As speakers, we tend to fall into the mistake of missing our audience, forgetting that we are speaking to give value to them. That is why it is important that we should know how to speak in a language that can build a bridge in order for us to help them with what we have. Elizabeth Bachman’s guest highlights why sales is the new love language and that we, speakers, need to learn how to use it well. She sits down with Megan Walrod, coach, author, and someone who helps people write their sales pages and books. In this episode, Megan shares with us how sales is a love language in the marketing strategy realm and how you can create a powerful and effective enrollment conversation. Taking us further into an inspiring life of living your YES, she then talks about her work in Uganda where she helps girls find their voice and create greater success for everyone.
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Sales – The New Love Language With Megan Walrod
Living Your YES!
This is the show where we talk about the craft of presenting and the leadership it takes to put yourself forward and speak because presentation skills after all are a cool and fun tool that will help you make the sale, motivate your team or show yourself as a leader to be followed, listened to or maybe even promoted. Before we start, I would like to invite you to go to our free assessment, www.SpeakForResultsQuiz.com. You can take the three-minute assessment that lets you see where your presentation skills are great and where maybe you could use a little bit of support. In this episode, I’m talking with my wonderful friend, Megan Walrod.
She is a coach and author and someone who helps people write their sales pages and their books. She’s done work in Uganda, helping girls find their voice. Megan Walrod is an award-winning author, copywriter, and marketing coach. Over the past decade, she supported hundreds of women entrepreneurs to build profitable and purposeful businesses. She supported clients in having 6 and 7-figure launches and she’s written copy for million-dollar global business owners and nonprofits. Megan encourages her clients to live your yes, knowing that when we live an inspired life, we are more magnetic and create greater success for everyone. Now to the conversation with Megan Walrod.
Megan Walrod, welcome to the show.
Thank you. I’m happy to be here, Elizabeth.
You are one of my first friends when I first started in the speaker training business. You’ve been a wonderful friend since then. Tell me who would be your dream interview? If you were to share the stage with somebody who’s no longer with us, who would it be? What would you ask them? Who should be listening?
My own response has surprised me and it’s given me an invitation to continue to reflect on. The person first comes to mind is Mary Oliver, the poet. She’s a New York Times bestselling author of several books. One is called A Thousand Mornings. What has inspired me about Mary Oliver is her willingness to let go of all the hustle and bustle of life to be quiet and to commune with nature. From that space of quiet and that conversation that occurs in the inner world with the outer world, with beans and trees that has a different language, and articulate that in words on a page in poetry that has spoken to the hearts of millions of people around the world. It’s that kind of soul talk that to me is a heart medicine of these times. She’s the one that I would be most excited to interview to find out what did it take to cultivate that listening that’s then matched with an ability to put into words that are simple, and convey volumes in a few lines.
I remember hearing what somebody said, “Poetry is words that mean more than just words and how you express this.” You were talking about love language of sales and so forth, but this is also an international show. Part of what I love is how people’s languages cross cultural communication. You’ve spent time in Uganda helping girls communicate. Can you tell us a little bit about that?There is this ripple effect that occurs when girls are given the chance to realize that what they have to say matters. Click To Tweet
I ended up creating a book with these amazing girls. It’s called We Have Something to Say. I was following a calling to go and volunteer and live in Uganda. I volunteered with a nonprofit called Girl Up Initiative Uganda that does amazing work with their communities. They have these programs for adolescent girls, empowering them about their bodies, and empowering them to know that they have a voice and what they have to say matters.
You asked about cross-cultural language and what that was like to be in Uganda, the words, and the girls. There is this ripple effect that occurs when girls are given the chance to realize that what they have to say matters. The girls in their programs would go home from their training and share it with their mothers, their aunties, their grandmothers, their cousins, their brothers, and their friends. It begins to ignite cultural change that recognizes even those that were once seen as a minority and less than have value to bring to the conversation have the wisdom to contribute. Getting to go there as a privileged white woman to go and shine the light on the great work that they were up to was life-changing for me.
We bring together the stories of their experiences and share in a book with people around the world that have purchased it. The book was created as a fundraiser. It already created over $50,000 for these girls to receive more education and more training. It’s been a phenomenal and continued ripple effect of what else is possible when we follow our calling, use our voice to share what is ours to share, and the power of words. This has pictures and girls’ stories. It’s the power of words that speak to women. It’s mainly women that have invested in this book. Even the women around the world from Australia to Europe, to Canada, to the States were reading these stories about girls in Uganda. There was a huge resonance of the awareness of the challenges that we face, and the sense of humanity that brings us together when seeing, how can we overcome those together?
