Do your sales feel a little too “salesy”? If you’ve been wanting to up your sales skills and sell in a way that feels more authentic to you and your brand, then this is the episode for you.
In today’s episode, I had a conversation with Nikki Rausch, CEO of Sales Maven. If you want to make sure that your sales calls lead to dream clients or if you want support in raising your rates with current clients, you’ll definitely want to hear Nikki’s advice.
We cover the common challenges that people have with sales conversations and she shares her strategies for overcoming those. She also gives advice on how to lead conversations about price increases, how to give yourself more time and energy to develop thoughtful responses and so much more.
Website | Instagram | Facebook
CEO of Sales Maven, Nikki Rausch has the unique ability to transform the misunderstood process of “selling”.
With 25+ years of experience selling to prestigious organizations like The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and NASA, Nikki shattered sales records and received “top producer” awards along the way.
Today, entrepreneurs and small business owners hire Nikki to show them how to sell successfully and authentically.
An engaging speaker, she shares the secrets of her sales success through keynote speeches and business-changing workshops. Her robust Sales Maven Society ignites game-changing outcomes for clients.
Nikki has written 3 books, all available on Amazon. And she has a podcast called Sales Maven which you can find on your favorite podcast platform.
Download the Episode 98 Transcript
[00:00:00] Nicole Jackson Miller Welcome to the Scale Your Way podcast episode number 98. You’re listening to the Scale Your Way podcast, where we share simple, proven strategies just for fun for you. Service based companies here you’ll learn how to scale your business on your own terms so that you can have more time money, create a bigger impact and a better life. I’m your host, Nicole Jackson Miller. Let’s dive into today’s episode. Hey, everyone, and welcome back to the show. Nicole, here and today, I’m interviewing Nikki Rausch, who is the CEO of Sales Maven. If you are someone who is wanting to make sales feel a little bit more authentic and less salesy, this episode is definitely for you. If you’re in a position where you want to make sure that the calls that you are leading with potential clients are going to ensure that you land dream clients and not nightmare clients. If you are in a position where you may want to raise your rates and you’re feeling scared to do so, or maybe even raise your rates with current clients. We’re going to dove in to all of these topics with Nikki, and I am so very excited for this conversation. So Nikki has so many years of experience over 25 years of experience selling to organizations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Nasser. She has shattered sales records and received top producer awards along the way. She is definitely someone that has that experience and truly brings that to entrepreneurs and small business owners. So it was so fun to have this conversation with her, especially because I have a background in purchasing procurement. We would work with a lot of different salespeople. And it was so interesting to have this conversation and then also be able to relate how sales and sales conversations relates also to team management and team growth. So let’s dove in to today’s episode with Nikki. Hi, Nikki, welcome to the show.
[00:02:07] Nikki Rausch Hi, thank you so much for having me.
[00:02:09] Nicole Jackson Miller I am super excited for this conversation and because it is something actually that we haven’t talked much about on this podcast, which is sales when it comes to growing an agency. And we were just having a conversation before we pressed record on how so many are done for you service providers. When they’re shifting into the role of having a team and owning an agency. You sometimes have some fears around selling when they’re not selling it as themselves. Being the one to provide the service anymore. So I cannot wait to dove into that more in just a bit. But before we do that, I’d love for you to share a little bit about who you are and what you do.
[00:02:49] Nikki Rausch Well, my company is Sales Maven and I really specialize in the sales conversation. So you get leads coming in or you’re having conversations with prospects or existing clients and you want to build additional business. I teach the structure of the sales conversation and how to do it in a way that allows for your own personality to shine through. It isn’t about a bunch of scripts, but it is about being strategic so you can move through that process and get to the place where you put a decision in front of somebody like, “Would you like to work together? Yes or no?” That’s pretty much what I do. I consider myself a sales coach, but I really specialize in that sales conversation and making those conversations easier for you as the seller and also, more importantly, easier for the buyer.
[00:03:32] Nicole Jackson Miller Mm-Hmm. Yeah. So important to make it easy for the buyer to be able to make a decision and have it be clear. I’m curious, how did you get started in sales?
