EPISODE 151: HOW TO SELL LIKE A SALES QUEEN WITH EMILY UTTER
Emily Utter is a business coach and “sales queen” who is helping her clients become a total rockstar at sales, own their power, and raise their rates. We’re gonna chat about how you can get better at selling.
If you’ve been struggling with getting sales, closing during sales calls, feeling overwhelmed when you’re selling, then you’ll definitely want to listen to this episode.
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"The key to preventing objections is having a ridiculous offer that makes sense to people. When someone learns how to deliver an offer in such a way that it is crystal clear about what they're going to get, how it's going to work and why it's a fit, it turns off that instinct in someone to have an objection."
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Topics Discussed In This Episode:
- How she went from sucking at sales to becoming great at selling
- Strategy and sales breakdown of Emily's recent 6-figure launch
- Her sales hacks for online businesses
- The difference between how men and women sell
Resources Discussed In This Episode:
On becoming an entrepreneur and specializing in sales.
In part, the reason why I became an entrepreneur is because I hate being told what to do. My first business was environmental consulting, and I fell into it totally accidentally.
My first client was actually the local government of the Bay area, where I had once been an employee. So I was helping them run environmentally related marketing campaigns. I was working with doing environmental work and then long story short, I ended up letting that company go while I went on this adventure to Argentina.
And then when I came back, I had a job, I got fired from that job... shocker. And then I went back to the environmental consulting. When I had restarted my environmental consulting business, and you've probably had this too, where, and I bet your audience too, everyone and their mother wanted my advice. They wanted my feedback.
So I was getting emails and texts, "can I pick your brain? Can I take you to coffee? Can I take you to dinner?" It was several people a week asking me if I could help them start a consulting business.
At first, I was just saying yes to these invites because I didn't know any better, but it was starting to take up a lot of time until I had this thought. I remember it was sitting in my kitchen in San Francisco where I lived at the time and I was like, God, there's gotta be a way to make money doing this.
I'd never heard of the coaching industry, so I had no idea. I knew who like Tony Robbins was, but that was about it as far as my exposure to this whole world that we're a part of now.
And so I basically put a call up to the universe and I was like, hey, help me find my teacher. There's gotta be somebody who can teach me how to do this. So I ended up getting invited to one of those three day coaching events where they make a big offer at the end, and I bought the program - not without many, many tears and panic attacks and saying yes, and then backing out and then saying, yes again.
I was like a total drama queen, but that's like the super quick version of how I landed here. And at this point, I think I'm very unemployable and I love working with those who are also unemployable so that we can have these amazing lifestyles.
From sucking at sales to becoming amazing at sales.
There's so many different elements to this story, but first and foremost, I had to get sick of where I was at and I felt like I was wasting time. I would literally have days where I would do eight sales calls in a day, nine sales calls in a day, and nobody would say yes. It was insane.
I remember this one day specifically where I was so tired by the end of the day, I called someone the wrong name. It was bad.
There were two things that became really painful for me that I think kind of propelled me forward to get better, which one was when everyone is saying no. It's the worst and my business wasn't making money. I knew I didn't want to go back to having a job, so there was that aspect of it.
But then this other element was really powerful as well, which was, I was getting on the phone with people who I could definitely help. And the fact that they were all saying no was really chipping away at me because I was like, well, I could help them if I could only get them to say yes.
And so there were these two simultaneous pain points of me feeling like a loser, because nobody was saying yes to work with me and obviously I wasn't making money. Then also realizing that my gift was trapped inside of me and I wasn't able to create the difference that I had this whole vision around.
So basically I doubled down and started to analyze what was working and what wasn't working. At this point I've done hundreds of sales calls, but after all of that practice and kind of analyzing what was working, what wasn't working, I took all of what I learned and started developing a different sort of sales methodology that I started to teach my own clients.
So that was kind of the beginning of how it all began. I also felt like as a business coach that I needed to have a grip on sales because my people needed that from me, and I knew that I wouldn't really be able to serve them at the highest level if I didn't master this one skill, which is like a life skill, because when you can sell your programs, it's like, you become so powerful in life, right?
Like I just got this random example of when I ended up getting to sit in first class when I wasn't supposed to, because you just become like a persuasive, powerful, confident person through the process of becoming good at sales.
I saw the transformation that was possible and it's really one of those non-negotiable skills that anyone needs to have. So even if people ultimately ended up hiring a sales person or they end up doing most of their sales over private messenger or something like that, you still need to understand and be able to conceptualize how sales works.
Why being good at sales is a personal development achievement.