It’s interesting that you’re saying this because a lot of the work that I do, especially with corporate women, is helping them speak up and be heard. You would think that people who are getting six-figure salaries would not be dealing with, “Why is no one paying attention?” It’s just a matter of degree.
It’s rich to me how those of us exactly in developed worlds, we struggle to find our voice. These girls in developing countries are told not to speak up. How many of us were told not to speak up? It’s like, “Don’t say anything unless you have anything nice to say.” There are all this programming and cultural conditioning that’s had us devalue our voice and lose confidence. Will we be listened to? Do I have anything valuable to say? One of the experiences I had connected to what you’re saying when I was there in Uganda, I experienced poverty in a way that I’d never experienced before. It got me to this place when I was aware of poverty consciousness that it’s such a BS story.
I returned from Uganda to the States all fired up to support women like, “This is a lie. You have the privilege. You have wealth.” Now is the time to break free of that story and the same with the voice. All the stories that we bought that told us, “It wasn’t safe to speak up.” All the experiences we had where it wasn’t safe to speak up. When we support each other and come together in that, it’s breaking free of that story and helping each other see, “That’s old programming.” Even that erodes our confidence and leaves us feeling like we can’t speak up. I’m very passionate about this.
I have an interview with Laura Gisborne, where she talks about this whole scarcity story is just a first-world issue. It is for privileged people in the first world, which made me think. I said, “Maybe I will not talk about that so much.”
It’s such an invitation to look at the story that we bought that isn’t true that’s based on limitation, that’s a smokescreen from our potency, power and capacity to create change that disrupts the status quo. When we speak our voice and our truth, there is a disruption that occurs. It can feel an inner revolution, an inner evolution and spark that externally. It’s the breaking free of that. Sales and marketing bring up all those stories too. Those stories of, “Is what I’m offering enough? Does anyone want what I have to share?” All of that, sales and being an entrepreneur, even as a woman entrepreneur in developed countries, let alone other places around the world, it brings up all that old programming. It’s a matter of, “Can we see it for what it is and not let us stop us?”
This would be a good segue to ask you about love languages in sales. Sales is a love language.
There are many different directions I can go to with this topic. I would love to talk about specifically the sales as a love language in the marketing strategy realm, and sales is a love language in the ways that we perceive sales internally.
One of the things that I find is that when you’re doing a presentation when you’re talking about presentation skills and so forth, you might be selling a product or the idea of your company like, “Come and talk to us about a contract,” or inside a meeting, you’re selling an idea. My whole thing about strategic speaking for results is using presentation skills as a way to move people to take action. Hopefully, it’s an action you believe in. It’s an action that’s going to be good for them or good for the group. It’s selling an idea as well as selling a product or a service. Those are the results that I like to talk about getting. When you’re talking about that, the idea of using the love languages, I haven’t heard it phrased that way, but when you suggested that as a topic, I went, “That’s brilliant. Tell me more.” Megan Walrod, tell us more please.
Thank you for getting us present to that of the speaker and whether it’s up on stage. It could be up on stage making an offer. It could be in the boardroom presenting an idea, pitching your bid or your idea. I want to give some context too of the love languages originally where that came from. There’s a methodology called the love languages. The love languages are based on this man’s study with relationships and couples. He discovered that there are certain ways we receive love. It registers in our body that, “This person that I’m in a relationship with loves me.” It can look like physical touch. When my partner hugs me or walks by me and strokes me, I feel loved. It might look like words of appreciation where it’s like, “That meant so much to me that you did that. Thank you so much.” That lets me know that my partner is loving me.
It could be quality time together. It could be acts of service or gifts. Those are the five love languages in that world of relationship. What’s fascinating is that having a relationship with someone whose love language is physical touch, but my love language is words of appreciation. They might be giving me hugs and special caresses, but not giving me words of appreciation because it’s not their love language. I end up feeling not loved. For them, it’s words of appreciation and not physical touch. They end up feeling not loved because they’re not receiving love in the form that they’re used to. This is an interesting perspective on how we express and register love. When applied to sales, the biggest thing to look at is a lot of times as speakers, we can miss our audience, whether it’s in a boardroom or an audience, one-to-one whatever when we are expressing our idea, our product, our program in our language and not our potential clients.
