If selling feels spammy, frustrating, overcomplicated, and out of alignment with what you actually value, the problem might NOT be you. It *might* be the MODEL. The most commonly taught sales model is something I think of as ABC - always be CLOSING. This model is underneath SO MANY of the books, courses, trainings, and freebies out in the world today. It's taught asTHE way...and yet it's FAILING you (and me) and so many other people. On this episode of Teachers in Business I'm going to share why exactly ABC feels SO terrible, and why it might NOT be THE way for you and your business, esp. if you are or were a TEACHER.
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Welcome, welcome to episode 71 of Teachers in Business. I'm your host, Sara Torpey. And I am glad to have you here with us today. Today I want to talk about the most common way to sell that we are taught and why it is likely failing you, it is entirely possible that it you feel the reverse of this, you feel like you are failing at selling, you feel like selling is spammy and frustrating and complicated and like way out of alignment with your actual values. If you're feeling that, it is highly likely that the problem is not you the problem is the model. Because for me like when you're I'm a former teacher, as a teacher in the classroom, one of the things that I learned over the years, is when all the students have the same problem, it's likely not them, right. And what I have seen working with my coaching clients over the last three years, is time and time again. All of my former teacher clients and many of my clients in other industries who come from other places have this same feeling about selling. And when everybody has the same feeling, it's not the students, it's something else it might be the teacher, it might be the model, it might be the process. And in this case, I think it's the model. So what I will tell you is this, this podcast episode this week, and the second part of it, that's going to be next week, both come out of a training that I have given recently called Uncomplicated Selling, which if you are a member of my Facebook group, which is also called Teachers in Business, you can get the full training in the group right now it is pinned to the top of the group, and it's free, and it's totally here for you. So if this really resonates with you, and you want the rest, come into the group, be a part of what we're doing. And in let's use this common language of sales models together. The other thing I want to tell you is that as a coach, this is part and parcel of how I teach my clients, I see my clients struggle with the selling part, particularly the selling and the pricing. Because these are the hardest parts of running a business as someone who is a giver, right? If you are struggling to match up your your intuition to give your love of people your love of like learning and helping with actually running a business that makes money. I have I have conquered this. And I help clients conquer this all the time. The next round of my small group program called Charting Business Success. Lead starts out in the first week in June. Right now it is the week of May 16. If you are interested in joining the program, and really fixing up your pricing so that you feel good about it, and you actually make money and you get to give as much as you want, which is partly what we're going to talk about today. If you want to focus in know which things you are doing actually matter if you want to actually reach your goals for a change. Rather than keep just resetting them, or even lowering them. Like that's not cool either. If you don't want to lower your prices to succeed, and actually I would contend that you don't have to the group really is for you. It is a wonderful magical life changing program. It is 16 weeks, it is small, small, small. But for all of the details, you can book a time on my calendar and come talk with me about it. It is never a waste of my time to talk to another human being. So don't think like, gosh, I don't know if I'm gonna say yes. And I don't know if I should book a time, I don't care. I would rather you get all the information and ask all your questions and be connected and be able to help you right this is the giving mindset, then then have you just not get what you need. So please, I will link all of that in the transcript and you will have access. So today let us talk about this sales model problem. I would contend that this model that you are most commonly taught is failing you right now. The most common model that is taught is something I think of as ABC. It's this idea I have a friend who told me early on and when I went into corporate and into the sales world the very start she was like oh ABC always be closing. Somebody else told me they she says the C's always be converting. But it's this idea that like your job is to always be selling and converting. Always, always, always, always, always an already as said this to a client the other day in talking about her sales process, and she was like sweating just by the idea of always being closing and selling, like that's uncomfortable. If you are somebody who likes to give, that's uncomfortable right out of the gate. So I think there are a couple of problems with this always be closing model. And it is really very much what underlies so many of the books in the trainings and the freebies and the webinars and the sales programs. That's what's taught in business schools. It's, you know, all of the things, the freebies out there in the world today, this is taught as the way and yet it is failing so many people. So the problem is the model. So let's talk about what exactly about this feels so terrible, and why it may not be the way the way in quotes for you, especially if you are a former teacher, because you roll through the universe like I do with this love, right? So a couple of things first, one of the problems with this ABC model that makes it feel so very, very complicated for people is that it's a process that is taught to you as if it is the way the only way the right way, the true way. But it is a process that has worked for someone, like someone emphasis on the one that is then taught as if it is for everyone. And as a teacher, as someone who knows something about learning, more than likely, you know that that's complete and other crap. Because you know that there is no one way that works for every student, there is no way that works for every learner. And there is no one way that works for every business. But this always be closing model is taught as it is the only way as if it is the wrong way. But really what happens is it works for some dude. And said dude then was like, Well, if this works for me, it can work