To me, I really latched onto the why I'm really passionate about sales. I never wanted to be a sales queen. It's not the sort of thing that I would be like overly proud of as my legacy. But when I look underneath it, that's what I get really excited about, which is that the process of becoming good at sales is really a personal development process. It's a process of tapping deeply into our personal power and into our confidence.
I joke with my clients in Sales Power all the time. I'm like, "I know you think you signed up for a sales program, but you actually signed up for a personal development program, and let me like rip your heart out and help you get through all of your confidence BS and come out this completely different person."
And that's exactly what happens. Obviously the results I have to say, and I genuinely mean this, I know that this can sound like a weird humblebrag, but I'm so sincere when I say this that I still get surprised by the results that people get in using my sales program. I'm like, really? Are you kidding me? We have people doing by far their biggest launches ever, like crazy things happen.
Once I saw that possibility and because all my clients who work with me on sales, they're all doing amazing work in the world, they're not pedaling plastic crap. They're all doing really transformational work.
Once I saw the possibilities, not just for them, but in knowing this ripple effect that they would be helping so many more people through just to ability to get anyone to say yes, that's what jazzes me up. I'm like, yes, all of these people who've been touched by the way that I teach sales are now helping more people who are transforming their lives or businesses or relationships or spirituality or whatever it is.
Her favorite sales hacks for entrepreneurs.
Most sales trainers are out there and they're selling whatever they're selling, and what people talk about often is "how do you handle objections?"
So an objection is anything like, "I don't have the money. I need to speak to my spouse. It's not the right time, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." It's all the excuses people have about why they're saying no to the exact thing that they supposedly say they want.
So here's my favorite hack: fuck handling objections.
I'm all about preventing objections. So what would it be like if you stopped hearing that or very rarely heard that?
The key to preventing objections is having a ridiculous offer that makes sense to people. I work with a lot of people, and I don't mean to bash the spiritual community, but a lot of people in the industry like life coaches, whatever niche they're in, their language can be unclear or a little too flowy or they're making things up on the spot.
But the reality is when someone learns how to deliver an offer in such a way that it is crystal clear about what they're going to get, how it's going to work and why it's a fit, it turns off that instinct in someone to have an objection. Because it's almost like the thing that happens is that the potential client will say, "oh my God, this is exactly what I need." And it's because the offer was so good.
So I cannot stand the sales training that's out there that's all about these like manipulation, psychological tricks, NLP, all these weird ways to almost trick someone into buying. That's not at all what we do.
My stance on it is really, "hey, can you talk about what you do in a way that's super clear that connects the dots for the potential client", which I teach my clients how to connect the dots for people.
But when you lay out your offer like that, it's hard to say no to when you're talking to the right person. So that's my absolute favorite hack around sales is, yeah, there's going to be objections, but what if we could prevent 80% of objections by learning how to deliver a crystal clear offer.
On where the sales process really begins.
I think content is really where it does begin because yet again, that's another place where we can be talking about the things that people normally object to.
Whenever my clients get objections on a sales call, I'm like, go write a post about that, go write a post about how some people get a little bit bypassing, and they're like, oh, I need to meditate on it or whatever. It's like, okay, well go write a post about why that's not the most powerful approach or whatever.
We want to be indoctrinating our audience in our philosophy and the way that we think about things, the way that we approach things, and the great part of that is it's definitely going to repel people and it's great to have them unfollow or unsubscribe, but the people who are picking up what you're putting down are going to come closer and be magnetised.
The best way that sales works is when people are like 99% sold and they get on the phone and it's almost like a formality. So I love content, content marketing is my biggest strategy. When people can get good at doing the same level of articulation that they do on a sales call in their copy, that is magic for sure.
On why she hates cold pitches and cold DM-ing.
I hate cold pitches. And it's funny because people will come into my program and they'll say, "no one's getting back to me or no one's booking a call". And then I'll ask them, "well, how are you trying to get the leads in?" And they'll tell me that they're doing this weird DM cold pitch strategy, which I don't understand why that's still a thing.
Maybe one in a hundred people say yes, I don't know. That's one of the things that drives me crazy is just the whole energy around that is totally wrong to me.
I feel what works amazing and what feels really good is let me just present my things out in the world, and people who are interested can come closer so they can opt into a free thing and then maybe they want to buy something or maybe they just follow me or maybe they buy something low end.
So I do DM people when I think they should be in a program of mine, but it's never cold. For example, if there's someone I know who's a Facebook friend and I know that they're struggling with sales, I will just private message them and say, "hey, I don't know if you notice that I'm launching sales power, but it would be awesome for you to be great to have you."
But it's always super authentic and it's definitely not to just random people. It's to people who I know who for whatever reason I know they have a particular struggle. I also get random intuitive hits, and so I'll reach out to those people.
