Do you want to know how to fully embrace your sales confidence without being pushy?
Listen as Amy Lemire shares how to easily fall in love with selling.
Do you want to know how to fully embrace your sales confidence without being pushy?
Listen as Amy Lemire, bestselling author of “From Zero to Sales Hero” shares how to easily fall in love with selling.
In this week's powerful episode "How to Fully Embrace Your Sales Confidence Without Being Pushy" you will discover...
And a whole lot more...
Get more gems from Amy and other guest experts, when you join the Book Marketing Mentors Premium Membership today!
Susan Friedmann: Welcome to Book Marketing Mentors, the weekly podcast where you learn proven strategies, tools, ideas, and tips from the masters. Every week, I introduce you to a marketing master who will share their expertise to help you market and sell more books. Today my special guest is sales confidence expert, Amy Lemire. Amy is the President and CEO of AIM Training and Consulting, Inc. She's the author of the Amazon number one best seller From Zero to Sales Hero and From Zero to Speaker Hero. Amy began her journey as a sales strategist trainer and speaker over 27 years ago. She's been recognized as a Fortune 500 top sales performer, and has trained hundreds of sales professionals on training, presentation skills, and best practices. A good friend and National Speaker Association colleague, Amy, what an absolute pleasure it is to welcome you to the show, and thank you for being this week's guest expert and mentor.
Amy Lemire: Thank you, Susan, for this opportunity. I'm really excited to share my wisdom with your audience.
Susan Friedmann: Oh yes. And sales wisdom is definitely something our audience loves to learn about because one of the things that authors come to me with is that they hate to sell or promote themselves. If somebody came to you with that, how would you respond?
Amy Lemire: Susan, that's an objection I hear often, myself. And if someone came to me and told me that they don't like to sell or they don't like to promote themselves, what I would ask them is "What is the driving force behind your book or your desire to be an author?" And I often find, Susan, that people will tell me that they want to serve other people, they want to make a difference, or they want to make a bigger impact in world. When I hear that, I remind people that sales is exactly those three elements. It's about serving, it's about making a difference, and it's about making an impact. And so if we can take the negative connotation out of the word sales, and look at it more as service and making a difference, I think that can help our mind shift to seeing that sales is actually a way to help others move forward.
Susan Friedmann: I love that, being able to serve. I know that one of our speaker colleagues talks about serving rather than shining, especially as a speaker. And then the same here, in this whole idea of selling and promoting yourself, I think there's so many, as you say negatives about selling. Now, you are a sales confidence expert. Talk to us about sales confidence. What does it really take to feel confident as a professional as, here, our authors are wanting to be experts in their industry, so they need to have confidence. So, talk to us about that whole word, that whole concept.
Amy Lemire: Absolutely. So Susan, the way that I look at sales confidence is I look at almost as a synonym with self-confidence. And the way that I help people see that sales or self-confidence is not as difficult as they might think it is is I take the three words attraction, influence, and momentum. And to me, sales confidence is about becoming a master in each of those three areas. So, for instance, attraction means how am I going to position myself as an authority on my topic? Of course, my topic is sales and sales confidence. Influence means what am I going to do to be the best version of myself? And so something else I also focus on is I help people master their thought habits, so that way they can resolve any internal conflicts they have within themselves and look at any past challenges as gifts, so that they are the best version of themself.
And then momentum, to me, is all about the self discipline that it takes to be successful. As a sales trainer, one of the biggest elements that we often overlook is the focus on daily, weekly, monthly activity. So, momentum means that I make it a habit to take action. I make it a habit to move myself forward two millimeters at a time. And I also make it a habit to have a quality of resilience, meaning that if someone says no to me or I have a terrible sales appointment or I try to position my book or my service to someone and they don't like it, that it's just a numbers game. And I always ask myself three questions: What can I do different next time? What did I learn? And what did I do well that I can do next time? So, I get in a habit of asking those three questions, and that keeps me in a place of forward and positive momentum. So, that would be my secret sauce that I would tell your audience about regarding sales confidence. So, those are the three elements that I look at to keep my sales confidence in a good place.
Susan Friedmann: Whoa. So,, you've just sort of unlocked Pandora's box here, Amy. Well, you said the word habits several times. So I want to look at that and particularly something that you said, your attraction, your influence, your momentum, you talked about thought habits. Now, let's go down that avenue in terms of, because so much is in our head, that inner critic that loves to have a very hearty conversation with us that isn't always the best conversation. So, let's go into that whole aspect of thought habits. Tell us what are things that you teach?
