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Do you ever wonder why selling feels uncomfortable?

Is it even possible to attract your ideal clients without feeling icky, sales-y, and downright exhausted?

Feminine Conscious Business Coach Aprille Franks is back on the show this week to introduce us to a game-changing class she’s hosting called The Secrets to Feminine Selling.

If you’re a woman who’s afraid to sell, doesn’t want to come across as pushy, or feels uncomfortable raising your prices, this is for you.

Join us to hear why every woman needs to learn the Feminine Selling process, and why it’s the antidote to everything you hate about selling right now.

What you will discover

  • The premise of Feminine Selling.
  • Why the sales strategies we learn from men often don’t feel aligned to women.
  • How you are always influencing and selling, whether you know it or not.
  • Why women tend to have drama around money, selling, and making offers.
  • The importance of separating your worth as a human and the value of your products or services.
  • How overgiving, overdelivering, and overcompensating get women in trouble.
  • Why getting a “no” has nothing to do with the value of your product or service.

Featured on the show

Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo episode 489.

Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it's all about real clients, real problems, and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach instructor, Brooke Castillo.

Brooke: What’s up my friends? Okay, let me tell you what happened. This is why you’re getting this amazing podcast today on Feminine Selling. So here’s the story.

I love to travel with one of my best friends, Aprille Franks. We love to travel together because we’re both very independent. We both have so much fun. So I rented this huge house in San Diego, actually in Carlsbad, and invited Aprille to come. And we’re both here hanging out and working.

And I was getting my hair and makeup done for a class that I’m going to teach, she came into the kitchen, was just chatting with me, and I said, “What have you been up to?” And she said, “Oh, I’m teaching this class right now called Feminine Selling.” And I said, “Tell me everything about it.”

And she started to tell me about this class she’s teaching and I’m obsessed with everything she said, and I said, “Stop talking, let’s record it on a podcast.” So please welcome to the podcast, Aprille Franks.

Aprille: Hello family, I’m back.

Brooke: Tell them a little bit about who you are for people that are new.

Aprille: Yeah, 100%. So I’m Aprille Franks, feminine conscious business coach. I primarily help women tap more into their femininity so that they can run more successful businesses launching the things that they utilize to help their ideal clients.

Brooke: Perfect. Okay, so some of you may know Aprille. We taught a class together called Stop Underearning. It is in Get Coached. You can access that in the Study Vault. It’s one of the favorite classes. When we look at what people take when they go in there, that’s one of the favorite classes that they take.

And we, ever since then, have just been the bestest of friends, hanging out together all the time. And we haven’t really produced any amazing work lately together, so I thought this podcast would be fantastic and Aprille is also doing a class that you can sign up for on Feminine Selling, and it’s really inexpensive. So it’s our gift to you really by talking about it.

But here’s what happened. This is what she said to me when I said, “Well, what exactly do you talk about?” And she said, “Well, I’m teaching them that we have to learn as women how to sell in a feminine way because when we learned how to sell and everyone who taught us how to sell were mainly men, and men are taught” - stay with me friends, “men are taught to sell in a more penetrating way, and women are attractors.”

And I was like, “What is happening? Oh my god, that sounds amazing. Tell me everything I need to know about that.” So Aprille, tell us.

Aprille: Yeah, I was interested in this topic because so many women come to me and they’re like, “I can’t sell,” or, “I’m afraid to sell,” or, “I don’t want to be sales-y,” or, “I don’t want to seem pushy,” or, “I’m afraid of rejection,” or, “What if they say no?” Or, “I don’t want to raise my price.”

So they have all this head drama that’s going on and I started doing some research and I’m like, why are we like that? I remember back in the day when I was, I don’t know, maybe 15 going to the mall. Does anyone remember this when they used to ask you to stop for those surveys and they would pay you $5 or $10?

So I would do that and one of those people said to me that women are most likely to say no to those things and men are more likely to say yes because they’re risk takers. They will take more risk. They have less fear. Now, it doesn’t mean that that’s true, but they present to be more fearless than many times women present.

