I think people falsely believe that only sales people sell instead of realizing that any time we are looking to influence the decision of another person in a positive way, the beautiful art of sales, or making your invitation, is in full play.
Asa part of my series about how to be great at closing sales without seeming pushy, obnoxious, or salesy, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lisa Sasevich, known by many as The Queen of Sales Conversion
After being fired from her dream job in the midst of the last recession, Lisa went from devastated to building a home-based business that generated over $40 Million dollars in sales — all with 2 young children in tow!
She’s known by many as “THE QUEEN OF SALES CONVERSION” and has taught over 15,000 mission-driven entrepreneurs in 134 different countries how to ell…. without being pushy or “salesy.”
In her new book, Meant for More: The Proven Formula to Turn Your Knowledge Into Profits, she hands you the easy-to-follow formula she discovered to Discover and Own Your Unique Value, Make More Money, And make the difference you KNOW you are here to make.
Thank you for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to this career path?
Twelve years ago I was fired from my dream job the night before Christmas Eve, smack in the middle of the recession. I had a newborn and a three-year-old and my then-husband was in residency to become a surgeon. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I went on a path to figure out what it was that I was uniquely bringing to the table everywhere I worked before. What was that secret sauce that always made me successful. I could feel there was something, but I was so close to it I couldn’t see it. This is very common when we try to find out own Unique Value, which is why I’m so passionate to provide the steps that make it easy for people to see.
Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?
Through coaching and mentorship I started to see that I had a Unique Gift around selling. Specifically, around making offers that I now call “Irresistible Offers.” When your offer is truly irresistible, you don’t have to become pushy or salesy. In fact, people will thank you for it!
The first time I spoke on this topic was to a group of about 30 women entrepreneurs. I had sold millions of dollars for big companies in the past, but the first time I got up to present and offer my own work around irresistible offers, my hands were visibly shaking, and my silk blouse was showing sweat rings down to my waist! That’ was the day I learned that selling your own advice, coaching or service is very different than selling something for a big company. It’s much more personal and requires a completely different structure than other kinds of sales. My company took off after that insight.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Yes! I’m so grateful about the timing of my new book, Meant for More: The Proven Formula to Turn Your Knowledge Into Profits, where I outline the exact formula I used to help thousands of people around the world and make great money doing it.
It’s incredible timely and is designed to help you Discover and Own Your Unique Value, Make Money by turning it into an Irresisble Offer while you finally make the difference you KNOW you are here to make.
It’s available now at all favorite online book seller and if you go to LisaSasevich.com and enter your order number under the Meant For More tab, you get over $1,000 of additional training from me as my gift.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am forever grateful to Ali Brown. I was at her event 12 years ago and she made an offer to join her mastermind designed to help me get my work online. It was just the support I needed so I said yes. It was a 5-figure investment and while I didn’t have the money, I found a way to borrow it and never looked back. Stretching to invest in myself at that level changed everything for me. I rose to the occasion and within a year had taken my business over $2M and hit the Inc 500 list of fastest growing privately held companies in the United States…#20 in women owned businesses.
For the benefit of our readers, can you tell us a bit why you are an authority on the topic of sales?
I have a gift for creating structure to make complex things easy. Sales is one of those things that is easy for me yet baffles others. (You want to look at what is easy for you and hard for others as it’s one of the keys to discovering YOUR Unique Value.)
I teach proven structures that allow the mission-driven entrepreneur, coach, expert or service professional to make their offer in a way that gives their ideal client what they need to say yes, on-the-spot. When you use our structures to make your offer you actually don’t have to learn to sell. You pour your work into our structures and let the structures do the selling for you!
Let’s shift a bit to what is happening today in the broader world. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the COVID-19 pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty and loneliness. From your experience, what are a few ideas that we can use to effectively offer support to our families and loved ones who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
In my new book, Meant for More, we talk about a tool to help stay out of fear and to get un-stuck if you’ve been feeling stuck or frozen. It’s a tool to help you gain momentum and it’s called “Take Inspired Action.” Easy to say, but sometimes hard to do, so I created a 3-step formula to help you act on your Inspired, high-vibe, thoughts.
The formula is 1) Listen, 2) Act 3) Trust
First you listen to the inspired, high-vibe thoughts and inspirations as they come up. Some people call them gut feelings.
Second, you act on them as quickly as you can. They show you the path to your Unique Value and when you act on the quicky, fear doesn’t have time to slip in.
Third, you trust the action you took. No second guessing. No asking for other’s opinions; remembering that this is your path and your inspirations come from a higher, deeper place.
If you do this every day, you will look back in a week or two feeling very fulfilled and with a ton of insight and knowing about the unique gifts you bring to the world that you could monetize if you follow the Meant For More Formula.
Ok. Thanks for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. As you know, nearly any business a person will enter, will involve some form of sales. At the same time, most people have never received any formal education about how to be effective at selling. Why do you think our education system teaches nearly every other arcane subject, but sales, one of the most useful and versalite topics, is totally ignored?
It’s funny you ask. The first chapter in my new book, Meant for More, is called, ‘Wake Up, My Friend, We’re All selling Something.’ I think people falsely believe that only sales people sell instead of realizing that any time we are looking to influence the decision of another person in a positive way, the beautiful art of sales, or making your invitation, is in full play.
This discussion, entitled, “How To Be Great At Sales Without Seeming Salesey”, is making an assumption that seeming salesy or pushy is something to be avoided. Do you agree with this assumption? Whether yes, or no, can you articulate why you feel the way you do?