for anybody. And then it's sold and packaged like that. And so it gives us this, this false sense of but this should work for me, I am the problem, when actually it's not intended for everyone. It won't work for everyone just like, you know, thinking abstractly in math right out of the gate works for a handful of kids, but it definitely doesn't work for everyone. This is the same kind of thing. So the other part of this that is a problem is that in this school of selling always be closing, the job of the salesperson of you, the business owner of me, the business owner, is to widen a gap to create a sale, I actually had someone, a coach tried to teach me to sell this way through a tool I was using in the fall. And it took me a while to figure out why I was so uncomfortable with the whole thing. But the contention basically was this. Like, she said to me that, you know, it's about widening the grip gap to create a sale actually to the coaches and last fall teach me this. And I was like, Oh God, this is awful. Because essentially, what you're saying is, the way you widen the gap is you take someone who has a problem or has some sort of worry or a thing that they're struggling with, right? You take a struggling learner, a business owner, client, whoever, whatever you do, whatever. And you say to them, okay, I see your problem. And this is a really big problem, and it's gonna be a huge deal. And you're not gonna make it without it. And you're not going to be able to function and you're never going to be successful. And then you say up, but you could have me help you and I know how to fix this. Basically, your job in this always be closing model is to widen the gap to make them feel bad enough about the gap that they have, so that you can step in and solve their problem. And if you are anything like me right now you are like the you have the x. It's like, oh, no, no, no, no, no, no. And here's the thing like that kind of selling works we've ever seen on infomercial. You've seen it work, you have been sold things this way. There are plenty of commercials that are like you have this problem. And if you don't solve this problem, you're never going to succeed. Sorry, you need this thing. And you get halfway to buying it and you're like, oh my god, I do need that thing that will change my life. And then you're like, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, do do I need this thing Hold on, where you buy it and you're like, Oh, actually I didn't need this. So there are people this works for them. This does work in the sales industry, this idea that you make people feel less so that you can fix them. But like, as a former teacher, as a current teacher, as a human, as a parent, this is not how I want to run my business, it's probably not how you want to run yours if you listen to this podcast. So I don't ever want to make anyone feel less, I don't want to be like, your gap is so wide, you're gonna fall on your face unless you pay me. Like that's awful. It's feels coercive, it feels mean, it feels, it feels unkind in so many ways. And I don't want to help people grow businesses by making them feel bad. Like, that's just not okay with me. And so, like, and I also don't want to introduce things that reduce people's confidence into the mix, like my job as coaches to build people's confidence not to take it away, like I don't, you know, I actually have had people say to me, well, like, the sales process starts by breaking people down, like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, so many nose. No, thank you, I don't want to break people down, I want to build them up. So that's not okay. This is problem number one. It's for everyone. And it is about widening the gap to create the sale. That's not okay. And it's not okay with most of my clients. And this idea that you have to sell this way is so uncomfortable, that you just don't. And then of course, you're not going to get where you want to go because you're not selling anything. But if this is the way then who wants to do this, like? Problem number two, is, in this always be closing model. It's always about the sale. The sale is the highest priority, it is like, you know, okay, do whatever you have to do to get them to buy, say whatever you need to say, be attached to them saying yes. And I have had, you know, even my very first business coach who I respect the hell out of who taught me a ton of things. She would say, you know, a no is just not a yes yet. And it was always super uncomfortable for me, because I think sometimes the timing isn't right. I think sometimes the match isn't good. I think sometimes no is the right answer. And she'd be like, well, but you know, the there's a reason for their No, and it's just figuring out that reason and addressing it. Well, it could be that they're no as they don't like me, and that's fine, or I'm not the right coach for them. But in this always be closing model in this always be converting model, what matters is the sale more than the person. And so it is focusing on, you know, getting what you need from someone else, what you the business owner need from someone else, I need their money, therefore, the sale comes first. Therefore, I will do whatever I have to do to create the sale that feels kind of horrible. Like it's like that whole thing like I will I need this kid to get 100 on the test. So I will give them the answers in advance. Like that's a sign that teaching is not going well, when like you're giving the kids the answers to the test so that they can get the grade so that you can do your thing. Like that's a that's not a good sign. Right. So the thing about this whole side of the business, though, in this model is this is what makes cold messaging Okay, right? If it is only about the sale, it is about getting as many people as you can to say yes, then why not send cold messages? Why not do spammy? Things? Why not send a billion emails? Why not? Why not? Why not be like, if you don't buy this tool for me, then then the apocalypse is coming. Because if what matters more than anything is they pay you the money. And they say yes, all of those things are on the table is things to do. But like, feels pretty convincing. It feels kind of gross. It feels really like you're trying to talk them into something they may or may not need. It feels like you're not respecting them, at least to me. So if you know if what you would rather do is show up in service, and be here for the people first, this model feels horrible. Because your priority becomes the sale and then you feel bad when your priority is not the sale and it's the spiral because you're like, Oh my God, but I put the person first and they said no. So I did it wrong. And then your confidence gets shaken and