Bob Schwenkler

How to Sell With Integrity

Written by on December 27, 2016

Posted in: Business

One hundred dollar bills in the shape of a heart isolated on white background The love of money

There are a lot of messages out there in the world about what it takes to build a thriving coaching practice. If you’re a coach, and if your Facebook feed is anything like mine you scroll through ad after ad (after ad after ad) trying to convince you to click through so you can “Effortlessly Enroll High End Clients and Earn 6 Figures in 30 Days Using This Proven 4 Step Technique That Generated $500K in Sales in Our Business in Even Less Than 30 Days”.

Almost ALL of the “high performing” sales models and sales scripts I’ve seen follow some variation on the following: Guide your potential client way up into their biggest dreams, take them way down into their deepest pain, and then present yourself as a solution.

It can work, if by “working” you mean “making money”.

When we pull people away from their egos and their senses of self, i.e. bring them into an emotionally destabilized place, it can be much easier to get them to do things they wouldn’t normally do. This can be a very useful thing to do if we want to support clients or potential clients in making change in their lives. It can also be a very useful thing to do if we want them to give us money.

But when we intentionally bring someone way down into their pain and then present ourselves as the solution, we are essentially entering a relationship created upon the implicit understanding that they need us in order to get what they want in their life/relationship/business/etc.

Is that really the kind of relationship you want to be creating with clients?

Imagine starting off a romantic relationship that same way… on the first date getting them to believe that they need you. That if they don’t go out next time with you, continue having sex with you, and stay with you ongoing they’ll be alone and miserable for the rest of their life. That you’re the solution which will end their suffering.

It sure isn’t what I want. Not in my relationships, not in my business (which is simply a set of relationships), and not in my life.

I have good friends who have ruined relationships with potential clients by selling by formula (i.e out of integrity with themselves) – from fear, pain, and scarcity. I have friends who’s relationships with their coaches have been ruined because of the same thing. In both scenarios what was supposed to be a sacred space for healing became a breeding ground for even more fear and pain.

It’s not that bringing light to the darkness isn’t a very important part of the growth process – it truly is –  it’s just that in order to create a relationship that’s based on a mutual acknowledgement of our inherent beauty, power, and wholeness there’s a high level of discernment and attunement that must be brought to WHY we’re guiding them into the darkness.

Stop trying to sell your potential clients on your service.

Take them deep into the pain because that’s the place their heart and soul have been desperately yearning to touch and feel, but haven’t yet had the courage or safety to do yet in any other space.

Immerse them in the sensory experience of their greatest dream because YOU yearn to smell, touch, and taste it with them. Do it because it’s the medicine that their soul has been craving and you can see it straining to burst out of them.

Don’t do it because you think it will get you a sale!

Stop buying into formulas and strategies and sales scripts just because they worked for someone else, or even because they DO work for you and make you money. Stop putting your potential clients into sales boxes. Stop treating them like money machines while hiding under the guise that you’re being of service to them.

This take deep, deep honesty on your part. It takes a true commitment to doing your deepest healing work – to bring your shadow into the light so that you are crystal clear on WHY you are selling. On WHY you are making (or trying to make) money.

Be courageous enough to explore the deepest depths of your soul so that YOU KNOW INNATELY WHO YOU ARE as a human, coach, and healer. Once you get to what feels like the bottom and you’ve felt the terror and the ecstasy and the raw emotion that is the source of your life… go deeper again.

The deeper you go, the more sensitive you can be to your own truth, and the more sensitive you can be to others’ truths and to the fact that THEY DON’T NEED YOU OR YOUR SERVICE.

Sell from that place. From here you can guide them toward what they’re really looking for – THEIR deepest truths.

Are you someone that others can fully trust to NOT put your agenda onto the sales process?

If you answered “yes” you’re wrong. We all have agendas. The highest level of integrity that any of us can be in is simply to be fully committed to our own process of healing, acknowledge that we’re human, and clean up when we make decisions that are out of integrity for us – because we will.

Every parent is going to mess up their kid(s) somehow or another. The best they (and any human) can do is be engaged in their own healing work along the way, and take any opportunities to deepen conversations, call themselves out, and clean up mistakes once they realize they’ve made them. Just as parents are not all powerful and all knowing (even though we might believe them to be as children) neither are you, the coach. Neither am I.

The seeming paradox is that the more we acknowledge this, the more in integrity we become.

The work you’re doing is too sacred for formulas and ego needs. Not that they’re wrong, but you need to be really f***ing honest about what’s REALLY taking place in your sales conversations.

When you sell you’re responsible for the person in front of you – for their emotional, spiritual, and physical well being. Treat the process with the highest level of reverence and respect.

Stop selling. Start loving.

Get yourself out of the way of the sales and coaching process. Create your own body and your own business as a channel for love, for spirit, for God, for whatever you know to be larger and truer than individual and ego you.

Commit yourself and your business to the expression of this whatever-it-is.

Let your bank account balance be a reflection of this way of being.

Despite what some marketers might have you believe, it IS possible to sell with integrity and make a very good living doing it. Two of the men in my men’s group are very accomplished salesmen who have found their way to highly effective ($$$) AND highly authentic styles of selling. They co-created a video called The Cutting Edge of Sales. I thought it might be valuable for you, so I’m including a link. Click here to watch it.

  • Peter Rubin

    Yes! Bob, thank you for speaking the truth and pulling no punches. You nailed it. And thanks for sharing my interview with Dave. I hope your readers enjoy it.

    • Peter, you’re welcome!

      And thank YOU for being such a constant inspiration around ethics in sales Peter. You’ve had a big impact in my life, heart, and business.

  • Joe Johnson

    love it!

    • Thanks Joe! I’d love to hear any specific thoughts or takeaways you had from this piece, please share!

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