And so it got me to thinking about this whole concept of sales and how most of the women that I know, including myself, when we got into this industry, we learned from men. No shade to the men. We love them. The strategies work. And also, for many women, it doesn’t feel aligned and they - even though they see it working, they don’t think they can do it, or there’s something about it that makes them feel uncomfortable.

And so then they don’t it. So understanding just the dynamics from a psychological standpoint on how different men and women are I think is really important. Because I don’t think people think about that when they’re in business. All of this is behavioral and psychological.

Women, we are receivers. You want to utilize attraction marketing. You don’t have to be as “penetrative” or feeling pushy. It’s kind of like the car salesman. We don’t feel good doing that. You want to flow into the sale, you want to create an energy around your brand that naturally attracts your ideal client, and that’s what the whole premise around The Secrets to Feminine Selling is.

Brooke: So I came up in this industry studying with men. They were internet marketers, the people that were online teaching selling were men. My coach was a man. And a lot of what they taught me in terms of marketing and selling was very masculine. At the time I didn’t think that it was. But they would tell me, “This is how you have to sell.”

Well, I have a mostly woman audience and I would tell them, “I don’t think this is going to work for my audience.” And they would be like, “It works for every audience, it’ll totally work, it’ll be fine.” And not to say that men can’t sell to women and men in a masculine way obviously sell to women, but for me, I wanted to sell the way I am authentically.

I wanted to be able to tell the truth to people. I didn’t want to have to push anybody. And mostly, I didn’t want to have to talk anyone into anything they didn’t want to do. Because I actually had this experience one time where I went to go buy a car and I decided not to buy the car because they didn't have the color that I wanted.

And this guy, the manager guy followed me out of the car sales building and it was dark outside. I remember sitting on the curb of this car sales building and this guy talked me into buying a car that I really didn’t want to buy. And it was the weirdest thing.

Afterwards I woke up in my garage with this gunmetal grey Mercedes. I was like, “How in the world did I end up with this car?” And this guy had great selling tactics obviously. I didn’t feel bad about the process but I ended up with something I didn’t want. And I remember thinking, “I don’t ever want to do this to someone else.”

And so I think the idea that we can be who we are and sell to other women in the way that we would appreciate being sold to, and I love this idea of attracting versus seeking out and penetrating. So can you talk a little bit more about that?

Aprille: Yes, and that’s a funny story. My slate grey. So one of the things that when I was doing my research, I was like, why do women have such head drama around money and asking for more money and selling, making offers? And are you ready for this everyone?

It was the trauma around receiving that a lot of people and a lot of women have trauma around receiving. So it’s like, even though they know their stuff is worth money, they know that. They probably know they shouldn’t be charging $17 for something that’s worth $1000.

They know that instinctively, but they consistently take those actions because they do have some old trauma around receiving, whether it’s old money stories that you may have heard from your parents, whether it’s something else, whether it’s money doesn’t grow on trees, whether it’s you have too much money and now you have guilt around creating more success. I hear that also a lot.

So these are things that while people know that they need to sell in their business, they literally will self-sabotage themselves and not sell, or sell to their ability and then feel some resentment also towards the business.

Brooke: So I think a lot - I find this so fascinating because as you’re saying that, women will say to us, “We don’t want to sell.” But we are selling all the time. So as you’re talking, I’m thinking about this Chanel bag that I have that was incredibly expensive.

And if someone else says to me, a woman that I care about says to me, “I want that bag,” I will sell her on that bag. I’ll be like, “You have to buy this bag. It doesn’t matter how expensive it is. Get into your savings account, get this money, get this bag, you have to have it.” Aggressively selling you on something I genuinely think you need.

And it’s because I love you and I want it for you and whatever. And we aren’t able to do that so much for ourselves, right? So I think this speaks to what you’re saying. It’s okay for me to sell you on paying Chanel, but why isn’t it okay for me to sell you on paying me?

Aprille: And you know what’s interesting about that, another thing is when you said we’re always selling because we are, listen, we can sell our kids broccoli. We sell our kids on the tooth fairy. I mean, seriously, homework. But seriously, we’re always influencing, we’re always selling. People are always listening to us for something whether it’s kids or family or spouses or what have you.