[00:03:42] Nikki Rausch Well, I grew up in a family where my dad and my grandfather owned a tool store, so I grew up working in the tool store. And so, you know, I don’t know that I would call this really sales, but like ringing up, working the register and helping client or helping customers that would come in. But my first professional sales position came through a college project, and that’s how I got into the career that I was in for 17 years in selling technology. I went from being a college kid to selling these very expensive pieces of equipment and ultimately getting to a place where I was a regional sales manager, like traveling big portion of the country and selling to big large organizations, closing multi-million dollar deals. And while I was doing that, I also started studying neuro linguistic programing. If you’ve heard that term before, the way I describe it, if it’s new to to a listener that’s hearing it is, it’s really the study of communication. And I started studying it thinking it would help me with my sales ability. But really, what it ended up doing was teaching me how to be a much better communicator, which then improved all the relationships of my life. So when I decided to start Sales Maven, it was it was with this idea of working with people, entrepreneurs that were super passionate about what they do and bringing my sales experience and my NLP experience in together. And then that’s why again, I talk about specializing in the sales conversation because I find a lot of times people are so afraid of the conversations, or maybe even afraid isn’t always the right word. Sometimes they’re just like, I just don’t want to do it because it feels uncomfortable or weird or awkward or whatever it is. So taking all of that away and giving them a more strategic way to have real conversation with people. So it’s not talking at people, it’s talking with people. And it’s learning how to sell with people, not to people and all of that.
[00:05:39] Nicole Jackson Miller Yeah, and I think the same thing goes, we talk on this podcast a lot about team management because I help people grow their teams. And it’s interesting to me when people say that they’re not good at sales or they don’t like doing sales, how often we use the sales skill set in in everything that we do, including, you know, think about how many times you have to be able to sell something to your team or sell an idea to your team. And when you had mentioned that piece about how NLP helped you with communication, you know, we really, I found, are using the skill set of selling and almost everything that we do, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be to sell people like, I think and, you know, talking about the mindset or the thoughts that we have around sales, it’s like, Oh, I’m not. I’m like trying to convince someone or I’m manipulating someone or whatever. And it’s not about that. And I’m like, so interested to hear more about what you think about that, because I’m sure it comes up for you a lot. Yeah, but instead, it’s it’s about, you know, being able to communicate and understand different people’s perspectives to be able to come to like a Win-Win solution to for all of you who are listening, who are like, I don’t want to do sales or I don’t like sales, it’s like, really? Think about how often you might be selling in your everyday life, even if it’s not in the form of a sales call?
[00:07:02] Nikki Rausch Yeah, it could even be in. How do you strategically find the right person for your team? And there is a little bit of a sales component to that too, because just like you’re picking them, they’re also picking you, right? So that comes into it to you. And I will say, because you commented on this, I teach that sales is not about you trying to convince people of something because frankly, as a society, most of us don’t want to be convinced of anything. And we’re so it shuts us down when that when we feel like somebody is trying to convince us so selling isn’t about trying to convince somebody. It isn’t about changing somebody’s mind when you do it well, it’s about understanding, does this person have a problem or a need? And do I have a solution? And can I position it in a way that makes it easy for them to make a decision to hire me? Yes or no? And so same with whether you’re recruiting a team member. Yeah. Can you formulate the plan for the position that you’re going to hire in a way that attracts the right candidate, just like in sales, you want to find the ideal client? And can you provide a job opportunity for them that’s going to be fulfilling and that they’re going to really excel at in some way, just like with your clients, it’s like, can you deliver something that is going to make an impact in their life or in their business so that they can do something else that they are interested in doing or pursuing or achieve a different goal or a level or, you know, whatever they’re trying to accomplish. So there’s always a sales component, and sometimes it’s even just like, how do you get your kid to brush their teeth? Right, right there. There are some sales component to that as well.
[00:08:39] Nicole Jackson Miller It’s so funny. I have a six month old and so we haven’t quite gotten into like the negotiation stage yet. But I know that we’re getting there and I’m like, Well, this is going to be different because even like I have to put myself in your shoes and I don’t even know what it’s like at this point to be that young again. So that’s so funny. But yeah, and I’m curious when it comes to sales like what do you find is the biggest obstacle that people have when leading sales calls in a way that like works to actually get people in the door? Yeah.
