One of the stumbling blocks in building a business is the fear or dislike of selling. Being totally at ease with selling is the dream, and it is possible with the right mindset and strategy.
In this episode, I chat with Claire Stansfield, a business coach and strategist for women. She generously shares valuable tips on how to sell authentically. She takes us to the journey of her hurdle in selling when she started and how she eventually overcame the struggle.
Listen up and happy selling!
00:00 Episode and Guest Intro
02:16 About Claire and what she does
03:02 Claire’s story of how she got into her business
06:37 Selling authentically
12:10 Keeping sales call short
16:36 Being clear about what you sell
19:29 Claire’s best advice
Claire Nicole is a Business coach & strategist for women seeking to build and grow profitable, rewarding, and sustainable businesses. She’s also the host of 'The Life by Design Business Podcast.'
Claire believes that business is the vehicle to creating a life by your design and to make the changes you want to see in the world.
Claire infuses her coaching and mentoring with 25 years of experience and skills. She’s ICF accredited & trained as a Tony Robbins strategic intervention coach. Claire built the UK’s #1 wedding hair and makeup company, a 6-figure coaching business in year one, and an award-winning florist.
Through her wealth of experience, including coaching 100’s of women to build profitable businesses, she believes that the key is to focus on her 3-pillar framework of Mindset, Energy, and strategic action.
Podcast: The Life by Design Business Podcast
Facebook Group: The Triple It Club
Hi, I’m Ruth, a business coach specializing in helping freelancers and business owners adjust their mindset and their marketing so they can get fully booked with clients they LOVE to work with. I’ve helped hundreds of self-employed women achieve the time and money freedom they craved.
I’ve started this podcast because when I first went all in and left the corporate world to be a freelancer, I was grateful for any work that came my way. After over 20 years of freelancing and working for other people, I started to realize I’d created a glass ceiling for myself.
In 2017, I finally started listening to that voice that had been telling me for a long time that I wasn’t doing what I loved and fulfilling my true potential. It took a critical illness to give me that wake-up call. I don’t want the same to happen to you.
You can expect practical advice, inspiring stories, and a lot of aha moments as we uncover and kick to the curb all the obstacles you have been putting in your way.
I’m on a mission to inspire women to start and play bigger in business.
Free stuff: https://www.ruthgilbey.com/next-client
Ruth Gilbey 00:00
Hello, and welcome to the inspiring women in business podcast. In today's episode, you are in for a real treat. I'm going to be interviewing Claire Nicole Stansfield, who is a business coach and strategist, and she and I are going to be discussing, and I'm going to be asking Claire for lots of advice for you all around selling authentically. So if you feel like you can't sell, you don't sell, or you don't know how to sell, this episode is brilliant and for you to help you adjust your mindset around selling. It's a good one. Have a listen. Hello, and welcome to the inspiring women in business podcast. My name is Ruth Gilbey, and I'm a business and marketing coach. I'm on a mission to inspire women to start and play bigger in business. Now I started this podcast because when I first went all in and left the corporate world to be a freelancer, I was just grateful for any work that came my way. After over 20 years of freelancing and working for other people, I started to realize I created a glass ceiling for myself. It was in 2017 when I finally started listening to that voice that had been telling me for a long time that I wasn't doing what I loved, and I wasn't fulfilling my true potential. It took a critical illness to give me that wake-up call. And I don't want the same thing to happen to you. You can expect practical advice, interviews, inspiring stories, and a lot of aha moments as we uncover and kick to the curb. All the obstacles you've been putting in your way. Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the inspiring women in business podcast. I'm absolutely delighted to have Claire Nicole Stansfield. With me today, who is a business coach and strategist. I've known Claire for a couple of years now. And she helped me with my first launch, actually. And back in 2019. Claire, could you introduce yourself to everyone? Could you let everybody know who you are? And how you help people?
Claire Stansfield 02:16
Yeah, thank you. Thanks so much for having me. So I am a business coach and strategist. I love helping female entrepreneurs make more sales in their businesses. I just literally love helping women create successful businesses doing what they love. But I've had my own successful businesses since the age of 16 years old. So I just truly believe that with the right skills, expertise, with the right support, anybody can have a thriving business that they love. So it just totally lights me up helping people.
