Do you sometimes feel closed off to the idea of being sold, or even personally selling a product or service? The word “selling” often is associated as purely an act of forcing people to buy your products and services; however, Michelle Kopper, a leading voice, video, & visibility expert, takes the idea of selling, and transforms it as a way of creating connection. For Michelle, selling is serving and she encourages others to embrace self-promotion in this light. In this episode, Michelle shares her expertise to help you align your voice and create a bigger impact and contribution. Michelle also talks about some of the biggest belief mistakes that others have around selling, and offers strategies and some encouragement on networking.
What do you think about when you think about selling? What do you think about when you think about sales? Does it give you the heebie-jeebies? Do you sometimes feel yourself closing off to the idea of selling yourself or selling a product or selling a service? What if we were able to show you a new connection that selling is helping people live their best self. Selling is being able to transform your life or your client’s life. We’ve got a leading expert who’s going to be able to help you give clarity around this idea of this topic and a whole lot more. She’s a leading voice, video and visibility expert. She’s helped thousands of creatives, maybe like you, small business owners, entrepreneurs, embrace self-promotion, influence in selling and that selling is serving. Her unique method helps you find and free yourself so that you’re truly aligned. That your voice and your actions connect so that you can go out and have a bigger reach, impact, and contribution. She’s a bestselling author. She has a lot of different programs. I’m going to encourage you to go take this online quiz that she’s got as well. Michelle Kopper, welcome to our program. How are you?
I’m great. Thanks for having me.
I want to get your view on sales. What is your definition of selling? What is selling?
We could talk about what it was. I’m an anti-marketing, phobic marketing, “Don’t sell me anything, recovering, I hate sales,” person. I did not like selling and I judged it and I feared it and I didn’t want to do it. For me now, I’ve been taught by some wonderful, amazing people. It’s the way that I found a bridge to selling after a couple of decades of struggling in my business. Having a problem with selling was not working out well for me. It’s finding a way to embrace this idea that if I don’t invite someone to take the next step and work with me. If I don’t offer them a way to get the transformation that I might be able to help them have, I’m leaving them hanging. Reframing this idea of making an invitation or making an offer as this idea of that is the way that I can help them get what they want faster and what they want more effectively deeper. That if I don’t make that invitation, I’m withholding from them or not providing them with a way to move forward with me if they want to. Selling is about being completely and totally dedicated to their results and serving them in the biggest possible way.
As you’re reading this right now, would you like to serve in your best possible way? Would you like to open the door to greater transformation, to help more people, to have a bigger impact? Michelle, I want to hit a timeout and back up. You said something that struck me and that was you were resistant to sales early on. When you were resistant and fighting it and all that stuff and had that belief system, how did your results show up? What was going on? How did it impact you at that time?Remember that followers and fans aren't clients. – Michelle Kopper Click To Tweet
It was a constant struggle. I could not get butts in seats. I constantly was in this position of struggling. In the beginning, the base point, there was this idea that if you build it, they will come. They told me. I saw the movie when it came out and I believed it. I kept building it or a little bit of people were coming and I felt I had to hustle and strive and constantly provide more value. I was giving my life’s blood for these little tiny pieces of money and people still were not coming to me. I’ve come to see that’s kicking the can down the road. The abundance that I desired and the service and what I wanted to bring through was impacted by my not being willing to sell it.
When you made that shift and you created that bridge, it was a more supportive, more empowering, more powerful you. How have you seen that shift your life? You’ve got thousands of people you’ve helped. I’m curious about the you story of this. What was the breakthrough and transformation like for you?
I hit a wall a few years ago where I had been striving and bootstrapping it and picking me up and trying like, “I’ll sell this. I’ll do this. I’ll try this.” I stopped. I hit a wall where I was going to do nothing. At that moment, it’s a spiritual surrender where I said, “I give up. Show me something else.” The universe has an interesting sense of humor. I had never opted in. I had never done even a free webinar at that point. I saw that Deepak and Oprah were doing a little free meditation thing. In this stop, I sat on my porch and drank some tea, “I’m going to do this. I’m going to do nothing. I’m not going to try or strive. I’m going to take a minute.” That’s what showed up. I was surfing on my phone and there were Deepak and Oprah. I was like, “Free meditation. I’ll do that because I’m going to take some time and re-center.” That led me to opt in. Reid Tracy over at Hay House was marketing something else to me that kept showing up on my computer. It was a program about selling.