[00:09:12] Nikki Rausch Well, a lot of times it’s because they don’t understand the structure. And so I teach a framework. I call it the selling staircase. There’s five steps in the selling staircase, and the reason I teach it as a selling staircase is because the idea is that you actually go through each step. You don’t skip ahead. You don’t start at the bottom of the staircase and jump up to the top. The idea is understanding what step and buy on in the conversation. And when I understand what step I’m on, then it’s easier to invite the person to the next step or issue that invitation so they can take that next step with me versus trying to show up in a conversation with, you know, with somebody and being like, Hey, Nicole, we just met. Do you want to buy for me? And you’re like, I don’t even know what you do. Yeah. You know, like why I buy from you.
[00:09:57] Nicole Jackson Miller I will say so. When I first started my business, I was a project manager, and so I started as a done for you service provider. And so I was project manager. And I remember I was trying to figure out the sales thing, which is funny because my in my job before starting my own business, I worked in procurement, so I worked in purchasing, which wasn’t selling, but it was still like a negotiation and there were so many things involved in it. And so I my gosh, I got on the phone with someone and I remember being so nervous and having this conversation and I was going through like my step by step. Like, it wasn’t a script, necessarily. There was a little bit Of structure, and I remember her getting to a point where I was like, OK, like, here are the three different options of working with me or whatever they were at the time. And she was like, Oh, she’s like, Well, like, can we just look back up a minute? And could you tell me a little bit more about like, who you’ve done this with before or, you know, examples? And I remember thinking, I totally messed up this conversation. And so I’m curious when it comes to like the the phases that you talk about, how would you, you know, for anyone listening who may have been in a position like that before? Like how do we avoid that from happening? Because it just feels. I think sometimes people then freeze or get nervous and then it feels like it kind of goes off the rails a little bit.
[00:11:15] Nikki Rausch Yeah. Well, again, it’s like understanding what step am I on? So, for instance. So the five steps just really quickly is there’s the introduction step that’s to make a powerful first impression. Step two is create curiosity about your business and what you do. Step three is the discovery. Now, most of the time when you get on a call with a prospective client, you’re at the discovery position and then step four as proposal and step five is the close. So when you’re in the discovery process and you’re having a conversation with somebody, you’re never going to lay out your offers and ways to work with you unless you have asked permission and you don’t even get to that place until you’ve asked some questions to find out. Do you even have a solution to it? Well, first of all, what what’s going on for them? What’s the problem was the need? Do you have a solution for that? And then before even positioning your offer, you would ask. So, for instance, an example would be, so let’s say I’m you in this particular situation, I’m having this conversation with this woman. And I would say to her, now, you know, based on what you’ve shared, I do see a couple different ways that we could work together. Would you be interested in hearing about what those are? Now, I haven’t gone into them in any way, and that would give her the opportunity to say, well before we get there, can you tell me a little bit about who you’ve worked for, who you’ve done this for? So then it gets any last question. And then I would answer the question and say, you know, and then I would ask again. So are there any additional questions that come to mind for you that we haven’t covered yet? I would check to see. And then if she said, No, this is this is good, then I would say now, OK, so are you open to hearing about ways we might work together? So again, I’m going to ask permission. And then when she says yes and I lay out the offers and then I issue closed language with it, she’s ready. She said, To you like Nicole, I’m ready to hear. But if you just go into the like, here’s the ways to work with me. Do you want to work with me? Yes or no? It’s kind of like, you know, in grade school where you passed the note, like, do you like me? Yes or no kind of thing? Yes, it’s too fast in the process for somebody. And so I always say, this is why I teach these five steps. You ask the seller, do not get to skip steps now her as the buyer. She can show up in a conversation with you and be like, Hey, Nicole, I’ve heard all about you. And then I know that talks about you said, You’re amazing, I’m just ready to work for you or work with you. What are the packages you offer, right? I don’t want you to say like, Hey, whoa, whoa. Whoa. Yeah, we
[00:13:42] Nicole Jackson Miller haven’t even gone through step two yet. Right? Totally. And being a project manager, that’s very important. No, I totally. I totally get that. And it yeah, it it definitely makes sense. And I think asking for permission, it’s it’s so important in sales and also, you know, kind of relating this back to like team and management. And, you know, it’s similar to when you’re offering feedback to someone or anything. It’s it’s taking a moment to be like, Hey, like, I’d love to dove in to this with you. Would that be OK? And it’s just that like granting of permission. Usually people don’t say no. Or maybe like you said, it gives them an opportunity to be like, What actually? Could you tell me more about this and like help like guide the conversation?