Ruth Gilbey 02:44
Amazing. I love that. We've spoken about this before, but we have very aligned values, don't we? So to start with, could you let me know? Like, tell me the story of you. You know, how did you end up with a business that you've got today?
Claire Stansfield 03:02
Wow. So I've always had entrepreneurial blood. A lot of people in my family are entrepreneurs at the age of 16. I built or started to build the UK's most successful wedding hair and makeup company. I was a very passionate teenager. I had a teacher that said to me. I have my head in the clouds. And I would never be successful wedding hair and makeup artist. And I thought, well, you know, let me show you. In fact, I wanted to do TV magazine work then and then it sort of ended up hope started doing weddings as well. So I saw a gap in the market for celebrity hair and makeup artistry in the wedding world. People used to go to boots to have their makeup done or to the local hair salon. There weren't celebrity makeup artists then styling brides. So I thought, Oh, hold on a minute. There's an opportunity here. So I marketed myself, and I was already working with celebrities myself, you know, not at the age of 16. I was age 19 when I started working with celebrities, and I started to look after brides, and I started building a team training my team, and we built the UK's most successful wedding hair and makeup company. Then I designed my own hair accessories range. We have those manufactured. And then, I built multiple award-winning wedding florists with my business partner. So literally every business I've created has been successful. I truly believe it's with the right passion skills and just not giving up. You know, it doesn't always go well. But if you decide, and sometimes you have to decide over and over again to show up for your business, you will create the success that you desire. So when I have my little girl that actually worked with a business coach a couple of years before having her completely changed my previous company and grew it a lot and discovered coaching, and it blew my mind absolutely blew my mind the transformation in myself as a woman and also as a business owner. So when I had my little girl, I knew that I didn't want to be away from her every weekend. I decided that that just wasn't how I wanted to live my life anymore. So I thought, right, but I've always wanted to, you know, since working with a coach, I always wanted to like learn the skills of a coach. So she was only about five months old. I made the difficult decision to go on a coaching training in London leave her, my husband, every day, it was a really hard decision. But I knew that if I didn't decide then and there to do what was difficult, then I probably put it off again and again. So I did it did the training and then trained with also I trained with Tony Robbins in strategic intervention coaching and decided to be a business coach and help other women create their dream businesses because I just know, it's possible for everyone if we know with the right mindset, energy and strategic action, which is the three pillars to my coaching programs.
Ruth Gilbey 05:45
Amazing. That's absolutely amazing. I love that story. And so we decided, Claire, before this call, because you and I could talk about a lot of things. And this could be a long session, but we decided that the theme of this session would be authentic selling and how you know what knowledge you can impart and help people with getting their mindset around enjoying selling. And I know you've worked with me around this, and you've actually come into my membership before and done an amazing masterclass for my group as well. And you've done so much stuff around sales and how to how to do it authentically. What would you say to a new business owner who says to you, I don't like selling, I can't sell, or I don't sell? What would be your first, you know, to help them shift their mindset around selling authentically?
Claire Stansfield 06:37
That's such a great question. And so first of all, um, selling is a skill, it's not something that we can just do, it is a skill that I believe needs to be learned to create a successful business. If you say you can't do anything, then that's your first block, telling yourself you can't do it. It's going to be so much harder to do it. And so it's about having that willing to learn, you know, I think if you say you can't do something, it's like, well, have you got the will to learn, you've got the will to try. So that'd be the first thing I would say mindset just allows yourself to prove your skills in sales, firstly, and also I believe that so my mindset around sales has always been if you believe you can help somebody if you believe that you can make a difference to somebody's life, and how you know, help them, then our duty is to sell. And money is just an even energy exchange. So when we're, you know, we're selling all the time, you know, if any of the lessons I've got children, we're always selling to our children like doing something. So it's just about communication. It's about really owning our own value, owning the difference we can make to other people, and just talking about it and showing the value. I think a lot of people make the mistake of feeling like they need to prove themselves. And I think if we really fully energetically own the difference, we can make other people's lives, which often starts without owning our own self-worth, then it's so much easier. Once we've owned our value, we've got 100% sold on ourselves. First, we can then sell to other people. So I would say it always starts with mindset and energy, and then the skills of how to host a sales call in a structure that feels good to you. So one of the things I teach is a framework as opposed to a script. And just so, the sales call has a structure to it. So both parties feel safe.
