Lenka Lutonska: “There is nothing pushy about closing a sale”

Most of us worry about being too salesy or pushy, but we most likely don’t have the ability to actually do so, otherwise we wouldn’t actually care enough about being salesy or pushy. I used to use it as an excuse not to sell. My advice would be to refocus how you come across in […]

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Most of us worry about being too salesy or pushy, but we most likely don’t have the ability to actually do so, otherwise we wouldn’t actually care enough about being salesy or pushy. I used to use it as an excuse not to sell. My advice would be to refocus how you come across in the process of selling to the client — focus on them and the benefits they will get. This is a good tool which will allow you to let go of the anxiety around selling and the fear of being salesy.

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 Lenka Lutonska

Lenka Lutonska is a business and mindset strategist for women coaches and the author of the bestselling book, Energetic Selling and Marketing. Lenka is also one of the UK’s leading NLP Trainers, an international speaker and the creator of the Energetic Selling Method™. Using her signature Energetic Selling Method™ principles, she helps women to grow their businesses to multiple-six figures and beyond.

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?

Growing up, my strict Slovakian father always told me I needed to work hard if I was to make something of myself. I had a strong work ethic, but I didn’t just want to ‘work hard’, I wanted to truly make a difference in the lives of other people. So at the age of 19, instead of going to University as my parents expected, I ran away to the UK, with just £30 in my pocket. I needed money, so I got a job at McDonalds, cleaning tables.

Over the next few years I worked my socks off, eventually becoming an award-winning business manager at the fast food restaurant. At the same time I immersed myself in learning everything I could about self-development, eventually discovering NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), which changed my life. Finally, I’d found my calling in life. I decided to sell my house, along with my car, and moved into my boyfriend’s place, so I could pay for NLP accreditation training. I went on to become one of the leading NLP trainers in the UK, delivering training on communication skills and confidence-building to hundreds of people. Five years ago I took my business online and today I work as a mindset and business coach, helping clients in over 30 countries across the world to build and scale successful businesses themselves. I’m lucky enough to have had two successful six-figure launches in the past few months and I continue to enroll new clients.

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?

A few years ago before my business existed in its current form, I stepped into an informal business partnership that went sour and I ended up losing everything. As a result, I lost my business in its entirety, my livelihood, and for a while, all of my confidence and self-belief.

That was an incredibly difficult time and was very difficult to deal with. But I was determined and knew I couldn’t give up. So I had to just pick myself up, dust myself down and keep going.

It is definitely the biggest obstacle I’ve ever had to overcome, and In a way — I’m thankful it happened because now I’m happier than I’ve ever been. The loss of my first business taught me that that business isn’t easy, and that you don’t always succeed the first time. I didn’t let my failure define me.

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

At the moment I’m working on a project with my good friend Sarah Negus — The Modern Day Shaman. We’ve been working together to facilitate revolutionary coaching methodology and certification, which helps women to unlock the ultimate flow in their business and relationships, leading to financial success. Things are secret for now as we haven’t launched yet, but if you want to learn more about what we’re up to, visit our website: https://ebm.global/

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?

There is not one particular person, there are many. Any single entrepreneur who risked something to succeed inspired me. I worked with many people who helped me to get through the initial hurdles of business, and I am truly thankful for them all.

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

I learned to overcome my personal doubts around selling and learned to change my perception of it. I was once a woman who couldn’t even afford to feed my family (I had a mere £7.30 in my bank account) to a successful business coach who has created a six figure business. I changed from a woman who knew nothing about selling, to one who sells successfully, even in turbulent times. I have been able to create multiple six figure programme launches, and now help other women to achieve the same. My clients routinely report back to me that they have doubled and tripled their sales revenues based on my unique sales techniques. Learning how to sell changed my life, which is why I now have a true passion for teaching others to embrace selling in a way which feels authentic.

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?

I have an enormous amount of empathy for people whose lives have been turned upside down. I experienced this five years ago when I lost my business and it’s tough, I’ve been there. Today I’m blessed to have security, but I know what it’s like. What helped me to overcome this situation was to let go of my victim mentality. This is the hardest step, but it is so important to take responsibility for the future and take the opportunity to build a brand new life for yourself. Remind yourself that many successful businesses have been born out of hard times. It’s time to try new things, expand and learn. Surround yourself with people who will believe in you, and you will make it.

