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Why should you not sell the same way that you buy? How can you build confidence in the prices you offer? Why does providing your clients with an “out” make them more likely to work with you?
In this Ask the Expert podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about improving sales with Donald Kelly.
In this Podcast:
- Don’t sell the way that you buy
- Recognize your value
- Individual therapy
- Offering more
- Practice your prices
- Give your clients an out
Don’t sell the way that you buy
I recognized, “I am not the buyer, they’re the buyer, [so] give them what they want”. I may not be able to pay $50k for a certification course, but these individuals and their companies [can], so give to them what they want, and that way also takes the guilt out of it. (Donald Kelly)
The gold standard is “treat people like how you want to be treated”, but the platinum standard is to treat people the way that they want to be treated.
Even if you could not afford something, or you doubted the price of a service that you have set, remove yourself from that equation.
You are only the seller and your customer is the buyer, so you need to set rates and services that serve you and them.
Recognize your value
Especially in the mental health industry, counselors often feel guilty for charging high rates for providing therapy. Break out of this mindset.
You might say, “I’m helping people, I don’t want to take advantage of them”, but you’re not. You are [still] helping them. (Donald Kelly)
Your buyers are willing to invest in themselves to become better, healthier, and happier.
Let your customers be the judge of the value.
The value is in the eye of the beholder, so change your level of thinking and release yourself from that upper limit, and know that it’s okay to make money. (Donald Kelly)
There are different income brackets within your client base, from highs to lows.
People are willing to pay a reasonable hourly rate to a therapist to solve their problems, and that’s what it comes down to.
If a client has difficulty in their lives, then they are willing to invest to improve.
When it comes to working with individuals, the [main] thing you want to do is to help paint a picture of the outcome of what somebody can get [from working with you]. If the outcome is attractive enough … they’re going to be willing to invest… and you want to make sure that you can prove that you’ll give them that kind of result. (Donald Kelly)
Once you have proven that you can help individuals, people will be more willing to come back to you for more services.
People may come back for group therapy, services, resources, coaching, and so forth.
Practice your prices
When you let a client know what your rates are, let them decide. In the silence before they respond, don’t break and offer them a reduced rate.
Practice saying your prices in the mirror so that you become comfortable with hearing those words, believing that they’re true, and sticking with them. Whenever you say your price, say it confidently.
We’re not going to dwell [on the money aspect] and make it [feel like] an issue, we’re just going to address it quickly and then decide if [the client] is a fit. (Donald Kelly)
Give your clients an out
Remember that you want your client to feel in control and never for them to feel that they are under your mercy in the business transaction.
As the consumer, you want to make sure to have the control. (Donald Kelly)
People love to buy, but they hate to be sold. Create a business relationship with your clients where you give them the power to decide that they are buying, and this includes providing them with an out, giving them a sense of agency in the transaction.
You want to empower the person to feel that way … setting the rules before you play the game, you set the agenda, and then you give them the opportunity to have an out. (Donald Kelly)
Usually, they won’t use this out, but it is important for them to feel like they have it in case.
Books mentioned in this episode:
Useful Links mentioned in this episode:
Check out these additional resources:
Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
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This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 735.
I’m Joe Sanok, your host, and welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. I am so excited that you are here with me today, and we have another one of our experts, Donald Kelly, who came and spoke with us. It was in the fall of 2021 with our Next Level Practice and Group Practice Boss groups. I met Donald at Podcast Movement down in Nashville, Tennessee, and he did a talk about improving your sales. What I love about Donald is that he’s the least salesy salesperson out there that I’ve met. You’ll see this when he breaks down how people think about sales and what to do with sales. Again, this was one of our ask the experts so you’ll hear people ask questions or we’re reading questions. It’s very interactive.
If this sounds good to you, we do this every single month with different experts. You can come and hang out with us if you are in Next Level Practice, Group Practice Boss, or Group Practice Launch any of our membership communities get full access to this. You can learn more over at practiceofthepractice.com/invite. That’s where your journey begins in regards to starting with Next Level Practice and once you apply for that then you can jump into Group Practice Launch, or Group Practice Boss, or if you’re already at that phase, we can get you in there as well.
Without any further ado here is our ask the expert with Donald Kelly. Awesome, welcome everybody. So wanted to just tell you a little bit about Donald. I met Donald at podcast movement in August. He was one of the speakers that kicked things off for us and just the dynamic guy that was part of a panel. He was talking about sales. He’s the sales evangelist. If you go to the salesevangel.com, you’ll see his website. But I love how he frames this out. I started teaching sellers and entrepreneurs how to find more ideal customers, build strong value, close more deals and make sales fun. Again, I don’t know if you’re like me, but sales was not a part of any of my clinical training as well. I thought that sales people were slimy, specifically because I sold vacuum cleaners door to door when I was in college and was taught some slimy techniques, like how you can show people that live in a trailer park that buying a $2,000 vacuum was going to help them save money.
So that was my only sales training, was slimy selling of vacuum cleaners door to door. When it comes to sales, that was how I first thought all sales people were. So today we’ve got Donald here. If this is your first time doing an ask the expert, the first 10 or 15 minutes, I spend just chit chatting with Donald asking him my own questions. Basically, it’s a selfish way for me to make sure I get my questions answered and then the rest of the time, you all just get to ask questions.
A couple ways you can ask questions is in the bottom you should see reactions. If you have a question for Donald that you want to go back and forth and unmute yourself and talk to him about just raise your hand virtually that tells us that you want to go back and forth. If you have a question that you think he can just answer, that you don’t necessarily need to go back and forth, just drop that in the chat, and Dana’s going to be monitoring that as well. And when in doubt, just raise your hand or turn your video on and wave at me. I can see all of you, so it’s not super formal, but that just helps us stay a little bit more organized to know who wants to chat it up with Donald. So Donald welcome how you doing today, man?
