Episode #009 - The Squirm-Free Sales Revolution: 5 Ways You Can Future-Proof Your Business

Jul 30, 2021

The online services industry is changing, so here's how you can sell in this new environment.

The future of online sales is shifting, and with unprecedented expectation (and demand!) from consumers for non-icky, consent-led enrolment experiences, it's time to empower - not pressure or shame - prospects into action.

In this episode, Katy Prince, Business and Sales Coach, will walk you through the 5 biggest shifts you need to make to be part of the Squirm-Free Sales Revolution that's happening in the online services industry right now. This will allow you to grow in an ethical and sustainable way, seize emerging opportunities and future-proof your business. 

Remember to tag us @squirmfreeschoolofbusiness as you're listening so we can give you a virtual high five 🎉

Click here to apply for Squirm-Free Sales Masters.

 


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Katy: There is now an unprecedented expectation and demand from the people who are out there buying services like yours, for non-icky consent-led involvement experiences. It is time for us to empower prospects, not pressure or shame them into action.

Maisie: Hello, and welcome back to the Study Notes podcast, the podcast from the Squirm-Free School of Business, created to help ethical entrepreneurs get clear on their sales, service, and strategy. For those of you who are listening to the audio of this podcast, you'll be thinking, "Hold up, that's not Katy, and this isn't our usual intro," and you're absolutely right. I’m Maisie a member of Team Squirm-Free, and usually, you'll find me working behind the scenes of this podcast, but I'm here with you today because we have an uber-special episode for you.

The snippet you heard at the beginning was taken from Katy's opening session at our recent virtual conference, The Future of Online Sales. For those of you who didn't attend, I can tell you it was a blooming hoot, but today, we're sharing the opportunity to be a fly on the wall inside this incredible session, as we're giving you access to the previously closed event. For those of you that did come along, then firstly, quick virtual high five, but also, you'll find this a great opportunity for you to reinvigorate your sense of direction when it comes to Squirm-Free selling. Talk about an exciting episode, eh? 

Right, then. So the session you're about to hear is all about the Squirm-Free sales revolution that's happening right now in the online services industry. Katy explains the five biggest shifts you need to make to be part of this revolution, so you can seize the incredible opportunities that are available. One more thing, and I promise I'll let you have at all this juicy content. You'll notice Katy mentions about applying to attend our bonus day training, that includes an in-depth hands-on workshop and a Q&A. I'm thrilled to let you know that you can still actually get your hands on this amazing bonus training from us, free of charge.

So, when you submit an application to join our signature six-month experience, Squirm-Free Sales Masters, and you're accepted, you will be sent exclusive access to this sales training. Inside Squirm-Free Sales Masters, we teach service providers transferable and non-icky sales skills across three areas: written, verbal, and strategic. There's no obligation or pressure to enroll with us after your accepted application, so even if you're just a teensy bit curious and want to learn more, then I really encourage you. Pop in your application and get your hands on this content. Just swing by squirmfreesales.com/apply. The link will be in the show notes as always. Okay, enough from me now. Enjoy this exclusive peak inside our conference.

Katy: Day one, session one. Here we go, the Squirm-Free sales revolution, the Squirm-Free sales revolution. As I say, the whole reason that we're hosting this conference is because the future of online sales is already shifting. It is already shifting. There is now an unprecedented expectation and demand from the people who are out there buying services like yours, for non-icky consent-led involvement experiences. It is time for us to empower prospects, not pressure or shame them into action.

So, let's just get on the same page for a moment, because this phrase, Squirm-Free, it's everywhere. It's everywhere, so let's get on the same page. What do I mean when I say Squirm-Free? To me, Squirm-Free means ick-free. It means shame-free. It means pressure-free. It means free from that fear of missing out that gets driven so much, free from comparison. For me, Squirm-Free is a phrase that encompasses all the things that I want our sales clients to feel freedom from, so from that FOMO, from that shame, from that comparison, from the cliches, from the ickiness, and the whole point is that it's a work in progress. If it's not too cheesy to say, it's a journey, not a destination.

But seriously, Squirm-Free is a process. It is in constant development. It is shifting and changing. There is no perfect Squirm-Free sales process or Squirm-Free business. The whole point is that it is a work in progress.

