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Episode 108. Let’s Unpack the Selling Taboos of the Coaching Industry

Episode 108. Let’s Unpack the Selling Taboos of the Coaching Industry

Hello and welcome to today’s episode of The Born To Rise podcast. I’m your host, Cait Scudder and today we are diving into a juicy topic. I am really feeling this one because I’ve been getting a lot of questions about this. This is probably something that you have wondered about as well. We are going to be diving into all of the taboos related to sales and selling. 

I feel like this is such a hot topic right now in the online space. So I am so excited to dive into this. There are so many juicy topics related to sales and selling right now that are taboo. That are charged. We are told so many different things. I feel like there are so many different sources of information in the online space. Should we be doing all of our high ticket sales with discovery calls? Should we only be selling in the DMS? Should we be following up? Should we never follow up? Should we have sales pages should we only sell through dm private invitation? Should we have sales marketing email should we only use social like there are so many different and conflicting, very strong opinions schools of thought?

There Is No One Way To Make Your Business Successful

I want to demystify and debunk a lot of these very heated strategies that are being taught and preached as the one way to do things. Because let’s just go ahead and say it — there is not just one way to do things, there are so many different ways inside of your business to be successful, to make sales feel fun to hit your income goals. It is not just all about one way. 

If you’ve been taught that you must have a five-figure offer and sell high ticket until the day you die or you must have a massive audience and have tons of passive income in order to scale your revenue –can we just take the pressure off of these “shoulds” and the way that we have been told and taught that our businesses needs to look? 

This is the launching point before I go into all of these like micro issues. The most important thing that I want you guys to hear, that I want you to know is that you get to run your business and set up your sales ecosystem, set up your offer suite, set up your launch calendar or non-launch calendar, or set up your sales pipelines in a way that feels nurturing for you. That feels sustainable for you, that feels right for your audience, that feels right for your style, your method of communication, your rhythm, your capacity. 

It gets to suit you, it doesn’t have to look like anybody else’s way. So let’s just go ahead and be done with this pressure that this industry perpetuates to make sure that we’re only selling an X amount, or make sure our prices look X amount, or make sure that our launch process or our products look X amount. They do not have to look like anyone else’s. They get to really support you as you go.

So let’s just dive into a couple of these topics because I feel like these are the hot questions that I’m getting right now.

Doing What Feels Right For Your Business

For me in my business, I did discovery calls for years, I was taught by multiple people that real businesses take credit card information over the phone. That was the right way to sell and be in your power and hold other people in their power, by taking the credit card on the phone. To this day, I have never taken a credit card on the phone. That has always felt super icky to me, not to mention the legality around it. 

It was made clear to me –and let me just go ahead and say as a disclaimer, I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. But, technically, if somebody wanted to get out of contract, if they put down the money before actually signing a contract, which if you are taking credit card information over the phone, unless you have a contract prepared for them to send and read and sign which feels like just super pressuring and weird to me, then they’ve paid for something that they haven’t technically signed for yet. 

So anyway, for multiple reasons like being illegal and just the ick factor, accepting payment over the phone has never felt good for me. Why? Because if I can’t trust the person that has said, Yes, I’m so excited, I can’t wait to work together, if I can’t trust them to return a freaking invoice. Like how are we supposed to do work together inside of a container? That is my philosophy, that is my framework. That is my perspective on that. 

It’s totally fine for some people who do this. I know people that it really works for them to take payment over the phone, that they do that in a way that feels really aligned and preserves the relationship and focuses on all of that and that’s fine. My point is if you’ve been taught that you have to take payment over the phone and that you have to do discovery calls that take payment over the phone. That’s not true. 

Allow yourself to feel into a different way. Allow yourself to feel into what feels good for you. And allow yourself to trust your own intuitive knowing. I think that that was one of the biggest transmissions for me is when I realized, hang on. There are all these bros teaching what marketing needs to look like and what sales need to look like. But they don’t have the business model that I have. They’re not selling the same kinds of offers that I am. They don’t value the same kind of interaction and relationship and like high-touch client experience. 

So why am I making my sales process mimic a business that I don’t even want to have? If that is not a question that you have asked yourself yet, I would highly recommend asking that of yourself. That’s my perspective on it. And my invitation for you is to really feel into a method that’s going to feel good for you. 

Should You Sell On Discovery Calls or In DMs?

