231 | Learn How to Sell Easily & Authentically with Nikki Rausch

Nikki Rausch



Welcome to episode 231 of Love, Your Money! In this episode, I’m sitting down with Nikki Rausch to learn how to sell easily and authentically, while eliminating fear around the sales process.


Nikki has more than 25 years of sales experience. As the founder and CEO of Sales Maven, she helps small businesses and entrepreneurs sell without giving off that “used car salesman” vibe.


Today, you’ll hear Nikki share tips for kicking the “ick” from the sales process, making yourself comfortable while closing the deal, and using neurolinguistic programming to improve your sales success.

Here’s what you’ll find out in this week’s episode of Love, your Money:

  • Why is selling uncomfortable? 
  • Nikki’s 5-step Selling Staircase framework
  • How to tell if you’re talking to an ideal client
  • How to ask questions that pique curiosity
  • Tips for closing the sale 
  • How to keep power and avoid chasing clients 
  • Using “bless and release” to avoid bad clients
  • Ethically applying neurolinguistic programming

Inspiring Quotes

“One of the biggest mistakes people make about sales is they think it’s something that you’re supposed to do to another person.”

“One of your jobs, in order to earn somebody’s business, is to make it really easy for them to say yes or no to you.”

“When you are overly attached to somebody saying yes, it puts off a message of a little bit of desperation, which can scare people away.”

“I will happily earn people’s business, but I’m not going to chase and send the message that I need their business.”

Resources and Related to Love, your Money Content

Enjoy the Show?​

Hilary Hendershott: Nikki Rausch, welcome to Love, your Money podcast. How are you today?


Nikki Rausch: I am great. Thank you so much for having me here with you.


Hilary Hendershott: You have quite an impressive bio. Let me just give the listeners and the viewers a little taste of who you are. So, Nikki is the CEO of Sales Maven. She has the unique ability to transform the misunderstood and I say terrifying process of selling. She has 25-plus years of selling experience. Entrepreneurs and small business owners are now hiring Nikki to show them how to sell successfully and authentically. She’s written three books, all available on Amazon, and the podcast she hosts is called Sales Maven. All right. What else do you want us to know about you? How did you get to where you are? You had quite a professional transformation. Is that right?


Nikki Rausch: Well, I started out in sales in a corporate environment, so had a lot of success there, became a top-producing rep in North America for one of the largest companies in the world. And while I was doing that, I started studying neuro linguistic programming. I don’t know if that’s a new term to you, NLP, and…


Hilary Hendershott: No, no, I know it.


Nikki Rausch: Okay. So, it’s really, for anybody listening, it’s the study of communication. So, I started studying it, thinking, oh, it’ll help me in sales. And it certainly did. But what it really did was it helped me be a much better communicator and helped me improve all the relationships in my life, which was great. And so, when I decided to start my own business back in 2013, it was really a combination of my NLP background with my sales background. And now, I teach people how to have more effective sales conversations.


Hilary Hendershott: I read that you say you were on something like a– am I remembering this right? 120 flights a year?


Nikki Rausch: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I used to take over 100 flights a year. And my airline used to send me a Christmas gift every year, so that’s how much I used to fly.


Hilary Hendershott: Pretty amazing. Pretty amazing. But I feel like that’s kind of a very current trend or story as people get engaged in a career or a corporate thing that pays them well but realize it’s really not fulfilling, and so, I know NLP helps you with sales, but let me just get into it and we can weed and I’ll pick because I’m curious how you use that today into the conversation. Okay. So, we are talking about one-on-one conversational in-person sales, correct?


Nikki Rausch: Well, yes. Well, it doesn’t have to be in person, but it’s the idea that if you are having conversations with people in order to earn their business and whether that conversation is happening online or whether that conversation is happening in person or over the phone or over Zoom, I can help you with that.


Hilary Hendershott: Okay, so people are terrified of selling. I am no longer. But I will admit I was. My mind used to go blank. I remember my first selling job was in mortgage and I looked at my manager and I said, “Pat, can you remind me why they would actually do business with me? I can’t remember.” So, why is it so scary?


Nikki Rausch: Well, I think it’s scary because it feels really vulnerable. It feels like you’re putting yourself in a position where you’re wanting somebody to do something and you don’t really have control as to whether or not they’ll do whatever it is that you want them to do. So, I just think it’s a place of vulnerability.


And also, I’ll say that many of us have been on the receiving end of people selling like at us and to us in a way that doesn’t feel right and doesn’t feel good. And most people are like, “I don’t ever want people to see me that way. I don’t want to make people feel like this person made me feel.” So, I think it’s a lot of that. It’s like we’ve been on the receiving end of it, done poorly, and we don’t want to do that to somebody else.