I can’t complain, another day in paradise. I’m excited to be able to be here with you and for the invitation to come in a community and share some insights. And thank you all for accepting me and for actually showing up to hear a sales guy
Well, Donald, share a little bit with us, I was reading through your website to just see a little more of your background. It sounds like you and your family had quite the sales background right from the beginning. Tell us a little bit about your upbringing, because I think that frames it out a little differently than maybe some of us were raised in regards to our sales background.
Yes, I was born in Jamaica, moved to Florida when I was nine, so we can chat like a Jamaican sometime in a month. As a kid, one of the things with Jamaica’s economy, it’s not like US, like Jamaica has a fabulous education system. It is great. It’s actually one of the biggest exports. It’s this people where they’ll go to come to United States or to Canada or to the UK to be able to take advantage of opportunities with the amazing education that they received. However, because economy is not so great if you’re there in the country, I mean you can’t just go apply for a job as usual and find it easy people. Figure out ways that they’re going to generate money. So my aunt, for instance, my uncle, her dad, I mean her husband, he had worked for the power company, so he had a pretty stable and we were a mid-sized family producing like about a middle income, so to speak, her family. She took care a lot of the extended family and she wanted to make more money.
What she decided to do was to come to the US, get products and take them to Jamaica and sell them. It was just the way that I saw things. Because she was generating some money from that we recognize we don’t have like nice convenient stores, 7 Elevens. So people create little shops or in some of the South American countries probably heard of like TDAs onto their home adjacent and they sell products there. So as a kid, I mean from like five to six, I was in that little shop selling rice and different things and I just knew, that’s how I saw it. If you want to make money, you sell products and you become a businessman, so to speak.
Now fast forward as I came to US and I was a kid I’m nine years old and I wanted to generate money, I figured I’m going to do the things that I saw. If I want to earn some money, I’m going to get some candy and I’m going to sell that at a higher price and so forth. That’s how my entry into sales began from a very, very young age. The first product I actually sold was back in Jamaica. I got some cookies and put them in separate little baggies and sold them in the front yard. And mango, we got mangoes from the tree and I was like, let’s try to sell this. Actually, that’s my book, my new book that just, it’s in pre, what do you call it, presale right now, but it’s called Sell It Like a Mango and it’s how we can take something that’s so simple and commonplace and to sell that product in a way that makes us stand out in unique in our marketplace. Because no matter what you’re selling, whether it’s or whatever services you offer, they’re going to be people who are selling similar services or marketing that same type of product.
How do you distinguish yourself? We’ll go into some of that today as well. But that’s the premise of the book, standing out in a crowded marketplace essentially as a seller. That with my upbringing and seeing all of that happening and seeing people succeed and generate money for their family, it made me realize that sales was a viable option for the future. I actually was interested in law when I got into high school, started doing law studying, doing speech and business and then it just business just won. So I studied business in college and started doing more sales, serious sales in college, made really good money and it just cemented that that’s the career path that I was going to follow. That’s my upbringing. So from selling cookies and rice leading to selling complex software and now running a sales consulting firm.
Ah, that’s amazing. So Donald, when you think about the average person, we’ve got a bunch of therapists, social workers, counselors, psychologists, people that have big hearts, they want to serve people. They come from a great place. They maybe have little to no sales training. What are maybe the mindsets that they need to undo to prep themselves to really hear what you’re about to say today, because I’m sure we all bring baggage in that we got to undo that stuff before we can even prep ourselves to hear the words that you have to say.
Well, if you want to go with the term baggage then getting on that sales plane, so to speak, I was that guy who was paying for extra baggage because I had so many, even though I still had that upbringing and I still felt guilty charging a certain price for a product. We haven’t had a discussion today of how it took me a while to get to a point where we could charge, increase our rates. We were having a conversation this morning, one of my team new or team members is like, you need to bring your rates even higher. We do have a plan to do so but obviously, it was guilt in the first place to say that’s not possible.
Going back to the upbringing, so even though we did have money enough to take care of ourself, my dad, fortunately in Jamaica was a little bit more successful, when my mom moved to United States, we came with a challenging, found ourselves in challenging circumstances. You don’t have the support system you do in Jamaica. Long story short, there is a high school period in my life where we were houseless. I won’t say homeless per se, but we didn’t have a house. Cousins took us in and different family members took us to their homes so we had a place to go, but it wasn’t ours. It was frustrating on that side. I lived with one of my best friends for a while.
Going through that period, I remember going into college, finally my mom was to get back on her feet but when I went into college, I was doing the numbers and doing the grant and I’ve seen what money my mom was making. She was making like $25,000 a year. I’m like, how in the world were we surviving on $25,000 being an “adult now”? It just was fascinating to me. So now thinking about this idea, it made me start to have a low, I’m reading a book, which I recommend for many of you in this same situation is called The Big Leap. The Big Leap encourages you to raise your upper limit. So my upper limit was like thinking 25, 30, $50,000 a year. It was like, great. That’s like a lot.
When I did door to door security, I made more money than my mom made in a year in three months. It started to raise my level of thinking to see, like this was possible to earn more money and I was doing something that wasn’t unethical and I was helping other people. I think that was the biggest change. I remember one of the hindrances I had when I first started selling higher ticket items. It was selling, excuse me, IT training classes. The classes started off at $10,000. I’m like, who would pay for $10,000? It’s like half what my mom banks a year. So it held me back until I realized that these people were IT directors working at companies making like $200,000 a year and if their company got hijacked, that was going to be like $5 million to $10 million. So yes, they’re willing to pay the certification to get a five or $10,000 course and the companies are willing to invest that. So once we started to recognize that I learned the biggest thing with this is not to sell the way that you buy. One more time don’t sell the way that you buy, because, let’s say for Ashley, Ashley is, she probably loves pistachio ice cream. I don’t know. Maybe.