So I'm curious now. I'm really curious to know. You know, I keep saying this. There's a huge shift happening in the online business space, and I'm curious who else is feeling it. Who else is feeling it? Because I have been noticing that this Squirm-Free sales revolution has been brewing for a while. This is not new. I remember back in 2018, I was working at a co-working space in Toronto. I had my mobile phone in my hand, and I was absolutely gushing with sweat, because I was about to post a post on Instagram that says, "Go boss She-E-O and boss babe is dead." It was something like that. I can't remember the exact one. I'm going to have to grab it, and I'll find it from my Instagram archive for you.

There I was, in this co-working space for women, about to post this post about this... This hyper-gendered way of being as an entrepreneur is sold to people who look like women. I'm like re-experiencing right now. I felt so nervous. I could feel my heartbeat in my throat, and that was nearly three years ago now, and I've noticed that over the past few years, this shift, this shift away from lots of those icky gendered norms has only accelerated. More and more people are talking about this, and I think this Squirm-Free sales revolution really has been brewing for quite a while. Some of you in the chat are saying yes, you felt it too. Yeah, 100%.

You know, scoot around on Pinterest for five minutes, and you would be forgiven for thinking that becoming a successful online coach, or service provider, or freelancer is all about tucking into your daily smoothie bowl. It's all about laughing nonchalantly at your Rose Gold MacBook, latte in hand. Surely, it would be spilling all down your arm if you were really laughing, but that's another point. Or, you know, posting bikini reels from Canggu Beach, air pointing to three vague top tips. I call it the body babe sales model.

Now, just to be clear, there is nothing wrong with smoothie bowls, or lattes, or pictures on the beaches. Do not misunderstand me. Those are all lovely things, and I enjoy them very much. However, my issue with the body babe sales model is that it leans so heavily on this lifestyle fluff and relies on the... It overly relies on the following three sales strategies.

The first of which is building faux-thority. I wonder if you've noticed this too. This trend of perceived authority being easily constructed by being conventionally attractive, so by that I mean white, thin, straight, cisgendered, non-disabled, and by displaying this luxury lifestyle, showing off designer handbags, or luxury destinations, or pedigree pets more often than actually talking about ideas or displaying credentials.

Here's why it no longer works. Leveraging privilege alone is not a credible sales strategy, or a complete sales strategy. Whiteness, thinness, cisgender-ness, proximity to Tony Robbins, it should never have been sufficient reason to build these massive online businesses, to sell these online services in the first place.

Now, the good news is that people are seeing through this nonsense, right? Customers are demanding more depth, more breadth. They want research. They want sources. They want reasons. They want receipts, and rightly so. They are looking for transferable skills and advice that doesn't rely on them having to look like you, or sound like you, or having a trust fund to dip into like you, or just be white and pretty like you, right? Customers are looking for real solutions, like real information, not just, "Be like me, look like me," yeah?

The second strategy... Yeah, proximity to Tony Robbins. Like, I mean, let me know if you disagree with me, but... The second strategy that I feel that this body babe sales model relies on too heavily is the overnight success story. You know this one. It's the rags to riches tale of packing in the corporate job, the nursing job, the retail job, going full time in the business from day one, again leveraging that privilege, whether that is spending all your savings on a plane ticket, borrowing money off a family member, or moving into a parent's property, and it's like "Ta-da! Look, I'm turning six figures overnight."

I don't think I need to tell you what's wrong with this, but let's take a little look at why it no longer works. Well, there are many reasons why this is no longer working. A, I think we're all bored of it, no? I know I am. And I also want to be clear, I am not immune to this, okay? I have told overnight success style stories in the past. One of a feminist coach who I admire greatly, her name is Kelly Diels, she has this phrase, "We are all in the water, so we are all wet," meaning that we are all growing up in... we are all existing in a white supremacist patriarchal society, so we are all unlearning this constantly. That's why I say Squirm-Free is a process. It is not a box that we get to tick off. And I don't know about you, but I've read so many of these rags to riches overnight success stories now, I'm just bored. I'm just bored. They've all blended into one. They don't have any impact anymore.

But more importantly, it truly does not equip people for long-term success with your services. Managing expectations, it might not be the sexiest thing to market and sell, but you know what? It'll do you way better in the long run when that client who you built a website for is like... you know, is no longer saying things like, "Oh, you handed over my new website last week. Where are all my thousands of leads?" Or you know, that design client, "I love my new logo. Where's my Forbes feature now?" Because sometimes, these are the kinds of expectations that overnight success stories are selling for customers.