But it's always true. I'm not messaging my entire Facebook friend community and saying I had an intuitive hit when I'm lying. Like hell no, but for the most part, I feel people should be coming to us, not the other way around.
The relation of being an authority and making sales.
I think authority is huge, but I mean, I'm not like a super well known name. I'm a sales queen, but it's like I'm no Marie Forleo, I'm not known at that level at all.
So we only need to be the authority to our people. We can have our own little corner of the internet that is ours, where we're cozy and people know who we are. Authority is huge because... one of the things I talk about a lot too when I'm talking about sales is how much gets communicated energetically. That could be just felt subconsciously. It can be body language.
Although often we're not seeing each other when we're on a sales call, sometimes people are doing it over Zoom, but so much does get communicated energetically.
I think there is a massive benefit to knowing oneself as the authority of whatever it is because the potential client will automatically feel confident because of your confidence, if you're owning that authoritative role. But I certainly don't think someone needs to be like a household name to really crush the crap out of their sales and I've seen it.
I think it's more about, are they embodying the authority versus do people know who they are? Because that's actually less important than do they know and own, yeah, I'm good at this.
On using sales scripts for our sales calls.
We do offer a sales script in sales power, and the reason why we do that is because what I know. After all the sales training I've done, and after now teaching hundreds of people, a sales structure is absolutely critical.
What I've found is that when I talk to people who come to me and maybe they learn sales somewhere else, or they were just trying to figure it out on their own, they're missing really key elements that have to happen in every single sales conversation in order to be effective.
So I am a big fan of sales scripts, but that said, what I always tell my clients is think of this as a flow, meaning there is a starting place, there is a middle place and there is an end place and the end places where you take the money.
I want them to always follow that framework and follow the order of how to do things. But what I also know is his expression is personality. And so in one of our modules in sales power, it's a recording of me coaching a client on her sales. And my feedback to her was, "hey, you feel really like tight. And I know you, and you're much more fun than this."
And I basically just invited her to share her personality on future sales calls, which she did, and then she ended up doing $45,000 in sales the next month just from bringing her personality.
So yes, really what a script is, is it provides structure. So I am a hundred percent a fan of that, but it's only gonna work when someone brings themselves to it because otherwise it's just this super awkward robotic conversation.
Common sales mistakes and what to avoid in sales.
I would really steer very clear from any sales trainers who are talking about it in any way that's not just about a connected, authentic conversation.
I know that that might sound kind of soft, but that approach works so much better because what I've found, and this is like a kind of an embarrassing part of my story, but as I was kind of understanding sales for myself, there was a period of time where I honestly think that I was not very nice to my potential clients when they were kind of giving me objections or were a no or whatever.
And honestly, there were times when I was even mean to people and I was really trying to push them into joining my program. I was so persuasive at times that some of these people who I was really almost pressuring or convincing to be a yes, they would ultimately end up working with me, some of them, but they never were successful because it wasn't really coming from them.
So I have completely shifted the way that I approach sales because sales is never about getting everybody to say yes at all. It's actually about only the right people saying yes and that they say yes with relative ease.
On whether men sell differently from women.
I think that women, in my experience, they do tend to really like the heart-centered approach that I teach, but our men are very successful. We had just such a fun success story in the last round that was a guy. He came in and he made more in the six weeks with us than he had all of last year in his business, which was totally insane.
I wouldn't be able to say if this is like biological or cultural, I think men feel more comfortable in sales. The women I've worked with, they really appreciate a more intuitive, authentic, connected approach. But the men that we work with, they like that too, because they're drawn to work with me for a reason, and I think they are looking for a way that feels good.
Breaking down her recent 6-figure launch process.
So something that we know about what gets my audience excited to buy for me is experiencing me live. So I got this idea... I was literally like in the shower, had to jump out and voxer myself with the idea because I didn't want to lose it, but it was in the shower.
I was like, what if I could do something that felt like a hybrid between a webinar and a live event, like an in person event. And this was in the time of lockdown, so I also knew that people were going to be home.
So I thought, what if I did a half day live online event and invited people to that and made it this whole experience? So we called it the sales power experience, it was a four hour training.
We did a lot of mindset work in the beginning, I also brought on a bunch of my clients to share their success and that really sealed the deal. It was kind of impossible to not want to buy once people got to see my clients, what they shared. We did some laser coaching live. We did a lot of really cool stuff.
And then what we did on that live event experience was I made the offer and it was an early bird offer and we had a really ridiculous price, 48 hours, and that's actually where we made 50% of our sales was just in the first 48 hours at that lower investment.