Oh, I do.
Oh, so Joe loves pistachio ice cream. Ashley, what’s your favorite ice cream? She’s going to sound like ice cream, Donald.
It is chocolate.
Oh chocolate, There you go. So there’s a concept called the platinum rule. The golden rule is treat other people the way you want to be treated. The platinum rule is treat other people the way that they want to be treated. So with that, if I know that Ashley loves chocolate ice cream, it doesn’t make sense because I like pistachio to give her pistachio. That’s doing her a disservice. Figure out what she wants and give it to her. So value is now seen in the IFD holder. So once I started understanding that these people valued a $10,000 course and saw that it was that’s okay to pay, they were even willing to pay up to $50,000 for this course, then I recognized I am not the buyer. They’re the buyer. Give them what they want.
I may not be able to pay $50,000 for a Cisco certification course. These individuals and their companies are. Give it to them what they want. That way it takes the guilt out of it. You can raise that upper-level thinking because the other piece to that is knowing that you are deserving of it. You might say, well, I’m helping people. I don’t want to take advantage of them. You’re not. You’re helping them. I was listening to one of my clients this morning on a call, one of his recordings, we’re going through a coaching session. He played the recording and they help students to prep for college, his company, and their program starts anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000.
The family that they’re on the phone with, like this lady didn’t, she didn’t bat an eye against it. She was like, “Okay, do we just do this, is it a month? I mean, annually or is just like one lump sum?” She’s like, “Okay, we want to get the higher package.” Even he was freaking out after hearing it. But again, it’s what she valued the program as, because she saw, if her kid can best prepare and get counseling and coaching to get into Cornell, that’s going to be so much more effective for him and for his future so she was willing to make that investment. The values in the IFD holed, change your level of thinking, release yourself from that upper limit and know that it’s okay to make money. It is okay to generate income.
I think it was Zig Zigler, but my sales trainer used to always say that money is not the most important thing in the world, but it’s right up there with oxygen. The way you think about it as somebody who is a giving heart, is if you have money and I see it as a tool, I can use that to be able to help other people. So now fast forward with my family circumstances, because I’ve been able to generate the income that I have, I’ve been able to help my mom purchase car, I’ve been able to help my family in financial challenges, I’ve been able to help them because of the tools. It’s not to be like this like greedy person that just want to hoard money and swing the duck and jerk to the people. If you don’t have money, you can’t help people unfortunately, to the best of the ability. That’s how it is.
To go back to my best friend, his family took me in when I was in high school, he found out what was going on with my family’s circumstance. I was living sleeping in my cousin’s laundry room. So he told his parents and they’re like, no, if you want to, you can stay with your, my mom and brother and sister were staying with another family member. They’re like, if you want to stay, you can stay with us. I think about that, they had the house, they had, the capability had the means, it didn’t have a burden on them, their financial means because they were in a financial situation. I wanted to be like that. I wanted to be in a situation where I can have the tools to take care of myself and other people and I can’t just do that based on my love. I tried to take love to the bank and they wouldn’t accept deposit of that. So I figured I needed cash to be able to deposit it in the bank. That’s the biggest piece. I hope that doesn’t sound too full —
Yes, that’s super, no, that’s super helpful. I’m going to ask one more question then we’re going to open it up to the rest of you to just Q&A. So again, if you’re new, you can just drop that in the chat. If you have a question for Donald that you just want him to answer, if you want to go back and forth a little bit, just raise your hand virtually and then that’s going to help us just keep on pace with things. So my last question is, sometimes when we talk about $10,000, $50,000 programs it’s like, oh my, that’s so far beyond where a lot of the folks here are at. Let’s zoom into individual counselors, the way they think about their therapy clients call.
They’re on the phone with them, maybe their private pay. What should they be thinking about in regards to sales, but then let’s also in answering that, think about next steps for people. So they’ve got one on one, they’re trapped in that, I only make money when I show up. What are some ways that they can take what they’re doing with therapy clients and expand it into that next step. So maybe it could be a $500 program, a $2,000 program. What does that look like as well? So individual, and then moving to maybe something that’s a little more scalable.
Yes, sure. I mean, if I were to tell you that I don’t do stuff pro bono, it will be silly. It’s not true. I have friends and people that come into our podcast who are just starting off and they just don’t have anything, but I’m like this person has the gumption, they have the process, they’re going to, they can thrive to get the help they need. So I give them a little bit of a bow here or there, and I give things that I can give a value or jump on a call and guide them in the right direction. But it’s just because it’s in the nature, but it’s also the fact that I still have other means that can generate the income from that. So what I come, what I say, go back to the individual side of things.
Focus on, I guess they’re going to be different parts of your market that people are going to be either lowest and who are going to charge just the lowest bare minimum price. People are willing to make the investment if there’s an hourly with a counselor or therapist that can really solve their problem. I think that’s where it really comes back down too. If I have the pain and I’ve had the difficulty enough I’m willing to make the investment to prove. So I give you one, for instance, we’re looking for a therapist for my wife. It was more of a grief therapy. For years she had challenges. She lost her mom, and she’s the youngest child, when she was like in her early twenties. It’s just been a challenge for her because her older sisters got her mom when they had kids and all of this part, she just felt like this part of me was being neglected and I got the raw, the short end of the stick and so forth.
It was a huge hindrance for her. We realized that it was advantageous for us to get into therapy and to make that investment. We did private pay for that. We didn’t go through like insurance or anything and we found a therapist that was really, really good because we’ve had reviews about this person. It just made sense for us, like it was going to, the reward on the end, back end was so much more worth it didn’t matter what that investment was. I mean, obviously she wasn’t charging like $2,000 an hour, but we were willing to make the investment because we knew and we’ve seen the results.
