you to imagine that a Values-Driven Launch is the larger container in which a values-driven sales process happens. The launch contains the structure and strategy, but your Values-Driven Sales Process will inform the cadence, the language, the content, the pace, the follow-up, the sales call (if you do sales calls) etc.
When we’re developing a Values-Driven Sales Process, I think it’s so wildly helpful to first identify how YOU want to feel and how YOU want to be sold to.
How do you want to feel inside your sales conversations? Do you want to feel graspy and fearful or confident and calm? Do you want to feel hurried and rushed or spacious and unrushed? Do you want to feel pressured with urgency or aligned, called, and clear that this decision is your next right step?
Because your clarity here will likely point you to how you want your people to feel inside the sales process too!
A lot of these answers will also point you to the cadence and pace you want to instill inside your sales process that gives the time and space for these values to truly lead.
I also think of a Values-Driven Sales Process as including consent at every turn, which is a concept I credit to Lisa Kuzman and her trauma-sensitive coaching certification I did a few years ago.
Consent at every turn can be as simple as asking a potential lead if now is a good time to talk about an offer. It can look like including an opt-out option in your sales emails so people don’t have to keep hearing about a potential offer that isn’t the right fit or right time for them. It can look like asking permission to send a sales page link or if they’re ready to talk about investment. It can look like a constant checking in for how they want to engage in the next step in the process.
And not only is this valuable for the sales process as a whole and them having a positive experience with you, but it’s also essential for laying a powerful foundation for a working relationship should they become a client too!
A Values-Driven Sales Process also chooses what generosity looks like inside your sales process. So many of my clients share that it’s such a relief to not have to go back and forth about this when we’re mapping out their sales content. There’s never a question if we’re giving too much away because we don’t follow this how bait and switch tactic where people don’t know how to implement the sales content you just presented.
Instead, we deliver a whole mini-training that people can implement right then and there into their lives and businesses whether they become a client or not. It is not unusual for people who come through trainings with me to say this was by far the BEST free training experience they’ve ever intended. And what’s better is my clients get that same feedback too!
Leaning into generosity is so incredibly freeing for you as a creator, but it’s also so deeply serving for your people too, which really minimizes this sense of transactionality that can so easily show up in the sales process.
We don’t share to get. We share to give knowing that the give is what results in the get for the right person.
Which brings me to identifying who the right person is for your offer to begin with. It’s so wildly helpful to know who your people are and what makes them the right fit. This could be based on values they hold, politics they subscribe to, foundational knowledge they have in place, other things they’ve tried in the past, a certain skill set, etc.
The right fit is only one part of that equation though. The other piece of that is really honoring the right time!
In a Values-Driven Sales Process, our goal is to honor the humanity and agency of the people we are selling to and not only focus on our immediate revenue and sales goals (which of course are important), but also think much bigger picture for when someone could become a client down the road. When we approach sales from this place, we also get to honor the right timing for our people. And I think this is the biggest gift we can give ourselves and those we also serve.
There have been so many times when people have joined me multiple times in the exact same training before they were ready to invest and it wasn’t a financial readiness. It was a timing readiness that is so incredibly important for your people to decide for themselves.
There are two final pieces I want to shed light on in this episode, especially in regards to FLEB and some of the harmful shit I see out there. The first is a sales process is always going to include addressing both the pain points and desires of your people. And wow – I’ve seen this done so wrong and also so well.
A lot of bro-marketers have long talked about stoking people’s pain points in order to reach the sale and I have long disagreed with that. Instead, I’ve really focused on what my clients want and then showing them how we’re going to get there through my framework with the actual steps I’m going to guide them through inside my programs.
Plus, instead of stoking people’s pain points, I’ve normalized them because it is so easy for shame to come into a sales process if you aren’t exceptionally mindful – where we put the blame on the person we’re selling to instead of acknowledging the systems that are very much contributing in the background, which is where I so align with Kelly’s approach here.
This isn’t to absolve personal responsibility of our potential clients because of course that plays a role, but instead of focusing on what they’re NOT doing – I focus on what they need to start doing and the very real systemic issues that are getting in the way. Kelly calls this naming the villain. I call it simply bringing the real things into the room.
All of this has felt like such a connection-driven, rapport-building way to sell that’s joining with my potential client and not making them wrong or bad, but instead saying – there’s nothing abnormal about you. I get it. I’ve experienced similar things too.
One of my 1:1 clients right now is a sales expert and I love hearing the way she talks about sales because it’s a very relationship-based way of selling. But the thing she says is sales is a transference of confidence. And even that thought alone is so powerful to noodle on for what that looks like for you.
How do you transfer confidence for a particular offer for a client? What are the things they need to know? What are the things they need to have clarity on? What do they need to know about YOU that allows them to feel confident in your approach, your style, your values, your support, etc? And how can you leverage your sales content to weave all of those pieces in?
The last thing I want to touch on is the FOMO or maybe what I’d call F-FOMO for the false fear of missing out. And this really about creating real vs. false urgency in your sales process.
There’s some encouraging research out there that shares some people do need real urgency to help them make empowered decisions. This can especially be true for certain neurodivergencies. And also, even with some people benefitting from urgency – we still want to make that urgency real!
Here’s what real urgency looks like:
It looks like sharing the number of spots that are left in a program that are based on the capacity of your offer.
It looks like letting people know the doors are closing soon so you can shift out of sales mode and into delivery.
It looks like creating capacity-based bonuses if that’s a part of your sales strategies. For instance, if you want to offer 1:1 calls to a certain number of people, there are only going to be a certain number of spots available.
It looks like being honest when your sales price will be increasing the next time around if you’re offering something at an introductory price. It also means honoring that and not just using that as a tactic.
It also looks like being honest if you’re not sure if you’ll run something again if you indeed are not sure how all this is going to go.
Real urgency is based on real timelines and real availability. It’s not about creating FOMO to get the sale. It’s about leveraging organic urgency as it shows up naturally in the sales process.
These are just a few of the ways I’ve been curating a Values-Driven Sales process for my own business over the years. And I hope it gives you some rich ideas for how this might look like in yours.
If you’re interested in learning more about FLEB and Kelly’s work, definitely find her links in the show notes. Where I’ll leave you is your sales process is such a powerful container to really think about how your values are showing up and informing your decisions and process.
I believe it’s such good practice to really re-examine the things you’ve been subscribing to because it’s been presented as good practice and interrogate them.
A values-driven anything will always be in evolution! As your values change, so will your process. In each sales cycle I lead in my own business, I consistently check in with how things are feeling and what might need to shift to be in even deeper alignment for how I want to walk through the world. But what I know for sure is so much of the water we’re swimming in especially when it comes to sales & marketing tactics is rooted in toxic, dehumanizing and destabilizing approaches and sales don’t have to be that way.
We get to make the rules and we also get to do our own uprooting that is creating something new to be possible in its place that’s loving the world forward just a little bit better. This is how we create real change!
Until next time friends, here’s to the courage to keep showing up even when clarity is still forming. Trusting, knowing, believing the next right step is always on its way. See you soon!
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