I had found a mentor who opened my mind to this idea that if I don’t make an invitation, then I am leaving people high and dry. I began to build that bridge through seeing how much resistance. There’s this other piece about it for me. I was a television commercial actress in New York City. I could sell McDonald’s, which I don’t believe in. The army, which I don’t believe in. Pringles potato chips, I could go on and on; Pizza Hut, Sprint, AT&T, I was selling for them other people’s words, other people’s ideas to make a buck. I wasn’t doing it because it was a creative passion. I could do that for them and it was not an issue. When it came to selling and promoting myself and my work and my vision and the thing I’m here to bring through in the world, all of a sudden it feels terrifying.
Speaking of terrifying, we’ll call it the gap, this place. What do you see are the biggest belief mistakes or the biggest problems that others have around this misunderstanding of selling or overselling? The picture of the used car salesman with the fast-talking and all that stuff, speak to that a little bit, the big myth or misunderstanding around it.
When it’s our thing, our vision, our mission, our message, it feels personal and that that’s vulnerable. We tend to want to skip over and minimize that and say, “That shouldn’t be a big deal. It doesn’t matter. Don’t be scared.” The big mindset piece that happens is at the nitty-gritty, it’s the fear of rejection, fear of judgment, fear of not being good enough. Fear that somebody else has already said it better. Fear that we won’t say it perfectly. Fear that people will think ill of us because we say, “I have this thing I’m bringing through and I’d love to share it with you.” We also don’t know how to say it in a way that feels like an extension of the conversation. It feels scary to do that we might be clumsy about it or worried that we’re saying it in the wrong way or we’re going to offend somebody. The bottom line is people are going to judge us or think that we’re greedy or needy or selfish or all those different beliefs that we have around, “I have this thing and I would love for you to benefit from it.”
What is your reflection on the idea that this place that people live in sometimes is to a degree a lot of people who are people pleasers? In the market they want to serve, they want to coach, but given the opportunity you brought up, it will be easy for that type of person to promote a third party thing, whatever that thing is, but to promote their own thing is difficult. My observation is that shows up a lot from what I see in people. I’ve had a tendency to be a people pleaser for a lot of my life in business and it’s cost me. I’m curious your take on that.
In some ways that can be almost a tool and permission, maybe we can promote someone else we believe in order to find our own permission to promote it all. It’s because it’s personal. When it’s our thing and we care and it matters to us and also it’s the thing that we most want to do, we feel a little guilty. I’m a creative. I was a singer, a songwriter. Promoting, “Come to my gig. Come to my show,” felt narcissistic. People are going to think it’s all about me. The truth is that people were like, “I love your songs. I want to come to hear you,” but it feels vulnerable because we care and because we want it. We’re not supposed to work hard and do some other noble thing, not what we want to do. The truth is having the courage and permission to do what we want to do and bring it through and heal this block around selling it is such a gift to the world. It gives everybody else permission to do the same. That alignment piece helps us transform ourselves and our clients.
If you’re reading right now, do you want to get your gifts out to the world? Have you found yourself at a place where maybe you’re struggling with attachment? Maybe you’re struggling with taking it too personal whether people decide to move forward with you or not move forward with you. Have you bought some of the lies in the marketplace like, “Build it and they will come,” and you’re staring at crickets? Are you still looking at your cat and your dog as they’re your only real fans at this time? What if there was a simple way that you could shift the dial? Michelle, you’ve helped hundreds and hundreds of people. You help people gain more influence, become a leader, get more clients through voice, video, visibility and a whole lot more. With what you’ve seen with your clients, what are a couple simple strategies that most small business owners, most entrepreneurs who don’t see themselves as this big light in the world yet? They want to be that big light in the world. Maybe they feel they’re the world’s best kept secret and are saying to themselves, “If only more people knew who I was. I could help many more people.” What advice would you give them to get started to give themselves that gift of more visibility so they can have a bigger impact and serve more people?