Amy Lemire: Sure, Susan, that's a great question. So, with thought habits it's interesting, if I was standing in front of your audience and we were all in a room together, I would actually put a whiteboard up, and here's what I would draw a picture of is that if we think of ourselves as wanting to be the best version of ourself, I would draw a big stick figure. But over to the left of that, I would draw a small stick figure representing where I am today. And typically, what happens is that we have thoughts that support us being the best version of ourself. Maybe the best version of ourself is "I want to be a bestselling author." Maybe it's "I want to be a confident speaker." Maybe it's "I want to lose 10 pounds this year," but whatever it is, none of us have the two best version of our self-picture.
So, what I look at is I help people see that we have thoughts that support that vision, and then we also have thoughts that pull us backwards. And that's how we get stuck. So, if I draw arrow to the best version of myself, it might be that I've got a really great gift of influencing people. If I draw that arrow to the best version of myself, it might also be, I've got a really great sense of self discipline and making phone calls and making connections each day. But the arrow that might be pulling me backwards would be, maybe, I don't have the self confidence. Maybe, I take rejection very difficult. Maybe, I also have had some wounds in my past with people with work or other events that might constantly be like music replaying in my mind all the time. I think you mentioned this earlier, that critic that comes out.
So, what I do is I help people see what thoughts are supporting their success and then which thoughts are pulling them backwards. And we work together to address what those all are through a habits assessment. And then that's how I can help people see what those are. But most importantly, I help people see forward techniques and skills, so that they have all of their thought habits supporting the best version of themself.
Susan Friedmann: Whoa. Whoa. Habits that came up again.
Amy Lemire: Yes.
Susan Friedmann: That whole idea of habits. Yes, yes, yes. Amy, one of the other things you talked about were the three questions that when you don't do well and you ask yourself or don't do what you were hoping to do, let's say, which is to make a sale. Talk to us about those three questions again. Let's go through them one by one, and the effect that each one of them can have.
Amy Lemire: Sure. That's such a great takeaway, Susan, that you just asked me about. And those three questions I actually developed when I was in frontline sales. And as you so eloquently read my bio, I spent over two decades in sales. And I just remember when I would lose a really big sale, sometimes I would sit and reflect and think about it and just go into a really dark place for sometimes weeks or months at a time. What I did is I came up with those three questions, again: What did I learn? What would I do the same? And what would I do different next time? And what I often find is, even when we don't make that sale or that contact, we can always learn something to do different.
I'll just put myself on the hot seat. I had a really great conversation with someone yesterday that wanted to sign up for my program, but I will be upfront, I felt a bit rushed and I felt like the other person was a bit rushed, and we really didn't get through to that level of helping the person see their vision together. So, unfortunately, the outcome of that is they said, "Well, let me think about this. I'll get back to you." And I'm not saying it's a lost sale yet, but when I look back at that, I think to myself, "What could I have done different?" Well, maybe I could have scheduled this call during a time when we were both fully present, and also, maybe I could have asked some different questions.
But the good news, Susan, is I'm not sitting here today, beating my myself up about it. I'm reflecting on what went well. What went well is I delivered a presentation yesterday, and the person was very inspired by what I was talking about, and they set this appointment up with me. But again, what didn't go well is I didn't set the appropriate time and focus for this to be a really great call, one-on-one, with this person. So, what I'll do next time, as I mentioned, is I will set a better time. I will probably get myself in a more grounded place before the call, but there's no such thing as mistakes. I always say they're lessons learned. That's the way that I look at those events.
Susan Friedmann: Lessons learned. That's one of the things that our listeners love. I actually call the mistakes, but I love lessons learned because you're right. Mistakes, yes, but what can we learn from having done them? Now, I know in the sales environment that there are hundreds, thousands of different kinds of mistakes. People have written books about this. What are the most common lessons to learn from selling?
Amy Lemire: I think, if I reflect on the lessons learned, there's so many of them, but I think the top lessons that I would say, if I had to narrow it down to about three lessons, I've learned in sales, Susan, is number one, activity equals results. I learned that at my very first sales job. I was selling payroll for a certain company. I did not enjoy my work there. It was 100% cold calling, but from day one, they coached us and said, "If you just focus every day on activity, you will always be successful." And to this day, I still believe that. And this was back in the '90s when I learned that lesson. So, I've applied it to my sales career, to my coaching career, to my speaking career. I'm always doing activity each day that's going to get me to the next step. And if I miss a day, I don't beat myself up. I pick it up the next day or I double my efforts the next day.
I think the second lesson that I would share about sales is that everybody needs what we have. And I know that might sound silly, but I just spent some time this afternoon with a sales team and they call on executives in a hospital, for instance, and they're selling medical equipment. And I let them know that they approach each person with a sign on their forehead that says, "Make me feel important," that is a great way to engage with people. But everybody needs what you have until they tell you they don't. So, if I come across with that attitude with people, I'm not going to talk myself out of picking up the phone or so that email.
