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Selling Functional Medicine Without the "Ick"

April 21, 202344 min read

“Talk to people and trust that if your comments are insightful enough, they'll want to come back and find out more about you. And see all of that time that conversation time is legitimate time spent in your business, it absolutely is still really important.” - Vicky Shilling, The Wellness Business Mentor


We talk with Vicky Shilling, the Wellness Business Mentor, about how to remove the "ick" factor from your sales process to help more people and skyrocket your income as a result.

Vicky is a Dublin-based "get it done" genius who is uniquely able to break down and make achievable the practical and strategic parts of business building. She is a multiple award-winning health and business coach, author, and podcaster who shines most when helping other healthcare businesses thrive. She believes that knowing what you’re doing at a functional level combined with self-confidence and a deep-rooted belief in yourself means you get the outcomes you want.

Learn more about your own selling and business blocks with Vicky's free quiz - you'll see which of the 10 major business building blocks are affecting your growth!


0:00 - Introducing our guest, Vicky Shilling.

4:06 - What holds you back from selling more?

8:58 - How to encourage people to be ready to invest.

13:57 - How to encourage people to have a conversation with themselves.

19:09 - How to use discovery calls like clarity calls.

23:40 - The value of networking events.

28:47 - Shifting the focus away from us to our clients.

32:59 - You are not selling something people don’t want.

37:52 - Focus on the features vs. benefits.


Jennifer Wenzel 0:00

Good morning and good afternoon depending on where you're joining us in the world. I'm in Minnesota where it's 10 o'clock in the morning; Landy, of course my business partner here, joining from our business home base in Tucson, Arizona. And we are absolutely delighted to have Dublin-based Vicky Shilling with us — the wellness business mentor, sharing tips and straight talking action steps for health practitioners to turn their expertise into income. She works through her Just Start Now book, her award nominated podcast, her community, and her one on one mentoring and coaching, and she is with us today to talk to us about not feeling gross while selling, something important to so many of us in the wellness field.

Vicky Shilling 0:52

Thank you so much for having me. I love talking about this topic. So delighted to come and share it with your audience as well. Perfect, I will dive in if everyone is ready. I've just managed to set up streaming to my channels as well. So hello, in my audience as well on my LinkedIn page and my Facebook page, as well as anyone watching on the replay, because I know lots of people will watch us back on the replay regardless of where they are in the world. So yeah, a little bit about me. My name is Vicki Schilling, and I'm a wellness business coach, business mentor, helping people just like you, I'm sure, that are watching start and grow wellness businesses.

So a lot of my clients are in the functional medicine space, and nutritionists, nutritional therapists, health coaches, elevating and adding on all of that incredible skill and knowledge. And I'm really trying to plug that gap for people to finish their qualifications or always continually getting qualifications, but really trying to plug that gap from I know all this stuff to how do I get out there? How do I reach people? How do I convert this into a business into customers and actually impact people actually, you know, utilize all the knowledge and skill that I have gained.

So why listen to me? Why have these guys invited me on? Over the last few years I've worked with over 250 wellness, business entrepreneurs, and really helping them do a whole range of things from launching blogs, getting their website out there moving full time into their business moving into their own premises, if you're kind of looking for a bricks and mortar option, running things like online workshops, growing an audience, booking those first clients and celebrating all of that maybe adding revenue streams and things. So really trying to cover all of that business bit that sometimes like selling can feel really icky and really confusing and overwhelming. And really trying to help people with that. And like you mentioned before, from the practical side, but also from the kind of mindset shift side as well.

So for anyone that doesn't know me and has already connected with me do come and connect, like I say, I'm broadcasting this on my Facebook page, my LinkedIn, and the links are all there as well. And love to have a chat in the messages. So yeah, do come and say hello. So what I'm going to cover, then this afternoon for me this morning, perhaps for where you are, is for things I want to talk about why we are conditioned to hate selling and to not want to be someone who calls themselves a salesperson. I want to talk about reframing, selling really into how selling is for me all about having conversations with people, starting conversations with people, continuing having really valuable conversations with people so that we can just think about it in a different way. I want to talk about value, and how do we explain our value in a way that doesn't feel pushy and icky. And like we're a second hand car salesman, but in a way that really connects and communicates. And I want to talk about intangible versus tangible benefits and where again, kind of psychologically, we can be tapping into what people are really looking for and wanting and use that to help convey and sell in a way that doesn't feel really gross.

