The Power of Permission

I’ve been selling and teaching sales for almost two decades.  It’s something I love, I’m passionate about and something I truly believe is noble.

It’s the lifeblood of any business no matter what it is.

Without making the sale, your prospect is still stuck with the issue they called you to resolve.  The sale is the doorway to the solution, to the service.  Unless you’re running a non-profit, there is no other way to serve your client than to get them to buy from you.

And we all want to serve our clients.

We want to help them.

We don’t want to leave them stuck.

And it all flows from the sale.

I have absolutely no problem teaching people how to be tenacious, showing sales teams and business owners how to get to the root cause of the objection so that they can resolve it, tap into the value and help their client step up and say yes to what it is that they are offering.

Ultimately, to help their client say yes to themselves.

It’s a powerful thing and, when done well, a very empowering experience.

There are few things that I enjoy teaching more.

I love teaching selling.

And I love to sell.

Well, that is, I USUALLY love to sell.

When I’m working with a private client or one of our corporate clients, I love it.  The process is fun and exciting and feels good the whole way through – even the toughest negotiations or the most pain-staking contract reviews: ALL FUN.

But, I’ve always battled with the part of my business that involves selling my courses through offers made in what experts call a “leveraged” way – one-to-many – whether from the stage, through a webinar or even through email sequences.

It has NEVER felt good to me.

I’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to figure it out.  I’ve worked with experts on the modality, on the process, on the offer, on the sequence, on the lead up, on the wording, even on the service delivery or the program itself…   You name it, I’ve tried it.

And yet, there has been no love there for me.

I’ve always struggled with it.

For a person who is so passionate about sales and who is an expert in the psychology of sales and marketing, it doesn’t make sense that I’ve struggled to want to sell, much less enjoy selling my programs in a way that would get them into the hands of more people – people who I know could use my help…

And many years ago, I realized what I so disliked the “leveraged” selling model and the problem can be summed up in one word:


You see, I have no qualms teaching my clients to reach out — many times in many ways over many different days — to the homeowners who have raised their hands to ask for their help.

I have no issue teaching people just how often to ask for the sale, to revisit, to reframe.  In fact, I delight in teaching the talk-tracks that will work the best, in explaining the psychology, in dissecting why the approaches that most often work actually work.  I love working closely with my clients and my students to expose the little gaps in the process that are making the trust leak out or that are diminishing the value of the offer or are not highlighting the value enough for the price to feel good to the buyer.

I love to teach it and I love to do it.

I have zero issues being bold and tenacious and really selling or teaching people to be bold and tenacious when they sell and close.  That is, I have zero issues with it when one simple thing is true: when the prospect has asked for help.

If a client explicitly reached out to you because they were interested in your offer, they gave you permission to sell.  They implicitly or explicitly asked for your help.

Because sales is the doorway to serving someone who has asked for your help, the ask needs to come first.

If you do it well, sales is not manipulative or gross or unseemly.

It’s empowering for both parties.

And the key here is the permission.

Let’s look at this another way.  Imagine you go to a networking.  You have a great chat with a person you met there.  You ask for their card and it feels really good.  Natural.  Easy.  Everyone is there to meet people and make business connections and all is well.  You exchange cards and fully expect to chat with each other about business opportunities.

Now, imagine that you’re at that same event and a person you don’t know – who just so happens to be sponsoring or hosting the event — comes up to you, buds into your conversation, stick their card out at you and asks for – somewhat demands — one of yours.


That feels awful.

Maybe you give them your card anyway just out of awkwardness, but there is no intention whatsoever of doing business with that person.  In fact, there is the opposite intention – never to do any business with that person.

We have all experienced this and it is not a good feeling.


Because the bud-er-in-er didn’t have your permission.  They trespassed on your space.  They made demands and imposed themselves upon you without any context or any permission.

I’ve always taught my clients that you don’t make an offer until your client has told you that the solution is a yes for them.  You don’t just shove your card in the face of random strangers.   That isn’t how trust works.

And trust is the lynchpin here.

Trust is where the transaction happens.

INTEGRITY is in my veins.  It’s at the core of my world view and at the heart of my business and today I’m taking my integrity game to the next level.

I have finally understood the role of permission within my own leveraged sales process as deeply as I have long-since understood it in the in-home or from-home selling paradigm.

And, from this moment forward, you have my word that I will always be thinking about whether or not I have permission to make an offer.  If I don’t feel I have it, I will do my best to seek your permission before ever diving into a pitch.

You might be scratching your head and wondering where all of this came from.

It’s quite simple.  Last week, I shared with you a program I had created.  I raved about it a bit.  I pitched it to you and, as much as I love the program and as compelling and powerful as I know it is, I just didn’t feel good about the pitch.

And then yesterday I was teaching a webinar and I made a pitch for that same program at the end of it.

Nothing bad happened.  People weren’t offended.  The offer was great and several people jump in, but it just didn’t sit well with me – the ask itself seemed off to me.

And it got me to some deep thinking, some profound conversations and it made me really consider all of this at a whole new level.

And now I know why neither instance really felt good.  Why they both lacked the joy and the delight in the sales process and it boils down to one simple thing: I didn’t have your permission.

This little realization is going to revolutionize my own business, the quality and tenor of my sales communications.  It’s everything to me.

As you are thinking of your own sales and marketing tactics, your own one-to-one sales processkeep permission in mind.  The more thoughtfully and intentionally you collect the yes along the way, the tighter the trust bond will grow and the more inclined they will be to take you up on your offer at the end.

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