Prue Blennerhassett of ‘Women Of Impact’: “Support your prospect through any objections”

I agree with the assumption, being salesy or pushy to me implies a hint of coercion, force or trickery. This doesn’t feel good for the client and it doesn’t feel good to a whole hearted, integrous woman either. In fact this is one of the core reasons that so many women are repelled at the thought […]

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I agree with the assumption, being salesy or pushy to me implies a hint of coercion, force or trickery. This doesn’t feel good for the client and it doesn’t feel good to a whole hearted, integrous woman either.

In fact this is one of the core reasons that so many women are repelled at the thought of sales and marketing. It’s this belief that in order to sell, they have to do it using this old paradigm method — the old paradigm of sales and marketing that implies this sense of force or pushiness.

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 leading intuitive business strategist and women’s transformation catalyst, Prue Blennerhassett from Women of Impact.

From a Degree in Banking and Finance to managing million dollar accounts out of university, Prue now supports women to embody their truth and package their brilliant soul work in a way that offers them divine compensation while facilitating the greatest level of transformation for their clients.

Prue invites women to own their worth and the value of their sacred work, so they can stand in their power and sell their high end, high value offering and activate their financial ascension.

The work she does is a mixture of strategy and energetic acuity, always inviting women to their next level of self-mastery in business and life.

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’m the founder of Women of Impact and the original CEO Priestess.

I completed a degree in business, banking and finance and began working in the cosmetics manufacturing industry where I travelled to Italy and throughout Asia sourcing raw materials, packaging and finished products as well as attending industry conferences.

I grew to be one of the most senior salespeople managing million dollar accounts but I always had to prove my worth and make a case for my next raise.

While from the outside this all seemed very glamorous, it was a high pressure environment, I worked long hours and then partied on the weekends to blow off steam.

I was unhappy, overweight and was really shut down from the truth of who I was, from my feminine, from my emotions, my divinity and my energy and intuition. I was deriving my sense of validation from outside of me.

I made the decision to move out of my home town to Byron Bay on the East Coast of Australia 10 years ago — determined to create a more harmonious business and lifestyle.

I started my business and to begin with was getting paid $25 an hour for data entry.

I managed to drive the rate up to $50 then $75 and then $100 an hour but in real terms what was I getting paid for running this biz and team of 5? Probably around $50 an hour when I take into consideration the prep, follow up and management time.

I wasn’t charging enough per hour to cover what I needed to pay my bills and get ahead and even though the business reached 5 figure months, I still wasn’t feeling financially secure so was working really hard.

I had what I would now consider a false sense of worth or bravado. In that my sense of self-worth was kinda superficial and I was still looking for external validation.

Even though I’d built a financially successful biz, I had brought the sense of grind and hustle into the business. I had built and perpetuated the “hard” working lifestyle to which I’d become accustomed.

My partner and friends would comment how I was working ALL THE TIME but that’s what I saw success as being or requiring — hard work.

I knew there had to be a better away and I was determined to find out what that was.

I dissolved that business and made space for the new to come through.

And so was born my business in the personal development and women’s empowerment business Make Space Allow Grace, while this biz was impactful, it didn’t have the reach I desired because while it had my energy, I wasn’t utilizing the strategic side of things that had previously supported my success.

One morning as I was waking, I had the name Women of Impact come into my field of awareness — it felt potent and powerful!

I had always been amazing at helping people make more money and impact in an easier way — just not MYSELF. What if I could do BOTH?!

I changed many things about the way I worked. It was so much LESS about DOING and MORE about BEING.

I became magnetic, earning more by delivering more VALUE in less time.

I stepped up as a leader… in a way that integrated my masculine AND my feminine, in my business and across my life.

And I now wholly and soully know that my gift is to tune into the deepest value of a woman’s soul and help her translate and ground that into a real world business that becomes the vehicle for her personal and global expression of power, prosperity and transformation.

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?

When the concept for my business Women Of Impact first dropped in a couple of years ago, I knew it was the next evolution of my work but I also was aware that I wasn’t yet who I needed to be to deliver that work.

I’d been wanting to work with a particular coach for a while but was really lacking the self-belief that I could get the results I deeply desired in order to make the investment worth it, I was still playing small. And because I didn’t believe in myself, my partner didn’t believe in the investment.