I would love to know if anyone wants to pop in the comments in the chat. Morning. There's lots of little chat going on. I can see my mixture of YouTube and Facebook over there. What holds you back from selling so even again, if you're watching on the replay, I'll come around and have a little look at the comments because I'm always fascinated by, like, what is it that holds you back from selling and selling more and showing up and asking for the sale? You might hear me use that phrase or you might have heard other marketers use that phrase, what holds you back from selling right now?

What I often find is that people say selling is really icky. It feels really gross. It feels like something I don't want to be. I don't want to be slapped with that label. I don't want to sit, you know, I have to kind of shift mode. I'm normally in helpful practitioner mode, helping solve problems and you know, diagnosing people, you know, like giving people solutions, and then I have to switch into this salesperson role. I put a different hat on to become a different person and it feels really nasty and icky and not like us at all. So like I say, mostly what I do quite a lot with mindset blocks that you'll see come up through this. We have this real mindset of salespeople are just horrible, they sell me stuff, they're pushy, they sell me stuff that I don't need or don't want, reminds me of hiding with my dad under the table from, you know, door to door salesmen that would come around and try and sell you whatever it was, they're trying to mop. So I don't even know cuz we didn't even answer the door. It was like, oh, no, no, we don't want to be sold something. Or maybe I don't know, the kind of shop, makeup counters and things like that being sprayed with perfume or off of making it just No, I don't want it, please go away and leave me alone, I don't want to be like that.

And naturally, if we think that is what selling is, then we're not going to want to do it, we're not going to want to show up for it, we're not gonna want to turn into that person. We don't want to be perceived like that by other people. So like I said, we're conditioned, I really think from from childhood to really associate sales with slimy, pushy, self interested people that are really only after getting an exchange out of us getting money out of us, to give us something that we don't really want that we never intended on buying that, actually, you know, it's it's something that is, we regret afterwards that we regret, you know, selling or buying that particular thing. And so we don't want to become like that. We don't want to be a salesperson like that.

There's also this idea, I think, as well of this kind of hierarchy, this idea that, you know, the customer's always right, and that, you know, the customer is is different from us in some way that they're kind of put on that pedestal and we have to behave in certain way or perform in a certain way in order to make them buy from us. That absolutely isn't the case, you know, that this real idea that actually when we are selling to people, and we'll come on to this idea of having a conversation with people that the people we are selling to our i equals, you know, we are all the same, we are all wanting and prioritizing something in our lives. And hopefully what it is that we offer, what you offer as functional medicine practitioners is something that the person on the other side is really truly desiring right now and really wants and is prioritizing and is actively looking for you someone like you, and they want to buy from you they are they're your equal and so you're going to meet them on that that same level.

Jennifer Wenzel 7:24

I'm actually I'm glad that you brought that up Vicky because I know one thing that seems to be embedded in my head with sales, and something that Landy and I worked very hard when we began our business to make sure that we were not like, is that whole concept that selling takes tricks or that there are techniques and you know, tools and tricks that you use to almost - not necessarily fool people into buying from you. But if you say something in a certain way it primes them to buy or that you, you know that you have to be manipulative. That's the word I'm looking for. And I'm glad to hear you say and of course, that's why we have you on the show, because we agree completely. Manipulation is not a good way to sell. Nobody wants to be manipulated and be sold to so I'm glad to hear you talk about that, too.

Vicky Shilling 8:13

Yeah, definitely. But the people I work with, I'm sure people listening want sustainability, they want longevity in their business. And the idea that the only way we can sell to people is convince them or manipulate them or trick them into buying from us is very gonna be very short lived. Yes, I unfortunately, there are ways that we could, you know, the scripts that people will hand out or sell you or particular, I don't know, you know, ways -

Jennifer Wenzel 8:38

Like neuro linguistic programming.

Vicky Shilling 8:43

Yes, and again, trying not to demonize any particular area. But anything can be used, like if we learn about the human condition and psychology, we could, but I know the people listening here and the people that I work with the people you work with, don't we were absolutely the anti of that. We don't want to be seen like that. And so it's really important that we say that there is another way to sell there is another way to encourage people to move towards being ready to invest in you and say, Yes, where do I sign? Like, how do I get it? I'm so ready for this and I'm so excited to invest in you. And it doesn't involve manipulation or I really don't even like convincing. You don't need to convince anybody of what you do it again, if we go through like some of these tips, you are just moving people to the realization that this is the right thing. This is my priority. And this person, this particular practitioner, is the person that I trust right now to help me with that particular problem or reach that particular outcome.