Hilary Hendershott: Well, there’s that narrative about the used car salesman, and I literally one time had someone say, “What is it going to take to get you to drive this car home today?” And I thought, “What?” This is terrible. I feel completely on the spot. This is horrible. And so, how much of what you do is talking people down off the I don’t want to be a salesperson ledge?


Nikki Rausch: I wouldn’t say I talk them off the ledge of I don’t want to be a salesperson, but what I do is I show them that there are ways that you can have a conversation and be strategic in the conversation and make it really easy for the person to stay in conversation with you, be revealing with you about what it would take to earn their business. And then if it’s a good fit of how to propose a solution for them.


But I also teach people that it’s good to identify quickly who’s not a good fit in your business and who wouldn’t be a good client for you. Or maybe you wouldn’t have a skill set that would serve them. So, how do you bless and release people without leaving them feeling like, oh gosh, well, that feels bad, that Nikki doesn’t want to work with me. So, a lot of that. And here’s what I will say is one of the biggest mistakes, I think, people make about sales is they think that sales is something that you’re supposed to do to another person.


And so, if you think that you’re supposed to do something to another person, that feels bad, that feels manipulative, and that feels gross. And I teach that sales is actually something you do with another person. And that takes that gross, like ick out of it and allows for it to be a collaborative conversation. And it’s totally fine to be in conversation with somebody and find out that, hey, this was just a nice conversation. It’s not going to go anywhere or, hey, this is a great conversation. And we actually would both benefit from continuing the relationship, continuing to work together.


Hilary Hendershott: Okay. So, you mentioned two things, a framework for leading a conversational-type sales experience and the second thing is blessing and releasing people. Can we start with the framework?


Nikki Rausch: Yeah.


Hilary Hendershott: Is it actually in its sort of templated format? Or is it really customized to your clients? Okay. So, I would love for you to teach us the framework.


Nikki Rausch: Okay. So, I teach my signature framework for our sales conversation. I call it the Selling Staircase. It’s the third book that I wrote, and the selling staircase is made up of five steps. And the reason I teach it as a staircase is because we, most of us, understand the concept of a staircase. You go from one step to the next to the next. You don’t stand at the bottom of a staircase and just hop up to the top step, right?


So, the reason I teach it as a staircase is because I want people to be able to identify what step am I on in the conversation with a prospective client. And your only job is to make it easy for them to move to the next step. It’s not to show up in somebody’s inbox, word vomit all over them, and expect them to buy from you. That’s skipping steps, right?


So, the five steps of the sales conversation, step one is introduction. The objective there is to make a powerful first impression. Sometimes that happens online. Sometimes that happens on your website. Sometimes that happens when you show up at a networking event. There’s lots of ways to make a powerful first impression.


Step two of the selling staircase is create curiosity. This is the most missed step in the sales process. Most people don’t even think about, am I creating any curiosity in the marketplace? Am I piquing anybody’s interest? So, it’s a really important thing to do because if you don’t know how to create curiosity, chances are, you’re talking to prospective clients, but you’re not piquing that curiosity for them so they don’t go any further with it. So, we’ve got to learn how to create curiosity.


Once you do that, it’s really easy to move a client or a prospective client to step three, which is, I call it the discovery process. Some people call it the sales consultation. Whatever you call it, doesn’t matter. But the objective of that step is to really get a sense of what’s the problem or what’s the need or what’s the solution this person is looking for. And you do that by asking really smart questions. And when you ask smart questions, you can lead somebody down the path to going like, hey, Hilary knows something that I would like to know, or she has a solution for me that would be interesting or would help me solve this problem or meet this need.


Once you do a well-done discovery, it’s really easy to move clients to step four, which is the proposal. And that’s where you’re actually laying out ways to work with you. And the objective there is for you to stand in your place of credibility and recommend what the client needs, not what you think they can afford. So, this is your place where this is actually where selling happens, quite frankly.


And then step five goes really closely with step four. And step five is the second most missed step and that is the close. And the objective of the close is to issue that invitation that allows the person to make a decision. I find a lot of times people get all the way to step four and then they just wait. They wait for the prospective client to do something or say something. But your job is to move them all the way to step five and put a question in front of them so they can decide, yes, they’d like to move forward, or no, they wouldn’t. Or they have a question or they need more information. But if you’re never closing, you’re probably in a position where you say, like, “Gosh, I’m so annoyed that people ghost me all the time.” It’s probably because you’re not closing.


