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Combining prosperous work lives and balanced personal lives
February 2003

My goal is to bring you news, insights, and information about leading a balanced and prosperous life.

    In this issue, you'll find:
  1. Selling when you hate to sell.
  2. Coaching services
  3. Up and coming workshops
1. Selling When You Hate to Sell.

If you hate to sell, it is probably because of two reasons:

  • You have had bad experiences as a client/customer.
  • You are not a full time sales person but your job requires selling. Examples include accountants who must "sell" their services or authors who have to "sell" book proposals.
When I was in high school I had a sales job at a women's clothing store. They started me with sales training. I hated the training which emphasized following people around the store until they bought something so they could excape. I hated the job. I thought I hated working. I thought I was in big trouble. I got a Ph.D. so I could be a professional woman and never have to sell again. Was I ever wrong! As a college teacher I had to "sell" grant proposals. I still didn't like selling. As a trainer, I have had to "sell" my services by interviewing. Still didn't like selling.

As a leadership coach and trainer, I finally got it - I could see selling as a way to start relationships with interesting clients. I discovered some ways that made selling not so "salesy" and fit my personality and professional life. In this month's ezine, I am going to talk about selling when you hate to sell and some ways to make it easier and maybe even fun - well maybe not fun but at least easier.

Selling When You Are Not in Sales.

Are you surprised to find that your non-sales job requires you to sell? You are not alone. Here is a list of the types of coaching clients I have helped with some aspect of the selling process:

  • An executive who needed to sell the organization's mission to her department employees.
  • A head of a non-profit organization who had to sell a project to a funding agency.
  • A CPA in practice for herself who had no clue what to do when potential clients called for her services.
  • A would-be author who needed to sell a book proposal to an agent.
  • An artist who wanted to enter competitions for prizes and recognition.
  • Several counselors, coaches, and doctors who wanted referrals but didn't know how to get them.
As a result of listening to their needs and my own recognition of how I evolved ways of selling without hating selling in my own practices, I designed a workshop on this topic for the Executive Women's Network, a business women's networking organization, and am offering it again, this time teaming up with another trainer, Margery Ritchie.

A Different Way to Do Sales

So is there an alternate to the hard sell method. The new model of selling which I like to call "attract and serve" model has an altogether different philosophy that works for the sales people and the customers who hate salesy approaches. (There are proprietary versions of these models such as that have trademarked names such as Consultative Selling, or Values-Based Selling or Relationship Selling but this description applies to all of these newer models.) The "attract and serve" model aims not at closing the sale at the first meeting but at starting a long-term relationship with the client. Yes, on the short term, there may be fewer closes in the first meeting but over the long term there will be higher customer satisfaction and repeat/referral business.

"Attract and serve" selling is based on the following principles:

  • Alignment: You only sell what you believe in. Your product or service has to be aligned with who you are. Do you feel proud to be offering it? Would you want your mother to use this product or service?
  • Attraction: You only sell to people interested in what you are selling. Your marketing methods will attract prospective customers that are already ready to shop seriously and decide. You begin by finding out their needs and starting a relationship with them - not just a sale for today but a customer and referral source for life.
  • Advocates: Other people send you interested prospects. These other people include professionals in allied fields with whom you keep in touch. For example, a pediatrician and a child psychologist might make cross referrals as each other's advocates.
  • Assessment: Your early contact with potential clients emphasizes assessing their needs so that you can see if you can serve them. That means you ask some questions and listen carefully. Only when you have a thorough understanding of their needs, then you get to talk about your product or service. You also need to know how to assess their readiness: are they window-shopping, researching, deciding, etc. You can adapt this principle to fields where you sell by proposal writing by imagining that the granting agency or publisher is a client with needs. What do you know about the client so you can see if your project fits the client's needs?
  • Accountability: You need an easy system for keeping track of your marketing methods so you can replicate those that give you the highest rate of return. This principle will be applied differently in different industries. For example, when authors send out query letters or proposals, they need a tracking system that tells them when and to whom things were sent and when they got responses.
If you are interested in learning more about how to sell when you hate to sell, and you are local in the Baltimore-Washington area consider attending the workshop on "How to Sell When You Hate to Sell." (see below) Margery and I will be helping you to:
  • Understand the difference between hard selling and consultative selling.
  • Match marketing/sales methods to your industry and personality.
  • Develop a sales process that will work for you.
  • Increase your ease, authenticity, and effectiveness in selling.
But we won't be bothering you with a telemarketing call at dinner time to beg you to come.


If you have a non-sales job who needs to sell as part of doing what you do, match your selling method to your industry and personality. You might even learn to enjoy the process.

Happy selling,
Susan Robison

Resources on the new selling models:
Bill Bachrach. Value-Based Selling.

Larry Wilson. Consultative Selling.

2. BossWoman Coaching

About the publisher: Susan Robison, Ph.D. is a professional coach, speaker, author and seminar leader. She loves to coach women who want improvement in:

  • work-life balance,
  • career transitions,
  • building your business or practice,
  • time management,
  • increasing productivity.
She provides keynotes and seminars to business and organizations on the topics of:
  • leadership strategies for women,
  • relationships,
  • work-life balance,
  • change.
3. Up and coming workshops

March 10, 2003. "How to Sell When You Hate to Sell" sponsored by the Executive Women's Network with Margery Ritchie. Baltimore, MD. Contact Margery at 410-666-5855.

March 28, 2003 "Not Just a Job: Helping Clients Achieve Work/life Balance through Meaning, Master, and Mindfulness." Sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania for mental health professionals (other professionals will present various workshops). Philadelphia, PA.

April 30, 2003. "HeartPower: The Gentle Art of Women's Leadership" for Educational Conference sponsored by the Executive Women's Network (other speakers will present various workshops). Baltimore, MD

Subscribe to BossWoman e-Newsletter by sending an email with in the Subject to: susan@bosswoman.org

BossWomen e-Newsletter is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Coaching should not be construed as a form of, or substitute for, counseling, psychotherapy, legal, or financial services.

Copyright 2003 Susan Robison. All rights reserved. The above material is copyrighted but you may retransmit or distribute it to whomever you wish as long as not a single word is changed, added or deleted, including the contact information. However, you may not copy it to a web site without my permission.

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