So when it comes towards working with individuals, the biggest thing you want to do is to help paint a picture for the outcome of what somebody can get and if that outcome is attractive enough, if that’s really tied around their pistachio ice cream or around their chocolate ice cream, they’re going to be willing to make the investment. But you don’t want to just make up stuff. You want to make sure you can prove that you can give them that type of result. So when you think like that, it makes such a big difference working with individual, that it gives you the confidence that you can charge more of a premium price, so to speak or premium rate. So it allows you to be able to make that investment because that person recognizes the value in it.
Everything in life there are stories. I heard this the other day and it’s just so key. What is the story too? What story are you telling yourself and what story are you helping the client to be able to tell themself? That comes through asking the effective questions that’s going to help them go through their challenge. I don’t need to go talk about question. You all are experts on asking effective questions. So once you can help that person though recognize that you can ask these effective questions and help paint a picture for the outcome to desire, usually they’re willing to make that investment because it’s going to solve that problem or solve that pain. Makes sense there, Joe?
Then I think your second part of that question, you mind asking it again around the group?
Yes, so say someone is doing individual, they feel like they’ve got the sales down there. What would be a next step to go beyond just that one on one work in regards to selling next level products, different types of things?
I mean, I think everyone is willing to get more, especially if something is good. So next week I’m going to get more. I’m going to get my first servings of my Turkey and then I’m going to go for my second because I want more and then there’s the dessert. So I want to definitely want to get the dessert. There’s going to be these upsell, so to speak. The clients that you work with, there’s always opportunities for more, whether that’s more services together or other things. So I’ll give you this other therapist that we worked with in our church. She helped individuals and then she had workshops and I was like, huh, she was good with helping individuals. I can only imagine what her workshop’s going to be like now that she’s going to be delivering that. So I was like, cool.
We engaged her to come and do some stuff for workshops. Then she had other programs outside of like the marriage stuff and I was like, interesting, what else do you have to offer? Then she shared some more of that, those things. So there was always a tier. Now, everyone is not going to buy all of your tiers, all of your level. There’s a group of people that will buy, and that’s what you have it for. So you may have a larger base that’s willing to get just the one on one, but then they might say we actually, maybe you’re trying to work out with an organization or in this case with a church or with like a company. Well, we do workshops as well, that can really help with the emotional strain that people are facing right now, going through the isolations of working independent.
We do this virtually as well, so, wow. That’s an add on, I didn’t know about that. There’s an addition that you can think about. But usually all of my services came from, I started off with one thing and then the customers kept asking for more. When I first started selling, I had a podcast and that was it. Then somebody called in and said, “Hey, do you do coaching?” I was like, “Do I do coaching?” I was like, “Yes, I do coaching.” The only thing I coached was flag football at that time, but I figured if I help myself in sales and I’ve given advice and share all this stuff they trusted. So I started doing that. Then from there somebody said, “Hey, can you do a consulting project?” I’m like how do you spell consulting?
I started working on that with a consulting project with this company, and then from there, and you got to spell consulting, but from there I started doing more where it started getting, I got invited to go out to California to speak at an event. That event led to a bigger event. So it naturally came from just being in the environment and listening to what people were saying. They were telling me the pains and the challenges they had, and that led me to create the options or the upsells that they needed to help them get to the chocolate ice creams or the pistachio ice cream that they desired.
Love that, love that
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So Lexi, go ahead and unmute yourself and go ahead and ask your question.
Hi Donald. Okay, so my husband and I are couples’ counselors. Building a little bit off what you were just talking about, we do see people one on one, but we also offer intensives where couples come and they get about six months’ worth of counseling in a three-day time period, which is expensive and risky for the couple, because I’m going to invest all this money and how do I know it’s going to work? What we run into a lot is we have one partner who is completely in and is calling and checking on it, but they have to get their other partner who is not on the phone on board. Do you have any tips for us on helping them to get their partner on board?
Ah, so let me just, maybe I’m going to be a little bit, I’m just going to say it’s probably usually the wife that’s probably on board sometimes or?
It’s actually either way but they’re always in a crisis mode. The husband says divorce has been discussed.
We had it with, I was a Bishop from our congregation, so I worked a lot with families and sometimes I found that the wives were a little bit more willing to take the work and we invested in it from the church to help the families. Sometimes you have to pull these guys from the ear to get them in. But in that situation, what you, if I make sure I understand, so the wife come to, or one of the partners come to you and say, this is what we want. This is where we’re trying to go to, but my spouse or my partner isn’t ready or they’re not willing to listen, how do I get them to come to the table to have the conversation or to dialogue with me?
Here’s what usually I’ve seen. If that person has any interest in saving the marriage at all, then they will at least have that desire to come to the table. What I would recommend that that portion is to tell them listen, if I were you in that situation, I would tell them come and prove if it’s going to work or not. I like to go with that idea of the skepticism because I’m not, I don’t want to go and push him and say, “Hey, this is going to work. It’s going to save your marriage,’ because it’s a sale. I would say tell your spouse if he’s open or if she’s open to having a five-minute phone call, I like to use the time period of five or seven minutes because 10 minutes is just so long in some people’s mind, five minutes is too short, but if I say, if they’re willing to have a five or seven minute conversation with me and they can do, they can test me out at that point, then we can make a decision and you don’t have to commit to making a session.
You can use 15 minutes or whatever. Your session is probably like an hour, but that gives them an opportunity to say I’m not off the, I don’t have to commit a long time to these people. I don’t have to waste my time so to speak. But when they come on that call, you’re going to be able to wow them because you have that expertise, you have that knowledge. Because of that, it makes life, it’s going to make them recognize your expertise and your value and say, okay, well maybe I can go for a one-hour session with them. You just need to make sure that five to seven minutes or that 15 minute is jam packed with amazingness, that you can do it. That’s what I do, is give them, go to Costco, so to speak, give them the sampler and then from there get them to come to the full session.
