“Make sure you understand.” With Mitch Russo & Bella Verita

Someone is typically “pushy” if they are trying to manipulate the situation in order to get the sale, regardless of whether or not it’s the best possible fit for the person. Contrast this to a salesperson who shows up in their power and won’t fall for their prospects limiting beliefs because they know in their […]

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Someone is typically “pushy” if they are trying to manipulate the situation in order to get the sale, regardless of whether or not it’s the best possible fit for the person. Contrast this to a salesperson who shows up in their power and won’t fall for their prospects limiting beliefs because they know in their gut that purchasing the package will be in the customer’s best interest.

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 Bella Verita.

When Bella built a 6-figure business in a year at the age of 18, she discovered something about sales that her competitors seemed to not understand: A true desire to make people feel listened to, paired with a go-getter attitude, outperformed all the aggressive or manipulative sales tactics that were industry standard.

She proved that wisdom over and over again as she built a multiple 7 figure real estate company at 24 and then later, a 6-figure professional stylist for industry leaders. After 20 years building her own businesses with sales integrity, Bella’s on a mission to help companies increase profits and decrease sales slumps. She does this by pairing entrepreneurs with sales agents that are impassioned to blast through sales goals by making each customer feel understood and empowered to take action.

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 seemed to always have an inborn sense of hustle- I’m the type of entrepreneur that started my first business at 8 years old on my lawn- but my gift for sales was really born out of necessity:

When I was 17, I fled my alcoholic father’s home and started paying for my living expenses by selling drugs. Unfortunately, that had to end when I opened my apartment door to find myself staring down the barrel of a gun. In that moment, I knew my life needed to change but I didn’t know how.

Just 1 year later I found myself as the top income earner in a network marketing company, making 6-figures at 18 years old.

Over the last 20 years, a love for sales has brought me incredible highs, and saved me from incredible lows. As my life went through many ups and downs and I grew 3 successful businesses, my love of sales only grew.

I became fixed on two passions: 1) Helping other driven, heart-centered women like myself become financially independent through the power of sales, and 2) Helping heart-centered entrepreneurs solve their sales headaches so that they can scale, serve more people and sleep better at night.

Now, as the CEO of Align Sales Agency, I stand out as the first and only female-led sales training and recruiting agency dedicated to helping service-based companies solve their sales problems so that they can grow their impact by having others sell their dream for r them.

We are shifting the paradigm of sales: By leading with a feminine touch, we advocate that selling is not just about the close, it’s about making an impact on someone’s life. Hiring the right salesperson is the first step to changing the old paradigm.

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?

I could say that the most interesting story was when I found myself staring down the barrel of a shotgun because my drug dealing career had gone too far, but was really only a catalyst that began my story.

It was that moment that pushed me into sales and it was there that I learned that I could change people’s lives by listening to them and helping them, and make great money myself!

A great memory from my early business days is when I was 24 and dressing myself in $100 suits because I was competing with 50 year old men in the real estate agency. Sales has taught me time and time again that when I rise into my power and show up in service, incredible things happen.

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

This is easy. I’m extremely passionate about my business’s mission to help 50 women this year find lucrative sales jobs. I consider it my calling to empower other driven women like myself to create financial independence through the mastery of sales.

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 would have to say my former life and business partner. Even though we aren’t together anymore he is the reason I’m doing what I’m doing today. I have a career I love and a community I adore because of him. He was the one who actually started this company. I stepped in to help him when he first started it.

We worked together in the business for the first year and a half. When we split he actually gave me 100% of the business because he saw how much I loved it and how much I was helping people. I’ve never loved business and a community like I love this one. If it weren’t for him I wouldn’t have the business. I’m grateful every day.

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

I have been selling since I was 8 years old. By the time I was 18 I was a top income earner in network marketing. At 24 I was a top business broker in NV. As a sales trainer, I’ve had agents close up to $125k in their first week. Most agents close at least 50k in their first full week of sales calls.

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?

Right now I tell people to stay focused on what you want to create. It’s easy to get caught up in fear and uncertainty. I know I have. When I notice myself starting to feel uncertain, I get out my journal and I write out my vision for something I want to create and experience. Every morning and every night since the pandemic I’ve been doing Joe Dispenza’s meditations on being your future self. I believe this is what enables me to stay focused on who I want to be through this and after this.

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?