I’m always saying it starts with them. That’s the number one rule. It’s all about them and how they need to hear it in order to get the message.
The great thing is to become aware of it, so you can see where the breakdown is. You’re speaking two different languages and then once you recognize that’s what’s happening, the cool thing is you can build a bridge and it doesn’t have to be hard. The way to speak their language is to speak in their language or words. I call it the client speak. How are your potential clients talking about their biggest challenges? What do they want instead? How is it that your idea or your offer can help them go from the challenge to what they want instead. When you can convey it in words that they understand and deliver that message of what’s in it for them, now you’re speaking each other’s language. You’re in that place to move them to action.Not everyone's got to be your client. Not everyone's necessarily going to buy what you're offering, and that's okay. Click To Tweet
How do you apply this if you are doing a presentation to a group and you don’t know what their language is?
If I was speaking in front of a group that is someone else’s group they brought together, there are some common theme that’s brought them all together. They’re either a room full of business owners coming to receive sales training. You’re finding the commonality among them all. You can also recognize that perhaps not everyone in the room is going to be a fit to work with you or your potential clients. We’ve all been in rooms before at events where speakers have been on stage that might not resonate with us, but they resonate with our neighbor. They do resonate with us and not our neighbor. It’s recognizing that not everyone will necessarily be your match, yet if you can speak to what you know about the audience, that’s where it’s like finding that resonance.
It’s recognizing not everyone’s got to be your client. Not everyone’s necessarily going to buy what you’re offering, and that’s okay. That’s where we can fall into the trap of trying to talk to everyone, trying to be that voice that says, “What I have will serve everyone.” That’s another dimension of love language that I’d love to speak to as well. The five love languages, there are five different ways, touch, service and those kinds of things. When speaking or having an ideal audience to speak to in the world of marketing, those love languages can look like niches. The niche of business. The love language of business, of relationship, and of body. Niches and having a specific message are what aligns with the love languages. Rather than trying to be everything for everyone, you’re looking at, “What is my product? What is my idea going to help serve? Is it in the love language of body, business, relationship, money?” Those types of things.
Also it’s useful if you have a team. When I first learned about these love languages years ago, I thought, “This is great.” Every time I hire an assistant or have a team or when I run the Tyrolean Opera Program, I had a staff. I would have a little questionnaire for my staff like, what makes you feel appreciated? For some people, it’s money. If you’ve done a good job, then you get a bonus. For other people, it would be private time with the boss or other things like sending flowers. You can use that to motivate your team if you just asked them.
Marie Forleo has written about that before in one of her articles about how she uses the love languages with her team and has asked them. They might have team targets to reach individual targets and their bonuses or the way of expressing praise will be according to what their love language is. It might be a certificate to get a free massage or a flower or public acknowledgment in front of the rest of the team about like a job well done. It can be done that way with your team. Ultimately, you’re inviting everyone in your team to be selling that idea. You’re selling them on the idea of what your company is all about.
Let’s take it down to a one-on-one. You’re having a one-on-one enrollment conversation. How can you use these love languages in that context?
It’s easy, but we overthink it and make it difficult. The ease comes in. A powerful and effective enrollment conversation comes down to asking powerful questions, shutting up and listening. The power of what can happen in an enrollment conversation is as a salesperson, when we let go of any energy of convincing and any agenda that we think this person has to say yes, otherwise, that’s a bad thing. We can take a stand for what we hear this person is saying they want, they’re looking for, and they’re asking for, and then support them. It’s seeing how what we have to offer can help them get or have what it is they’re asking for without convincing, but in using their words that they’ve shared with us.
It becomes this resonance of, “I am a bridge. I’m offering you a bridge to have what you want.” When they’re investing in our services, they’re saying yes to their dream, their healthy body, their healthy passionate relationship, their thriving business, whatever it is. It’s the love languages. The way we tap into what is their love language is ask powerful questions, listen to their responses, and then use their language, not in a way to be manipulative. If that’s not truly the kind of program you have or results you can help them experience, don’t speak to that. If it is, then you’re using their words to reflect back to them. That’s the love language.