That’s how I’ve seen it to be able to work in sales and also with some of these other families is to test and from, since they had me as a third party and I knew the families, usually what I would go is ask the individual just like straight be blunt from their spiritual leader standpoint saying I’m willing to invest in this to help you. I really love you and your family. I want you to get the benefit. If this could work for you, would you be open to checking it out and doing this teaser session, so to speak?
It was so helpful to hear you say, just like a five-minute phone call, because I can see how that will be an easier sell for them to make that commitment. Thank you so much.
No problem. That could be just a one on one with you rather than the spouse at that time, because maybe they didn’t want to say certain things, but it gives them that full good uninterrupted time with you and that person for that five, seven minutes to have that chat and yes.
Awesome. The next question is, can you talk more about getting rid of money fears? I know I have great skills and can help people, but I feel embarrassed about saying my rate.
So Leah, what I would say in a situation like that is practice, practice, practice. What I mean is I do role play to make it easier in those weird situations. What my coaching clients, I have them tell me, and I did it in even on a call today, I wish I could play a recording for you, but this guy he was playing, showed a recording of his conversation and about a minute and a half was like the person asking, tell me how much is the investment or how much, we use the term investment, how much does it cost? He was tap dancing around it and spent like a minute and a half trying to explain the structure. Then he was like, but it could be, the range could be anywhere between blank and blank. That took him about 15 seconds.
I’m like, you just took like a minute and 15 seconds to explain that. Just say it in 15 seconds. Say confidently. If I see that you’re tap dancing, there’s probably reasons for skepticism, but don’t be afraid of silence. So when I role play with people, just tell them straight up. Say Donald, how much is your coaching? The coaching is $2,000 for four, one-hour sessions and you go silent. They’re going to say, okay, they’re going to start, because I don’t want to interrupt you thinking. You’ll probably be like, okay. You probably factor in a bunch of stuff, but in my mind as a salesperson, sometimes we’re thinking, oh man, they’re thinking it’s so expensive. Usually they’ll probably like, okay, what credit card can I put that on? Or how can I pay this monthly? Well, let me see how I can factor this in. Is this in my budget?
Let them think. Let them think through that, but if they’re going to raise about it and say, well, there must be some value in this because clearly this person’s been around and they’re charging X amount so there must be some values. If you go say well it’s about a hundred dollars or $150 they’re probably like, well, I don’t know if Donald’s making money. Something ain’t right with that. I need to get a little bit more. It’s too cheap. Even though I would love for it to be free, but that’s still too cheap. So whenever you say your price, say it confidently. I practice it and you can do this activity going in front of the mirror and just doing it in front of the mirror, just practicing that portion.
When somebody asks what’s the investment, how much would I pay, what’s your rate per hour? Our rate goes from anywhere between blank to blank and blank to blank. If it’s circumstantial in that you can give that range. Our rate is anywhere from $150 to $300 per hour. It really just depends on what you want, if it’s going to be individual, multiple, couples’ things. So I have a few questions to help us to determine, and I start using us, I have a few questions, help us to determine what’s going to be the best fit for you and for your partner. Is it okay if I were to ask those questions? Now money’s off the table. We put it on the side. Now we’re going to go down and talk, we’re not going to dwell on it to make it be like an issue.
We’re just going to address it really quickly and let’s define if you are a fit again, this idea, this notion of there is a room for skepticism. This may not work and I like that. So let’s see if there is, and I’m not saying it because I don’t believe in it. I know I do. I use the term that I’m Donald freaking Kelly because I have that much confidence in my ability. So therefore, I’m going to go into it with that, but I still know your skeptics. So I’m going to go in with you and let’s go down a skeptic path and then I’m going to show you that you don’t have to be too skeptical.
Donald when I’m doing my pre consulting calls, and Lexie has experienced this, so she confirms, it is, right at the beginning to say, here’s what this half hour is going to look like? I’m going to hear about goals for the podcast. I’m going to walk through and give you very tangible action whether or not we work together. I want to figure out the best program for you because we have more than enough people applying for each phase of practice. We’re not going to squeeze you in. How’s that sound? Then you get a yes right away. That sounds great. That’s awesome. Then when I do give the price whether it’s for consulting or for done for you services, Jamie Masters actually taught me to take two deep breaths.
So it gives me that pacing, so take two deep breaths and then say, well, did that give you a heart attack? I started doing that five years ago. The amount of times I’ve had people say that’s a little more than I expected, but it’s doable or whoa, that’s cheaper than I thought, it’s just like you gauge them so quickly through a funny question, like yes, my counseling’s $250 session. They give you a heart attack, like yes, but I’m sure you’re worth it. So that question is just like magical. I just, like Jamie, it just changed the way that I do business because it makes a lighthearted too.
What I like about that is the transparency about it. It shows you’re human because now you’re thinking, you know what I’m thinking and by you bringing it up, it breaks the ice and it makes a full conversation like. I’m sure you’re worth it or whatever. It leads to further dialogue, which is important.
We keep those questions coming in. I’m going to keep asking Donald the questions just selfishly if y’all don’t have them but this is your time with the one, the only Donald freaking Kelly
DFK, I like it. So Donald, what other things, so I sketch on a couple things I do in my pre-consulting calls, when you’re on a pre-consulting call, is there a framework you use? Are there anchors you use? Are there different techniques that you use that make your sales call about sales maybe convert better?
Yes, so one of the things, I love your idea of the agenda. We use that a lot. One of my trainers taught us early this idea of set the rules before you play the game. I use this example all the time and next week is so perfect because we have the annual Turkey Bowl coming up and every time we play football, somebody’s always going to complain. I didn’t know we’re playing college rules. I thought we were playing NFL rules. I didn’t know we were doing that, blah, blah, blah. So what we decided to do wherever we play football, my friends, we set the rules before we play the game, so before we start; here’s what we’re going to be covering.
