“If they don’t say “yes” right away and ask for time.” With Mitch Russo & Tiffany Carter

If the person who is selling feels “salesey” or “pushy,” they won’t get any buyers, and if they do, they won’t be repeat customers. Truly if you aren’t a “salesey” or “pushy” person, you won’t come across that way. People don’t buy from brands or humans because they feel forced or backed into a corner, […]

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If the person who is selling feels “salesey” or “pushy,” they won’t get any buyers, and if they do, they won’t be repeat customers. Truly if you aren’t a “salesey” or “pushy” person, you won’t come across that way. People don’t buy from brands or humans because they feel forced or backed into a corner, they buy because they believe you/your product holds the key to helping them achieve their desired core emotions, and they trust you/your company can help them.

As a part of my series about how to be great at closing sales without seeming pushy, obnoxious, or salesy, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tiffany Carter.

Tiffany Carter is a multi-millionaire entrepreneur, and Founder of the top business coaching brand and podcast, ProjectME with Tiffany Carter. She teaches people how to sell in a way that feels good to them, using her Emotional Based Sales Techniques®, which are responsible for generating over 100 million dollars in sales transactions. )

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?

I started my career path as a TV News Broadcaster for NBC and CBS, and I loved it, but I was broke. Contrary to what most people think about TV journalists, a majority don’t make much money at all. I knew that If I wanted to impact the most people possible, I needed to make serious cash. I left the TV news world and started my corporate climb in the pharmaceutical sales industry. Although the sales training I received was top-notch, once I had to face clients and do the thing, I crumbled in a giant pool of sweat. If I wanted to keep my apartment and my job, I had to figure out how to sell in a way that didn’t make me feel like some slick, sleazy, manipulative, annoying person. This is where my Emotional Based Sales Techniques® was born.

Fast forward to years of climbing the corporate ladder, I started to dread going to work, and I knew deep down I was meant for something more. So I started a side-hustle doing digital marketing and branding for pharmaceutical, medical, and physician clients. Within six months, I quit my 150K/year job and went full time into entrepreneurship.

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?

Oh my lord, I have so many crazy stories in my twelve years of entrepreneurship! I share a lot of them on my podcast to show people the real behind the scenes of being a business owner.

My first year as a full-time entrepreneur I probably pitched north of 50 potential clients, and I only got two sales! Keep in mind, I was a multiple award-winning sales executive, who taught thousands and thousands of people how to sell. I wanted to quit my business at least three times a week in those first eighteen months.

This taught me so many things. One, selling your self and your own business is psychologically a completely different animal than selling for someone else’s company and products. Two, I was forced (if I wanted to pay my mortgage and car payment) to refine my Emotional Based Sales Techniques® further and include a substantial mindset component. Now I’m known for saying, “you can’t out strategize or outsell a broken mindset.” Whereas before, I focused 80% of my energy on strategy and 20% on mindset. Now I focus 80% on mindset and 20% on strategy. This shift is what allows me to make millions of dollars doing what I love and in a way that feels true and genuine to me and my core values.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Yes! The goal is to always listen closely to my audience and clients and create products/services around what they need the most in order to be successful. This year we released my signature sales program, Selling with Soul®. This is set-up as a digital course, with me teaching people step-by-step my Emotional Based Sales Techniques®. I give my exact sales scripts I use to this day, including what to say when people give objections like, “I can’t afford it.”

For people who want live trainings from me, I just officially launched to the public my group coaching membership, the ProjectME Posse. Every week I do a live training teaching people everything from online marketing, branding, copywriting, video marketing, funnels, sales, etc.… This live group dynamic gives both new and established entrepreneurs accountability, plus direct access to my self and all guest experts at a crazy low cost.

None of us can 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?

Some so many people have helped me along the way. We can’t achieve success alone; that’s why there are billions of people in the world. When I wanted to leave my high-paying corporate career to start a business, everyone thought I was nuts, and I only had one true person supporting me. My long time family friend Steve, who’s retired police detective and has zero experience as an entrepreneur. He believed in me during all the times I doubted my self and my decision. If it weren’t for all of the hours he listened to me crying and venting, I would have quit and gone back to corporate America. He may not have known the business world, but he knew people, as a behavior specialist for the police department. He knew I had what it took, and because he’s a no BS kind of guy, I was able to believe him.