One of the things that people do, if there’s a charge around being visible they might say, “I’m going to be visible,” and then they’ll go and do what I call scattershot visibility where they’re like, “I’m visible.” We have to remember that followers and fans aren’t clients. To find a way to get focused and my simple way to get focused is to, first of all, have an invitation that your visibility is leading to at all times. It doesn’t mean that you’re selling all the time. I like to recommend a 30 to 45-day window. What are you going to be offering in a few weeks or so? That structures your visibility so that it’s leading people somewhere. Having a mentor, a guide or a system to do that is super important and helpful. It’s the easy way. The short answer is to remember it’s not visibility for visibility’s sake, but it’s for visibility that’s leading one specific segment of your people towards a possible solution to the problems that they’re having. Keep that offer in mind in terms of not being visible for visibility’s sake but know where you’re headed with your visibility. Know where the conversation is going. Direct the conversation.Every great performance has a director. – Michelle Kopper Click To Tweet
Instead of scattershot visibility where you’re measuring likes or you’re measuring shares or you’re measuring comments.
You’re not measuring anything. You’re just getting out there.
They are vanity metrics instead of what moves the dial, in other words getting clients, the two are distinctly different. Unfortunately, there are a lot of experts who lead people down this wrong path of spinning an odometer of those things instead of focusing on how to serve their clients. The other thing is solving a problem for your client. What advice would you give to somebody? We met at an event and we have to give a shout out to Steve Olsher for New Media Summit and getting us connected, which is how we initially met. What advice do you give to people when they’re at a networking event and someone says, “What do you do?”
To practice that answer before you go to the networking event. Have you ever talked to people or do you know people who put the question back to them and position your answer in terms of who you serve? “Do you know people who struggle with visibility and have a big message that they want to get out in the world? They keep getting stumped or they’re not getting clients and success and having that to move forward in their business. I help them get a client,” so then you can answer that question. That’s what is important. You want to invest in whatever you need in order to get clear on what that answer is on who you serve and how you help and have that ready to go. The one thing that most people don’t do that I always do with my clients is to practice it out loud. Put it in your mouth. Put it in your voice. Practice it to the mirror even if you feel silly. If you’re going to be at the mic pitching, practice holding your pen and standing at the mic and practicing it out loud. I love to start with that question of, “Do you know those people who want to grow their business fast, but they feel they’ve plateaued at the $100,000-mark?” Whatever that thing that you do, putting that question out is a conversational way to answer that question. I work with many people who dread that question, “What do you do?”
They get into the fire hose mode of where they’re like, “What did I do?” People are freaked out by it.
They’re helping everybody. They’re like, “I help these people do this and I help these people do this,” and then they’re like, “I don’t have any idea what you do.” The other great question is to say, “What do you do?” You can customize your answer to see if you can potentially be of service to them.
What are one to three new breakthrough strategies either you’ve adopted in the work that you teach or that you’ve helped your clients install that are the needle movers? The things that have gotten the biggest impact with the maximum return on minimal effort.
Getting clear on that offer that you’re going to have so that you know where you’re headed. That’s a super important piece. The next thing that’s coming up for me is getting to a point where you trust yourself and you trust your message. You know where to find your words so that selling, marketing, promoting, writing emails, making social media posts, being on interviews, whatever it is you’re doing feels like doing what you’re here to do. It feels like your message and you can tap in and deliver and share that message because you know the words are going to be there. You trust yourself. You’ve done the market research so you know the value’s there. You know how to put it in the language of your clients and it becomes an embodied experience. It’s a little bit of a process. It goes faster with support and help, but when you can drop in and marketing, selling feels as good as your mission or your message or your purpose. There’s no distinction between those two things, that’s when it’s rocket fuel. The opportunities show up. The conversations happen. The next natural flow of the conversation is like, “I’d love to support you. Would you like to hear about working with me one-on-one?” It’s an easy thing.