[00:14:22] Nikki Rausch Exactly. And so when you do that, it allows them to say, like, this is a real conversation. Like, I’m not just trying to talk at you and sell you, we’re in a real conversation here. And so what matters to you? What questions, what objections, what’s going on for you matters. Because if I don’t understand that, it’s really hard to earn your business? Sure. Especially because we all know. I mean, in this day and age, there’s a million service providers that do what you do. You could go out and hire a myriad of sales coaches that are going to give you different things. And I want to make sure that if you’re are you looking for a sales coach? And if so, am I kind of coach that can that can help you with the things that you are struggling with? And if not, I’m just going to bless and release you as quick as possible in the nicest, kindest way so that you can go about your day and find the right person for you. And I can go about my day and find the right client for me.
[00:15:17] Nicole Jackson Miller Yes. And so this is interesting because I also see there being the other side to this where done for you, service providers are very particular about the types of clients that they work with, and so they want to make sure that they are going to. I don’t want to say picky, but like there are going to be some vetting questions that need to happen to make sure that it’s an ideal person for them. And so I’m curious. Would this be in the discovery phase and are there ways to do this where it doesn’t feel like it’s an interview? Because I bet on that side, too. I’m just like, OK, you know, I mean, as I’ve done more and more sales, I really I actually sometimes say no more than I say. Yeah, like say yes or because I want to make sure that the person is actually getting the support that they need. And sometimes it’s not going to be me and somebody else. And so I guess ways to make it like flow a little bit better.
[00:16:17] Nikki Rausch Yes. So there’s a couple of ways to do it, and it is by asking the right questions. So the right questions for you as a service provider isn’t necessarily going to be like, I don’t have a set list of questions. I can craft a set list of questions when I work with Client on what the right questions are for them. But for instance, I have the right questions for me. Oftentimes there’s there’s a couple of indicators that will allow for me to establish pretty early on in a conversation with somebody. One. Are they coachable? Do they see themselves as somebody who wants to make some kind of a change? And if the answer is like, I’m pretty happy with what I’m doing, I don’t know if you’ve ever had this, but sometimes people want to get on the phone with me to prove to me and themselves how good they are at sales. And that’s OK. I want to get off the call with those people as fast as possible because I’m not going to give time my precious time to try to convince somebody that I can. I can actually teach people who have been in sales for 30 years things that will make an impact and I know I can. But my job is to convince them of that. Yes. So understanding pretty quickly. If so, the way that I position questions oftentimes will indicate is somebody coachable? Are they open? And also are they are they able to answer questions? And this this goes back to my own style? Can they answer questions in a somewhat succinct way? Because if I ask a pretty direct question and they have to go well, when I was five, this thing happened and then tell me their life story in order to get to the question, which is, do you know how to create curiosity when you’re talking about your business? And the answer to that question is typically a yes or no with maybe a little explanation, but not a big long story. Chances are they’re going to spend more time talking at me than I am going to be able to offer them some coaching so they may not be a great fit for private coaching with me, but maybe they’re a good fit for my membership, where they can go in and get the training and they can get on calls with me know a couple of times a month, but it isn’t like them getting to just tell their big, long story.
[00:18:28] Nicole Jackson Miller Yes, totally. And I’m glad you said that because I remember back to when I did project management, having a conversation with a client, and I asked the question of was something around, do you utilize a project management system? And she said, No, those don’t work for us. And I was like, fantastic that we’re not going to be the best fit to work together because that’s what we utilize. I had a few people. Also, like part of our process, was asking a lot of questions, at least in the beginning of our work together, because we needed to get information on the background of the business to actually step in and be able to manage their team for them. And anyone who was like, Is there a way we could do this faster? Or, you know, I don’t have time to like, answer these like three questions or four questions. I also knew, OK, this probably isn’t going to be a good fit. So I think similar to what you’re saying, like coachable, like being open to doing things a little bit differently, because that’s why they’re hiring agencies to be able to do some of this work is to be able to operate usually operate a little bit differently. So I think that’s awesome. So another question that I get asked, especially when someone’s transitioning from being the person who is delivering the service to having a team support them is how do I have a conversation with someone? And then they end up, I’m selling them and I’m used to selling them, working with me. But now I’m selling with, I’m working with a team. They’re feeling nervous about it because it’s something that’s new to them. What advice do you have when it comes to? It might be part mindset. It could also be actual language on the call to help somebody through this transition.