Ruth Gilbey 08:24
Yes, absolutely brilliant. And how can you What would be your advice to someone to feel more confident and almost more abundant about selling because I think when we're starting out, a lot of my listeners might be thinking about starting a new business, or they might be thinking they're a freelancer, and they're growing their business. And if you show up on a call, and you've got that I got to convert this person, and you're almost bidding in a position of kind of lack or scarcity over it. How can you shift that feeling to feel more abundant?
Claire Stansfield 08:57
Yeah. Yeah, it's such a good question. I'm going to share a story with you. I don't. I mean, I did talk about this. But I don't know if you've heard this. We talked about this before we but when I came into the online space, I actually really struggled to sell my coaching. And it was so interesting to me, and I can now see that it was huge mindset blocks. My subconscious was trying to protect me at the time when I came into the online space. I had three already successful businesses, a two-year-old at the time, and it was managing a massive house project. And I was desperate I the energy. I was coming to this business as I was building it was almost like, I really, really want to close down my hair and makeup company. I have to make this coaching business work. I need to prove to myself that this business can work, and the more pressure I put on myself, the more I sabotage sales calls, and I didn't need the money. I had a lot of money in the bank. You know, I was somebody who had the security financially, but it was still the same scarcity that I came to my discovery calls with because I was telling myself I had to make a sale in this business to enable myself to continue putting the energy and effort I was into it and to continue to hope that I would be able to create a successful coaching business. So I could close down my hair and makeup company because it meant so much to me that I would be around at the weekends with my little girl. So although it wasn't from like a scarcity around money, it was like a scarcity of oh my goodness, what if it doesn't work? This is what I did. This is what I helped so many of my clients do. And I promise you, whoever's listening like this really works is programming your mind for success. So I literally would write in my journal over and over again, when we write with our hands, when we write, you know, properly, right, as opposed to type, it stimulates a neurological response in the brain. And I would write it down. I'm making sales with these, everybody I speak to is buying for me, you know, everyone wants to buy my programs, I'm converting with ease. And I literally, so when I got on the calls, and I just literally, my brain trusted, that everybody I spoke to bought from me with ease. And that was what I left out. And I know it sounds woo. But what we tell ourselves becomes our reality. So start with paying attention to what's in your mind, pay attention to the, you know, the stories you're telling yourself. And that really will make a difference to your energy. And also, I would say, get training in the skills of sales. Because when you've got that framework, so you feel safe on the call, and the prospects feel safe on the call. It is a total game-changer.
Ruth Gilbey 11:30
Yeah, absolutely. Just having a framework gives you that confidence. And it doesn't have to be complicated, does it? The frameworks don't need to be, you know that also, because it comes up quite a lot in my, with the clients that I work for when you need to be careful about the call going into coaching or consulting, and it stops being a discovery call. I know you, and I have spoken about this before. You've got a little bit of advice around that about keeping it short and concise. I know that you've said before, actually, it depends on what you're actually selling. But if it was a lower-cost entry kind of package, what have you know how to keep it to that sort of 20-30 minutes call.