Hilary Hendershott: It’s because you never ask them.


Nikki Rausch: That’s right.


Hilary Hendershott: Nice. Okay, so for those of you who are watching on YouTube, I was taking notes while Nikki was talking because I don’t have a great memory. And instead of interrupting her, I wanted to take notes. So, the first word that really piqued my interest, I mean, introduction is pretty obvious, but curiosity. Can you give me an example or a few examples of how you or your clients create curiosity?


Nikki Rausch: So, I teach creating curiosity is it’s the difference between how you call a dog and how you call a cat. So, I don’t know, Hilary, if you’re a dog person or a cat person. I feel like now, you’re thinking like…


Hilary Hendershott: Cat. Cat all the way.


Nikki Rausch: Who’s this crazy lady that we said yes to having on the podcast?


Hilary Hendershott: No, I know exactly what you’re talking about.


Nikki Rausch: Okay. So, you know, if you wanted…


Hilary Hendershott: It’s here, kitty, kitty.


Nikki Rausch: That’s right. So, you know if you want to call a dog. A lot of times, you do this thing where you change your voice, you change your behavior, and you’re like, “Oh, come here, boy. Come here.” And dogs respond to that kind of energy because they’re like, “Oh my gosh, something fun is going to happen. I’m so in.” They don’t even know what it is.


But people don’t respond in the same way. And if you show up in a sales conversation, you’re like, “Oh my gosh, Hilary, I’m so happy to talk to you. I’ve been looking at your website and I know all the ways that you should work with me and you really need to hire me.” You’re going to go like, “Oh, Nikki, too much.” You push away from that kind of energy. It comes on too strong.


So, the flip side is the cat calling, right? When you want to get a cat’s attention, you do this thing where you go, “Here, kitty, kitty. Here, kitty, kitty.” And a lot of times, cats won’t even come to that, right? They might just give you a look, like, “What?”


Hilary Hendershott: They look at you. I opened one eyeball for you.


Nikki Rausch: That’s right. So, we’re just trying to get people to want to know more. So, the way that you create what I call here, kitty, kitty, our statements, there’s a couple of ways to do this, but one is the way you answer questions. Most people ask you questions and you might give just kind of throwaway answers that if you do that, it doesn’t leave an opening for them to ask anything more.


So, the easiest question that most people already know how to answer is how are you, right? Like, you’ve probably been asked that question already a couple of times this week and you might even have a standard answer. But this is a prime opportunity to create some curiosity. So, your answer to the question should be one sentence to three at the most. Anything more than three and you’re now in dog calling energy and also what I call word vomiting energy.


So, if somebody were to say, “Hey, Hilary, how are you?” There’s a lot you could say right now. You could say something like, “Oh my gosh, I’m great. We’re just relaunching the podcast.” Now, just that leaves the door open for that person to go, “Wait, I didn’t even know you had a podcast. Tell me about this.” Or “what does the relaunch mean? What does that mean, Hilary?” And it opens the door for you to talk about something that is business-related.


Now, of course, you could say something about your daughter if you wanted, but when you’re thinking about it from a business perspective, you don’t always know, am I talking to an ideal client or not? And the way to test that water is to give an answer that allows the other person to go, “Tell me more about that” or “what is that?” And then, you would start talking about, for instance, in this case, maybe you start talking about the podcast and they go, “Well, what is your background? Who are your clients? Who do you work with?”


Now, you can create another response that might create some curiosity. And pretty soon, they’re like, “Gosh, I wonder if you can help me. I need some help with that.” So, we just want to be able to open the door that allows for real conversation to happen because sales happen through conversation. But if you don’t ever open the door for anybody to ask you a question, to want to know more about what you’re doing, you probably have people in your life, and I don’t mean you specifically, Hilary, but anybody listening, you probably have people in your life right now that would be ideal clients, but they don’t actually know what you do and they’re not even sure how to ask you. And until you’re able to plant those seeds and open that door, you’re not going to earn their business.


Hilary Hendershott: Okay. That call a cat versus call a dog, that’s a very good phrase. That’s so tangible. I love it. Okay, and then we have a discovery. And so, you’re asking questions that let people know that you know what you’re doing or that you have something of great value. But give me a couple of examples of questions like that.


Nikki Rausch: So, those are going to be questions that are really specific to what you do. So, for instance, questions that I ask in a discovery process is, do you know how to create curiosity when you’re talking about your products or service? Now, the reason I asked that question is because I teach that, right? And a lot of times people go, “What now? What do you mean create curiosity?” Well, now, that opens the door for me to talk a little bit about that, or how often are you able to tell a story to demonstrate a point when you’re in a sales conversation? Because I teach storytelling, right?