And I find it interesting that women sometimes, when they get into the business world, that they kind of shrink as though they’re not already influential and have been selling. How many times - and I use this tooth fairy example.

We literally convince children that there is a little person, there’s a Tinker Bell with a wand that lifts your head up at night, takes a tooth, and puts money there. And they believe it until some kid at school tells them that we’re not telling the truth.

And I think it’s so interesting how we don’t cross over all of those skills because those really are skills that we have that are really natural. And what I love about The Secrets of Feminine Selling is this whole aspect that once you understand that you don’t have to sell in such a masculine way, so you can stop feeling icky, it’s okay that you don’t do the thing exactly the way that, for example, Bob or whoever, no offense to any Bobs out there.

You don’t have to do it that way. And I think one of the things that I like to talk about is having this feminine edge around selling, and this confidence around what you offer, and no longer attaching your personal value to what you’re selling.

So for example, so many women - you hear this quote, “Charge your worth.” I’m like, well, if you don’t think you’re worthy or if you have low self-esteem or you have some insecurities around selling, that’s probably not a good statement for that person. So it’s like, really associate and separate yourself from the business.

You are your own person and you may have some life coaching work to do, and then there is what you’re offering, and that has a different value that has nothing to do with you as the person. Your products and services should speak for themselves in regards to what it is that you are - the problem you’re solving or whatever it is that you’re putting out into the marketplace. But don’t wrap that up into your personal value because there’s where things get a little muddy.

Brooke: Yeah. I mean, the way that I like to think about selling and the way that helps me be in this space of nurturing and giving and helping as I think are very feminine characteristics is to make sure that what I am selling is very valuable and that I believe in it and that I would actually purchase it myself.

And you think about anything that you think is valuable that you want one of your girlfriends to have, for example, you’re not going to say, “Well maybe you would enjoy having that.” You’re going to be like, “Girl, buy this. What are you doing?” It’s like if your girlfriend didn’t have an iPhone. You’d be like, “What are we doing here? Let’s go.” They’ll be like, “Oh, it’s so expensive.” You’d be like, “What are you talking about? That phone will make you more money.”

We would be actually caring so much about our friend that we’re willing to tell them deliberately and straight up. And if someone said, “Stop trying to sell me so hard, this doesn’t feel comfortable the way you’re selling me,” you’d be like, “Don’t care. You need an iPhone,” or whatever the thing is.

For me, it’s coaching. I’m willing to put myself out there not in a way that’s aggressively hurting anyone or talking them into something they don’t want, but I’m willing to help them overcome their own obstacles and doubts and disbelief so they can have that most valuable thing.

So when you are looking at selling from a perspective like what I have is so valuable, I want you to have it, then people will say, well, why not - I get this a lot from people who aren’t in business, “Why not just give everything away for free? Isn’t that what women should do?” What do you say to that?

Aprille: Oh my goodness, is that what women should do? No, it’s not what women should do because chances are you’re probably over-giving already and over-giving in other areas of your life. Your business again, is your business. And I think this whole idea of - and I had this whole idea of not overdelivering too because I think that that gets us in trouble where we just need to go overboard all the time to keep proving that it’s worth what it’s worth.

You know what I’m saying? And it’s like, no, at some point, we have to be solid. You’re not creating products and services for nothing. You know it’s valuable. That’s why you created it. That’s why you became a business owner. That’s why you became a coach or an influencer or whatever it is that you’re doing. You know in your soul that it’s worth something.

And it’s your responsibility to get in alignment with that and be really clear on the value because the number one thing I would tell someone to do right now is to get really clear on the value so then you can be more confident about the price. When you know what it does, then you’re more confident about the price. Period.

You’re more confident in saying it because you know like no one else could that that thing is going to do exactly what you promised. And that feels good, and I think a lot of times there’s a little ambiguity or cloudiness around the value so it makes it even a little bit more difficult for women to express, “Hey, you should pay me for this.”

I had a woman just tell me the other day, she’s like, “I don’t think I can charge more for this.” And I’m like, “Yes you can, you absolutely can. The outcome of this work that you’re putting out in the world is going to change someone’s life and it’s certainly worth more than what you’re charging for it. Somebody wants to pay that.”