Here's what I want to say on this: There is massive value in the process. There is value in the messy middle. There is value in things not working first time. There is value in taking multiple runs at something before you get the result. In fact, you're not supposed to get it right first time, okay? That is the biggest lie that the online sales industry has told service providers, and I for one am pretty mad about it, to be honest, and I've had enough. Let me know how you feel. I'm curious to know.

All right, so the third strategy that this body babe model is overly reliant on is the one that sends a shiver through me the most, it is blaming and shaming clients. This sales model, it thrives on convincing clients that they are the problem, not posting enough, not showing up enough, not reaching out enough, not charging enough, not saying "F it" enough, not working out enough, because apparently that's relevant, and not investing in yourself enough, not being committed enough, yeah? The body babe sales model, it loves, it loves to cheerfully tell us, "Just show up more. Just do more. Just be more, be more visible, put in the work." It loves to cheerfully tell us that, doesn't it?

Here's why it no longer works, because yes, visibility, recognition, branding, and hard graft, it is part of building a business. There is a level of commitment required. I'm not denying that. It is. But, without solid sales skills and systems that are going to actually capture all of those eyes and ears that you're putting so much effort into generating, all of that energy is going to be expended with not much in the way of return.

It's kind of like giving your Nan, or your BFF, or your partner, it's kind of like if you gave them 1,000-piece jigsaw, and you kept like 500 of the pieces in your pocket, and then blaming them for not being able to finish it, right? Like, make it make sense. And as if that wasn't bad enough, pretty much anyone who hasn't been raised as a cis white man, they've already had it made pretty clear to them by society that they're not enough, or sometimes they're too much, and therefore, it's safer to tone it down so that you go back to being not enough, and frankly, I think...

I'm speaking for myself here. I'm curious if you feel the same way, but frankly, I for one have had enough, and I'm willing to put it out there that there are clients out there, in the world, who are actively looking for service providers, looking for coaches, looking for experts who already see them as enough, yeah? Who see them as an already complete human being, who know they don't need to be fixed or need to be saved, and who aren't interested in developing these weird codependent client relationships, where you start dressing the same and just doing everything the same. I think of it as like Mary Poppins style, okay? Mary Poppins, she turns up to the family when they need her, and then once they don't need her anymore, off she goes with her little umbrella.

I'm really curious. Let me know if you've noticed any of this too, if this rings any bells. Which of these three sales strategies have you noticed the most of? Yeah. Oh my gosh, I am trying to keep up with the chat. It is absolutely wild. I cannot wait to catch up with it later. But yeah, there are big shifts happening in the online sales world, and I for one am here for it. I for one am here for it.

So, let's have a look at these five big shifts then. Let's have a look at these five big shifts. Oh no, not yet. We'll get to those in a sec. We'll get to those in a sec. I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm over-excited. I do want to just dive in, because what I want to acknowledge, before we get into these five big shifts, is that this isn't... I want to be really clear that if you, like me... You know, I have been pulled in by these strategies myself in the past as well. Like, no one comes out of the womb not susceptible to whatever's going on, as Kelly... I shared that quote from Kelly, like, "We're all in the water, and so we are all wet," right?

There are some reasons, some real reasons, this isn't your fault is what I want you to know. That's what I want you to know right now. If you've been taken in by these tactics in the past, if you have perpetuated these in the past, I want you to know that this isn't your fault, because there are actually some really solid reasons why some people, sales are kind of dwindling or plateau because they're putting these tactics into practice whilst others are still growing exponentially, so let's have a look at them now.

The first reason is that the traditional methods of business development have been on hold for over a year now, right? I don't need to tell you why. We're not going to say the C word, but if you used to meet all of your clients at your local co-working space, or from having that one-minute pitch spot at your regular networking group, if you used to go to events, if you used to look forward to going to in-person retreats and annual conferences, and you know, always leave with a wedge of referrals, and business cards, and new partnerships, and new contacts, that hasn't been available for over a year now, and if it's having an impact, that's totally understandable, right? It's not because you haven't been showing up. It's because a whole way of developing new business has been completely taken off the table.