So, what are those things that are really specific to you? And we need to form some questions around them versus what most people do in selling is they feel like, “Oh, I have to show up and I have to be on and I have to convince these people of how knowledgeable I am and how good I am at this.” So, I’m going to show up and be like, “Well, you know what makes me unique is I teach creating curiosity and I also teach storytelling.” And pretty soon, the person’s like, “Who cares about you, lady?” So, instead of trying to convince people how good we are, you can do that by asking a really smart question.


Hilary Hendershott: The question type I have heard taught is something like, now, if I could show you how to solve X and Y, Z problem that you just articulated, would that be a foundation for us to do business together? And it feels like such an early close. It’s too much, right? It’s almost prefacing the resistance. I’m struggling for the right words, but I think you understand what I’m saying.


Nikki Rausch: I mean, I get it. I get kind of the technique around it, but one, like we’ve all been on the receiving end of it and it feels like a throwaway, frankly, because if I say to you right now, Hilary, if I could show you a no, like no-risk way to earn a half a million dollars in the next three days, would you be interested to hear more about that?


Hilary Hendershott: I’d be a fool to say no.


Nikki Rausch: Right. But it’s kind of like, but doesn’t it also plant the seed of like, where is she going with this? It feels like a throwaway, in my opinion. So, I don’t teach that question. That’s not a question that I think is going to really build on the relationship because it almost feels like, why would I say no to that? I don’t know, to me, it doesn’t feel as authentic as a question that’s specific around what you do.


And also, there’s other questions, too, like, for instance, one of the other questions I teach clients to ask is what’s important to you in regards to X, Y, and Z? Because there’s no way that you can have a more tailored pitch to somebody than if you know the answer to that question. But chances are, you don’t ask that question and because you don’t ask that question when you’re pitching, you’re pitching on things that may or may not actually be important to this person because you think, well, this was important to other clients. Well, it shouldn’t be about what was important to other clients, it should be about what’s important to this client. And your pitch should be tailored around that.


So, if you ask, what’s important to you this year in regard to your sales? Whatever your answer is, you better believe that when we get to the proposal part and I’m laying out my proposal, I’m going to be touching on how the solution is going to meet what you said was important to you.


Hilary Hendershott: Right. And in terms of asking for the order, I think that’s my phrase. You don’t, you say make the offer.


Nikki Rausch: I say issue an invitation.


Hilary Hendershott: Issue an invitation, okay. This is so awkward for people. And you already said it, it’s the part most people avoid. Are there graceful scripts for that?


Nikki Rausch: Yes. There’s so many easy ways to issue that invitation. So, it could be something, typically, when you’re doing the issue of the invitation, the question is typically formed in like a yes or no question. And the reason it’s a yes or no question is because one of your jobs, in order to earn somebody’s business, is to make it really easy for them to say yes to you or say no to you, either way. And the way that you make it easy is you put easy questions in front of them. And this goes back to, I don’t know if you want me to go this deep, but this really goes back to decision fatigue. I don’t know if you’ve heard about this, but most people understand, right?


Hilary Hendershott: I suffered decision fatigue right around two o’clock every day.


Nikki Rausch: Yeah, right. And I don’t know if you’ve heard the stats out there, and maybe you’ve heard this, but if I asked you, and I know you’re a parent so I think parents probably have a higher number, but if I asked you on average, how many decisions a day do you think you make, what would your answer be?


Hilary Hendershott: Hundreds.


Nikki Rausch: Yeah. They say that the average adult makes more than 30,000 decisions in a day. Isn’t that crazy? And I think parents make more. But I’m not a parent, so you know better than me.


Hilary Hendershott: Well, I think it’s people who run businesses, too.


Nikki Rausch: Yeah, right. Like, we have a lot going on. So, if you don’t put that decision right in front of that person, right at that time, if you kind of chickened out on the sale and you’re like, I just won’t ask for their business, I’ll let them tell me yes or no. They won’t say yes or no. And the reason they won’t is because you’re making it hard for them. You’re basically saying like, “Hey, go away. I’ll send you a proposal. You can look it over and then you let me know.” They’ll never let you know because they just got bombarded with another 30,000 decisions.