Should I sell on Discovery calls? Or should I sell only in the DMS? My answer to that, honestly, is number one. It depends on what you’re selling. I feel like this will be shades of gray. Not like in 50 Shades of Grey but let’s just make some room for nuance. 

So this question of should you only sell in the DMZ or should you only sell in discovery calls I think you need to give yourself permission to do what feels good for the different offers, and let that grow and evolve. 

I feel like it is very hot in the online space right now to almost as a bragging point of, I never do calls I never talked to anyone I barely even nurture people in my DMS it’s just all about content and content, content content. And if my content really speaks to you, then people just messaged me saying hey, I’m ready to pay in full. 

I don’t believe that’s not true. I do think there are people for whom they have a very loyal following, people who love their stuff and they will message wanting to pay in full. I have had that experience on multiple occasions. 

I also don’t mind having a conversation with somebody in the DMS. I don’t mind answering somebody’s questions and going back and forth, sometimes several times with a voice message or a video message. I believe that our sales processes should mimic and reflect how we actually coach people. 

I’m going to say that again. Your sales process wants to look like and mimic and reflect how you actually coach people inside of your programs and containers. And so for me, I value so much connection and high touch points. Not in a codependent sort of a way but in like Hi, I’m a human that you pay to support you in your business and hold space for you and be a container for you. And I want you to feel that I’m here. I want you to feel that I actually care. I want you to feel that I’m in your corner. And my sales process reflects that. 

How I Made Selling In The DMs Work For Me

I have drastically decreased the number of discovery calls that I’ve had this year. I think I can count on one hand, the number of discovery calls that I’ve had. I don’t do discovery calls for intensives. I do discovery calls for qualified applicants of the Diamond Mentorship, which is a six-figure annual investment. When somebody has a highly qualified application.

I did discovery calls all at the end of last year for the Rise Mastermind. Again, only when somebody had a highly qualified application. But this year, I’ve moved so much into DM selling and I’m having so much fun with it. I am having beautiful connections with women in the DMS. But I have made that really work for me. 

When I say I’ve made that really worked for me I have made that mimic the closeness and the connection and really being able to understand where somebody is at and get a feel for somebody’s personality. In essence, I’ve made that DM format really be able to access and unlock the depth of what a connection could look like on a discovery call without the annoying part of having to schedule it in, right?

Does Your Selling Format Enable You To Build A True Relationship?

My point is this, it is not about – are you doing discovery calls? Or are you doing DM selling? Which one is the right way to sell? The point is, has the format for selling that you have selected enabled you to build a true relationship with somebody to discern a match? To really call in and filter out clients who are either not ready or who are just in an energy that either you don’t want to be in? Or that is not the right fit for the container? Can you make space for them to make an empowered decision? 

That is what we need to be looking for when we’re setting up a sales process and setting up a sales system. Is this process empowering for my clients? Does this process honor my own boundaries? Does this process really call all of us to rise? You can do that when you’re selling in the DMs. And you can do that when you’re selling on Discovery Calls. 

So let’s shift away from this weird notion that I feel like is going on in this industry right now of Discovery Calls are bad. I’ve literally seen business coaches write that you can only go back and forth with somebody twice in the DMs. And if somebody asks another question then ghost them. I have so much evidence of how that’s not true. 

I’ve had women apply for Discovery Calls and cancel Discovery Calls, and then come back later as a multiple-five-figure paying clients. They simply weren’t ready at that time. But we can get so caught up in these rules of the industry. That we’re meant to feel that we don’t honor ourselves or honor our time if we take the time to genuinely connect with people. 

I’m just going to go ahead and say BS. That’s not true. It’s just not true. Everything in your business has to do with the lens through which you are viewing it. And if you are viewing it as you’re giving your time quote, unquote, to somebody else  –I’m not saying spend years in the DMs with somebody –and are coaching them for free and make it like a free voxer coaching channel. 

I am very fierce in particular about making it explicitly clear when we’re having a conversation about whether someone’s a match for a certain container and when somebody is violating and edging into give me free coaching. 

I’m unapologetic about that. That’s not something that I’m available for here. Or that’s not something that happens inside of this context. And you can set the same sort of boundary but it absolutely is not like an inherent fact that if you go back and forth with somebody or send somebody a video message or a voice message that you are not honoring yourself. I just think that’s a load of rubbish. 