And if you are one of the people who was either made redundant at the beginning of the P word, or you know, had a change in circumstance over the course of the last year, then you know, there's been a whole sort of way of growing a new business that has just been completely off the table, and I think it's really important to acknowledge that, you know? It's not in any of our control. We can't control it.

The second reason is that there's a really valid and genuine concern for projecting ickiness onto others. If you are someone who has been on the receiving end of a sales situation, and by sales situation I mean like any part of the sales process, whether that was on the receiving end of some marketing, or you had a conversation with someone, or they sent you an email, or what have you, and it made your skin crawl, I am willing to bet that the last thing that you want to do is to perpetuate that and make someone else feel the same way. So, the result is long, awkward silences, right? It's that inactivity for the fear of doing what was done to you to someone else, and that is totally valid, okay? If that is what has been holding you back, then I get that, okay? And I'm not going to shame you for it. It's totally.. Yeah, of course.

And the third reason is that... And you're going to have to stick with me here. It may be possible that deep down, there is... or maybe not even that deep. Maybe somewhere in the middle. Maybe in the shallows. I'm not sure. But there might be a part of you that actually doesn't want the sale, yeah? That may be completely understandable, and stay with me here, but I actually see this all the time. I've been through phases of this myself, yeah? Of uncovering a part of myself that was underneath the surface, underneath all of my reasons, or under all of my procrastination, and if right now, you are in a cycle of doing something like undercharging, maybe you're routinely discounting folks, maybe you are a chronic over-deliverer, you know? You feel compelled to just throw in an extra one-on-one call that no one asked you for, in order to complete within what can, let's face it, at times, feel like a really oversaturated market.

And I say feel like an oversaturated market, because when we're spending so much time online, it feels like... And those algorithms, like gosh, they just show us more of what we're looking at, so the moment you start comparing yourself and seeing what so-and-so is doing, it's just going to show you more and more accounts and posts just like that, so it can feel oversaturated really quickly, but maybe you're... So yeah, if you are in that cycle of undercharging or discounting, wouldn't it make sense that part of you wouldn't actually want the sale to happen, because then you know you have to do all of this work for much less than you'd really like to charge for it, right?

I don't know, maybe you're protecting yourself from the fear of having to field a new objection or answer a question that hasn't been asked to you before. Maybe there's a... In fact, you know what? I've had an experience in the past where someone who I admired greatly applied to work with me, and I sat on that application for weeks, because I was so in awe. I was like, "Oh my gosh. I don't know if I can be the person," that like what could they possibly want from me, right? So I found myself self-sabotaging, to use an overused phrase, or maybe, maybe, this part of you that doesn't want the sale is because you are at capacity, yeah?

And capacity, I mean to kind of encompass all kinds of things. It might mean that you're at capacity in the sense that you are booked, you are busy, and that any kind of sales activity ekes into your billable client time, or into your CEO visionary time, then that might be capacity. Or, it might be that your capacity looks different to someone else's capacity, and you are, for whatever reason, at capacity, so no matter how much the book, or the Instagram post, or the podcast tells you to reach out more, and do more, and what have you, if you don't want to take on more work, because you know you won't have the capacity to deal with it, then of course that sale is going to get sabotaged, right?

So isn't it understandable that maybe you haven't followed up with that person? Isn't it understandable that maybe, you said, "I'll get back to you," but really it was just so that you could have some space again. Isn't it understandable that... If those things have happened, then I want you to just take a moment and forgive yourself, okay? Because it's totally understandable, yeah? And I get it. So let us know in the chat if you've felt that way. I can see you connecting. Oh, yes. All righty.

All right, so now. Now we're going to get into our shifts. Now we're going to get into our shifts. Here is what the future of online sales and the Squirm-Free sales revolutions means for you. It means saying goodbye to some things and hello to some new things. All right. Yes, the layers are there, so many layers.

The future of online sales, it means saying goodbye to these hard and fast, fear of missing out, driving deadlines, yeah? These deadlines that feel like a punishment, yeah? That don't create space for people to feel out their options. Yeah, we've got to say goodbye to these hard and fast deadlines, and instead, we are going to be replacing them with authentic decision-making windows. We're going to talk about all of these over the course of the next couple of days, okay? We're going to be saying hello to authentic decision-making windows.