One of the things that you can do whenever someone get on a call with a salesperson, usually in their mind, they know that there’s going to be some investment or some ask or some sell somewhere during this conversation. So what I like to do is to, with this process is so, so, so, so powerful. So you can feel free to write this down and take it but one of the things that Bernie taught me was, and if anyone’s familiar with Sandler Sales Training, Sandler is this is where Bernie really pulled that concept from when he was a Sandler trainer. But the concept is let’s pick on let’s say Wendy. Wendy, I just see you right here in the middle for me. So we say Wendy and I having a conversation, I would say Wendy, I’m excited to talk to you today maybe we’d kick the breeze for a few minutes. Where are you from Wendy?
Charleston, South Carolina.
Charleston, South Carolina. Got love for Charleston. Maybe we’ll talk about like kick the breeze on that for a second that my wife and I we drove through Charleston, we stopped and we did some historical stuff a while back. We loved it, had a good time. She’s going to say some nice things and we’re going to go back and forth and then we just build a rapport so she knows I’m a human as well. From that, then what I would say Wendy, I know you wanted to learn a little bit more about my practice today and how we’re, what we have to offer.
My goal is for us to one, to be able to do that, to find out a little bit more about your circumstance, your situation right now, why you’re interested in looking to connect with a therapist and then I’ll tell you a little bit more about out practice and how we work with clients and so forth. Then the last two minutes, what I’d like us to do is just to determine a next step. We can give you some option or some things that you can follow and to see which one makes sense, or if it doesn’t make sense to continue with us. Is that fair enough, Wendy?
Now, one of the things I want you to know too, Wendy, it’s totally fine. I know that our practice is not a fit for everyone. If at any time during a conversation something comes up and you feel like I’m not too sure if I feel comfortable with that, I’m not sure if I want to continue working, investigating this practice, it’s okay to tell me that. Would you be willing to let me know that upfront?
If I find out something, your situation, if it’s something that I can’t help with, I don’t want to try to force you to do in a session with us. If that’s the case you open with me letting you know that sooner than later.
Okay, so then now we took it off the table then now she knows that I’m not trying to trick her or trying to pigeonhole her into something. She has the get out of jail free card. I just gave that to her and she has an option to go at any time and say red card, Donald, thank you so much. I’m going to go somewhere else. Never had the opportunity people do that, but it gives them, again as a consumer, you want to make sure they have the control. Jeffrey Gitomer one of the most influential sales folks out there has a book called Little Red Book of Selling, I think he borrowed this from someone too, but the concept is that people love to buy, but they hate to be sold. So going back next week, when it comes to black Friday, again, everybody loves to buy, but no one wants to be sold.
I don’t want to be sold a TV. I don’t want to be sold a car. That means that I wasn’t a part of the process, but if I purchased a car, if I purchased a TV, I was a part of that process. You want to empower the person to feel that way. So going back to this idea of setting the rules before you play the game, you set the agenda and then you’d give them the opportunity to have an out. There’s a back door so you can get out if you’d like, there’s an emergency exit here if you want to get out. Naturally, we’re going to continue this conversation and usually they don’t have to use that emergency exit.
That’s the framework that I have. The last, the critical piece there is to make sure you set the agenda and give them, let them know the last two minutes. So if it comes down to it, now it’s at, say it’s $158. We will be going to stop all the discussion at that point and say I want to respect your time. I know you need to jump in two minutes. I would like us to fine tune the next path, the next step, would it make sense for us to have a consultation with you and your partner, or do you feel that maybe this is not going to be a good fit or perhaps you want to take a review, connect with one of our clients. I’m just throwing random stuff out there, but at least I give them the option.
hey might say what, Donald I feel comfortable. Let’s go ahead and schedule the first session and let’s go move forward with that. But that last two minutes you have that, or you can say the last five minutes, rather than just waiting, hoping at the very end for them to figure something out. If I have never been to Charleston before, and I don’t know the places to go to find food or to find a good grocery store, I would depend on Wendy who’s been to Charleston to be my guide. In most cases, a lot of people probably have never invested or taken part in any type of counseling, therefore they don’t know what the outcome is supposed to be. You be the guide, you be the adult in the situation and tell them, well, here’s a path. You can do one, two or three options. Which one would you like to do? That helps in that portion. I saw a bunch of questions came in here.
Yes, yes, we’ve got, I just opened my private practice. I’ve received several calls from potential clients, but none have scheduled. I’m confident in my abilities and my rates. However, I know there are providers in my field offering services at a lower cost. Since I’m a new provider in the area and don’t have a reputation built, how would you recommend building that reputation quickly to attract potential clients who will pay my rates? Thanks. That’s an awesome question. That
That is a very good question. I’ll give two things. I don’t know if, I know certain practices have, when I say practices, certain industries have different ethical practices that it can go about. I’m not saying anything that’s unethical, but I just want to make sure, like when I work with financial clients, they have certain things that they can’t do. Lawyers can’t do certain things in the way that they advertise. So one of the things that I would do first off is find opportunities to get some reputation built in that community. It may not necessarily be the low cost people. This maybe requires further conversation, Ashley learned about that initial conversation you have with some people but one of the things that I would do, it’s one of the things that I did at the very, very beginning, I wanted to make break into some of large companies so I wanted to build my confidence for it.
What I did was I scheduled a one-hour training or even I didn’t give my full training, but a one-hour training for those sales teams. I gave everything in the kitchen sink in that one hour. Then I asked the sales leader and the sales team if they’re willing to give me an honest review of the service of the education they receive, if that was willing, if that would help them. Obviously, people pay for a one-on-one coaching or for one hour session, but in that case, I give it to them as I recognize that I wanted to get a several of them so I’d get like bigger organization to do that for me, or do that with them.