Landy Miyake 9:37

Yeah, absolutely. And just to kind of piggyback off of that as well. I mean, you just nailed it right there and just that there's no convincing. It's about those conversations and making that true connection by being authentic. being your authentic self. And just you know, or in the world talk about it here is the mindset shift. Because that's all about energy. So if we come in even with a different mindset that will change our energy, and that will attract with being authentic, the right people that want to work with us. Yeah.

Vicky Shilling 10:17

And I've definitely worked with people before where they've come to me and they've said, I bought, you know, a tanggram program that told me how to sell you know how to, to sell and sell high ticket things and make lots of money. And you know, nutritionists, nutritional therapists and things. And again, they're given scripts, they're given formulas, they're given things to do, actions to take, and none of it feels like that - authentic, none of it feels like something that they can sustainably carry on doing. They get it. But again, it feels manipulative, it feels like that isn't me, that isn't who I am, that isn't how I want to sell. That isn't how I want to hold a discovery call or a conversation with someone. And that's not going to be something that you're gonna be able to continue doing. So yeah, authenticity is so important.

Sometimes that does mean, you need to keep practicing and trying things to see what works. But that long term is going to sustain you and serve you long into the future. Which leads us nicely on because you were just saying they're learning about having conversations. And I really think selling for me is about having conversations with people. And if we reframe it that way, rather than I'm trying to sell to someone and reframe it, as I'm trying to have a conversation with someone, that's going to be a lot healthier, and not nicer and not more based on that connection. And then like you said, that authenticity piece, I think this is a really helpful way to, to move towards realizing that conversations are really important. When you tell people stuff, they don't believe you on the whole. So this is the equivalent of again, that makeup counter - maybe not even that, but you know, someone turning up at the doorstep saying, you know, hey, you need this mop. It's so brilliant. It's got all these amazing functions, it's got this, it's got that maybe even slightly in your functional medicine practice. If it's, you know, I've got this qualification, I'm doing this. And I've got that, and I've included this, you know, if you're talking at someone, which feels like that classic sales technique, people don't really respond very well to that you won't get a huge amount of conversions from that you won't get a huge amount of people saying, Oh, yes, please see, if I, you know, where do I sign? How do I buy it? If you show people something, then they start to believe it a little bit more.

So again, showing and demonstrating that however that looks for you. So again, we did talk about that kind of makeup counter example or you know, hair styling products, or from a functional medicine practitioner that may well be, you know, showing exactly what it's like you know, in your treatment room, or what you're putting together as, you know, a protocol for someone or what it is like to come and learn with you or whatever it is that you're kind of showing them you're giving them that little inside look that they start to understand it and believe it a little bit more, okay, yeah, I can see how this could apply to my life and to me and to my symptoms, perhaps, and they can, I can start to get it a bit more on than just being taught at the next stage then is when other people tell them, they will start to believe a little bit more of it.

So that this is where that social proof really helps that idea of you know, using those testimonials chatting to past customers, talking maybe is even a brunch and someone's looking great, their skins fabulous, or, you know, they're talking about how they got pregnant or they, you know, overcome their gut issues, or whatever it is. And they say, Oh my God, you've got to go to this person, or this particular, you know, practitioner really helped me and having that social proof that idea that it wasn't just you as the practitioner telling them how brilliant you were, but actually they're hearing it from other places, that is really up leveling that idea of someone being ready to invest in you to trust you.

But the last line you can see here, I think, is the most important when people tell themselves that they want and need and are ready to buy something, they are always going to believe it. It's that conversation that they're having in their head. And if we are able to encourage them to have that conversation with themselves in their head or talk through with themselves or with us, what is going on for them? How would they like things to be instead? What is it they need? What is the gap that they are looking for? What is the help that they are needing if they are able to have that conversation with you, or through your content, for example, or on a discovery call? That is really going to help them move towards buying and again, that's not a manipulative thing. I know we've already touched on that. That is just really giving someone this space and the chance to explore for themselves. Do I really want this? Is this really a priority for me? Is this something that I want to invest in?