The desire and momentum was building inside of me to the point where I absolutely knew without a shadow of a doubt that this was for me. I took the leap and invested in myself! I had a falling out with my partner and moved out for a few months to really work on the incubation of the business.

I had to make the choice to really back myself and believe in myself. It caused me to really confront myself in my relationships. Now we’re the best we’ve ever been and we’ve been able to achieve our goals, just buying our dream home ad both building our successful businesses.

In hindsight I can clearly see this was all about the jump from playing small to playing big. From having to step into the unknown and just trust, holding the higher vision no matter how difficult things can appear in your day to day, stay anchored to that vision and just let that be your north star.

This has given me the personal conviction to be able to do this work with women and say to them that you can do this but you have to believe in you.

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

I am! Always working on something exciting 😉

After beta testing the group version of my signature program — CEO Priestess — in 2020, I’ll be launching the Academy in 2021. This is a 6 or 12 month immersion to support divine women to not only birth their sacred and transformational soul work but to be supported deeply as they grow their businesses, their authority, their impact and income.

I’ve been blown away at the impact of this work on my clients, from the overt like selling their first 5K program within a week of our first session or banking 30K from their group program to the more subtle but no less transformational claiming of their worthiness whose impact reverberates out to every relationship in their life.

What I see time and time again is that when women get wealthy, the whole world benefits — their family, their community and our planet.

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 are so many incredible people who have contributed to my success and continue to do so on the daily. All my mentors, healers, teachers, my family — in particular my Mum and sister.

I could go so far as to include almost everyone I’ve met for shaping me in some way, whether through love or hardship. I could include my ancestors, those that came before me and on whose shoulders I now stand. I could include the women who have paved the way for the shifting of the patriarchal paradigm.

But you asked me to name one and one story so here it is:

The most transformational relationship in my life has been with my partner, Tom and as pseudo stepmom to his 2 boys. Without fail, this relationship has required me to grow and become a better person each and every day — from prioritizing myself and my wellbeing, to having clear and loving boundaries, to recognizing my own triggers and projections.

This learning around myself and relating to others has been fundamental in my ability to hold space for the transformation of my clients with clarity and conviction.

Business growth, success and impact all starts with personal growth and development.

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

I’ve been in sales for the last 15 years. Working back in the cosmetics manufacturing industry, I grew to be one of the most senior salespeople managing million dollar accounts at the tender age of 25.

Since moving from my home town and starting my own business, I brought that sense of excellent service, high end value delivery and deep, lasting integrous relationships with me.

Who you are matters as much as what you do.

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?

A few general ideas to support those feeling anxious:

  • Limit the mainstream news and media consumed
  • Eat clean whole, unprocessed foods
  • Connect with nature (and with your own essential nature)
  • Turn inwards for your sense of validation and truth
  • Love one another and be connected from this place of deep universal love and truth

I’d love to share a story with you as well. I was at a dance class last week and the instructor broke down under the pressure that small businesses are being put under with all the conditions they have to adhere to: making sure people are signed into a Covid app, taking temperatures, adhering to minimal class sizes and social distancing. This dance teacher is a woman with over 3 decades of teaching experience as well as spending 10 years dancing professionally throughout Europe before that in ballet and musical theatre. To see this woman in tears, ready to give up on her passion was heartbreaking.

I share this with you because for the business owners who are feeling anxious at this time, there is an opportunity to innovate. If you’re working offline in a service based business, it’s an opportunity to innovate and take your sacred work online. It’s an opportunity to take your power back and ensure that you and your financial sovereignty are not at the mercy of changing regulations.

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?

You’re right — everyone within a business has an impact on sales because sales don’t begin and end with a simple exchange of goods or services for money.

Sales are essentially a relationship of service, centred on a core need or desire of your client.

Sales begins with your customers first impression and if you do a good job, it never ends — all the way through to delivery and follow up, then either your service can evolve to meet their evolving needs OR you can remain as a resource for them and they can become a referral partner.

I think there are a lot of useful topics our education system misses like communication, relationships, boundaries, self-care, worthiness. In my Business and Finance Degree, Sales was taught in a very structured and one dimensional way. While that information is helpful to know, it’s not a complete picture. And in fact, the areas I’ve mentioned that I believe our education system largely misses, are all integrous to a successful sales process.

Sales is as multidimensional as we humans are because it’s about relationships and relating. The success of sales comes down to our energy and that energy has to be coming from a place of service — a deep desire to support the transformation of our client.

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?