For the benefit of our readers, can you tell us a bit why you are an authority on the topic of sales?

Why your readers should listen and learn from me? Because I have evidence that my methods actually work. I didn’t just have a great couple of years during an excellent economy. I have grown year over year for the last twelve years, and I have helped thousands of other people do the same. Even more importantly, I wasn’t naturally great at sales, in fact I sucked at it. I’m introverted by nature, so I’m not this outgoing people person who loves small talk. If I can sell my services and products in a way that feels great, I’m confident any of your readers can do the same.

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?

Great question. I actually am diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and generalized depression, so I am super familiar with the “wired tired” feeling (as I call it), that this stressful time is bringing up for people. Our egos are designed to hold onto fear as a way of protecting us from danger, and if we don’t do anything to diligently manage our egos everyday, we will end up living in fear. It is challenging to function well in that space. Our egos respond really well to facts and evidence. So I ask my clients to write all of their fears down, no matter how crazy they sound. Then I instruct them to ask this question every time a fear thought comes up: “Is ___________100% true with absolute certainty for now and forever?” The answer is always “no.”

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 versatile topics, is totally ignored?

I am so thrilled you brought this up. We are forced to learn the Periodic table and the capitols of each state, yet are taught zero about how to relationship build in business whether you desire to be an employee or entrepreneur. One of my dreams is to go and speak at high-schools and colleges, teaching students how to build rapport, how to sell yourself, and the overall art of marketing. Our educational curriculum has been in place for decades with very few updates; I believe it’s time for some significant changes.

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?

If the person who is selling feels “salesey” or “pushy,” they won’t get any buyers, and if they do, they won’t be repeat customers. Truly if you aren’t a “salesey” or “pushy” person, you won’t come across that way. People don’t buy from brands or humans because they feel forced or backed into a corner, they buy because they believe you/your product holds the key to helping them achieve their desired core emotions, and they trust you/your company can help them.

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?

Given my lively hood has been based on how much business I “sell,” I have been forced to get really good at all seven stages. With that being said, I do believe innately we each have unique gifts that make us ideal matches for specific parts of the sales cycle. I am well known for my presentations, objection handling, and closing. Since I am aware of which aspects of marketing I am best at and I enjoy the most, I now hire people to help handle the other four stages for me.

What makes my techniques unique is I focus 95% on my ideal client’s emotions versus the details and features of my services/products. Truly people don’t care about the details in how you are going to get them from point A to point T; they just need to feel 100% confident that you and/or your product will get them to their desired core emotional state.

Here’s an example: No one hires me to teach them how to grow their business because I’ve explained every detail about my Emotional Based Sales Techniques®, my business coaching process, and my proven strategies. People hire me because they have a deep core desire to grow their business so they can provide top education for their kids, so they can quit the job they hate, so they never have to depend on a person, job, or credit cards for money ever again.

My job is to help them determine if I am the best person to help them get closer to achieving their heart-felt core goals.

When you or your products are the right matches for your specific ideal client, the sales come easily. The issue is most people aren’t specific enough when targeting, and they don’t focus on the deep core emotions of their ideal client.

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 love keeping things simple and straightforward, as I like to say, “simple sells and complexity repels.” All roads must stem from your ideal client that you are targeting. Get crystal clear and extremely detailed on how your ideal client thinks, what words do they type into Google?, what do they dream of?, what do they dread?, what do they hate about themselves?, where do they spend their time online?, what do they believe is missing from their life?, and so on.

Once this is defined, all of your marketing copy, the names of your products, your brand colors, the images you use in social media, all must be based around the behaviors, beliefs, core problems, and core desires of your ideal client.

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’?

I agree, asking for the business, telling people how much something costs, and handing objections are terrifying for most people. It all boils down to self-worth and a limiting mindset. When someone gives anything other than a “yes,” the person who is “selling” often takes it personally (as I used to), like this potential client didn’t deem you worthy or valuable enough.