And let’s say you follow up with them three days later, that’s 90,000 decisions that you’re now at the bottom of. Do you think you’re going to make it to the top of their to-do list to decide to hire you or not? Chances are, slim to none. But if you issue that invitation right there in that moment, you’re making it really easy for them to just move through the day. So, if I say to you, “Based on what we chatted about, you would be an ideal candidate for my VIP program. Here’s what it entails. Is that something you’d like to move forward with?” So, that’s the invitation. That’s the yes or no question. That now puts the ball in your court right here in the moment for you to say. Nikki, yeah, I’m totally in, or you know what? I don’t think that sounds like something I’m interested in, or maybe even say to me, I need to think about it because depending on your– certain people make decisions really fast, like on the Kolbe, I don’t know if you know the Kolbe assessment, like, I’m a quick start so I make decisions fast.


But not everybody is. Some people want to process. They want to think about it. And if that was your answer, I have a response to that too, which isn’t like you better decide right now because you don’t need to do that, but you do need to say something else next. You can’t just let it like, “Okay, well let me know,” because now you’re just getting at the bottom of those decisions.


Hilary Hendershott: Okay, well, then what would you say? How would you set it up? I mean, I think it’s your responsibility as the business owner to follow up and to create. I’m going to follow up until you tell me to stop following up, right?


Nikki Rausch: Yeah, to a point. I mean, I don’t believe in chasing clients.


Hilary Hendershott: Well, not a thousand times.


Nikki Rausch: So, I always say I don’t chase clients, but I will stay in it and I’ll do all the work to earn somebody’s business as long as they’ll stay in it with me. So, let’s say I do ask that, right? I say you’re an ideal candidate for the VIP. I ask you, is that something you like to sign up for? And you say, “You know what, Nikki? I think I need some time to think about it.” This is my response. And I teach this too. I would say, “Great. About how much time do you think you’ll need?” Then I wait. I’d like you to answer, and I say, “Let’s go ahead and schedule a circle-back call on our calendars now. That way, it’ll give you time to process. And then on that call, we can answer any additional questions that come to mind for you. And then we’ll talk about the next steps for working together. How does that sound?”


And then we actually schedule a time and a day on our calendars because I’m not going to chase you. So, if you want to schedule a time and put it on your calendar, that shows to me that you really are serious, that you need some time to think about it. And here’s what will happen is you might not even think about it until you look at your calendar and you go, “Oh, I have a call scheduled with Nikki today at 10 a.m. Do I want to hire her?” Yes or no, like, then you’ll make a decision, right?


But if it’s not on your calendar, what are the chances that you actually ever think about it and decide? And if all I’m doing is following up with you, I don’t know about you, you tell me, Hilary, because I don’t know you that well. So, I don’t know, if I just call you randomly out of the blue, do you answer your phone?


Hilary Hendershott: I do not answer my phone.


Nikki Rausch: Me neither.


Hilary Hendershott: Yeah, but people have moved to text and whatnot. Well, now, I’m putting myself on the other side of that conversation because I’m so used to being in the position of making the offer. So, no, I definitely do not answer my phone.


Nikki Rausch: So, what are the chances that I’m going to just randomly call you and get you back on a call, or I’m going to send you an email at an ideal time that you’re sitting down looking at the email and want to respond? Chances are, I’m going to send you an email and you’re going to have meetings, you’ve got podcasts, you’ve got family obligations, you’ve got all kinds of things going on. But if I have a circle-back call scheduled on your calendar and it’s on mine too, we have an agreement to meet again.


Doesn’t mean you’ll keep it as the prospective client because you might think about it and go. “I don’t want to work with this lady.” And here’s what will happen. You’ll probably send me an email and say, “Nikki, I thought about it. I’m not interested.” Great. Now, I don’t have to waste my time and get on a call for you to tell me no. Or we’ll actually get on a call and you’ll go, “You know, I do have a question.” And I still have him, he’s a great coach. And he always says, “Most people are one question away from hiring you.”


And here’s the thing. You have to give them the opportunity to ask you that question. So, if I get on a circle-back call with you and you’re like, “But I do have a question,” if I can answer that question in a way that is satisfying to your brain, chances are, you’re going to hire me.


Hilary Hendershott: It feels very consultative. I think it would produce more anxiety in me to say let’s schedule that circle-up call than it does for me right now to say, I’d love to take the next step with you. Would you like to do that too? But that’s great coaching. It’s great coaching and it makes it feel like a process.