it feels like crap. And it just spirals down. So in the first problem you're not selling because it feels terrible. Because you're trying to make people feel bad about themselves. And then when you do make them feel bad about themselves and they still say no, you're like, oh my god, I'm a failure. So this isn't fun. All the way around. And there's another reason that this is a problem. Are you ready? The third reason this is a problem is that this always be closing model, what they sell it to you as a business owner as is like, hey, here are these 26 steps. If you do these 26 steps perfectly every time, you'll make all the money you want, you will make a bajillion dollars and everything will be great. But then what happens is if you don't follow the 26 steps perfectly every time, the problem must be you. And that's bananas. Number one. Here's the thing about this, we love our process. Like if somebody said to me today, I would be really tempted, they'd be like, Okay, I'm this process, it's 26 steps. If you do it perfectly every time you'll be a millionaire, at the end of the year, I would be like, really. But then here's the thing, like I know, as a human as a discerning, critically thinking, thoughtful human, that that can't be true. It can't be because it's too good to be true, it's impossible. And also, like I am incapable about a following three steps perfectly ever. Like I can't do that. And so it's like, A, it's not possible to follow things perfectly. But we really human human, we want a process, we want a process that we feel like we can trust, that takes all the variability out of it. That removes the messy human parts, because messy human parts are uncomfortable. And so this always be closing models really appealing. Because it's like a process that's mechanized. Except that that's not how anything works. And that's a problem. So us feeling like, you know, this is great, I'm just gonna follow these steps perfectly. And then of course, we don't, because that's crazy. I, you know, I make granola every week, I use this example. Every time I make granola, like every two weeks, we go through mineral like it's going out of style here. It's got the same like 1234567 ingredients. It's basically stirring, and I put it in the oven. And I do the same friggin thing every freaking time and it comes out different every time. It is fascinating to me, like it's like mix things together, put in oven take out. Like there aren't even complicated steps. There surely that 26. And still, it is highly variable, because it's human in its life. And it is what it is, and its ingredients. So the problem with this always be closing model, especially if you're a teacher is it's kind of anti human, you know, as a human, that we can't take the variability out of things, we can't take the human out of anything, because we are actually human beings. Like we can't subtract that. And so what happens is selling feels overwhelming a because you know, deep down 26 steps done perfectly every time isn't possible, you just know it. And be because, you know, taking the humaneness out of the process can't be this whole ABC sales model is really anti human. It's like we're going to make a rollback version of this. And of course, it's going to work. People buy billions of dollars, every year worth of like, I have this mechanized process for you, that is definitely going to work every time. I have a potential client who talked to me a couple of weeks ago. And he was like, Look, I've spent all this money on ads, because the guy said to me, we follow this nine step process. We do all these things. And it works every time. And of course, it didn't work. It didn't work, it didn't generate any revenue for him. And he was frustrated. But that's because like they tried to take the human variability out of a process that is about in around human beings. So here's the thing, friends. If selling feels miserable, because you are trying to make a mechanized process out of something that isn't, you know, you're trying to perfectly mechanized process no less out of something that involves humans, that's a problem. If you're trying to make the sale first in your brain, as the most highest priority, when actually like you love people best and you really want the best for them. That's part of the problem. It's the model. And if you as a human, know that what you really want more than anything is to create capability and confidence and other people and telling them they're missing something as a human doesn't feel good for you. Like that's part of the problem. But this is the model that we're taught. So I understand why the model is and it works for some people if it works for you fantastic. But if this is part of what's happening, what I want you to know today is, you're not the problem. The model is, it is possible to do this differently. It is likely that different works, because I have seen it, especially if you're a teacher, this always be closing model doesn't feel great. So what we're going to do next week on the podcast, is we're going to talk about the alternatives. So that will be episode 72. It's coming at you next week. This week in between, while you have some time, think about the process you're using to sell now, and what the assumptions underneath it are. Are you assuming everybody has to say yes, all the time? Are you assuming that you can't do a 26 step process perfectly every time? Are you assuming that you have to tell them their problem perfectly and make them understand that you can help them because if you are, you are using an always be closing model without even realizing it. So this week in between, start looking for always be closing in your current sales process. And next week, we're going to remove it because you don't need it. There's another way to do this, and I'm happy to share it. I want to give it to everyone. Because y'all need it. We all need it. And it is possible to have it different. So I'll see you next week. Until then, if you need me, you can find me my Facebook group and teachers in business, you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have thoughts on the Always Be Closing model and why it feels so icky. Send me a message Tell me all about it. few thoughts about this podcast, things you want to have me talk about. I'm happy to do that too. I get requests all the time. If you're in my Facebook group, awesome. If you're not, come join the fun. It's called teachers in business. And if you are ready to really change how you do business truly, to a version of selling that feels much more like you come join my small group coaching program or coach with me one on one. All you have to do start that as book a time to chat. I'll talk to you soon. Have a great week.