[00:20:13] Nikki Rausch Yeah, and the answer is that it’s both. There’s some mindset staff because we we know that we’re really good at what we do and we know that when somebody works with us, they’re going to get results. And then now we’re like, Well, I’m going to trust that my team is going to deliver and you, you do trust your team. But I don’t know that you always trust your team more than you trust yourself, right? So there is there is a little bit of that. And there is also and I mean this with a lot. The loving kindness because we all have it. There’s also a little bit of ego that can get in the way with that, and so we have to learn how to set that aside. Now, from a conversation standpoint and strategy, here is it’s learning how to talk about your services as we this is what our team does. This is what the team, the team will do this for you. Your assigned team member will be able to blah blah blah. So it’s learning how to talk that way. I actually have this conversation quite a lot with some of my clients that have teams, and they’re kind of in this exact same thing where they’re transitioning. People have been used to working with me. Well, keep in mind that that is only true with the people who are existing clients. Anybody who’s new coming into your organization from a prospect standpoint who’s not yet a client, they aren’t used to working with you. So you don’t need to talk about working with you. You don’t need to explain why you’re not doing this anymore and why your team is. And that’s the other thing that can kind of happen sometimes is that we almost feel compelled to almost justify why the team is going to do this, and I’m not doing this piece anymore. But the fact of the matter is, is that that’s relevant to you. It’s usually not relevant to the person you’re in conversation with. They don’t need to know all the backstory. Oversharing can be one of the most detrimental things that you can do in a sales conversation, feeling like you have to justify or tell a lot of story around your own solution and processes. When you find yourself in the weeds of that story. And it’s like, I’m telling this story because I need them to know that’s ego. And it’s time to like, take a step back. I know I got to let that go.
[00:22:28] Nicole Jackson Miller Yeah, I love that I. One thing I sometimes share with people is that you have to convince yourself first. So write down a list like, yeah, write down a list of why your business is better because it has a team and you’re not the one doing everything, and you’re not the one being the bottleneck. And like, read it, you don’t have to read it to them, like, read it to yourself. Before you step into that conversation, it sounds like you’re talking about something kind of similar where it’s like those stories and it’s like you’re almost trying to convince yourself on the sales conversation that they should be working with your team. It’s like, No, no, no, you can do that in private. And and like none of these people, they just want the results. Like they just write, they just want help. So that’s that’s amazing. And so one more question around this that I get asked often is fear. The question is how do I step into the sales conversation when I am significantly increasing my pricing and I have never like sold at this price point before, and it feels very scary to me to do so. Advice around that?