Here's my mentality. I think that deadlines are actually really helpful, and I'm going to let you know why. You don't get to live rent free in another person's brain forever, okay? There is nothing worse, is there, than knowing that you owe someone a text, for example. I don't know if I'm the only person who finds it really overwhelming to reply sometimes. It feels like it's burning a hole in your phone. Maybe this is just me. I wish, I wish, that all texts would just spontaneously combust after like five days, and then it would be a fresh start.

I think it's the same with making a decision about whether to work with someone or not. Having a decision-making window that you have agreed with the other person, oh, doesn't it just take the pressure off? If a decision hasn't been made by the end of that decision-making window, then it gets made automatically. Ah, relief. You're not living rent free in another person's brain forever, and there is a really clear kind of, "This is the window that we're going to use to make the decision." It's not just me? Okay, good to know Kate. Thank you for that.

The thing that I want you to really consider when you're thinking about switching out a FOMO driving deadline, by which I mean one that feels like a punishment... The example I sometimes give my clients is there's a difference between let's imagine that we're all in a hot tub together, ah. It would have to be a pretty big hot tub, because there's a lot of you here, but let's imagine we were all in a hot tub, and there's a few more people who are outside of the hot tub, and one of us is going, "You have to get in now, otherwise I'm going to turn off the bubbles," right? Feels like a punishment, whereas with a decision-making window, we're saying, "Hey, the bubbles are going to be on for another 30 minutes. Feel free to jump in. It's lovely and warm," yeah? Completely different. Like, it could be the same window, could be the same time frame. However, the punishment versus invitation is... Yeah, it makes a huge difference.

What I want you to think about is, when you're thinking about how long do you want to give someone to decide to work with you, how long can you show up and be truly available for, yeah? How long can you show up and be truly available for? This used to get me into such hot water, not the nice bubbly kind, but you know, I used to try and please people, and overcompensate by having these huge, long launches that would last like six weeks. I would basically be available for those entire six weeks. I would let people book sales conversations with me the entire time. I would be glued to my phone for six weeks, and by the end of it, I would be so burned out.

So now, what I do is I have a seven-day period, those of you who decide to apply, you'll... It will be communicated very clearly and transparently to you, because seven days, I can commit to showing up and being truly available for those seven days, to field questions, to answer any concerns, and to do all that, but beyond that, just as I don't want to live in someone else's head rent free for longer than seven days, I also can't give really great sales service for much longer than that without burning out.

The other thing I want you to remember with an authentic decision-making window is that the goal is that. It is a decision. It is a decision either way, either a congruent yes or a clear no, and both are just as valuable.

All right, so our second shift that we are making, oh my gosh, is we are saying goodbye to being elusive about pricing. Who else wants to say goodbye to this? I'm so sick of this trend about being elusive around pricing, and instead, we're going to be saying hello to transparency over everything. By transparency, I mean yes, I want to know what something costs before I'm invited to invest in it. We always put our prices on our sales pages. You see them before you can apply for anything. You need to know. You need to know. You do. You need to know, because otherwise, it just wastes everyone's time, right? By transparency over everything, I also mean being clear on what exactly is included, where are those testimonials from, why is that payment plan fee so astronomical? That is a question I would like to know a lot of the times. If anyone knows, please fill me in. But transparency over everything.

The third shift that we are making is we are saying goodbye to not qualifying clients before taking them on. I have made mistakes with this in the past, and let me tell you, it will cost you dearly. It serves no one to take on clients that are not a good fit, or that aren't ready to work with you, and it will cost you dearly in the long term. Instead, we are saying hello to only taking on clients that you can actually help. And yes, that means a slower enrollment process. Yes, that means taking the time to screen clients. Yes, that means having clear criteria and actually ensuring that the potential client meets them. We actually teach this as part of our enrollment conversation process, how to actually check that the client meets your criteria, because you have to also be willing to graciously decline if you're not the right person to help that potential client. They deserve to get support in the way that they need, and you deserve to be able to have a streamlined business and not constantly feel obligated to make exceptions for people.

All right, our fourth shift is we are saying goodbye to pressure-led sales, if that wasn't clear by now. Instead, we're saying hello to consent-led selling. What consent-led selling means... I mean, I don't think I need to tell you why pressure-led selling is out. We're sick of it. Like, 10X is over. Sorry, Cardone and Co., but we are done. Consent-led selling, to me, that means refreshing consent regularly throughout the sales process.