What I love about that is that you’re trying to address what’s best for them, which means that selling becomes an act of service. You’re not asking someone to buy something. You’re asking them to invest in themselves through you. Why is it that many people are afraid to ask for the sale? Is that a love language?
The fear is not a love language, but that is such a great question. As we were talking about, the stories that we’ve bought around limitation and the lies about ourselves, whether it’s poverty consciousness, that thought of scarcity, there’s not enough, the fear. There are many different things. The story that we’ve seen and bought around sales is that it’s wrong. We’ve always seen and demonstrate it as power over someone else or as manipulation like, “Buy my snake oil,” but it’s all smoke and mirrors. It doesn’t work. I feel like this is the era of getting to reclaim sales as a service, as a chance to have honest, real, and sometimes tough conversations. When we as the entrepreneur, the business person, or the salesperson is inviting someone to invest in themselves through our programs, their shit comes up.
All of their programming and conditioning comes up. They want this, but as they lean in to say yes, all the fears pop up. My sense is the thing that has us fear sales and those conversations in addition to all of that programming that we’ve bought of what we’ve made sales mean that isn’t necessarily true is also a chance to have a powerful transformational conversation. Whether you’re on the stage speaking to dozens, hundreds, thousands, or in a one-on-one conversation, it is powerful because what’s happening there is a disruption of the status quo. Every time someone says yes to getting support, they are saying yes to going beyond where they are and exploring what else is possible for their lives. That’s a personal revolution.
Could you talk a little bit about how this would apply if you’re asking for money for yourself? Another big place that the fear comes up is asking for the sale if you are selling your services or asking for a promotion. When that thing happens, it’s when my mom is in my head. I am channeling my mom saying, “Don’t brag. Don’t ask for too much. That’s not ladylike.”
Bless your mom and we all have those stories of someone who told us, “Don’t ask for money. You’ve got enough already. Don’t keep asking for more.” We’re getting all the stories and the lies we’ve bought about money, about sales, about ourselves. I want to share a story with you that supported me in getting over myself in that programming when it came to money. What was different was when I had the idea to co-write this book with these girls in the nonprofit in Uganda, it was an inspired vision of an idea. I took it to the team and they all said yes. They didn’t have the budget to bring a book into the world to get it published and printed.
I did something I’d never done before. I did a fundraiser. I went to my community and asked them to contribute money to this cause. I’ve got to face all of my fears and concerns like, “What would my community think of me? I’m coming to them, asking them for money for a project, for a dream that I can see, that I can believe in for these girls, for their stories, what will they say?” They ultimately ended up saying yes. We were able to raise over $6,000 to bring this book in a form. Was it different because I was asking for money for a cause I believed in, not my own services, not my own bank account? Absolutely. Every time I noticed a fear, a gremlin or that inner voice, whether it’s my mom or my dad’s or whatever, I was like, “It’s for the girls. Do it for the girls.”
I was able to get out of my own way. How we can use that for ourselves individually when we’re selling and asking for the money. One of the things that I know a lot of my colleagues and mentors, it was Jesse and Sharla with Thrive Academy where we first met, who introduced me to this idea of standing for something even bigger than ourselves with our business. For example, Thrive, the first time I saw this in action, they were inviting a room full of members, clients to one of their workshops to donate money to a village in Africa to get them clean water and education. When I saw that, it was making their business bigger than profit, any one single person profiting. The idea was what could we create together?A powerful and effective enrollment conversation comes down to asking powerful questions, shutting up, and listening. Click To Tweet
I see Sage Lavine doing that beautifully too with her Give to Grow fundraisers from the stage. That energy of when we make it about something even bigger than ourselves, it helps us get out of our own way so that we’re willing to ask for the money. That’s a real practical strategy. As far as the energetic and working with those mind voices, a tool that I love that super pragmatic is when I hear that voice being like, “What will they think of me? I’m not supposed to ask for money,” I say, “That’s an interesting point of view.”
Are you saying that to the voices in your head?
Yeah. It’s just a point of view. It’s not real and true. We turn it into solid, real and true, and it stops us. When we say, “Interesting point of view,” it helps us start to get some freedom and space around it. We can begin to see, “That’s just a point of view. What other points of views around money and sales are available to me that could have helped me thrive and help me have more ease with this?”