I’ve never had someone ask me to speak to their audience and say, “Hey Lisa, please make sure to be totally pushy and salesy! I want people to feel turned off and offended.” It just doesn’t happen.
We all want to share our gifts and make a difference but may times we don’t for the fear of seeming pushy or sales. This is why I love providing sales structures instead of sales training. If you pour your great work into a proven structure, you don’t have to sell. You hit the markers people need in order to make a decision and then allow them to decide. If they need your help it will cause tension to arise within them, which inspired buying, versus pressure from you, which generally turns people off.
The seven stages of a sales cycle are usually broken down to versions of Prospecting, Preparation, Approach, Presentation, Handling objections, Closing, and Follow-up. Which stage do you feel that you are best at? What is your unique approach, your “secret sauce”, to that particular skill? Can you explain or give a story?
I believe my gifts are around Presentation and Closing. For presentation, it’s important to pay close attention to what we call Positioning, which generally happens in the first 10–15 minutes. If the positioning is done well, then the closing goes well. They are tightly connected.
I remember when Les Brown called and asked me to look at the last 15 minutes of his presentation to see if I had advice about his close. I called back and said, “Les, please send me your first 15 minutes. That will tell me more than just the close.”
Lead generation, or prospecting, is one of the basic steps of the sales cycle. Obviously every industry will be different, but can you share some of the fundamental strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?
I’m not a fishing expert, but I understand that how you bait the hook has everything to do with the kind of fish you’ll catch. What if prospecting is similar? If you are selling your knowledge, expertise, coaching or service you want to bait the hook with a piece of content from what you are selling. If they are attracted to that bait, there’s a good chance they’ll also be attracted to your offer.
Far too often people use something unrelated to their offer for client attraction and then don’t understand why their leads don’t buy. It has to be reverse engineered.
In my experience, I think the final stages of Handling Objections, Closing, and Follow-up, are the most difficult parts for many people. Why do you think ‘Handling Objections’ is so hard for people? What would you recommend for one to do, to be better at ‘Handling Objections’?
The more you can anticipate the top 3 objections your ideal clients have, the better you can “reverse engineer” your presentation or conversation to handle them up front. Most people don’t take the time to identify the answer to the most important question you need to be clear on before making your offer. That question is: What is the cost to your ideal client if they do not accept your offer?
When you are crystal clear about the costs, including time, money, energy and emotion, you will feel much more powerful in handling objections in those areas.
‘Closing’ is of course the proverbial Holy Grail. Can you suggest 5 things one can do to successfully close a sale without being perceived as pushy? If you can, please share a story or example, ideally from your experience, for each.
The fourth step of the Meant For More Formula is called Invite Pursuit with your Irresistible Offer. When you have an offer that’s is truly irresistible you close the sale without being pushy or salesy. These teachings include:
- Clarify Your Offer — this includes knowing how to communicate the results the client will get from accepting your offer in words that will deeply resonate with your ideal client. The key is to speak in their words vs marketing speak
- Uncover Your Process — this is how you give your ideal client confidence that they can follow proven steps to get the results they are hungry for
- Get clear on the cost to the client if they do not accept your offer — this is the key to being able to charge what you are worth
- Add Bonuses and Limiters — these inspire the client to say yes within a specific timeframe in order to get additional goodies, best pricing or more support
- Always justify the limiter — make sure you share an authentic reason why they get special bonuses, pricing or support if they decide in the specified timeframe. Not sharing this will leave them feeling sold to.
Finally, what are your thoughts about ‘Follow up’? Many businesses get leads who might be interested but things never seem to close. What are some good tips for a business leader to successfully follow up and bring things to a conclusion, without appearing overly pushy or overeager?
As a busy mommy who started her business with a newborn and three year old at home, while I do believe follow-up is important, I was more interested in inspiring an on-the-spot yes without being pushy or salesy. If the potential client is not ready to say yes to themselves when I make my offer, they are welcome to continue to follow my advice via my social channels, our email communications and occasional free training I offer. My business is built on using irresistible offers to invite pursuit. So much of the traditional nature of follow-up puts the seller into pursuit mode that it never appealed to me. Continuing to provide ongoing free value and then making occasional irresistible offers was much more fitting for my soul and what I teach our clients to do.
As you know there are so many modes of communication today. For example, In-person, phone calls, video calls, emails, and text messages. In your opinion, which of these communication methods should be avoided when attempting to close a sale or follow up? Which are the best ones? Can you explain or give a story?
When you have an offer that is truly irresistible, your ideal client will thank you for it and be grateful to receive it regardless of mode of communication. More important than which mode of communication is what are you communicating. When it comes to closing a sales, it’s important that you continue to communicate the outcome or transformation that your client will enjoy as a result of saying yes to your offer versus too much weight on outlining how you will deliver that offer. We say, focus 90% of your energy, words, communication, regardless of mode, on the outcome and 10% on the service delivery, i.e.: how that outcome will be delivered.
Always remember, they are buying the destination, not the place.
Ok, we are nearly done. Here is our final “meaty” question. You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
It would be the Meant for More Movement. It’s what I am inspiring with my new book Meant for More, encouraging everyone to discover their unique value, claim their worth and make an offer that is truly irresistible. Each and every person is sitting on a goldmine of being able to make a difference and great money with what they already know. Meant for More gives the exact steps to mine that gold.
How can our readers follow you online?
@LisaSasevich on any social channel