You know, ask it, like checking in with people and being like, "Hey, do you still want to join us? Like, are you still free to have this connection call? Is it okay if I follow up with you?" Right? All these little questions, and we'll get into this more, especially in our sales conversation session tomorrow, and in fact all of our sessions tomorrow, we're going to basically talk about consent all day. But also, giving real options, yeah? Instead of aggressive double binds that leave people feeling like they've been backed into a corner, and if in doubt, always ask again.

Our fifth shift that we are making, and this one I feel very strongly about, is we are saying goodbye to hyper-gendered and ableist language. Once you start looking for it, you will see that it is still everywhere. It's still everywhere. In fact, within the past year, there have... I did another audit of one of my sales pages, and I found some bits of language in there that I was like, "Wow, I'm... Like, that needs to be changed," right? And we need to be constantly auditing our language to ensure that we are using neutral, welcoming, and open language that is... Yeah, that makes space for all.

I do implore you to consider keeping gender out of it. It really is rarely relevant, rarely relevant, and saying what you mean and being willing to revise your copy. You know, a word that I see just everywhere in sales copy, especially for online services and business, is this idea of stuck-ness being represented by the word paralyzed or paralysis, right? When I say say what you mean, I mean actually describe what you mean, and ensure that we're not inadvertently using ableist language or playing into gender tropes in order to get our point across. So be willing to revise your copy and say what you mean. Lastly, put your values first and the right people will find you, regardless of their identity, yeah? Regardless of their identity.

These are our five shifts that we're going to be making. I want to know which one you're most excited about, which one resonates with you the most, and also, tell me in the comments, in the chat, what other industry shifts have you noticed? I'm really curious, because these are just five of the biggest ones that I've really come to notice, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. This is the tip of the iceberg, yes. All right, we've noticed all of them. I'd be so curious to know what other shifts you've noticed. Definitely tell us in the chat. I would love to know.

A quick recap on the Squirm-Free sales revolution. We've talked about what does Squirm-Free mean and why does it matter? We've unpacked the body babe sales model and those three strategies that are no longer working, and that you're going to be wanting to avoid. We have gone through the reasons, the very valid reasons, behind what's standing behind service providers and sales success at the moment, and they're sneaky, some of them. Then, we have gone through these huge shifts and changes that are happening in the industry right now, that you need to know about, and are ready to embody. Woo. There we go. Look at that. First session, we are done. That was us. Squirm-Free sales revolution. I stuck to time. The thing is, the world needs sellers who are ready and willing to lead this emerging sales revolution, and to create a new standard for the way that sales are done online. That means one that involves inclusion, integrity, compassion, and I am so excited that you're all here, because the world really does need more people who are ready to be industry leaders, and to make it their business to master this approach.

We will take a couple of questions in just a moment. I want to make sure that we stay right on time, so I'm going to jump into those in just a second. Before I do, I want to just give you a little reminder that if you want to join us for our bonus day, definitely in the break between now and the next session, which is with Vivian K. Oh my gosh, I'm so excited. If you're loving this already after the first session, and you're thinking like, "Wow, I want to find out more," then what you can do is you can apply to join us for our VIP bonus day. It's your opportunity. If you are curious about working with us, then we invite you to apply for your invitation to our VIP bonus day.

On this bonus day, we're going to be hosting two sessions. It doesn't cost anything extra. You can simply apply for a spot to join us. We're going to kick off with an advanced-level training, all about how to build a Squirm-Free sales ecosystem that makes sense for your business. Plus, we're going to be crunching the five numbers that you need to know for sales success. This is an advanced, high-level training. It's going to be super juicy. Then, we're going to roll on with an exclusive Q&A. This is going to be an extended question and answer session where you can ask all your questions about Squirm-Free sales and how it relates to your business. You can chat with some of our former clients and pick our brains about whatever's on your mind.

So, if you want to apply to join us on the VIP day, you can simply click the apply now button in any live session or scroll... If you scroll down on this page, there should be a big green button that says "Apply now." But don't worry. We'll remind you about that plenty.

Okay. Let's have a look and see what questions we have. Amazing, so we have a question from Larissa, who says, "I'm very new to learning about using neutral, non-gendered language, so bear with me." That's absolutely fine. As I said at the beginning, wherever you're starting from is the perfect place to start from, so thank you for asking this question. I'm sure other people will have the same question. "As a health professional who specializes in working with females for weight loss, hormones, et cetera, how would you suggest I use neutral language to attract my ideal client, that doesn't confuse others about the kind of work I do, service I provide, and people I serve? Would this be a case or scenario in using gendered language is acceptable?"