So when I'm talking about this, this sort of having conversations, particularly if we talk about you know the nature of like having a discovery call with someone or even just having a you know, a chat with someone maybe that isn't the direct messages or a and like, you know, a networking event or something like that, I would always really encourage you when you're selling, or even, you know, just generally in your business to really be listening, and actually, you talking a lot less than you think we don't need to be selling to talk more. Remember, we weren't on that previous slide, you talking at people is not what's going to get them to buy from you anyway, you talk less 30% of the time in that conversation. And the person you're talking to, get them talking at least 70% of the time, get them to tell you things, what's going on for you. How did that happen? Or what have you tried before them that, you know, that has worked? Or that didn't work? Or what is it exactly you're looking for? Or, you know, how did you find me or whatever those questions are those ideas that we are getting them to engage in the conversation with us and to to be sharing and talking most of the time, because from that previous slide, if they're talking themselves into, this is what's going on, for me, this is what I'm looking for, this is what I think I need, this is how I'd like things to be instead, they're far more likely to be in a position of realizing if you're the right person, yes, please, I'm ready, we kind of want to get that person.

And again, prospect or lead or you know, all these other words that make us go a little bit cringey, a bit awkward, but the person who we can help, ultimately, we want to get them to the point where they they're in that conversation, and they're starting to already think and they asked you to tell me about your work? How, how can I work with you? Or how do you help clients? Or, you know, what is it that you've got to offer? rather than you having to say, Do you want me to tell, you know, tell you all about what I do or I'm just you know, I'm just so I'm going to tell you all about it actually getting them to the point where they actually want to ask you because they're enjoying the conversation. They're, they're telling themselves that they need what you have to offer.

Landy Miyake 16:48

Yeah, I just want to touch on that, too, is that the way that we find out how we can help them or what's even happening, and how they feel about it, or what they've tried or what they like to try? I mean, that doesn't happen until we ask them about it right? Most likely. And because a lot of people just, they'll share a lot, and they'll talk a lot, but they don't necessarily talk about those pain points, you know, so that I mean, that's an opportunity for us, in that discovery call to ask those, you know, pointed type of questions so that it gets them thinking about those particular things. You know, and, again, just by them, thinking about it, in speaking the words to us, you know, that is where they're going to start to, you know, essentially by buying into it to believe themselves, you know, and it's all about us listening and asking the right questions in order for them to sort of process that information in a new way. Yeah,

Jennifer Wenzel 17:59

That makes me think of, we had a guest, Dr. Christine Manukyan, a few months back, and she brought up the Five Whys technique, asking somebody, you know, they might say that their main motivation is to, you know, lose, lose weight and feel better in their body. But really, the question is, why? Well, because they want to, you know, be able to be more active with their kids. Why? Because they work really, really long hours, and they don't spend enough really quality time with their kids, you know, and you get to these really deep, very fundamental, motivational, heart based reasons that people will want to work with you, and they just need to hear it from themselves. With you asking those questions, I'm glad to have an opportunity to kind of, you know, bring that that concept up again, in regards to selling because you're absolutely right, when people suddenly realize their own motivations, the sale is already as close to mate as as you can do without you know, then you just have to let them know why you're the right one..

Vicky Shilling 19:08

Exactly, exactly. And that is why I think some people call them Clarity Calls. Because even if at the end of that conversation, they are clear on the fact that this is not their priority right now. Or this is not the way that they want to spend their money or actually, this isn't as important as they thought or maybe you know that there's another pressing matter in their in their life or their time, their attention, their their investment right now, that still really helps them as well, I appreciate doesn't help you as the practitioner for them to turn into a customer immediately. But you know what, giving them that clarity will mean that if and when they feel ready, they will come to you later on down the line or they'll recommend you to someone so you're right, having that lovely bank of questions that you realize, really work really help him to open up people to get them. You know, I'm often just saying, Tell me more about that. Tell me more about you know, it doesn't even have to be a complicated question. And tell me more and also, what is the impact of that? What's the impact it has on you then?

So again, like you say they can really paint that picture, whether it is that they're describing where they're at now, or what how they like things to be and how things change. So yeah, I think that's really, really important that we allow and practice that to ask people those kinds of questions. The other thing I'm aware of is that there may be some people watching this who are thinking, well, this is lovely that you guys are all talking about discovery calls or Clarity Calls, but I'm not getting any yet you know, I have very small audience or no audience yet I've just qualified or they just don't seem to be any people to have a conversation with.

The thing is, we can still talk about, and we can still use this idea of conversations, even if you have a very small audience currently. So I would be saying, in terms of using selling as conversations, start doing if you're using social media, or any of these platforms, start using polls and quizzes, talking to people, even if they're not on a discovery call with you. But whether that is in your direct messages, in your comments, on your emails, at networking events, you know, wherever you can have conversations with people talk to people and asking those quality questions, testing them out, before you've even had, you've got people booked in on discovery calls, listen to what they are saying, I know, we are all conditioned to immediately listening, we kind of half listening, but we're kind of planning what we're already going to reply to them.