I agree with the assumption, being salesy or pushy to me implies a hint of coercion, force or trickery. This doesn’t feel good for the client and it doesn’t feel good to a whole hearted, integrous woman either.

In fact this is one of the core reasons that so many women are repelled at the thought of sales and marketing. It’s this belief that in order to sell, they have to do it using this old paradigm method — the old paradigm of sales and marketing that implies this sense of force or pushiness.

I agree that for a long time the vast majority of sales has been done in a “salesy” or “’pushy” way. It’s been carried out from a lens of what can I get from my client rather than what value can I deliver to my client and how can I be of the greatest service.

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?

Oooh, I would say my greatest skill lies in the Presentation stage, in being able to articulate the unique and relevant value of what I have to offer. It’s not about sharing our process or methodology or the specific of what is going to happen when, in fact, it’s not really about us at all. The opportunity we have is to share with our divine clients (prospects) the transformational value of what we are offering — step by step, what outcomes and shifts they will experience.

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?

Generating quality leads begins with on point messaging — you need to understand what’s really going on for your clients at a very deep level and understand the sacred intersection where their needs meet with your brilliance in order to be able to craft your offering based on this understanding and then also be able to communicate that value.

When you are speaking directly to the needs of your ideal clients in your messaging and your lead generation events and you are sharing your unique essence as well — your story and your values, then those who experience your content and your event invitations will be self-identifying if your work (and you) are for them!

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’?

If you are at the stage of the conversation where you are ‘handling objections’ then your prospect is very likely deeply interested in what you are offering. At this stage they need your help to find a way for them to be able to work with you. This is an opportunity for you to be of service to them and is a beautiful way to demonstrate the stand you are taking for them that will continue throughout your working relationship.

People tend to cower during ‘handling objections’ because they have a deep fear of rejection. So as soon as they hear any kind of challenge in the conversation, they take an offense and move away instead of leaning in.

You want your clients to feel really confident about moving forward with you. If they have a concern about money, you can ask them something like: “How can we make this work for you? I trust you.” And let them tell you what payment terms they can do so you can assess if that will work for you and negotiate further if necessary.

If they have a concern about timing then you can address that and see what you might be able to do to support them to feel comfort around that concern.

Something to be compassionately and respectfully aware of is that your clients’ objections can be coming from a place of fear, from a place of not being sure if they will personally be able to get a return on their investment — it’s an opportunity for you to support them to be able to see this possibility in themselves.

Objections are also something that you can be addressing throughout your content.

‘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. Pre-qualify clients before you get in a sales conversation — you can do this by asking pre-qualifying questions in the call booking questionnaire
  2. Clearly articulate the value of what you’re offering — this is a big part of crafting your offering and is something I teach and in a nutshell comes down to sharing the value of the transformation your client will experience
  3. Feedback your clients’ needs and vision — when you share this, they feel that you understand them and their needs and then you can share with them what they need to fill the gap (your solution)
  4. Ask powerful closing questions — after presenting your offering, you can ask something like — “How is this resonating with you? How would you like to move forward? Can you see how this can really support you to x, y, z?”
  5. Support your prospect through any objections — help them to be able to work with you, find a way to make it work

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?

Depending on your clients’ personality, they may get in touch with you to talk about what you offer before they are ready to actually work with you and that’s okay.

Find ways to be a useful resource — continue offering value through events, education, and information and make sure that you always share a call to action for people to get in touch with you if they’re interested in finding out more about working with you (you can do this in really creative ways too — this is something I love to teach!).

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?

For closing a sale, I love to be on a video call or in person. As I work intuitively, it’s really helpful for me to be able to experience as much of my prospective client as possible. This is true for my clients as well.

In my experience, the closer you can get to real life — human interacting with human — the better for all conversations. Having said that, I have closed sales via email and Facebook message as well. When you’re selling high end, you always want there to be a high level of connection that has taken place.

Follow up can take any form but again the more personal, the better and more effective it is.

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. 🙂

The movement I am most interested in inspiring is that of women claiming their worth. I truly believe that women are one of this planet’s greatest untapped resources. There is without doubt an imbalance of power and that imbalance is a big part of what we see being played out in the chaos on our planet at the moment. We need mature, integrous and compassionate women to step forward and take their place in positions of power. Just as we need mature, integrous men to do the same.

I see an opportunity to redefine power on the planet to be power with rather than power over. We are all in this together.

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

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