[00:23:32] Nikki Rausch Yeah, I love this question. This actually is the theme or the topic that we’re talking about in my sales name in society, which is my membership this month. It’s all about pricing. And so a lot of the people in there are having these raising pricing conversations and things like that. So there’s a couple of tips that I want to give around here, and I’ll go as deep into these as you want. So you just tell me. Well, one is I learned this really early on in my twenties by my, my sales mentor. He taught me this lesson and he said, Nikki, when you quote your price, you say it like you’re saying the time of day, and that means your voice, your body language, all of that there needs to be some concurrency around it. So whatever time of day it is, if somebody just walked up to you off the street right now and said, Hey, what time is it? You look at your phone because some people wear watches, but for me, it’s my family, right? So if I look at my phone and I say, you know, it’s 1:30, that is just a fact, right? So when you talk about your price, you have to talk about it like it is a fact. If you go like it’s 1:30, that sounds like you don’t actually know. So when you talk about your price, I’m also a huge, huge believer and I teach this when somebody asks you for your price, you give it, you don’t hem and haw. You don’t say it depends. Even if there’s a part of you that’s going but making it does depend. Yeah, that’s never the answer to the price question. So you give a price or you give a range if you can’t give a specific price, but you do answer the question. Now you don’t have to leave it there, you can follow up with it. So the other tip that I want to give around this is I often I practice this with my clients. A lot are like, I know I need to raise my price thinking, but it I’m really afraid, too. And so we go, you know, we start at a price and we go, Okay, so what’s the price now? And they go, I’m just going to throw out a price. Like, let’s say the package is five thousand dollars and I go, OK, and what do you think the price should be? And they’re like, Well, I just know other people in the market are charging, you know, $7000 for it. And I go. So if I was a new client and I said to you, What’s your price? Say to me at seven thousand dollars and they’re like, It’s $7000, OK? So you’re not quite there yet, and you can’t get it out of your mouth. Said, So can you say it’s $5,500? Oh, yeah, oh, I totally say it’s $5,500. OK, so say it. Great. Can you say it’s $6,000? Yeah, I think so. OK, so say it at $6,000. OK, great. So we already know that we can at least raise it a thousand. Like, you’re very comfortable saying that price, can you say at $6,500? Maybe. OK, so let’s try. And then I thought, OK, so then we know that someplace it’s going to fall between $6,000 and $6,500 to start.
[00:26:04] Nicole Jackson Miller Yes.
[00:26:05] Nikki Rausch Because if you can’t get the price out of your mouth and frankly, I want your pricing to to cause a little flutter in your stomach when you say it, because it matters, right? Because you’re going to feel some responsibility to deliver to the person who’s paying you that money. And I don’t care if your price is $25. I still want there to be a little flutter, right? If that’s the price. But if you can’t say it, if you if you’re like, Well, gosh, I would like to make, you know, $30,000, it’s like, could you ever say that? No, then that’s not your price. So you have to be able to get out of your mouth. It’s OK for it to cause a little bit of a flutter. But if it’s something where you’re like, I just can’t say it, that shouldn’t be your price yet. And the thing about pricing is that you can change your pricing as many times as you want as a business owner. You can raise your prices without making big, broad brush announcements to the whole world. You only need to tell the people that it impacts. Sometimes you don’t raise your price for your existing clients, you just raise your price for the new clients coming in. And that’s who you have the conversation with. You raise your price across the board.
[00:27:11] Nicole Jackson Miller Would it be a similar strategy for dealing with? You know, some folks have monthly retainer clients and they’re like, Oh, you know, I, I really want to increase the pricing. And sometimes it’s because they’re adding to the package and sometimes they’re not. But they’re feeling like they need to add more to the package to justify the price point. But sometimes it’s because they were under charging to begin with. And so there’s hesitation in that. There’s fear and then there’s the delivering of the message. And so I’m curious, is it a similar strategy or would you recommend something else?
[00:27:47] Nikki Rausch Well, I’m going to say there’s a conversation piece to it that’s super important. So let’s say you have an existing client who there you’ve got scope creep, right, which is probably common with a lot of your I would think of a lot of your clients. And so they found themselves like we were doing this. And over time, I’ve let things kind of creep in a little bit. And now now they’re they’re actually getting an extra two hours a month and they’re really only paying for five, but they’re getting seven at some point. You need to have this conversation with somebody with the client. The way that I would position it is your best having the conversation live versus just sending an email, which sometimes feels easier. But the thing about email is that it can be misinterpreted. People, you know, add all kinds of contacts to email, so you want to be really careful. So the way I would position it is, I might say to a client, maybe this is the email I might say, like, Hey, Nicole, the reason for reaching out is to touch base with you and ask if we could schedule a time to chat. I’ve been reviewing, you know, our existing agreement. And I think it’s time for us to chat about what changes need to be made right. And then I’m going to give you some times then when we get on the call, I’m going to say thank you so much for taking this time. The objective today is to review our current