Like really, for me that comes from that coaching practice of really listening to what they are saying and trying to respond to that and help them come to that kind of conclusion themselves. I often say seed your offering as well that you don't need to directly say, Oh, well, I do that. And I help people in that very kind of direct selling way. But actually mentioning even through a conversation again, whether it is through your social content, through chatting with someone at a networking event, however this conversation is happening, mentioning Oh, when I work with clients, I do this or that's actually why I'm, you know, specializing in this particular or I've noticed that people are doing this, and that's why I set up my program, or that's why I always include testing. And you know, when I work with my clients, one to one, that's a very passive, gentle way of just dropping the idea that they can work with you without you saying, Do you want me to tell you more about working with me one to one or whatever it is, and diagnosing, not selling again, not selling them the solution, but really looking at, oh, it sounds like you're experiencing this or it sounds like you're, you know, having this problem or again, like I've had clients that say this as well. And often we find X, Y and Z happens or X, Y and Z might help. But again, not needing to do a pushy sale about it, joining in any conversations if you're still thinking I've got nowhere to have these conversations, I feel like I'm just in a little bubble on my own. Finding ways to do that.

There are particular Facebook groups where those ideal clients are congregating or spending time; events - networking events are there, again, conversations happening on other people's social platforms right now, if you're still growing, go and join those conversations, or add meaningful, you know, context and thoughts and opinions to those conversations. Again, it's not to say, join a Facebook group and tell them how brilliant you are again to like, please sign up for my thing, or book a discovery call with me. Join conversations, you know, talk to people and trust that if your comments are insightful enough, they'll want to come back and find out more about you. And see all of that time that conversation time is legitimate time spent in your business, it absolutely is still really important. It might not feel like you're doing something as I don't know proactively as creating a reel or writing an email or putting a leaflet together. But it's still really, really valuable. It's building up that trust with people.

Jennifer Wenzel 23:39

We’ve found that going to networking events locally in Tucson, Arizona, we have definitely found that we can over the time that we talk to so many people about our business, even though our business is very focused on functional medicine practitioners. And obviously there are not that many functional medicine practitioners at a general networking event, the more we can not only talk about what we do and why we do it and how we do it, but also learn about the problems and challenges facing just general you know, business people and people in the marketing world. We learn from everyone whether they're in the functional medicine field or not.

And we have truly found we did not know that networking would be as helpful to our business and our ability to feel comfortable selling our business as it would be and we just decided to take a chance and we're glad that we did because we've really built some amazing partnerships and found some some wonderful people to work with. And yeah, so I just wanted I don't want to discount that networking event, especially for people who like us work in, you know, a very specialized field such as functional medicine. We were very surprised by the positive results that we have gotten from networking events.

Vicky Shilling 24:57

Yeah, I think that's brilliant to remember. I think A lot of people will say, Oh, it's not worth going to networking events, or what happens if there aren't, you know, it's not a room full of 100% ideal clients. I appreciate if you're specializing in helping people with their fertility or helping people with gut issues. Often they're not putting their hands up and saying, right, you know, here's a Women's Institute collection, and everybody's got problems with cystitis, or do you look like or everyone here is in contact constantly constipated or something like, actually, it's quite difficult to guarantee that 100% of the people in the room are your perfect ideal clients. But we have to start somewhere, we have to, you know, work out or even ask a couple of people, if you have had a client and say, Where do you go? Who do you recommend for a date? You know, what kind of events are you hanging out at? And can I, you know, I can go along as well. Or maybe you could do a talk or something there.

But you're right, there's so many ways to meet people. And realize, actually, for me, it's just getting out of that bubble and realizing there are other people that don't know all the things that we know, and that you meet other people through that and you never know who they can then connect you on to so actually, that real human connection is so so powerful. value, then a lot of people will say this to me, I'm afraid that what I am selling isn't good enough. And that this kind of idea of how we explain the value to people is super important. But actually when we dig a little bit deeper into those mindsets, do you really believe in what you're offering? Do you really believe in the power of your foot, you know, functional medicine practice that what you're doing can actually help people. The thing that I really try to remind people here is that what you're selling is a value.