And you know what’s interesting too Brooke and everyone is when I asked my clients occasionally when I first started working with them, I’m like, “You’re willing to pay me. You’re willing to invest in yourself with me and invest, I don’t know, $5000 or $10,000 or $20,000 into something and what’s the difference between me and you investing with me and someone investing with you at that same high-ticket price?”

Brooke: Yeah, but I think it’s the terminology that you’re using too is this person is investing in themselves. So when I think about selling, what I think is I’m letting people know I can help them, I’m letting them know that I have something incredibly valuable that is worth every single bit of money and not just money that they’re paying me but their time that they’re paying me to invest in themselves to get the result.

And I get a sense - I remember when I first started out, I got this email from a woman who said she thought that I was selling too hard in my emails. And it was so fascinating. I think about this now how much shame I felt, like I was doing something that wasn’t nice. I was doing something that wasn’t right for a woman to be doing, to be selling, or even selling hard in a way that this person perceived that.

And when I think about that now, I think about if I wasn’t willing to get over that, the thousands of people I would have not been able to help. And I think there’s lots of shenanigans and tricks and weird ways that people can teach you to sell that are completely unnecessary.

I think feminine selling for me is just being authentic to who I am, telling the truth, and having something that genuinely helps another person. And here’s the other piece, let’s talk about this for a minute. What you do to yourself and that person if they say no will determine whether you keep going or not.

If when someone says no to something that you’re selling, I always say to my students, “You have to understand why they’re saying no.” Because if they’re saying no because they don’t believe they can have the result, if they don’t believe in their own success, or they don’t believe in themselves, I think it is our responsibility, woman to woman, to help them overcome those objections.

If someone is saying no because it’s genuinely not a good fit for them, that’s a beautiful thing and has nothing to do with me, no one’s rejecting me, it has nothing to do with that and I can move on. I don’t think there’s any other option there for how you think about a no. What are your thoughts on that?

Aprille: I agree with the rejection piece. I put that in my notes. I think that no is not a rejection. It really is not a rejection. And when I talk about metrics and we’re talking about marketing and having enrollment conversations and you’re wanting someone in your program or to purchase whatever you’re selling, the truth of the matter is statistically, and we can speak on sales statistically, most people are not going to say yes.

The majority of people are not going to say yes. If there’s a thousand people in the room, a thousand people are probably not going to say yes. And that should feel good. Like okay.

Brooke: A thousand people in a room, a successful sale is probably 20% of them. So think about that. If you talk to every single person in that room, 200 of them - this is if you’re great at selling and you have a great product. 200 of them are going to say yes, that’s fantastic. But you still have to listen to 800 nos if you are an exceptional seller. Exceptional.

And those 800 no’s, you did nothing wrong with them. There’s nothing wrong with them for saying no. It’s just how it works when you’re selling. So how do we as, specifically as women, deal with that truth?

Aprille: First of all, I love this dialogue because it’s so imperative that we get this so that we can be more successful and ultimately happier. I think when I’m thinking about a no, I enjoy getting a no because I know that I’ve done my job and the person deciding if I am a good fit for them or not.

So when I hear a no, I think that that’s a positive thing when I know I’ve done my job. If I have presented the value and I have done the thing, because there’s no convincing. That’s the other thing I think too on the feminine side. Being willing to release your emotions from the outcome. You’ve done what you can do.

You’ve presented the information, and to your point, it’s because it’s not a good fit. It’s not because they are digressing or afraid. And even if they are afraid, I mean, I make scary decisions and say yes all the time. So you can be afraid and say yes. So I don’t internalize it. I enjoy getting the no’s because all I know is that I did my job and conveyed the value.

And that’s one of the things I’ll talk to my clients about. I’m like, “Are you conveying the value?” You knowing the value and you being able to articulate it so someone else understands it makes all the difference.

Brooke: Oh my gosh, so as you’re talking, I’m thinking about an example that would demonstrate this and I’m trying to imagine, let’s say I said to you, “Hey, why don’t you come over to this beautiful house that I bought in San Diego and spend the week with me?” And if you said to me, “No, I mean, I don’t really feel like I have anything to wear and I think you’re just asking me out of obligation, I don’t really even think you like me that much and so I’m not going to come,” I’m not going to be like, “Wow, what a rejection. I feel totally rejected.”