Megan Walrod, this is interesting. I want to bring you back to Africa for another question. You use all these wonderful techniques in terms of enrolling people. I like to think of it as an enrollment conversation rather than a sales conversation because it means getting people to do something that’s going to make sense for themselves. What did you find in Uganda when it was not just working with the girls? Did you use any of these sales training to help the people who were running the Girl Up Initiative within their regular community?
I have to smile because as I look at their faces, I remember my time with the team. This is a group of people that have had their own experiences growing up in the slums and in challenging situations. Now, they’re turning around and paying it forward.
Is there a story you can tell us?
There absolutely is. This takes us on a little bit of a tangent from your question. Let me answer your question, then I can tell you that story. What I saw them doing as the team, and I’ll tell you a story about Monica and Kim, the co-founders, they need to be able to sell their ideas to the community and even to the girls. When they start training with these girls, I’ve had some of these girls tell me stories when the Girl Up Initiative Uganda coaches came into their schools to give talks and invite them to join the program. One girl told me a story about how she didn’t believe them. She didn’t believe there could be people so kind who wanted to help her, listen to her, empower her, and who are going to tell her that she deserved to have a voice and choices over the things that were in her body, her education. She should be able to have a choice of that.
The team of Girl Up were needing to educate and sell others on this idea that girls matter and that the empowerment of girls will help our entire community and country rise up and create more for everyone. They work with the local leaders, the police force, and the religious leaders. They’re working with the governmental leaders and the fathers, the mothers, those who are challenged by this idea. It disrupts the status quo of what this culture has believed about women and girls especially. They’re the ones who are in sales every single day. They’ve got these Champions of Change program where the men of the team are working with adolescent boys and young men supporting the girls in having a voice and recognizing it takes all. They’re the ones who are using sales.
Can we finish with a story? Tell us the story of one of these women or these girls.
I will share the story with you of Monica, the co-founder. She grew up in the slums of Uganda. I’ve got to visit the slums where she grew up where it’s just tin roofs that have holes in it and during the rainy season, it’s dripping inside. There are trenches throughout the community when it’s pouring, rainy season happens every year, feces are floating through and running through in between houses, even through the houses. There isn’t electricity. It’s challenging living. The family that she grew up in, she saw her brother going off to school with shoes, and with his little compass set for his math classes. She didn’t have shoes until she was nine. She never got a compass set. She shares this story of asking her dad, “Why don’t I have shoes? Why don’t I have a compass set?” Him telling her that it was her brother that they had to put their energies into not her, because one day she would be married off and she wouldn’t be there as part of the family anymore.
It was the son that was going to carry on and be the one to be able to take care of the family. It wasn’t until Monica got mentorship in secondary school and she had a teacher see her potential and talk with her about leadership and about helping her see the special gifts that she had of speaking, performing, and enrolling people in her ideas of making the school and the community a better place. She ended up partnering with Kim Wolfe, this white privileged woman from Santa Barbara, California. They ended up meeting in Uganda, creating this vision of supporting girls in rising up. It was through Monica’s own experience. In secondary school, she began to thrive because she had mentorship. She had teachers believing in her, giving her opportunities to showcase her skills.
She ended up being able to get scholarship to the best university in the country. She went on to get a Master’s degree in London, scholarship based. Now, she’s creating something more for the adolescent girls and the communities of Kampala in Uganda paying it forward. She knows that when these girls have mentorship and someone who can see their unique gifts, it’s like love language beyond any kind of sales and marketing. It is language of service and paying it forward. In a nutshell, that is the story of Monica of paying it forward, where she came from and what she’s now created. They’re now touching the lives of thousands of girls and getting all kinds of support to continue to roll their programs out.
Megan Walrod, this has been such a delight to talk to you about. We’re going to be leaving ways to contact you and to contact the girls up in Uganda and ways to order the book. Megan, thank you. I’m glad that you joined us. I’ll see you on the next one.
- Megan Walrod
- We Have Something to Say
- Laura Gisborne – Previous episode
- A Thousand Mornings
- Girl Up Initiative Uganda
About Megan Walrod
Megan Walrod, M.A., is an Award-Winning Author, Copywriter and Marketing Coach. Over the past decade she’s supported hundreds of women entrepreneurs build profitable and purposeful businesses.
She has supported clients in having $6- and $7-figure launches and written copy for million-dollar global business owners and non-profits. Megan encourages her clients to “Live Your Yes,” knowing that when we live an inspired life, we are more magnetic and create greater success for everyone.