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When Selling Becomes Playful and You’ve Got Nothing to Lose


I end up speaking to a lot of business owners who feel they’ve run out of steam. They’ve worked really, really hard over the past few months – and even years! – getting their offer ready, fine tuning their programmes and trying to get their message right so that people get what they do.

They may have had meetings with potential clients but they don’t seem to have sold anything other than the odd bit of work here and there. They’ve run out of money, energy and motivation.

Desperation starts to sink in and no matter how good an actor you are, the need to make a sale can filter through your voice, body language and the way you show up to meetings and phone calls.

Take for example a couple of executive coaches I spoke with last week. They were struggling with how they described what they did. They had been running a number of taster workshops and to be fair, they had been getting a good attendance. But they just weren’t getting the results they had wanted. They were hoping that once people had been on their taster workshop, they would be beating down their door to buy the full programme on offer.

Sadly, this wasn’t happening.

There was no doubt that what these two ladies were offering worked. They knew their stuff and were sure they were there to make big changes in these people’s lives and the companies they worked in. But they were losing faith.

Now when you find yourself in this mood, the thoughts bouncing round in your head create such a noise that you simply can’t see or hear your way forward.

In these two ladies cases, they were getting caught up in the big picture of trying to find their USP and create a clear communication sequence that would take people from tasting to buying.

But with no cash coming in, they were frozen from action like a rabbit in head lights.

Has this happened to you?

My advice to these two ladies was simple: stop with the big picture for now and fix the short term problem AKA get some cash in.

They were so focused on writing proposals, getting meetings to pitch ideas to HR Directors and getting introductions to contacts who would be interested in year long transformational programmes, that they had forgotten they had a strong network of people who already knew and loved them.

I challenged them, “What’s stopping you from calling up a dozen of your “mates” and asking them what work they had coming up?” It didn’t matter whether it was a half dozen coaching calls with a company director or facilitating a meeting or even running a half day training event for the team leaders …” just play with the idea that you have 5 days available next month and you’d love to know what you could for them”.

Who knows where these calls would go. They may end with nothing more than a cheery conversation. They may end with an invitation to present for that year long transformational programme.

If you play with the idea that people who know and love you may just have enough work to give you that kick up the bum (and the cash!) to get things going again, then that’s a game worth playing.

And if you are reading this and you find yourself saying, “Oh, I don’t do training nor do I work with corporates. This would never work for me.” I challenge you to re-think.

If you are stuck in the BIG picture and strategy of your business – and yet you are struggling with cash flow so much that you are missing out on an opportunity yourself – pick up the phone to 10 people who know and love you and ask them “What have you got for me that I could do?”

You never know … after all you’ve got nothing to lose!

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