You know, we've laughed and joked about those kinds of, I don't know secondhand car salesmen, the person selling a mop on the door, doorstep, someone trying to flog you a makeup palette that you absolutely don't need. What you are doing as functional medicine practitioners is so needed. Look at the state of chronic health conditions that there are in the US in the UK and Europe, you know, worldwide globally, what you are doing absolutely helps people. And I always try and I'm not sure if anyone else knows this story. I heard a few years ago that there is a man I think he's somewhere in America. You can write, he writes, you know, happy birthday, Bob on a potato, and he will charge you $70 or $80. To do it, you'll pop it in a postbag and they'll send it off to someone. And he's making six figures. He's very happy out thanks very much as the Irish here would say.

So, you know, I'm not saying that's got no value, but dear me, the functional medicine practitioners who are listening to this, how qualified are you? How able are you to get total lifestyle and bodily transport mental transformation for your clients that will have unbelievable impact and ripple effects in their lives. And you think you can't or shouldn't sell to your audience or have these conversations with people, you know, we've really got to stand by that. That real value in what we do.

Jennifer Wenzel 27:53

Yes, functional medicine of all types is more valuable in general than a potato through the mail. I agree.

Vicky Shilling 28:01

That was my point. If you take nothing away else from this talk, please take that. And ultimately, it comes back to this kind of quote as well that there are people out there less qualified than you doing the things that you want to do simply just because they decided to believe in themselves. And I appreciate this one talk of me saying believe in yourself, believe in your ability Believe in your functional medicine practice. And what you can do for people is not miraculously going to change that overnight. But if it's something you're aware of deep down, you don't sell, because you're afraid that it's not good enough or that you can't help people. It's a mindset, you know, if you're qualified, if you don't you always do and that CPD, you know, you can help people, you need to work and cultivate that self belief and find ways to do that.

Landy Miyake 28:47

I think a lot of it, I mean, what I've learned, you know, being in sales, is that when we can shift the focus away from us, you know, in what we do, and yes, we have those skills, we have value, we can help them. But when we really shift our focus on just having those conversations and thinking of it, okay, what can I find out? What can I learn about this person? You know, it lifts the weight and the pressure. And then it also helps I have found to be so much more present and engaged in those conversations when I'm truly going in there with the intention with the mindset of, hey, I'm just really trying to get to know this person, find out what their story is. Cool. If it's a match, cool, if it's not a match, I will try to add value at the end of the call or the conversation. But you know, wherever it goes is wherever it goes. And so not focusing on the end result or the sale, you know, and just really focusing on truly just connecting with them as a person I have found really alleviates that pressure.

Vicky Shilling 30:10

That's it, thank you so much for bringing that up. Because it's so important for people to remember, I think we have this idea of what successful sales looks like. And successful sales looks like 100% conversion, every single person I talked to buys from me that that isn't a kind of bar that we want to set for ourself or a goal that we want to have for ourselves, I agree with you, if you can come at any conversation, we obviously you would hope that that person would come and work with you if they are the right fit. And we don't want to just sell to anybody and everybody because we actually want clients that are the right fit anyway, the best thing we can do is just show curiosity and ask really great questions.

And I had someone on one of my group programs, she was in telemarketing, you know, kind of in sales. And she said, I just get really curious about people. For some people cold calling might not feel very fun. But I just show the whole thing real curiosity, I want to find out more about them or about their business and more about what's going on to them, how I can help what's fitting in a building relationships with people, that is actually what great selling will be. And when people will come back to you time and time again or recommend you. So yeah, I love that. And thanks for bringing up that idea of real curiosity about it.

I also, I wanted to emphasize this idea of value, to really look at how far you have come and what you can teach people. And actually one of the concepts I have, in my book that I kind of added to these slides, is what I call the sliding scale of knowledge. And if we look at you know where you are, and where your ideal clients are, the sliding scale for me is someone right at the very ends, we can see here on the left side is someone with absolutely no knowledge and no interest in what you do. And they're obviously not our ideal clients because they don't care and they're not interested and they're not willing to change and they don't want to invest, then maybe they don't even see that there's a problem right now, on the other end of this sliding scale of knowledge is the absolute pinnacle of what you do, you know, they've got all the qualifications, they're leading the research, they've got the PhDs; they are, you know, the absolute guru in terms of what you are doing. You are somewhere in between those two things, and your ideal client is a few steps back.