contract, what’s included in it, and then talk about if there’s some possibility or some need for some additional services and what that would look like. And then I’m gonna review the current contract and then I’m going to review now. Here’s what I’ve noticed over the last couple of months. It’s gotten to a place where this five hour retainer just doesn’t seem to be enough for you guys. So I can either craft a, you know, you decide it needs to make sense for your business, so we could either bump you up to the 10 hour and then that gives you plenty of leeway. You got lots of runway there to continue to utilize my services in a new way. Or, you know, do you craft a contract that gives them the seven hours? And if they’re like, Yeah, but I like that, you’ve been doing it for free, you know? Okay. I totally understand that. And as the next month, there will be an additional fee over and above for anything over and above the five hours. So I just wanted to let you know that and you say it in this nice kind way. And then you let them go. Yes, no question. But I think one of the things people often freak out about is that well, and this is kind of back to your earlier question is do you like one of the biggest challenges in sales is in a sales role. We tended to do two things that are super detrimental to us as the seller. We project limiting beliefs onto the other person that’s number one. And number two is we hallucinate. We act as if we can read their mind. We know what they’re going to say. We know what they’re going to do. Oh my gosh. And it’s so detrimental to the conversation. I also get frustrated sometimes with clients that are like, Hey, I’ve got this client or this prospect and we’re going to have this conversation. They’re going to ask me about all these things, so I need to do a bunch of research and prepare for, you know, this really in-depth conversation. I’m like, but you haven’t even talked to them yet. Like, how do you know that’s what they’re going to? Well, I’m just sure that that and then it’s like, OK, you spent five hours preparing for something you get on the call. You realize quickly in five minutes. This is a good fit. You just wasted five hours. So just like how we waste all this time and energy of like, I don’t know how I’m going to tell this person that the price needs to go up. Most of the time, my clients that have this like kind of hesitation about having the conversation, and I give them some language about how to have the conversation and they come back and I’m like, So how did it go? And they’re like, Oh, they were just totally fine with it. Nine out of 10 times.
[00:31:23] Nicole Jackson Miller Isn’t that so funny? Yeah, it’s so true. That’s what happens with a lot of like hard things, like conversations that feel hard or you label them as hard going into them. And it’s like, “Oh yeah, we’re actually totally on the same page.” And the times where it’s, you know, there are going to be times where you’re not, but more often than not usually goes. It usually goes pretty well. So that’s really funny. And it’s like, Oh, phew, why did I spend all of that time worrying? So it’s like ripping off the Band-Aid. Sometimes it just like helps to just do it.
[00:31:54] Nikki Rausch Yeah, it’s just better to have the conversation because you really can’t ever overcome an objection if you don’t really know what it’s what it is, and the person has it voiced it yet. So let them have like, what are you kidding? How dare you charge that? Well, you’re probably to have a different response to that. It might be like, “Hey, go kick rocks, because I won’t work with you.” Right? And with respect that I deserve right or most of the time, it’s just like, you’ll hear this. I get this all the time from clients when we talk about pricing and it’s time to raise pricing. People come back and they’re like, I was wondering, I just knew you were a price too low. It’s like, OK, so how much money did you leave on the table because you were just freaking out in your head that everybody was going to abandon you? All your clients were going to leave, and it’s just never the case.
[00:32:43] Nicole Jackson Miller Yes, that’s so true. It’s so true. You just kind of bite the bullet. Have the conversation. And again, I think it’s really helpful to have language, have language to use. And once you have that though, like go forth and when you’re in the conversation, you and I do this with difficult conversations when it comes to team or anything. You know, if someone brings up something that you hadn’t thought of, you can always say, you know, let me think about that. I’ll get back to you. Or like, use some other strategies to be able to give yourself some time and space to you don’t have to be prepared for everything, because how on earth are we possibly going to know what’s going to come up on the call?
[00:33:19] Nikki Rausch Yeah, we’re not learning how to give yourself time, and space is such an advance, frankly solving skill. I teach a technique it’s known as backtracking, and one of the reasons to learn how to backtrack is to give you time to think of what to say next. When you find yourself in a situation where somebody is kind of stumped you a little bit or you’re like, Why are they asking me this question? Or, you know, like you? But by giving yourself just a little bit of time, and sometimes when I say a little bit of time, it could be a second. It can be five seconds. But if you’re somebody who you’re like, No, I, I need a day. It’s also OK to say, I really would like to take some time to think about this so that I can come back with a more thoughtful response. Can we get all the time to chat tomorrow? It’s okay to do those things to to give yourself that time. Most people will give you grace in that moment because you’re showing that I care about what it is that you said, and I really do want to take some time to be thoughtful in my response. If somebody is like, No, you got to respond right now, well, if you’re talking to a team member, maybe they’re not a good fit for the team. And if you’re talking to a client, they might also not be a good fit for your team. Sure.