And then from there, it was mostly like an email and social media strategy. We did do an encore, like a shorter version of the live event and that converted okay. But really what converted really, really well was the first live event.
And then it was just kind of grabbing the last people via email or social media posts. I get a lot of my sales from organic Facebook content. I've got a pretty big solid audience there that just likes to eat up what I share. So that's really what worked super well for us.
And really though at this point, because I've run this program several times now, one of the things that really sells the program is the social proof. We have so many and we just collected 15 new testimonials.
Obviously we did a million in sales together, it's just becoming really obvious that people should buy it. So that level of social proof that we have too is like a strategy in and of itself because there's so much out there in our industry and so many people have been burned.
I mean, I think we've all made bad investments at this point. I think the fact that we do put such an emphasis on sharing the stories has really worked for us because it allows people to kind of release the doubts they have released the worries they have about getting burned by it, another crappy program that doesn't offer what it promises.
People want to see the stories of 50 people who are all different, who look different, all genders coming together, and it becomes really obvious that someone should buy. So social proof is really great.
On whether Covid-19 has affected her business and marketing strategies, if at all.
I think when COVID first hit and locked down first hit, I think many of us felt insecure and really unsure of what would happen. But that's the glory of having an online business. I actually had my best months.
I started to have my best months when Covid hit, because there was such a need. People wanted to know how to make more money online and I was already teaching how to make money online.
I think for me, part of it has just been a mindset shift where I said to myself, this doesn't really affect me, and it really didn't. Those were my best months of the year.
As far as things that have changed, of course I can't do live events. So we just had our first client retreat online for my mastermind clients, which went really well. Normally we would have done a live event in person at a hotel, that we would have used as a lead generation event for my mastermind actually.
So obviously that didn't happen, but really I was already employing all of the same strategies online. I think really it's been about this mindset shift of what f this is actually good for my business? Because it really has been, and then how can I infuse that same level of confidence for my clients?
Because when we were running sales power, that was pretty early on in locked down and everyone was crushing it. And I think that that mentality, like when we see other people winning, who we know, who we know aren't full of crap, like we know that it's possible for us.
And so that's really the energy that I'm staying in and hanging out in and always infusing in the communities that I work with. I think we need to be sensitive to it and understand that for some people, this has been financially devastating. So I did have some clients who had in-person businesses and we did have to kind of shift what they were doing and how they were making money.
But overall, my clients are rocking it, they're having their best months and their best year ever. When we can kind of stay in that framework where we're not insensitive to what's happening in the world, but where we know like, hey, we made a pretty good decision to have online businesses. This is really working.
On the WHY behind being an entrepreneur.
My number one value is freedom, and I'm pretty certain I won't be able to do that in a job. And most of my clients, that's their number one value too. That's why they're drawn to work with me.
That's really what keeps me going is knowing that there's something I'm building for myself that is at the same time supporting the people that I work with. I've always been someone who really is all about service. I've never had a job that didn't make a difference in the world in some way, and so this is just a continuation of that, but where I get to be fully self expressed and help other people in the process.
Her final tip on finding success as an online entrepreneur.
One of the things that I think people don't give themselves enough permission around is self expression. It's something I talk about a lot, I actually now have a program called Express that we run usually a couple of times a year.
I have to say that there were ways that I used to conform or feel like I couldn't do things the way that I wanted to, or I even felt like there were aspects of who I am or my personality that I couldn't openly share online because it wasn't professional or it wasn't appropriate.
And what I found is that the more I express myself everywhere, so in my content, in the way that I am with my clients, in the way that I launch, the more successful I am. It sounds easy or simple, but it's really a practice to start to notice where we self-censor, where we tell ourselves we can't do this or that.
Also as far as what it takes to be successful, I think it's about very intentionally putting ourselves among other successful people and definitely investing. So for me, this year I've probably already committed to six figures worth of invest investments in myself and I will continue to do so.
Doing that also gives me access to other successful people. And so kind of similar to what I was saying about COVID, it becomes the normal, and I think we just naturally believe what we think is normal.
When I am hanging out with people where it's totally normal to do six and multiple six figures, even seven figure launches, it's like, yeah, of course, I'm going to do that too.
Those are really important pieces in having community because this shit is not easy. Entrepreneurship is such a mindset craziness, it's a spiritual journey. I think it's so important that we have other people around us who inspire us, support us, who we can be vulnerable with.
I know we're supposed to put on the strong face online, but we all have our tough moments and we need somebody who can be there for us in those moments. So those, I believe have been the keys to my success and the success of the people that I work with.
Thanks For Listening, My Friend!
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