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 believe that most entrepreneurial skills are not gained through formal education. We’ve got to go out of our way and not just educate ourselves on selling but truly master it. We all know the ‘sleazy salesman’ stereotype, which can be totally off-putting, but in reality, sales are about creating opportunities.

This discussion, entitled, “How To Be Great At Sales Without Seeming Salesy”, 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?

Most of us worry about being too salesy or pushy, but we most likely don’t have the ability to actually do so, otherwise we wouldn’t actually care enough about being salesy or pushy. I used to use it as an excuse not to sell. My advice would be to refocus how you come across in the process of selling to the client — focus on them and the benefits they will get. This is a good tool which will allow you to let go of the anxiety around selling and the fear of being salesy.

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?

My secret sauce is the process of energetic selling and marketing. I even wrote a book about it which focuses on using our personal energy to sell way more effectively. Our personal energy gives a lot more to clients than just words. You can tell everything through your energy. I practice aspects of all the seven stages which are outlined within the book, but I don’t necessarily follow them strictly. If I had to pick a strength it would be value based selling. Offering lots of value makes it very easy to identify a potential buyer to prospect and follow through. I always offer free trainings which are just a taster of my paid programs, these offer amazing value up-front which makes it hard for my prospects to say no.

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?

Offering lots of value up-front is absolutely the best lead generation for me. Additionally, I have had lots of success offering free or heavily discounted courses of mine through FB ads. Another way I secure leads is through my Facebook group — ‘Freaking Amazing Women’, where I offer free live trainings and value. The group has over 10,000 women in, who all look toward me for strength and guidance.

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’?

You can’t give into fears of saying the wrong thing or upsetting them. Honesty is one of the best sales and coaching tools, it is truly authentic. All we need to do is, be honest with them and show them the ways they are limiting themselves.

Objections are actually nothing more than masking an unattended fear, a fear the client hasn’t spoken about. It’s important to find out what the actual fear is, as it is often around not trusting themselves to make it work. Once we help them to resolve their fear, we can help them to handle the surface objection.

‘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.

There is nothing pushy about closing a sale. We often think this because our mind is playing tricks on us. Instead of asking them ‘have you decided yet?’ or ‘is it a yes or a no’, try ‘shall we settle the payment today and get started?’. If they say they need time to think, ask them what they need so you can help them. It is important to schedule a follow-up call within the next 48 hours — don’t wait for them to give you the answer.

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?

Following up is professional. I myself really appreciate when someone follows up, it helps me, sometimes we’re genuinely busy and can’t get back right away. There is nothing pushy or salesy to simply ask, ‘have you decided yet?’, even ‘I haven’t heard from you, I assume it’s a no?’. Sometimes, reverse psychology is useful. Having an energy leak where the decision is undecided is not helpful. It’s not just about us, it’s also about the client, it doesn’t serve them to be in a state of uncertainty.

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?

There is not one to exclude, although I find the more personal the better, people appreciate a personal approach, eg voicemail via FB messenger to prospective clients, or even a short video to make it personal. In the initial stages of online business I had spaces for £3k packages, I sent out a newsletter and posted on social media and didn’t hear from anyone. So I approached via FB messenger, people I thought could be a match. Although I didn’t hear back from some, a lot of them thanked me for getting in touch, and I got fully booked for the first time with about 8 clients; simply by saying “Hi, I’ve got this opportunity, I feel it could be a good fit for you, would you like to explore it?”.

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. 🙂

Sell with confidence — it might not sound sexy but the amount of difference that it makes for some people is astonishing! Selling with power, authenticity, and confidence is truly life changing. It has a trickle down effect, changing your own life first, your client’s lives, it promotes economy by hiring new people, you experience an increased sense of wellbeing in family etc.

How can our readers follow you online?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lutonska/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lenka_lutonska

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lenkalutonska/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIjtZLZQLxuP-3_U9-JpRZQ

Website: https://www.lenkalutonska.com/

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

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