The truth is, when a potential customer gives an objection, it is about that person’s self-worth and limiting mindset. Subconsciously, they don’t believe they deserve to spend this money on themselves, they don’t believe they deserve the help, and they likely have a pattern of self-sabotaging the exact things they so deeply desire in their lives.

Objections are your best opportunity to help people help themselves. Typically your ideal client is in some sort of pain, stress, or distress, so they aren’t thinking clearly anyway. Is it your job as the trusted expert (authority) to help guide them into taking action for themselves and their families. Think about all the times you initially had resistance to something, and someone helped guide to you made a different choice, you almost always end up thankful they did! I have millions in the bank, and I say “no” all the time out of fear, or some buried false belief I carry around. It never has anything to do with time or money. People will find the time and money for something they believe will help them achieve their core desired emotions.

‘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.

Here are my top five things you need to do to successfully close a sale without being pushy:

  1. Ask the potential client if they want to hear more about your service, program, or product and WAIT (Why Am I Talking) for them to answer.
  2. When you explain your service or product, keep it short and simple. No one cares about all of the detail; all they care about is they trust you can get them from point A to point T.
  3. Ask the potential client if they want to know how much is costs to work with you or your company and WAIT for them to answer.
  4. When you share your pricing, keep this so simple that you can say it in 2–3 sentences. If you make anything seem like more work or mentally daunting, you will lose them.
  5. If they don’t say “yes” right away and ask for time to speak with their spouse or to think about it, give them a precise date and time deadline, nothing longer than 24 hours. Make it clear how they can reach out to you and let you “they are ready.”

The reason why you always want to ask the potential client if they want to know about your product/service and your pricing is to show respect to the client and have them feel like you aren’t talking at them. Honestly if someone doesn’t want to hear about your services or pricing, then you also don’t want to waste your time-sharing.

Giving people the time, space, and respect to answer your questions shows people that you aren’t “pushy” and that you are patient. No one wants to buy from someone who makes them feel like they are getting grilled and pressured.

No one needs more than 24 hours to determine if they want to buy. They already know during the meeting if they’re going to work with you or not, the extra time should only be to discuss it with a significant other or a business partner. If you allow for too much time to pass, people’s own limiting beliefs will take over, and you will lose your opportunity to help them.

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?

Just because someone doesn’t buy now doesn’t mean they won’t buy in the future or refer customers, people, to you. The easiest way to follow up with prospective clients without seeming overeager or pushy is to get them on your email list. Carve out a separate email list for recent potential clients and send them a freebie once a week for four-six weeks. This is showing that you care, and you are of value and service to them for free. Some ideas…Create a 6 part free video training, create some free PDF printables, an audio series, a special discount code to an entry-level offer of yours.

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?

Always close a sale in person or on video chat. This builds the like, know, trust factor the fastest and has the highest conversion rate hands down.

When you are in person or on a video chat with someone, you have their full attention. When people are on the phone they are multi-tasking, same holds true for texting or DM’s.

For low ticket offers $300 and under, you don’t need to get on a video call or meet someone in person, those are reserved for higher ticket services (unless you have the opportunity to sell to a group of people at once).

In my 17 years of sales experience, I’ve had the opportunity to test everything. Selling to someone in real life has the highest conversation rate, and video is a close second. So if you need to follow up with people via text, direct message, or email, I strongly suggest you record a video for them to watch versus your communication being all text. If the platform you are using doesn’t allow video, then do an audio recording. Yes, this requires more effort, but I wouldn’t be sharing it if it wasn’t worth the extra work.

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. 🙂

OOOOOH I love this question. The movement that I focus on every single day inside my ProjectME Posse and my Instagram account is to put yourself first! Taking care of your own needs isn’t selfish; it is necessary. This is what ProjectME stands for! You are the Most Exceptional project of your life; your self-care must come first in order for you to serve at the highest good for all.

How can our readers follow you online?

Best place to connect with me online is to DM me on Instagram @projectme_with_Tiffany Carter and, of course, to listen to my popular podcast ProjectME with Tiffany Carter, on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and GooglePlay.

Thank you for the interview. We wish you only continued success!

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