[00:34:26] Nicole Jackson Miller Yeah, yeah, I love that. It reminds me of dating a little bit like having conversations. And, you know, if you have a conversation with someone and they don’t take it well, it’s like sometimes a a sign that it’s really not a good fit.
[00:34:41] Nikki Rausch Yeah, look for those red flags. Uh-Huh.
[00:34:44] Nicole Jackson Miller Right? So awesome. All right. So last question. This podcast is, as you know, called Scale Your Way. And I’m curious what it means for you to scale your business your way.
[00:34:57] Nikki Rausch I love this question, and I heard you ask somebody one of the podcasts I listen to from you. I heard you ask somebody this, and I was like, That is such a smart question. So here’s what I will say. Scaling my way has been me giving myself permission to really focus and put offers around the things that I most enjoy doing and let go and take things off my plate. From a sales standpoint of like from a delivery standpoint, the things that I want to deliver, the things I enjoy doing. That’s what I spend. My time focusing on that’s what you’re going to see on my website as ways to work with me and the stuff that I don’t enjoy, I just don’t offer it any more. And then nobody buys it and then I’ll have to do it. And learning like just because I can do something doesn’t mean that I enjoy it. And then therefore then I need to in order to scale my business. Now, sometimes when you’re starting out, you’ll take kind of lots of business just to get the experience and just to figure out what do you like to do? What do you not like to do? But I’m at this place in my business where I there’s just things that I just don’t offer any more because I’m like, I don’t, I don’t enjoy it. It’s not as fun and I know I can. I can still make a successful business. I can still have a thriving business and offer the things that I most enjoy doing.
[00:36:21] Nicole Jackson Miller Yes, yes. I was just having a conversation and interviewing someone actually for this podcast, and she had mentioned that she had changed her services a bit to focus, to really get very specific in one area. And one of the things she measured in that decision was are evaluated to make. The decision was her enjoyment of it. And she’s like, you know, we like to like profitability, and we looked at processes and everything. But like, we also ask ourselves, Is this something we really enjoy doing? And, you know, having your own business and being able to make those choices, I think, is just why we do this to begin with. So I think that’s really, really important. OK, so for those who want to learn more about you and your work, where is the best place for them to go to learn more?
[00:37:06] Nikki Rausch OK, so the best way I’m going to wrap this around a little gift for the listener, if that’s OK. Yeah, which is I have an e-book that’s called Closing the Sale, and I would love to gift it to the listener, and you can get it by going to your sales maven. So it’s maybe an icon for slashed your way one word. So your sales maven dot com for slash your way, and then you’ll be able to download the e-book closing the sale, which is all about boosting your confidence in the sales conversations. And then we’ll be connected. The only other way is obviously your podcast listener, so you can also check out my podcast, which is Sales Maven, where I offer tips and techniques and strategies in the podcast, and I do live on air coaching calls with clients. So come check it out.
[00:37:46] Nicole Jackson Miller Amazing. Well, thank you so much for being here and for sharing about your journey in sales. And also just some advice for our listeners, too, when it comes to being able to work with more aligned folks and, yeah, grow their businesses. So really appreciate the conversation.
[00:38:04] Nikki Rausch Thank you.
[00:38:06] Nicole Jackson Miller Thanks so much for tuning in today, if you are listening and know that you are committed to stepping into the agency owner role, whether you are a done-for-you service provider that’s working with a few contractors right now or you have a full team of employees and you’re ready to up level your leadership and make the changes in your business that’s needed to create a better and more enjoyable experience for all of your people, your clients, your team and yourself. Then, I invite you to check out my program Agency. You can head over to NicoleJacksonMiller.com/apply to look at the details and apply if it looks like a good fit. If you are accepted, I will send you a brand new free private training only for people that we’re accepting into the program to share with you the details of how we work and how we help remove you from client delivery and allow you to step into that leadership role of your agency again. The link is NicoleJacksonMiller.com/apply. I look forward to seeing your applications.