And so, do you have in terms of number of touches, and I know this isn’t something I read that you publish or talk about, so I don’t know if you have a philosophy about this. My sort of anecdotal experience is, there’s that saying people don’t buy from you until you touch them seven times, I made it up, that in my business it’s 12 because I handle people’s money and people are terrified about money. I mean, many people are, and I just run with that number. And so, my whole team knows 12 touches, 12 touches. But you said you don’t chase people. So, does that mean you don’t text, you don’t follow up email, you do the circle-up call and that’s the end for you?


Nikki Rausch: Not necessarily. So, I do. I will follow up. So, if I said to you, “What do you think about scheduling a circle-back call?” And you go, “You know what? Let me reach out to you when I’m ready.” Depending on how well the conversation went, and whether or not I think you’re an ideal client, if I think you’re an ideal client and I know I can help you, I am going to follow up with you next week. I’m going to send you a message and say, “Hey, have you had some time to think about it? What questions, if any, have come to mind? And is this something you’d like to move forward with?”


Now, if you respond, then I know we’re still in it. If you don’t respond to me, I am going to probably touch two more times. I’ll send you one more, like, “Hey, just wanted to make sure you saw this message. Did you get it?” And then if you don’t respond to that, I send what I call the closing-the-loop message. And this is something that I teach and it’s really clear of like, it’s essentially, the message is kind of saying in a really nice way, like, “Hey, I followed up with you now a couple of times. I haven’t heard back. Have you made a decision? If not or if you’re not interested in working together, that’s fine. If you are, I’ll wait to hear from you.” And that is my way. That’s not exactly what I say, by the way. But that’s my way of saying, like, “Here’s the ball, you own it. It’s up to you now to toss it back to me when you’re ready,” because I don’t believe in chasing.


And here’s what I’ll say about chasing is, I think if you send the message that you’re going to just chase after people, they turn into toddlers. And just like if you say to a toddler, “I’m going to chase you,” what’s the first thing the toddler does? They start running. They don’t even know what the game is. It’s like a fun thing for them. And then if you stop chasing, what happens? The toddler starts to like into their way back to you to be like, “Are you going to chase me some more? Or what’s going to happen?”


And here’s what will happen is the toddler will either come back and want to play with you and engage or the toddler will go find something else to do. And I think when you show up from this place of like, I’m not going to chase, I will do the follow-up for sure. And there’s ways for people to still be in touch with me, right? Like, I have a podcast. There’s ways for people to consume to hit those 12 touches. I have lots of free resources on my website. There’s ways for people to get that engaged.


And once you’re on my email list, you’re going to get emails from me, you’re going to get offers from me. So, there’s ways to engage, but I’m not going to spend a bunch of time and energy trying to get somebody back on a call to convince them to work with me. It’s like, you got to be ready. And that’s the one thing I do know in my business is you got to be ready to work with me. And if you’re not ready yet, that’s totally fine. It doesn’t mean I don’t like you or that I don’t want to work with you.


Hilary Hendershott: But let’s not spin our wheels.


Nikki Rausch: But let’s not spin our wheels because my time is as valuable and your time is valuable. And that’s where we’re going to leave it.


Hilary Hendershott: And then I think that seeing that you’re embodying but not saying is that either way it doesn’t hook you. I mean, it seems like you’d love for them to say yes, but it’s not a problem for you if they’re not ready or if they’re just not interested.


Nikki Rausch: Yeah, I don’t have a lot of attachment to people working with me or not working with me. I mean, of course, yes. I love new clients, and yes, I’m still growing and scaling my business and all those things. But I find that when you are overly attached to somebody saying yes, it puts off a message of like a little bit of desperate, which can scare people away. It’s one thing for you to feel like, oh, this person really wants to earn my business versus this person needs my business. And I will happily earn people’s business, but I’m not going to chase and send the message that I need their business.


And this goes back to one of the philosophies that I have about a sales relationship, is that there always should be a balance of power. And when you start acting like you need somebody’s business, you give them all the power, and now, it puts you in this lower position. And when you’re in a lower position in a relationship like that, unfortunately, what happens is these people will not value you. They won’t treat you as well. They won’t treat you like an equal. And in a sales conversation, there should always be a balance. Now that, and I don’t ever mean that you should hold all the power in the conversation either, but there really should be a balance. And if you’re acting like, I’ll do anything to get your business, people will make you jump through hoops and they probably still won’t give you their business.


Hilary Hendershott: So, let’s talk about bless and release.


Nikki Rausch: Okay.


Hilary Hendershott: You already covered– what you just said, the statement you just made definitely segues into that area. For example, I sometimes find a person will come to me and they’ll say all the right things. And I’ll think, whether it be demographically or psychographically, I’m not feeling it, right? And I’m concerned from the very beginning, but I can’t think of an objective reason to say no. And then, my experience is, maybe I should go back and track it just to see how often I am, right? But man, sometimes, I mean, they ask for the moon and they give me back dirt kind of a thing.