What Making Sales Is Really About

I think that we’ve forgotten the point of what business is about in the first place. Business is not just about sitting in a bathtub, writing magnetic content, and having people fall out of the sky to pay you 50 grand a pop. Is that awesome when that happens? Yes. But that’s not what we’re here for. We’re not here to just stroke our egos and have these wins that make us able to brag more on Instagram. 

We are here to make genuine connections, build real relationships, and serve people whatever you do. Whether you are a health coach, a business coach, a life coach, a done for you consultant, whatever it is that you do. Let’s remember, making sales is about building relationships. Making sales is about helping real people find solutions to the things that they want to better and improve and to expand in. It’s about holding people high and giving people a container to expand and express into. So let’s just go ahead and get rid of that notion. 

Moral of the story: DM selling or Discovery Calls? The point is, are you building a connection? Are you building a relationship? Are you making a really empowering place? 

Should You Follow Up?

Another topic that I feel really passionate about is the topic of follow-up. I feel like there is this trend in the industry to say that follow up has this icky bad rap. If you follow up with somebody in the DMS or in an email or whatever, that you are sleazy, that you’re manipulative, that you’re desperate, that you’re repelling clients, that you’re super in your masculine, like all of these labels. 

Again, I think that everyone’s just sharing their own experience, maybe some people had a relationship with follow up, that they didn’t feel good. And so follow up did have this energy of chasing of hunting, of being really masculine and really icky, and it didn’t feel good. To which I would say, of course, follow up doesn’t feel good. Of course, nobody wants to feel like they’re either hunting or being hunted. That does not feel good. That is not a way of selling that would feel good to anybody. 

But the point is, it’s not follow up itself that is doomed. It’s not follow up itself as a strategy that is icky and gross. It’s the way that it’s being done. My relationship with follow up is that I love following up with people. I have had so much evidence that it works. And this has been an edge for me. I used to think a follow up is so icky. I’ll never do it. All I have to do is just post the content and wait for everyone to just like fall out of the sky to me. I have some programs for middle stage entrepreneurs. But I work a lot with very full power women. Women who are advanced in business, women who are busy, women who are doing multiple things, serve a lot of people, and especially at that higher level. 

We’re told, Oh, well, women at that level are just decisive, and they just decide and then they’re just all in and they pay in full. I have many women for whom yhat’s true. And I have women who are freaking busy, they’ve got a lot going on, they’ve got a lot of balls in the air. I am one of those women and I have seen times that I’ve been completely all-in my mind, I’ve already booked and paid for something but it’s slipped my to-do list or I haven’t actually paid the invoice.

And thank the Lord that those people followed up with me and said, Hey, Cait. Just checking in and wanted to make sure you’re still on board. Let me know if you need me to resend the invoice. When that happens to me, I’m like, Oh my God, thank God. I’m totally still in.

I’ve had clients hear the story so many times, we just need to take the energy of desperation and then projecting onto ourselves, oh my gosh, am I desperate? Am I doing this wrong? Am I super pushy and blah, blah, blah. And this is what I want to say: the energy and the intention with which you are doing a thing, whether that is selling in the DMS, whether that is following up with somebody, whether that is promoting a program in your integrity in the quietness of your own brain. Whatever you are doing. 

If you are following up with an energy of desperation, I would say your inner work is to shift that/ I always say be committed but not attached. Your inner work is to shift that narrative. And if you are, but if you’re not following up, because you have this story of follow up makes me sleazy, follow up makes me bad. I don’t want to be that kind of coach. If I’m following up, I can’t be magnetic. 

I’m just going to go ahead and say right now lies, lies, lies, lies. Follow up is inherently neutral. What is charged about it is how you are needing an outcome. So how can you view follow up as a super empowering invitation to yourself in your audience? How can you use that as another relationship builder or a connection point and be super detached from the bigger end game? I think when you do that, sales are going, following up and having conversations with people, it’s all going to feel so much more empowering. 

So those are a couple of taboo topics on sales that I felt really inspired to share with you. I feel like this is an edgy one that a lot of entrepreneurs need to hear. I hope that you feel that you’ve been given permission to completely rethink and rip up the rules about what you’ve been taught about what ethical selling, heart-centered selling really is. I hope this has given you food for thought and a heaping scoop of permission to do sales your way. 

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Hey, I'm Cait!

Boss mama, wife, and 7-figure CEO empowering women to build profitable, purpose-driven businesses that change the world.


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