When I started my coaching business, I was focused entirely on working with retreat leaders - in other words spiritual educators. It was the perfect synergy of my mastery as a math educator and my passion for spiritual transformation. I started working with brilliant healers, coaches, and spiritual teachers to help them plan, sell, and execute transformational retreats. I *love* retreats - and I love retreat leaders. It was a perfect match.
What emerged in the process was a startling trend in my clients: they lacked real mastery around sales; they had major blocks around charging what they were worth; and they consistently struggled to fill their programs and retreats.
Not having full programs led to them doubt their purpose and themselves.
So I started teaching sales - and demanding that my clients practice them consistently. This felt radical - and the only way to make sales really resonate with me and my clients was to approach them from a spiritual perspective. The sales needed to not only allow my clients the financial resources to do what they loved, but also develop their skills as spiritual leaders, healers, and coaches. It needed to build their confidence, connect them more deeply with God and their spiritual lives, and help them to directly develop their spiritual leadership.
I’m still a retreat leader coach - nearly all my clients work with groups in a transformational context - and what that means is helping my clients become masters of sales AND use their experience of sales to deepen their spiritual lives.
Here are some of the things I have learned and teach about sales as a spiritual practice.
1. Sales are happening all the time.
When you go to the grocery store and you choose a certain cereal and put it in the cart, you choose it for a reason. Somehow you got the idea that this cereal was the one for you. That’s a sale.
When you were twelve and you convinced your parents to let you sleepover at your friend’s house, that was a sale.
When you go out to eat with a friend and they insist on paying for dinner, that’s a sale.
The truth that sales are everywhere supports my clients in normalizing and relating to sales in a variety of ways - and to practice seeing the divine in everything.
2. Everyone is a spender.
In our society, everyone is a spender. There is a financial component to literally everything in our lives - either directly (you or someone else spent money to purchase that thing) or indirectly. Everything you do, everything you eat, everywhere you go, there is a financial component. Even those that mindfully decide not to handle money for spiritual or religious reasons, such as nuns or monks, for example, are supported by a person or organization who is dealing with money.
Sales are an integral part of life as we know it. What this means that those of you who are doing amazing spiritual, teaching or healing work in the world need money to keep doing what you are doing.
As conscientious, spiritual people who believe in contributing to the world for a higher good, we are taught or programmed to reject money. It is the root of all evil, we were told. It just creates problems. Anxiety. Greed. You don’t need it.
But here’s the truth: not only is money necessary for you to continue the very important work you do as a spiritual leader, sales in itself is a necessary and powerful spiritual practice that will strengthen your capacity to serve others.
3. Sales get a bad rap when they’re done badly - or unconsciously.
(This is why spiritual folks are often some of the most powerful salespeople when they put their minds to it because they’re so dang conscious!)
Why do sales get such a bad rap? As in point 1, sales are happening all the time and when the sale is useful, effective and efficient, we don’t even notice it. We don’t blame the guy at Old Navy who tells us the pink looks better than the green - as long as we like the pink. We don’t ridicule the doTerra folks - as long as we are enjoying smelling their delicious scents. We tend to think of “sales” as limited to the experiences we’ve had with people who are not that good at sales or people who are using sales to manipulate - the telemarketer who doesn’t even seem interested in who we are before asking us to buy, or the cheesy TV ad with the low budget production.
In the world of spiritual sales, this is worthwhile to pay attention to because if you approach a sale attached to a, “Yes,” then you are selling to make yourself feel good and you’ll end up manipulating the person you’re speaking to. You are selling and wanting to be liked - a codependent and ineffective combo. If you manipulate in order to make a sale, you put the person you are talking to in a victim role. This is not serivce.
4. Sales - conscious sales - ARE service.
If this doesn’t make sense to you, turn this into one of your practices and ask yourself: “What would need to happen to make this sales conversation deeply serve the other person?”
When you change your mindset to approach a sale as service, you automatically:
Make the sale about what will serve the other person
Understand that if hiring you or buying your product does not directly serve the other person, you should not support them hiring you.
The sale, in itself, is an offering to the person you are selling to. And the sale is also the practice for us to become more powerful leaders, teachers, healers, guides---because it helps us refocus on our true service, a powerful spiritual practice for revealing codependency and giving you the opportunity to release it.