And the last thing that I would remind everyone is that sales really is a numbers game. I have an analogy of a bag of M&Ms. My mom is a sales trainer, so she taught me this. But if you look at a bag of M&Ms, there's going to be certain greens, certain number that are yellow, a certain number that are red, and then there's all those extra colors. So, if I think of it as a numbers game, there's only going to be so many yeses, which are the greens. There's going to be so many maybes, which are the yellows, and there's going to be so many reds, which are the nos. And then there's going to be all those other people that I leave messages for or they ignore me or avoid me. But if we look at it as a numbers game, there's really a place to beat ourselves up or take it personally if somebody says no or if somebody doesn't call us back. I've had clients I've worked with that took a year to make a decision. So, it's just, everybody moves at different paces, but there's really no need to get emotionally entangled in a yes, a no, or a maybe. Of course, yeses, we always celebrate, but nos and maybes, there's no need to take it personally is what my last piece of advice would be.
Susan Friedmann: That is such an important one is the fact that it takes time. Somebody may not necessarily say, "Yes" straight away. And like you, I've had people who've come back to me years later and have purchased because, at the time that we first started the conversation, they weren't ready or they didn't know that they really needed what I had to offer. But given time and their situation changed, then they suddenly were like, "Oh yes, I do need you." In fact, I just had that yesterday where I signed up an author who I've known for several years, and we've just never really talked much about book publishing and book marketing. But yesterday she was ready. So, we signed her up. So, yay!
Amy Lemire: Congratulations.
Susan Friedmann: Yes. Thank you. Thank you. Yes. These are all dynamite lessons, and I love the idea that everybody needs what you have to offer until they tell you, "No, they don't."
Amy Lemire: Yes. One of my other favorite sayings, and I have to give Patricia Fripp credit for this because I heard it from her, a famous speaker. She said that if you don't ask the answer is always no. That's another bonus nugget I would share with the audience is that if you don't ask, then you will never get a yes, and you'll always have a no. So, it's important to just ask the question.
Susan Friedmann: Yes. Asking the question. And I think that's a route that we could even go down for a little bit and that is questions. It's all about asking questions, the whole sales process. Would you agree?
Amy Lemire: Yes, absolutely. I shared this idea with somebody two days ago, and I told them that one of the best approaches to take in sales is to act like you are not interested. Now, I don't mean that in terms of being disrespectful or rude to somebody else. But I think sometimes when we are in sales or positioning our product or service, I have been guilty of being so enthusiastic and so passionate that the person across from me is a little bit, maybe they feel as though I'm trying to sell them. And the reason that happens, in my experience, Susan, is that we talk too much. And I love what you just said. You talked about the power of questions. So, one of the best ways to think about a sales appointment is remember it's an interview. And if we go on an interview, we, the seller or the person leading the conversation, should speak half the time. And then the other person, the buyer, should speak half the time. So, I always come up with questions in advance of my meeting.
When I do my thought habits and my sales confidence coaching, for instance, a powerful question I ask people is "Where will you be one year from right now, if nothing changes? And if not now, when?" And thought provoking, open-ended questions can help people see that you are there to support them and they can sell the service or the product or solution to themself if we ask more and tell less. That's been one of my keys to sales success over the years. And it took me a long time to get there. But the more questions we ask, the more we give other people space, and we give them an opportunity to help them what the solution is. And they can typically sell it to themself.
Susan Friedmann: That's an important part of the whole process is actually selling themself on the idea because until they're sold into it, even in their head, they're not going to make that commitment to you. Now, something that comes up for me when you talked about the conversation is listening. I know that's the other half of the asking questions is the listening techniques. Now, I know that often when we're in conversation with somebody, our mind is racing 200 miles an hour. It's like, "Oh yes, and I know, now, I'm going to ask them this question or that question." However, stopping and listening to what they have to say, I think, is key as well. What kind of strategies do you have with regard to listening to the other person? What are you listening for?
Amy Lemire: Yeah, Susan, that's such a great question. When I'm listening to someone else, there's a couple techniques that I follow, and I learned this early in my sales career. And that is when you ask a question, especially a thought provoking question, you want to wait at least seven seconds before you answer, even if that means that you count to seven inside of your mind. I think sometimes we, as human beings, get uncomfortable with silence. And we want to fill the silence, so we just jump back and we answer the question. The other thing that I do is when I'm listening, after I ask a question, there's some keys that I follow. For instance, if I'm talking to somebody, I will, first of all, find out what is going on in their life. And I will be listening for challenges or pain or problems they have, because the only way that people typically make a decision is that they will buy when they have an emotional reason to do so.