So if you're always thinking and getting clear on who is that person I'm trying to help, they don't know what you know. And yes, okay, you're not at the guru status level. And to be quite frank, most of us won't ever be that person. But we are always further ahead than where our ideal client is, maybe that person is you a few years ago, or you could see that there was a gap, that they would love to know what you know what is in your head right now. And as long as you are making sure you're conveying that and saying, This is what I can help teach you.

Yes, you can always do your certifications and keep getting better. But your ideal clients need you now, they are looking for you. They're curious, they're open, they're exploring, and they need to learn from you because you're a few steps ahead of where they are right now. So we've got to really value that gap, even if you don't feel like you know, absolutely everything, which let's be honest, you never will.

So ultimately, just to sum this up in the value section, you are not selling something that people don't want and need, your content and everything that you are sharing whether that is free or have been paid for offerings is genuinely and I know this confidently with your audience is genuinely adding value to people's lives. And a real feeling if there is that feeling of imposter syndrome, you know, like I'm not good enough, or someone's going to come in and tell me that I don't know anything at all. I always think and the best thing I learned about this is if you think that even for a second guarantee, that means you're not an impostor. Because real imposters, people who absolutely you know, are pulling the wool over people's eyes taking money when they're not qualified at all. They never think about that; they are busy just doing their imposter thing. Whereas it tends to mean if you are worrying about that, or you're thinking that you've got really high integrity, you really care about looking after people you care about your qualifications and how you can help people. And actually, that's a really good sign that you are definitely adding value to people's lives.

The other way I wanted to help people explain this in terms of selling is looking at intangible versus tangible benefits. So I hear a lot of people would say when it comes to selling well, I know that it's really good. I know that it's really powerful. I know that I'm really well qualified. I know all the benefits of functional medicine, but no one else seems to get it. I just can't explain it to anybody else. Nobody else seems to understand it. I think the thing we have to remember with selling is that people don't buy logically with their heads, they actually buy with their emotions. And again, we're not being manipulative about this. We're being honest about how people make a buying decision. So what we need to make sure when we are selling ourselves or communicating with people and inviting them in to have a conversation with us to talk to us to come and buy what we have out is that we don't want to only just tell them the logical things of what they'll get. We want to tell them how you're going to make them feel what happens on the other side of all the things that they are going to get.

So I've turned this into a little bit of a table, which hopefully you can see there. And just to really illustrate this, the tangible things there on the left hand side, and again, we need these things in the mix when we are selling to people, because we want to be clear about what it is we're offering. But we need to also make sure we're really clearly communicating the intangible thing.

So tangible things are like, I'm the most highly qualified coach in the country, you know, I've got X, Y, and Z qualifications, or X, Y, and Z membership, maybe it's you'll get this download, you'll get a goodie bag, or you'll get some freebies, you'll get lifetime access to my resources, or this really came up for me when I used to run wellness ritual retreats, and we would say, well, you get a private ensuite room and you'll get yoga, you'll get meditation, we're layering on all the tangible things or, you know, if your product base, you know, products are handcrafted, they take hours to produce what whatever the tangible things are their you know, even if for a lot of you it will be how many hours they get with you, or how many, how much prep that you're doing, or how many meal plans that you'll do for or how many tests that you'll run for them or something that's tangible, I get it.

But that's not where people make buying decisions, they make the buying decision at that emotional level, which comes with the intangible. So what is it that those things do, you will leave feeling calmer and more in control, you'll come away from this course no longer feeling overwhelmed, ready to take action, this package is going to stop you procrastinating get things done or, again, for functional medicine practitioners, it's that idea of you know, getting to the root cause of the problem helping you feel confident we go out. So you don't need to run off to the bathroom or you know, know that you're putting yourself in the very best possible position to, you know, conceive naturally, or, you know, no longer feeling overwhelmed and confused by the information out there, you'll no longer feel alone, you're gonna feel supported, you know, that intangible idea of where emotionally that is actually what is going to help someone understand what you can do for them far more than your qualifications, how many hours of calls, how many Documents and Downloads they're gonna get from you.

Jennifer Wenzel 37:12

And if people have ever seen that phrase “what's in it for me,” especially in the marketing field, we say, don't forget to let your ideal client know exactly what's in it for them, this is what's in it for them, not only will they get lifetime access to the resources, but that means that they'll be able to go back and, you know, reinforce their learning at any time, if they're feeling less than confident, or if they forgot what they were supposed to do. They can access it anytime, instead of just having access to it during the month or two that you're working with them. It's telling folks exactly why it matters to them these tangible things that you're giving.