Nikki Rausch: Yeah, yeah, that imbalance.


Hilary Hendershott: So, talk to me about bless and release.


Nikki Rausch: So, I think it’s really, as an entrepreneur, I do have the luxury of deciding who I take on as a client and who I don’t. And that’s not always the case if you’re working for somebody, sometimes you got to take what– it’s not your decision, it’s the boss’s decision. But as long as it’s your decision, it is absolutely okay to say to somebody, you know what? I get a sense that maybe we’re just not a good fit. So, I’m just going to respectfully decline. Continuing the conversation, please know I wish you well. I’m so happy to have met you. And I really appreciate your time. That’s all you need to say. That is a bless and release.


Now, sometimes people might be like, “Wait, what? What happened?” And then you can decide how much more you’re going to give in that conversation. But if you go back to somebody and you’re like, you know, I haven’t really liked the interactions that we’ve had and this and that, and you start going into the explanation behind it, you leave yourself open to them, picking apart anything that you say and like, oh, I’m going to prove you wrong now. I’m going to prove you were like, the way I interacted with you was totally fine. I don’t know what your problem is. And then you get in this confrontational thing, which nobody’s going to win there, right?


So, there’s no reason to give a lot of stories. It’s absolutely okay to say to somebody, “I just get a sense that we’re just not a good fit.” Or you could say, “I also get a sense that maybe I’m just not the right person for you. And I think you’d be better served working with somebody that has a little bit of a different skill set. So, again, thank you so much for your time. Thank you for meeting you and I wish you well.”


Hilary Hendershott: Understood. Can I ask you one question about your linguistic programming?


Nikki Rausch: Of course.


Hilary Hendershott: Are you okay on time?


Nikki Rausch: Yeah.


Hilary Hendershott: Okay. So, in a meta sense, because I’ve done a good amount of personal growth work, I have not particularly studied, specifically studied NLP, but a lot of people who are doing personal growth are in NLP. And then some of the sense I think people have is that it’s a little bit manipulative, that it’s these secret moves and positions and language that people use to manipulate people. So, I’m wondering if you have a response to that, and then I’m sure you’re going to say it’s not that for you. I mean, I can tell how you are and the kind of principles you embody. But then the second part of that is how does NLP sort of wrap itself around the teaching and the process that we’ve just talked about?


Nikki Rausch: Yeah. So, I think that’s a really valid question regarding NLP, and I think there’s a lot of misconceptions out there too, that the idea behind it is to manipulate, or actually, by the way, when I left my corporate job and I started helping my NLP teacher build her business, I heard that there was a rumor that I had joined a cult because people are like, “NLP is a cult.” And so, I will say NLP is very similar to psychology. It’s also really similar to behavioral economics. So, if you’ve studied any of those things, chances are, NLP would feel very like, okay, I get it.


Now, like with anything, can it be used to be manipulative? If you’re very skilled at it, yes, for sure. So, I also teach my clients, one, anything that I teach that I think could potentially go into this place. I always say, please use this with a high level of integrity because the intention behind what you’re doing matters. And if your intention is to build relationships and make it easy for people to be in conversation with you, that’s one thing. But if your intention is to try to manipulate somebody into buying something they don’t need, well, one, you have to be incredibly skilled for you to be able to do all of the things that would lead up to that. So, I find that most people aren’t even close to that skill level of being able to do that type of thing.


But years ago, there was a book written from some students that were going through an NLP class. I think it was based in London. And the book was like, how to use NLP to pick up chicks? So, that sounds super manipulative. But when you break down the techniques that they’re teaching, it’s really like, how do you ask a question? How do you listen? How do you pay attention to somebody’s body language and adjust your body language to make it easier for them to stay in conversation?


And here’s one really simple example, and I teach this, by the way, is one of the things that you can notice really easily about another person is their rate of speech. If I put a spectrum in front of you and I said, from 1 to 10, 10 being somebody who talks really, really fast, doesn’t really even take a breath, like a lot of times, it’s like the auctioneer, I can’t even get myself to a 10, and somebody who’s lower on the spectrum, somebody who’s like a 2 or a 3, it’s somebody who really takes their time in the way that they speak. And those people often have a thought, process it and then state it. Okay, now, where are you– I wish everybody could see your face right now, what you just said.


Hilary Hendershott: I think I would fall out of my chair, like, oh my gosh.