I got pretty good feedback from these sales leaders who had said, yes, this stuff was good. We engaged Donald for an hour and it was very, very helpful, and this is the result. That boosts my confidence and say, holy crap, this stuff does work. It helped me to get back into that frame of mind that this truly can make a difference. So in that same vein, if that’s possible, if there are people that you can get that pro bono work from, and you can get that testimonial, if that’s going to be build your confidence and not build your reputation in a small area, then by all means.
The second piece to that though, is really let’s understand what you’re saying in that call and what are some of those invitations. It may be hard for me to pre-diagnose that without knowing some of those things, but if you’re receiving those calls from potential clients then I would, and you know you’re not the cheapest, tell them in the conversation. I would say something to the nature of like, so Ashley I’m sure you’re looking around and you’re probably looking at other practices as well. Yes, I’m trying to find a good therapist. Well, I’ll let you know from the very get go I’m not the cheapest in the world, but I’m definitely not the most expensive out there. However, I’ve been able to work with clients and I’ve been able to help people, whatever your service is, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. My goal would be to see if we could help you and if we can be of assistance. I want to learn a little bit more about you and about your circumstances, what we can help you and your partner, help you and your family with and if it makes sense for us to continue to have a dialogue, if you can see the value.
If I can have that conversation with you, I can learn about your situation and if I can demonstrate how I can help you and if it makes sense, would you be willing to at least engage us in the consultation? That way, you’re getting them to recognize there’s some value there, but the biggest piece is to take the elephant out of the room. If you’re not the cheapest, just say we’re not the lowest price, but we’re definitely not the most expensive out there. I would say beyond price, besides price, what is it that, what are your criteria in evaluating and effective therapist?
One thing I do also is because we definitely are not the cheapest but we offer more packaged prices than necessarily individual for consulting. Is to say my goal for you is to feel this way, to feel like you’re taken care of, to feel like that you know you can reach out to us, that you can text me when you’re stuck, that you just feel supported. It’s like, if I say my goal for you is that you show up for a 45-minute consulting session with me, it’s like, who wants to feel that? That’s terrible. You don’t want to feel like if you’re launching a podcast or doing something that the team has it and if they don’t that, we can communicate that. Another question, I’m doing a presentation on burnout to a group of CEOs in a couple weeks. Question, what are some possible next level offers that I could have prepared if people are wanting more from me? More Turkey dinner.
More Turkey dinner. So what I would do in a situation like that, Nate is give them specific offers and know that you’re dealing with CEOs so they’re going to have, I mean, maybe that’s going to be a one-on-one, like a coaching package or you might call it executive coaching or executive counseling or whatever the presentations around is around the burnout. I would just frame it that way because I’m sure you help people. And you can just frame it. You can say I know you’ve probably got some help today. I know you got some value from this today. However, after you leave here and you’re going out implementing it, you’re going to have burnout. Who knows what’s going to happen?
We have logistical problems going on in the world right now. We still have political differences. We still have team members that are trying to find themselves, trying to find things and you’re going to get burnt out. What I’m able to do with clients that we work with is we help them to not, help you to prepare enough so you don’t fall into a burnout situation. When you do find yourself getting into that situation, you have the tools to best help you. I do this in a couple different ways and I would love to set up a time with you guys, since you all came to this thing. We have a complimentary consultation that I work with each of you on and I can go over some of our different offerings and how we work with executives.
So if you’d like to do that let me know, and we can go over that here, or you can go ahead and schedule a time. I have my link down here below or whatever, but that way, at least I’m just making up the packages for you, Nate. But that way you can at least do that. If it is a coaching, you can say we do sessions, we do monthly session and this is what that session looked like. We understand where you are. It’s confidential between you and I, and we find out where you want to get to, and we start working towards that so you can have the confidence and have the tools and have the strength so that when you can identify some of these triggers, that leads to burnout and how you can best prepare for that. I’m your guy. You can use some of those things that Joe said. I have a reasonable text messaging and reasonable email connection so you can reach out to me as needed and to help you get through those situations. My goal is when we work with executives to help their organization, because it’s not only helping you. If I can help your company, you’re going to help thousands of people. My biggest thing as a therapist is to impact. So I’d love to show you how we can create that impact and help you all out.
I wonder if giving a label to that half hour meeting, like a life audit session or something like that sounds like fancy, like we’re going to go through different domains of your life. It’s the stuff you’re doing at intake session anyway, but just call it like a life audit or something that sounds more businessy. One thing I’ve found, and I don’t know Donald if this has helped you with sales too, but when I’m doing a presentation, instead of just saying here’s the tips to reduce stress, to say when I’ve worked with C-suite people, here are the top five things I see in my work. So like, oh, Joe, does that work? Or when I do other keynote presentations, it’s like, oh, he’s a keynote speaker. So then even before you get to the sales, they picture you as someone that works with C-suite people. Is that something that you would say would be effective for Nate when he’s presenting?
A hundred percent. If you can’t speak my language, then I’m not going to feel confident to do business with you. So say for instance, if I speak Spanish and my wife is Dominican, so let’s say, sometimes we have conversations with people and they’re not necessarily too confident to speak with me in English, but when she busts out her Spanish, it’s like all of a sudden this person lights up and willing to have a long conversation with her because they feel that you speak that language. Do you speak C-suite language? Can you help me out?
I love using stories. Second time mentioning stories work. So a story doesn’t have to be once upon a time. If I’m teaching a point about burnout, I’m going to frame that experience. So I’d say I know where you all are coming from. I’ve been there. I work with clients that have been there. One of the executives that we work with had similar situation back in the beginning of 2020. Everything was going great for their company, but then you all both know what, everyone knows what happened in March. The bottom fell out. He didn’t know exactly what was going to happen, where his company was going to be.