Great question. I love that question. The great thing is, if you're working in the health or wellness fair, and you are working with people who have certain hormones, have certain body parts, have certain identifiers that mean that you are more equipped to work with them, so for example, hormones, or for example, we have a former client, [Vianni], who is a menstrual alignment coach. She says that she works with people who have periods, yeah? Because it's not just women who have periods, yeah? Nonbinary people have periods. Some trans men have periods. So, that's a really great example. People who have periods, people who have uteruses. I can help cis- and trans-women with their hormones, for example.

One little caveat that I would say is we want to ensure that we are actually equipped to support the people who we are speaking to, so if you only work with cisgender women, that's fine, but let's make that clear, yeah? Let's make that really clear, and I think it's lovely to still acknowledge that there are other people who have the same experience as the clients that you serve. For example, if you choose to only work with cisgender women, and I highly recommend that you don't do this, because you will be missing out on working with some of the most amazing clients on the face of the planet. But if you still choose to do so, I would love to see a little sentence below saying, "The reason I currently work with cisgender women only is because I'm still in a process of educating myself about the trans and nonbinary experience. However, if you'd like a referral, please feel free to reach out to me, and I will do my best to connect you with someone who can serve you better."

Let me know if that helps. And yes, hormones affect all humans, absolutely, so let me know if that helps, and we can definitely... We will definitely be talking about that again, you know? This kind of language is woven into everything that we do, so yeah. Larissa, okay, you're saying in the chat that that helps. Brilliant. So glad. If there are any other questions, feel free to drop them, and I will dive in.

Shannon is asking, "How do we deal with an aversion to self-promotion?" Oh, well, Shannon, I have a really short and simple answer, and then we'll unpack it a bit. Step one, come to our next session, which is starting at half-past 2:00. That's half-past 9:00 for you folks on the East Coast, and come to our session with Vivian K. She is going to be showing you how to channel your inner Chad, okay? If you're curious about what that means, you're just going to have to come and join us. I'd also love to recommend that you join us at the Bouncing Back from Rejection panel, which is after our slightly longer break, and it's our third session today.

Because here's the thing. Putting yourself out there as a salesperson, it requires you to quite literally open yourself up to the possibility of being rejected, of getting a no, and if you're wanting to put that off, then I think you're very sensible. I do. I think you're very sensible, and if you're feeling that aversion to self-promotion, then it could be as a protection mechanism. Also, Shannon, I do just want to mention that aversion to self-promotion, I don't want to make any assumptions about your identity, but it could also be cultural, right? That is definitely a possibility.

There are some cultural norms that mean that promoting oneself is something that is considered bad, or has been discouraged from an early age, so I feel like in this case, and again, I don't want to make any assumptions, but if that were the case, then I think community here can be such a big support, and being able to try out new ways of promoting oneself in a space with people who are going to be encouraging, who are going to help you see things from a different point of view and give you the opportunity to practice without so much being at stake. That could be a great way as well, of dealing with aversion to self-promotion. Those are just a couple of quick tips. I'm sure that there are going to be some in the chat as well for you. Amazing questions.

Maisie: All righty. Maisie here again. That is a wrap on this very special episode of the Study Notes podcast. Thank you so much for tuning in. If you loved the sound of the Squirm-Free sales revolution and want to shift the way you sell your services to align with this, then remember to pop in an application for Squirm-Free Sales Masters. This is our sales skills and coaching program that helps service providers to grow their sales exponentially in a non-icky way. We provide training, templates, scripts, content critiques, live coaching calls, and an incredibly supportive community, and so much more, so that you can navigate your sales process with confidence and clarity.

Plus, remember, as an accepted applicant, you'll get access to the bonus day content that Katy referred to in this episode. This includes advanced, high-level sales training for no charge. So head over now to www.squirmfreesales.com/apply to find out more and to get involved. As always, the link will be in the show notes.

Do tag us in a story on Instagram, @squirmfreeschoolofbusiness, to let us know what you thought of this different episode. We'd absolutely love to know. And be sure to send this to a pal to share all of this goodness. Okay, that's everything. Have an incredible rest of your day.

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