Nikki Rausch: Okay, so my guess is you tell me, Hilary, but you probably fall more towards the faster rate of speech?


Hilary Hendershott: Yes, and impacted by, I mean, I’m a trained debater. I was- so that it made it worse. So, people all the time tell me to slow down.


Nikki Rausch: So, here’s the thing, is that when you meet somebody who’s like you, who talks really, really fast like you, and I’m not saying you talk really, really fast, but who matches kind of your rate of speech, it’s easier for you to stay in conversation with them, right? It’s like conversation just flows. But my guess is if you had to sit through a training of somebody who had like a 2 or 3 rate of speech, you’d want to pull your hair out. You’d want to get up and leave.


Hilary Hendershott: I would probably leave.


Nikki Rausch: That training, right? Because it would be so painful for you. Well, here’s the thing is, if you want to earn somebody’s business that has a very different rate of speech than you, you probably need to adjust a little bit because if you’re going to be a fast talker, for somebody who is a slow talker, what do fast talkers tend to do to slow talkers? I don’t know if you know this, but…


Hilary Hendershott: Dominate.


Nikki Rausch: Dominate, interrupt, talk over. So, that person’s going to be really turned off by your style. But if you’re willing to slow down a little bit, and I don’t mean you have to go from– I don’t know where you would fall on the spectrum, but I’m just going to pick like a 7 or an 8 for you. I don’t mean you have to get yourself down to a 3, but if you’re willing to make some adjustments and if you could get yourself down to a 6 or maybe a 5.5, here’s what will happen, the person who’s the 3 will feel more comfortable in that conversation and they’ll start to adjust to you.


And so, at some point, you guys are going to find a balance. They’ll speed up a little bit, you slow down a little bit, and now, it’s easier to be in conversation. But if that person is just like, “I’m going to be a 3, take it or leave it,” you’ll be like, “No, thanks, I’ll leave it,” right? So, when you want to earn somebody’s business that has a different rate of speech, then you make some adjustments and it’s the easiest thing to adjust you because you can hear it in people’s, you can hear it over the phone, you can hear it when we’re on Zoom, you can hear it in a live conversation. And if you’re just willing to make that little bit of an adjustment, now, is that being manipulative? I don’t know. You tell me.


But if somebody comes to your house, do you straighten up the house and maybe make sure you vacuumed before they come over? Or are you like, this is just my house, take it or leave it? Chances are, you make some adjustments, right? Or if somebody comes in, you offer them something to drink. It’s about making the other person feel welcome and comfortable. So, that’s what I teach. That was a really long answer to your question.


Hilary Hendershott: Yeah, now, we could talk for another hour on that. Thank you so much. That was amazing. I feel like we just got NLP 101 into our sales process. That was really great, I mean, and I think sales– and I didn’t kick off with this, but it’s just so important that women who run businesses understand and really command their own conversational and sales process because if you’re the voice of the company, I mean, nothing comes in the bank account without sales. And I have a profits consultancy offer, but inevitably, I have to remind myself, we need to talk about your sales process, like I’m looking at their bookkeeping, but we end up going, what are you actually saying to people to get money in your account?


So, hopefully, folks listening have had some great aha moments. Nikki, we’re going to link to your website, YourSalesMaven.com. And I also was fascinated by the books that you published on Amazon. So, we’ll link to those as well. Anything else you want to have people know about you before we sign off today?


Nikki Rausch: So, I have a gift for your audience. Is that okay? Can I offer a gift?


Hilary Hendershott: Yeah, I love gifts. Gift away.


Nikki Rausch: Okay, so I have a training that truly is my gift. There’s no charge for this. You can go grab it. It’s called Mastering the Sales Conversation. And I go into a little bit more detail of those five steps. So, it’ll allow for you to establish, like, what steps are really strong for you? And what steps maybe do you need to up your game a little bit so that your sales conversations are more successful? So, you can get that by going to YourSalesMaven.com/Hilary. So, this is for your audience.


Hilary Hendershott: Oh, look at that. Okay, and that’s Hilary with one L.


Nikki Rausch: That’s right.


Hilary Hendershott: Okay, perfect. All right. Thank you so much, Nikki. May everyone listening, sell better than they ever have before after listening to this conversation, have a great day.


Hendershott Wealth Management, LLC and Love, your Money do not make specific investment recommendations on Love, your Money or in any public media. Any specific mentions of funds or investments are strictly for illustrative purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice or acted upon by individual investors. The opinions expressed in this episode are those of Hilary Hendershott, CFP®, MBA.


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