He called me up and we had a session. In that session, we were able to teach him some of these tools, these five tools that I’m going to show you today. I mean, did everything work out? Exactly? No. I mean, the world was still crazy, but he was able to have control. His team was able to then have, the executive team was able to have control and now their company’s driving, 2020 was one of their best years ever. I’m not promising that I can do that for your business, but what I’m promising you is that you’re going to have the tool, so you can have the confidence to do that but using a story to help frame it.
I love that. That’s awesome. Well, folks, we’ve got about five minutes left with Donald. Drop in those final questions if you have any, or raise your hand. We’ve got just a couple minutes left with the man, the myth, the legend, Donald freaking Kelly, freaking, not freaking, freaking Kelly. Love that. Or if there’s things that Donald has said that really resonate with you, that you want to just point into writing and say, I want to commit to this, or this is one just shift in my thinking, sometimes just typing that into the chat can just be inspiring to other people, but also a reminder to yourself to not forget it.
Let’s see. So helpful. Going to re-watch this to digest all the good stuff you both Donald and Joe throughout. Awesome. Thanks for that comment, Nate. If there’s other things that Donald has said that really stand out to you drop that in the check, because that’ll be a great reminder to everyone else. Donald, I’m wondering when you personally push up against those mental financial, upper limits how do you personally work through that? If you say you have a $50,000 program and maybe you’re like, man, I could never have a hundred thousand dollars program, what are your personal habits around your own growth, your own mental leveling up?
It’s a fun activity to do, but it’s really to push yourself against what’s uncomfortable. So I’ll put it like this, we have a coaching and we have one-on-one coaching. The way that our business has evolved, we’ve seen is we’re trying to scale the organization, that the one-on-one coaching tend to be a little bit more time consuming for us. We can do the group cohorts and that have a bigger effect. So I need to increase the price of the coaching to deter people from actually wanting to go to that when you can take advantage of some of the other opportunities.
So I raised the price and sometimes it’s okay to do that on a conversation to say a price that’s going to be uncomfortable for you just so that it can be, just see what it’s going to say. What’s the worst that’s going to happen? You can always bring it back down, but it’s hard to bring a price up. So do that exercise, just challenge yourself. I challenge myself every once in a while, just to say, say a number that I’m really uncomfortable with and see what people are willing to say. Sometimes it amazes you people are willing to, okay, that’s makes sense. Hey that’s the way that they see the ice cream. I’ve had one of, several of my clients and this is what we gave me into this perspective, I had several clients that I had a program and they said they felt it was disservice and they came to me and they’re good friends, they’re like Donald, I feel that you’re undercharging me for this program. You should be charging more for this program.
Another one told me last year we started doing podcast production where, because we created TSC studios, that’s where I’m at right now because our podcast grew and I started doing it well. So clients started asking me, can I help them? I gave a lot of free advice. Then it came to the point where somebody was like why don’t you just charge us and help us to do it? I was like, I don’t want to do it, so I asked my team, my team said, okay, we can do it. They started helping the clients and I gave them some insights.
Long story short with that, we were charging like a set amount for producing an episode and then another prospect who became a client was like, I need you to answer, to give me, I need you to say yes first to this question and then I’ll give you a tip. I was like, sure, yes. He was like, okay, you just told me yes, that you’re going to keep your price the same for me but my tip for you is that you should triple your price. I tripled the price and we had people buy it. I have another large company now that’s paying probably maybe 10 times the tripled rate for us to produce their episodes.
The point is there was a community that was out there and I was going for the wrong community at the time. The right clients were able to hear that piper. So challenge yourself to get past it, to get past your upper limits and know that you can serve other people out there. We have different tiers. I feel if in a service like yours obviously you want to help people and you want to make sure you still need to, you can’t help people if you don’t help yourself. You need to take care of your family and yourself as well. In addition to that though, you probably have maybe some pro services, like we do. We give some stuff to, we have a nonprofit that we help out and we have couple of individuals that we help out, scholarship with them into our program.
God’s blessed us enough with opportunities. So we are able to scholarship a few people into some of our programs, but overall though, that’s one of the way I challenge myself to get past it. Then also being a part of a mastermind, having a mastermind community, they help me as well because there are other business owners that help me to, I hear what they’re doing and then I tell them what I’m doing and then they’re able to challenge me on that. Sometimes when they challenge me, because it’s hard to see the tree from the forest when you’re in it.
So awesome. We’ve got some great comments here, like I like the idea of taking a breath or two after quoting rates. I was taking notes writing so fast. I got re-watch this. Thank you for the book recommendations and tools. Very helpful. Thanks for pushing me through my mental limits on fees. Was contemplating the value of pro bono trainings. Thank you, Donald. Also love the new book, Joe. So just praise all around for Donald. I know that those of you that watch this in the future for one, you’re going to get tons of value, but you’re going to feel so sad that you weren’t here live with Donald. Well, thank you everyone for letting us into your ears, into your brain and into your eyes and Donald freaking Kelly, thanks for hanging out with us today. This was amazing.
Thank you so much for having me. It was an absolute honor to be here and it’s a pleasure meeting you all. I put my LinkedIn information inside the chat, so please go ahead and click on it. Connect with me. I’m no stranger anymore. Look forward to seeing you.
Awesome. Bye everybody. Have an amazing day.
What a great Ask the Expert. So amazing, really happy that we were able to get that in on this series. Again, we are going to be jumping into our series after this on how I got through it or how I’m getting through. It might be more accurate where people aren’t necessarily getting through things and then being done. It’s a ton, it’s a huge series. At this point, we have 14 or so people covering some really tough things they’ve been through.
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Thank you so much for letting me your ears and into your brain. Have a great day. I’ll talk to you soon.
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