Claire Stansfield 12:10
And so I would always find out before. So, one of the ways you can keep it to a short call is to prequalify people. So before they actually get on the phone with you, I'd have like a questionnaire. Do they have the problem that the container that you're selling will solve? And are they willing to invest and just get a bit of information before you actually enter into the phone call with them? And if somebody does stop pushing the boundaries, then you can always say to them just be really honest, and just say that's definitely something I can support you with. And then again, is it that container that they've got onto the call to discuss, it's going to solve that problem that they're asking you to solve then and there? Or do you need to sell a different container? Because again, what I see so many people getting themselves into a kind of overwhelm with or kind of feeling like panic around sales calls, is they haven't owned their own boundaries and been really near what is in what container. So if your intensive, sort of x brilliant, your group program sells something else. Know that. And then if somebody is asking you for, you know, like a huge result of the transformation, and you know, in your heart, your intensive or your group program isn't going to solve that, then selling to me is with integrity. If somebody wants to buy something from you, it's not about making the sale then and there. It's about being really honest with them and saying, Well, you know, this program will give you this, if this is what you know if you really want whatever it is they're telling you they want the new need to show up. And you need to say, and really, you need to be buying my high ticket program or, or whatever it is because that's what's going to meet that need. Because otherwise, you're going to end up with an unhappy customer who you've told them they're going to solve a problem, and they're not going to solve it. Does that make sense?
Ruth Gilbey 13:52
100%. And a lot of what you've been saying about your story as well when you started your business really resonates with me, because when I changed my business, and I used to work in sales, you know, that was a big part of my day to day life. And I had sales roles. And when I was selling for someone else, it was so easy because I was attached to the outcome. I wanted to get my targets. But we had a process. I followed that process. We prequalify people. I knew what I was doing on the call. But when it was in my new business, I was like that alignment to my offers. And what I was doing wasn't quite there. And that was coming across on the calls. And also, my ego was coming in where it was saying you've got to get the numbers you've got to get people in when I shifted that. And I was like, I really love what I'm doing. I'm really aligned with what I'm doing. I know it can help the right person, and I get on a call with them and say, let's just see if we're a match. And let's see if this is the right thing for them. And I kind of let go a little bit, and I found out what their goals were. It started to shift, and my conversions got better. And you know, it's really interesting. It's so hard, but it's sure are businesses that initially and a lot of people might have had sales roles. But then, when it's your own business, you're so close to it, it's your baby like detaching yourself from the outcome is so key in a way.
Claire Stansfield 15:14
Yeah. So I think what you've just shared like the shift is for so the way I teach it is, and it ties into human needs psychology. Contribution is one of our highest needs as a human being, which means giving, and when we make it about us and coming from it onto a sales call. And with it being what is going to mean for us to make the sale, that's the ego, or as the fear, scarcity mindset, that's the primitive mind. So when we come to sales course, connected, like, I know, this sounds really spiritual, and I have got a very spiritual side. But when we come to a sales call from like, connected with our soul, it's not like our heart. We speak to the other person's heart, and there's no fear. There's just a connection or contribution. So when we focus on that person, and what's going on for them and their pain points, and that we truly are honest about how we can help them, then the selling just becomes a normal helping process. And in exchange, they give us money, which is just any energy. Money is just paper, and we all apply a different meaning to that piece of paper. So that's it, it's just helping people.
Ruth Gilbey 16:19
That's a whole other podcast about money, isn't it? So what's your best advice then for people to sell authentic? I think you've already given so much amazing advice already. But any last bits of wisdom or advice you want to give people.
Claire Stansfield 16:36
Selling authentically? Yeah, absolutely. So just being really, really clear on what it is you're selling, like you being really clear on what it is, first and foremost, because we can't sell something that we're not clear on. And then the second thing is being really clear. Is it going to help that person get their desired outcome and solve their problems? Yes or no? Like, that's it? It's not. It really isn't. I remember I was coaching a girl once she was a young girl in the States. And she had a question. I think it was her first discovery question like, Yeah, but what if I can't help the person? You know, what if I can help them? How do I sell to them? Or was it something along those lines? And I said, Well if you can't help her, you don't sell to her. But for me, it was just so obvious. But I think so many people put that emphasis on making the sale that they forget about what sales really is about,
Ruth Gilbey 17:23
I think it's so true. You've got to believe and want to do what you've got to really believe in what you're offering, whatever that is, whatever that service or that offer is, it starts with, like, offer alignment, doesn't it? And yeah, it's so important. And it is really clear.