I’m going to be like, “What are you talking about? I love you, I want you here, you can borrow all my clothes.” So when you understand that the reason so many times people are saying no has nothing to do with the value, it has to do with them not valuing themselves, and I feel like as a woman, as still in my femininity, I can still come to you and be like, “What? What do you mean? You can’t say no.”

Not like you saying no, I’m not a good fit for that, I have something else to do, or I don’t have the money to get the plane ticket or whatever. That’s fair. But you have to make sure you understand your no, and as women, that is something that we are very good at is understanding other people, listening to other people, and actually genuinely hearing them.

And if someone is saying to me, this isn’t a good fit for me because of a very important reason to them, the conversation is over. I’m like, “I love you, goodbye.” But if the reason they’re giving me is something about them that they really genuinely want to work through and they would really benefit from coming and spending a week with me, then I’m going to go to bat for them. So it doesn’t mean feminine selling is always, “Okay, thank you, okay, bye.”

Aprille: For sure. You’re definitely overcoming objections where you see the opportunity is appropriate. You understand what I’m saying? And that’s a part of being strategic and also knowing your ideal clients, like this is a good fit. And just being able to also recognize the differences between a person that is not a good fit versus a person that is a good fit and is scared, or is a good fit and they are backpedaling themselves out of trusting themselves into making a decision. And by no way making those things personal about you.

I think for me, I actually love selling. I always feel like it is such a great opportunity to express how much I can help someone, and it makes me feel good. I never feel guilty about it. I never feel guilty about it. And I want every woman to have that exact same feeling of confidence, but again, it goes back to that value and it goes back to you understanding the difference between the value that you’re taking on versus the value in what you’re selling.

And then to what you just said about the best friend, treat yourself like you’re your best friend. Because we go to bat for our best friends all the time. We’ll stick up for them, we’ll advocate for them, we’ll buy things for them, we’ll suggest things. We refer our friends to things for free that we have no other benefit other than to help them or to see a smile on their face.

Brooke: Not only that. Think of how you sell your friends on themselves all the time. “Girl, you look good, what are you talking about? That guy, what do you mean? Don’t ever date that guy again.” Or, “I’m not good enough for that guy,” “Yes you are, what are you talking about? You’re better than that guy.”

We’re always selling our friends on themselves and that’s what I think feminine selling is. It’s selling your client, your customer, your prospect on the value of whatever product you’re selling them, mixed with them.

So listen, Aprille is teaching an entire class on this. 90 full minutes where she’s going to break down the entire way that you can learn feminine selling, and you can apply it to your business, you can apply it to your life, you can apply it to your children, you can apply it to any part of your life where you want to be more, I would say confident and more feminine in your selling. So if you want more information about that, Aprille is going to tell you where to go.

Aprille: Before I do, I just want to say you want to lean into what’s natural and then you want to add skill. So it’s natural for women to receive, it’s natural for us to position ourselves to be attracted to. So you want to add skill to that.

I remember talking to an old mentor of mine and he said, “You know, you’re really talented, but you don’t have great skill.” And it was my speaking skill at the time. This was when I first was getting started. And I was like, “Oh, I thought talent was skill.” But it’s not. Talent is talent and skill is skill.

And so you want to add skill to that. So in The Secrets of Feminine Selling, you can go to FeminineSellingClass.com and sign up and I will see you in class and I’m going to teach you the seven parts of the sales process and my two favorite objections to overcome, and my two favorite closing techniques that I love that feel really good, and people don’t feel icky when they walk away.

Brooke: Amazing. Aprille, thank you so much for coming on the podcast again. You guys, go to - where is it at? FeminineSellingClass.com. Check out the price that she’s giving you on this amazing 90-minute class where you can learn how to sell, not be weird, not be uncomfortable, not be what I call creepy, and just be genuinely you helping the people you want to help in this world. I love you Aprille, thanks for coming on and I’ll see you all next week. Take care everyone. Bye.

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