To be fair, I don’t think our education system teaches many practical life skills. I don’t believe school actually teaches us how to have a better life, which is why I’m so passionate about sharing the hard-earned lessons I’ve learned about how to do so with other people so that their path can be easier.

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 think some people mistake “salesey” for being pushy, but there’s a difference between being pushy and being powerful. I believe to be a GREAT salesperson you must know how to powerfully and authentically take a stand for people.

Someone is typically “pushy” if they are trying to manipulate the situation in order to get the sale, regardless of whether or not it’s the best possible fit for the person. Contrast this to a salesperson who shows up in their power and won’t fall for their prospects limiting beliefs because they know in their gut that purchasing the package will be in the customer’s best interest.

A truly great sales person doesn’t worry about being “salesy” because they are certain in their commitment to service and showing up for the highest good of the customer.

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’m the best at handling objections, closing and follow up. I don’t believe the sale is really a sale until you’ve handled the objections. I genuinely LOVE objections because this is where you really get to know what makes people tick and what their hidden fears are. If you can help someone bring these to light so that they have a chance at being able to move beyond them, then you have done them a great service.

The spouse objection is my favorite. I once had a guy who used the “I need to talk to my wife” objection. He had already told me she likes to support decisions he’s made.

The conversation looked like this:

Him: Ok sounds good I just need to talk to my wife.

Me: You mentioned earlier your wife loves to support decisions you’ve made.

Yes: Yes

Me: SO let me ask you: When you go to talk to her, would you feel more empowered if you came to her with a decision you’ve made and asked for her support?

Him: Yes

Me: I would imagine integrity is important to you as well.

Him: Yes of course

Me: well then, Henry, would it be ok if I made a suggestion so you could be in integrity when you asked for her to support a decision you’ve made.

Him: Let’s hear it.

Me: Let’s go ahead and put your deposit down because a real decision isn’t made until the money is on the line. You put your deposit down. Then you go to your wife and authentically ask for her to support the decision you’ve made. If for some reason she doesn’t support it, I will give you your money back. But let’s keep you in integrity with the man you want to be to your wife. What do you say?

He put his deposit and paid in full the next day.

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 still use the old school networking and relationship building. I love talking to people. I join groups with like minded people which usually end up being my best source for lead gen. Marketing is really only building relationships at scale so I think it’s important to never wander too far away from the fundamentals: If your service is the best in the game, people will LOVE referring you to their friends. My whole agency has been built on referrals.

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’?

For me, handling objections is my favorite part. I once did a training on how to create intimacy through objection handling. Handling objections can be so hard for people because if you aren’t practiced in acknowledging your own discomfort, then it’s going to be almost intolerable for you to sit through someone else’s.

The best way to overcome your resistance around objections is simply to ask more questions. By asking more questions, you can uncover how objections are really just fears in disguise, and then you can guide them through them and out the other side.

‘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.

  1. Actually give a f**k about the human! When you genuinely care about the human you’re on a call with you’ll never come off as salesy.
  2. Make sure you understand the value of the product or service has to the person’s life. What problem or challenge does it help them solve? Then sell the solution to the problem, not the product you use to solve it.
  3. When you begin to talk about money always ask for permission. “Hey, is it ok if we dive into your finances and how we might be able to help you solve this problem?” People will talk about almost anything as long as you ask for permission.
  4. Whatever that thing you’re afraid to say, say it. You never know the difference it will make.
  5. This may be obvious, but ASK FOR THE SALE! SO many calls I listen to people never even ask for the sale.

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?

I like to think of follow-up as one of the kindest caring things you can do for people. When I follow up I always ask about something specific from the call. “How did the meeting go or how did the trip with your family go?” I ask about something personal and then follow it up with some resource they could use. My rule is to follow up until they tell me to F off.

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?

My favorite follow up tool is BombBomb videos. It tells the person how long the video is. So when they see it they know how much time they will be investing to watch the video. I feel as though the video also displays your authentic energy. People can see and hear you. They feel your energy.

All my highest paying clients have told me it was the videos that got them. They appreciated that I took the time to record them a video and they always tell me they can tell how much I care from my videos.

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. 🙂

My movement is to help women to create financial independence through sales, and then to empower them as a sales force to solve sales problems in sales-based businesses.

This has a two-fold effect: 1) The more women that are financially empowered, the more opportunities they will create for themselves and others to rise. 2) The more service-based businesses that can cure their sales problems, the faster we will be able to shift the economic paradigm towards one of service so that we can collectively rise.

How can our readers follow you online?





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

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