Vicky Shilling 37:52

Yeah, exactly. So I switched this, I added this. So yeah, and it's such a simple phrase that you can add on. So that again, if you say we will have 10 one to one sessions together, why, so that you can ask me any questions that we can build, you know this into your lifestyle and your habits so that we can truly go deep on what the cause of the problem is. So that so that you know, this doesn't reoccur again, after we work together, what is it, you're, you're giving them so that you can watch so you receive tailored meal plans so that you can get organized and free up some brain space or you and get it an initial hour long consultation where we look at your full health history, so that you can so that we can identify triggers and problems, you know, always trying to actually explain what the value is because to somebody else, if I come to your website is a functional medicine practitioner, and all I can see is come and work with me and you'll get X number of hours with me X number of tests X number of zoom calls X number of, you know, downloadable documents I have I am none the wiser as to why you are giving me all of those things.

Landy Miyake 39:01

Yeah, it's focusing on the features versus benefits and emphasizing the benefits of what's in it for me and that's really key and like for someone like me, you know, I'm definitely more I would say like the logical kind of get to the point, you know, bottom line me type of individual. And so that's why Jennifer is a great partner for me because she helps to balance me on my logical brain right to be like, Okay, let's add this part so that part, you know, and so it really is a difference that I'm still learning to implement myself. And it really is because as humans, we just whether we want to admit it or not, whether it's on a conscious level or not. So, yeah, thank you. And it's lovely. How they do it.

Vicky Shilling 39:57

Yeah, you've got that Yin and Yang and it's not just saying that we never talk about the tangible things. Of course, if someone's ready to buy from you, we're not - again, we're not manipulating them on an emotional level and only talking to you will feel like this, you'll do this, you'll have this you'll be able to do this. And then we've none the wiser about what actually am I signing up for? What is it I actually get?

I think it's really important that again, for transparency, for ethical selling, that we show the tangible, but what we mustn't do is only talk about the tangible things, we actually need to remember what the tangible things are going to lead to and help people see that as well. Because ultimately, it's this lovely Maya Angelou quote, isn't it? When people finish working with you as a functional medicine practitioner and years to come? They will forget the exact things you said, they will forget the tests that you did with them, they will forget how many hours it was, they'll forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. How did they feel after and I've given myself goosebumps with that, you know, that real sense of what are they gonna walk, walk away, feeling and knowing and being and having after working with you, that's what we need to get really good at communicating.

So I think those are all my points that I wanted to cover, I've got a couple of things just to share with you. And if there weren't any other questions or anything else that kind of spins off out of this has been lovely to chat to you guys as well. Throughout this, we've covered why we're conditioned to help hate salespeople and why we don't want to be them in the typical sense, we've looked at why selling is actually having conversations with people. We've looked at how to explain value and your value. And we've looked at why it's really important to explain and get good at explaining intangible benefits over the tangible benefits. So I would love to connect with anyone that's watching this, I can see comments coming in from watching it live or watching on the replay. And if you do, I've got a little quiz.

If you do ever feel blocked in your business, if you're feeling like something is sticky, something's not quite moving, whether it is the selling or you know, something's not quite shifting or growing how you want, feel free to use that QR code. If you're doing this on your desktop with your phone or go to my website, I've got 10 questions again to find out what is going on for you. And I can give you a little training on what I think might be getting in your way and blocking you. So I'll leave that up on the screen, just for another few seconds. If that is helpful for anyone, I'd love to offer you a little free training just to shift things because often this can feel quite sticky.

And also, I just mentioned it before I have written a book, which covers a lot of these kinds of mindset. Blocks, particularly their whole book is really designed for health and wellness practitioners. And looking at a lot of these mindset blocks. Why do we stop ourselves selling? Why do we undervalue ourselves? Why are we worried and feel like imposters, you know, how does that show up? So that's available on Amazon and kind of independent bookstores and everything so you can get more information on my website, the forward slash book there as well.

Jennifer Wenzel 42:52

Wonderful, thank you so much. It is absolutely wonderful to talk to you. Your energy has just been terrific. We believe in you and the work that you're doing and thank you so much for supporting the wellness industry and helping them do better work too. We're delighted to have you here.

Vicky Shilling 43:10

Thank you so much for inviting me. It's been great to talk about this.

Jennifer Wenzel 43:15

Have a wonderful rest of your evening in Dublin and thank you again for being here with Root Cause Marketing.

Landy Miyake 43:21

Yes, thank you, it was such a treat!

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