And this is something I learned from Tony Robbins who, he started out in sales, and he always says that people buy for emotional reasons and they justify with logic. So, for someone that is trying to sell a book or to get a speaking opportunity or sell a piece of medical equipment, whatever it might be that we're selling, we need to uncover what the person across from us is experiencing in their pain. And it sounds like a really, might sound like a dark place, but what I will share is that no matter what I've sold in my career, whether it was payroll services or medical equipment or medical supplies, people will make a change when they have a problem that I can help them solve. And I need to find out what that problem is. That's why asking questions is so important. So, when I do sales confidence coaching, for instance, people that I talk to sometimes will share that they don't like to pick up the phone or they're uncomfortable reaching out to someone or they take rejection really in a difficult way.
And so what I will help them see is that if they stay in that place, they're not going to experience success. And so I don't tell them about what I do, and I don't tell them about me or my program. I first listen to what they are facing, and then I help develop a vision for what I see is possible for that person. It's not until I'm all the way at the end when they have agree that there's a better vision for themself that they see with me, that I might talk about the product or service or solution that I'm offering.
So, I call this a roadmap discussion, and I also call this a current versus desired state discussion. There's a really great book called The Challenge Sale. There's a lot of books that I recommend, but that book is really great about helping us see that it is a customer experience. That is a number one reason that people do business with us is that they look at us as a trusted advisor, and they don't look at us as somebody that's there to take their money or manipulate them. That would be the answer that I would provide to that question. I know that was a long answer, but it was a great question you asked.
Susan Friedmann: Well, it was a great answer too, because it brought up so many different things. And what I really clamped onto right at the end was the whole idea of being a trusted advisor. Because being a go-to expert, part of that is being that authority, being that thought leader, being that trusted advisor. And you are not pedaling used cars here. You're really just selling your expertise as well. And your expertise comes from, like you said, this whole idea of mapping out a vision for themselves because often, and I know I have this as well, I don't always see that for myself, and other people see things for you that you don't actually see for yourself. Would you agree with that?
Amy Lemire: Oh yes, absolutely. I think that part of the gift of selling, that I have found over the years, is it's not really about the products or solutions that we are providing to somebody else. It's about us taking the time to understand what that other person really needs. And if we can understand what they really need, we can see what's possible. And I followed this thought process, again, in my past, I sold medical supplies. I've sold medical equip, and today, I'm more or less selling sales training and sales confidence coaching. And one of the things that I love about it is that if it's about service and if it's about serving people, I am seeing things in people they don't see in themself. And the hospitals I used to call on, I was seeing patient safety and I was seeing happy nurses and happy patients and the hospital saving money, for instance. So, there's some of the visions I would see for that environment.
So, no matter what we're selling, whether it's books or services or something different, it's up to us to really see that pain, and then to see what's possible for this person because more often than not, the people don't see that in themself. So, it's up to me to paint that vision. And I believe people will partner with me when they agree that vision is worth pursuing. And again, it's not until the very end of that that I bring in my product or service to the conversation.
Susan Friedmann: Brilliant. And this is a great segue, Amy, for you to share with us how, in fact, people can find you and learn more about your sales confidence training.
Amy Lemire: Thank you, Susan, the best way that people can reach to me, I will give three ideas. Number one, my website is www.aimwithamy.com, and they can also reach me by email, which is firstname.lastname@example.org. And the last way that they could reach me is through a phone call. My number is (847) 531-3561.
Susan Friedmann: Now, that's very brave of you and very generous to share your phone number. Interesting because I remember doing this in workshops, and people said to me, "Are you crazy? You're giving your phone number away." And it's amazing how few people actually will pick up the phone and call, but it's very brave of you. And thank you for sharing that so generously because, hey listeners, this is a most incredible opportunity to just talk to this incredible sales professional. And I know, Amy, we're going into membership studio shortly, our premium membership studio, where you're going to share some super special nuggets. But before we do that, I always love to end a conversation with sharing a golden nugget for this audience. So, what would that be?
Amy Lemire: I think the golden nugget I would like to share is anytime you're approaching a prospect or somebody that you would like to position your product, your service, your books, whatever it might be is remember that the word enthusiasm, the last four letters of that is I-A-S-M, I am sold myself. So, it's critically important that we are passionate about the book we've written. It's critically important that we're passionate about the services we're offering, the products we might be selling, whatever it might be. If we're not passionate and excited and enthusiastic about that, people will probably not want to do business with us. And I believe that energy is everything. I believe that passion is contagious. And I believe that people will always be attracted to the person with the most certainty about who they are, and what they are offering into the world. So, that would be a nugget that I would love to share. And I'm hoping that that brought some valuable insights to your audience.
Susan Friedmann: Oh, my goodness. You're speaking my language. The whole idea of being passionate about your subject matter, and sharing that passion with other people is what it's really all about. So, thank you. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. And thank you all for taking time out of your precious day to listen to this interview. And I sincerely hope that it sparks some ideas you can use to sell more books. Here's wishing you much books and author marketing success.
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