Claire Stansfield 17:42
Yeah, and I think if you're and this just goes back to what I was saying, at the very beginning of why I believe I've created for successful businesses now, it's because I've been so passionate about what it is that I've been doing. And when that passion when it starts with your passion of why you're doing what you're doing and what like why, what it's going to mean for you, because we all need to know what it's going to be fast WIIFM, WIIFM what's in it for me that from all angles and the angle of what it's going to mean for you as a sales provider to show up for your business every day. 100% but also your ideal clients are going to be looking at absolutely everything you out into the world with the lens of whatsinitforme.com. WIIFM?
Ruth Gilbey 18:25
Let's buy that domain name, shall we?
Claire Stansfield 18:27
Yeah. It's just human psychology. It's not selfish. It's just human beings. Like everybody looks at things through the lens of what's in it for me. Yeah, so I would just say that if you're passionate about what you do, you're really clear on what building that successful business will mean to you. And you're clear on how it's gonna really help your clients and how they're gonna see your services really helping them through their own lens, their lens of looking at things, then it's a match made in heaven.
Ruth Gilbey 18:57
Yeah, absolutely. Everybody's looking for a solution. And we could be it, or you could be it. You know, it's just, yeah, brilliant. So the last question for you is for the listeners. What's your best piece of advice for anyone looking to start a business or make that jump from corporate to starting a business? Or maybe there's a freelancer listening that's like, I need to grow my business? What advice do you wish you know, however, when it when you were 16 when you were 19 and started your first business? What's your best advice.
Claire Stansfield 19:29
So I had my first mentor in my mid-20s, and working with that person completely skyrocketed my business, and so I would say definitely have somebody support you that's been there. That is business savvy, that doesn't have the emotion that you have around your business because everything's mindset and so many people comment their business with the human side, which is all the emotion naturally. It's like what these are doing this needs doing, take the emotion out of it. So I think definitely to get support and to get your tribe of people that are going to be there to cheer you on and keep you going, when it's tough, don't listen to people who sound really harsh. But don't listen to people who haven't built a successful business. They're going to be projecting their fears onto you. And only listen to people who have been there, done it, and get them as a teacher.
Ruth Gilbey 20:19
But they are also willing to be honest about how they got there as well. Because there's a lot of kinds of just icing on the cake out, there isn't it?
Claire Stansfield 20:26
100%? Yes, it's so important. And the industry that we're in, unfortunately, doesn't show enough of what really goes on, in terms of all businesses come with their challenges, always. But people are just sharing their highlight reel. And so somebody that's going to be really honest with you about how to avoid those challenges, because I think when you work with a good mentor, they're going to hopefully help you avoid the pitfalls, but also just there to support you because they really understand that it's not always unicorns and rainbows and yeah, but it's definitely worth it, which is why I've built for successful businesses.
Ruth Gilbey 21:04
Yeah, 100% agree with you. I wish I'd done that sooner. I wish I'd got support. So like, we do not have to do it alone. Yeah. And so how can people find out more about you, Claire? How can they connect with you?
Claire Stansfield 21:16
And so I have a podcast called Life By Design, which is an all-around building of successful business so you can create a life by our design. And I also have a Facebook group, which is a free group called The Triplet Club, and my website is clairenicolecoaching.com.
Ruth Gilbey 21:31
Amazing. Thank you so much for your time and your amazing advice. This has just been a brilliant episode.
Claire Stansfield 21:38
It's amazing to be here. Thank you so much, Ruth.
Ruth Gilbey 21:40
Okay. Thanks for listening to the inspiring women in business podcast. I hope you found this episode helpful. If you did, I would love it if you would leave me a review. Also, I would love to connect with you on Instagram. That's where I hang out most of the time. I'm @Ruth_Gilbey. I'll put a link in the show notes for you as well come and connect with me. Tell me about your business. And also tell me what you'd like to hear next on the podcast. And lastly, go and check out the business building hub on my website. There you can find more amazing free resources to help you take the next step in your business. And you can also find out other ways that you can work with me. I'll see you soon.