Do you create a feeling of safety for potential clients in your sales process?
From a business owner and coach’s perspective where I’m on the selling side and work with and support clients with the mindset and strategy around sales daily, it was interesting to be on the other side of the process when I searched for an EMDR therapist last year.
I had consultations with a few different professionals and thought, “This is great. I feel some rapport, I feel safe and connected here.”
Then, we’d get to the part of the conversation around money.
My health insurance doesn't cover mental health or therapy, so as soon as it was clear that I was going to pay out of pocket, the entire dynamic would change.
Quite a few of the therapists I spoke to got weird talking about money, apologized for their fees, and a few immediately offered to refer me out.
Now, look, I feel for anyone in the caring profession space, because there’s a lot to navigate when it comes to accepting insurance, other people’s expectations around payment, and from my understanding, a general message that teaches shame around charging for work that is meant to help people.
AND, on the potential client side, I was on consultations looking for someone who trusted themselves and their work enough to be able to sidestep their own stuff and create space, safety, and hold me through deep work.
So, when “This feels like a fit! What are our next steps? I’m ready and expecting to pay out of pocket.” was met with deflection, explanation, apology, or an immediate suggestion to refer me out, I didn’t feel safe and supported, I felt uncertain.
Because if you’re going to push me away in some shape or form while speaking about my paying for your services, how do I know you're going to be able to handle the more challenging conversations with me in therapy?
If you’re uncomfortable talking with me about the practicals of hiring you, I question if you can sit with me in the discomfort of processing my trauma.
If you’re apologizing for your fees and suggesting someone else, I wonder how much you trust your work and ability to help me...and even your desire to want to work with me.
And, frankly, this ends up flipping the roles and asks the potential client - in this case, me - to caretake the service provider.
I know there’s a lot of noise about what it means to charge certain rates, especially if you’re selling any kind of healing work. And, a perspective I want to offer is how your own uncertainty and desire to be socially acceptable and accepted and validated when selling and talking about money can unintentionally have the opposite effect and create uncertainty in the sales process.
When you’re selling from a place of service, you want to create enough safety for the person on the other end of the call to feel empowered to make the best decision for them - to get clear on and move toward what it is they want.
The therapist I ended up hiring did just that. She didn’t ask me to validate her or her prices, she didn’t project onto me or our call, and helped me to get clear on if it was a fit for what I was looking for - in terms of modality and financially…which allowed me to stay in my role as someone seeking support, to feel safe enough to make a decision, and to feel held in the investment I was making.
I'm SURE the other therapists I spoke with were excellent at what they do and thought it was the kind or nice thing to navigate the money conversation as they did. But, in the end, all that niceness didn’t feel that great on the receiving end and cost them a client and the opportunity to serve and impact.
Creating safety in your sales process matters, and creating safety looks different than being “nice”.
In fact, sometimes the kindest (and most safety-producing) thing you can do is to be clear and honest instead of nice, to be willing to sit in discomfort with another human, and to give the person in front of you the space to make their own decision instead of making it for them.
If you’re feeling the stickiness around selling or owning your prices, I’d invite you to get curious about what’s coming up for you to unpack outside of your sales process and calls, so you can show up for potential clients and make it all about them, what they’re looking for, and what comes up for them when they’re making an investment decision!
Wishing you your version of success!
P.S. Ready to create a sales process that works for you to bring in right-fit clients that want to hire and pay you? Want support working through the sales and money -ish that can come up around owning your work, rates, and sitting in the discomfort of investment conversations so you can confidently create a safe space and support potential clients with their buy decisions?
Let’s talk! This is some of the work I LOVE supporting clients with and the perfect fit for a Heart-Centered Sales that Sell Coaching Intensive.
Learn more here or book a free coaching consultation here to talk about how I can help you sell more without the ick so you can get booked out and make bank in a way that feels good.