My Story

Have you ever thought,
"How can I get out this coffee quickly?"

Chances are you have, and I bet you'd never want to be on the wrong end of that feeling.


When I told people I was taking a job in sales, I got one of two reactions. They either told me that sales wasn't an honourable profession, and asked me why on earth would I'd want to manipulate people for a living (thanks dad...), or they told me that I was too shy and introverted, and that I'd never make it.

Quite honestly, the first time I ever attended sales training, I sucked. I was so bad at it in fact, I was put on probation. I spent several intense days role playing on camera, where at the end of filming, the video was sent to my regional sales manager along with a five page evaluation.

After the first disastrous training session, I walked away thinking sales is not for me. I was so nervous, I used to shake under the table. I didn't fit the mold of a prototypical sales person. So many people think that sales is evil, and I was starting to be one of them. I seriously questioned if this was something I wanted for my life.

I loved the product I worked with, and decided that I just had to figure out my own style. What worked for others wasn't going to work for me, especially not with teenagers and teachers. They'd smell the inauthenticity and pushiness a mile away.

I spent hours upon hours reading and figuring out how I could apply the concepts I was learning to what I was selling. I said things that worked and some that didn't. I kept track of what did, adapted and adjusted the rest. I debriefed every interaction with mentors and colleagues. I started to win more often than I lost. As my competence grew, so did my confidence.

I left my career in sales as an award winning rep, and was often asked to train new reps in adjoining territories.

When I sold my business and started coaching, I threw out all of my sales books. I thought, I never have to sell again. Boy was I wrong.

As I started networking and meeting other coaches and entrepreneurs, I'd share about my sales background and training and every time, someone would say you need to write a sales course, or you need to be a sales coach. I resisted with everything I had. I didn't want to have anything to do with sales anymore. I was starting over.

Turns out, you don't stay in business very long if you can't sell your product or service, no matter how passionate you are about it or how great an idea it is.

I finally gave in when my really close friends needed help. They were booking coaching consults and getting really discouraged when all they heard was, I can't afford it, or I have to think about it, or a flat out no.

It's through my work with them that I developed the structure, content, and approach I use with my clients now. I want entrepreneurs to feel comfortable selling in way that's natural, authentic and maybe even have some fun along the way.

No one I've met is a natural salesperson.
It's a skill you hone. A language you learn. A muscle you build.

Conversions happen inside of conversations


The first time one of my customers told me they were thinking of leaving for the competition, I told them that I was better and expected that to make them want to stay. It was a total deer in the headlights kind of moment. I managed to awkwardly squeak out a few reasons why he should stay and the next day I signed myself up for sales training. Luckily, with some mentorship and a whole lot of training, I became really comfortable having these kinds of conversations. That said, I also know how intimidating they can be when you have no idea what to say.

Relate

When I first started selling my coaching services, I was having coffee after coffee and rarely, if ever, sold a thing. It was expensive and frustrating. I was good at selling my old product, but I had to translate that into how I could sell a service in 30 minutes or less. Whether it was a conversation over zoom, over the phone, or over coffee, that was my timeline. Now, I teach my clients how to begin conversations in a way that sets the tone, and the expectation that this isn't just a chat with a friend over coffee. I also work one on one with my clients to structure the questions they need to ask in sequence, the stories they need to tell, and exactly when to tell them. This helps comfortably and naturally eliminate so many of the objections they would normally hear, and that's when it doesn't even feel like selling.

Educate

I was so excited to tell everyone about this new coaching thing I had trained in that would solve all of their problems, so I would just start talking about the thing, how it worked, and how they could benefit from it. I jumped right into pitching without even knowing what their problems were, thinking I was going to solve them anyway. When I realized that buying decisions are made when your ideal client admits that their pain is real, I knew I had to get better at finding the source of that pain. It's easy to go straight to the long winded, feature dumping pitch when you don't know the sales process. You need to learn how to talk about your thing in a way that makes people think "wow, they really understand what I'm dealing with". If there's no problem, your solution is irrelevant.

Navigate

When I was consulting with one of the Harley Davidson dealerships, I discovered that the most common objection they heard from customers was, "I need to check with the wife." and they didn't have anything to say in response. I asked them what would happen if they said "what do you think she'll say?" in those situations, and it was a major aha moment. That question allowed them to find the real objection. Most people end the sales conversation when they get faced with an objection, or they're tempted to lower their price, just to save the sale. I love objections. I often compare sales to dating. The maybes will drive you crazy. Wouldn't you just rather know? I teach my clients to find all of the objections they can and how to handle them in the moment.

"She is able to take large amounts of information, streamline thoughts and help you get clear on what you’re really trying to say."


"While participating in a business development program, I had the opportunity to give a short presentation on my business. The goal was to create a concise representation of what we do, how we do it, our current and future financials and how we intended to grow my business – in 5 minutes! The top presenters would ‘win’ a financial grant, so as new business owner, I was motivated to win. There was a lot of ground to cover, but Elaine was able to help me determine what information was relevant and to distill my content. This enabled me to say everything I wanted to say, in as little time as possible. I am happy to say that the presentation was a total success! I am very grateful for Elaine’s guidance. She is able to take large amounts of information, streamline thoughts and help you get clear on what you’re really trying to say."

~ Tanya Grovum, In Order Co.