As you’re reading this, would you like to live in that natural flow where you’re able to serve at a high level, if not the highest level of good for your clients? Michelle, you brought up the idea of a clear offer. What advice would you give for people to create or think about building their clear offer? I hear a lot of people struggling with this. In fact, our observation is the biggest reason most businesses struggle is they don’t have a good irresistible offer, if not a great irresistible offer. What are some advice or tips that you could give on creating a clear irresistible offer?
Every great performance has a director. Having a coach or a mentor or a system or process that you’re using to cultivate that offer and to clarify that offer is important. It’s important to make offers and see what works. Before any of that, you want to talk to your potential clients. You want to think about who do you love? Who do you want to work with? What feels the best? If you have clients already, who are your favorites? Be willing to pick those people for now and ask them, talk to them. What are their biggest challenges? What are their biggest pain points? What are their hopes and dreams and desires? Get them on the phone for a little bit and do that market research to find out what they’re looking for to get their language, their words and their top of mind problems. What are they looking for? You’re framing your offer, your gifts, your brilliance, the thing you’re meant to bring through language and results that they’re already looking for.If you hate your voice, you’re abandoning one of your most powerful and potent creative gifts. – Michelle Kopper Click To Tweet
As you’re reading, what would happen to you if you could get clear on your offer? If you knew your market in many ways better than they even knew it themselves and/or could articulate it themselves. What if you could trust that the words were going to show up? What is something I should have asked you about the work that you do, the impact that somebody can have with their voice or serving others that I hadn’t gotten a chance to ask you yet?
Why do I say voice? What is that about? What does voice mean to me? Why do I specifically talk about that?
Why voice? Why do you talk about that?
It’s part of my journey, part of my personal development and the development of those blocks and fears and limiting beliefs that we’re all struggling with when we’re expanding.
I want to ask this because you’ve made me think of something. What about the person that’s reading right now and they’re going, “I would do this but I’m shy or I don’t have a strong voice. When I hear my voice, it makes me cringe?” Speak to that.
If you hate your voice, you’re abandoning one of your most powerful and potent creative gifts. You don’t sound to others like you think you sound to yourself. We hear our voice inside our own head. It is innately different. It sounds deeper. It sounds different than it will ever sound outside of us so you can never know what the sound of your own voice is. Your message and your mission are more important than your fear, doubt, and insecurity around how you sound or what you think you say. The reason why I know this about voice is it’s been an integral part of my journey. I’ve studied a lot of spiritual transformation in order to have my own permission to heal it and with a lot of different teachers. It is inbred in all of the creation stories that you hear across the world is that sound is the beginning of manifestation. The aboriginals sing into creation, “I am the word and the word is God.” It’s in all these different traditions.
Think of the power and the creative power and what you could bring into creation through the power of your voice. I’m talking about the sensation and vibration, the physical voice that you have can heal. It can transform. It is the tool you have that gives goosebumps to your audience and your readers. It is in this day and age where everything can be fake. We can digital everything. You can have fake clips, fake videos, fake everything. Voiceover actors, it can all be fake. If you want to make a real change and bring your gift into the world, your physical voice, your face, your presence is the most powerful tool. You have to do it and it’s also a unique asset that no one else can have. It is a transformational tool.
If you never want to miss an episode, you can go to GrowthToFreedom.com/subscribe. Michelle’s given you a glance, a tip of the iceberg. If people want to go deeper with this, where can they go to learn more about you? All the incredible resources and tools you have available to help them get that voice out, to give themselves permission to get their gifts out into the world in an authentic, genuine way.
In that connected, inspired way where you’re tapping into that greatness that’s beyond you and bringing it through. I’d love to support them. Michelle@MichelleKopper.com is an email you can send. On my website, MichelleKopper.com, there is a fun quiz, a pretty powerful quiz, the Powerful Presence Profile. They could jump in and you can send me an email, find me on social media. There are a lot of places to find me.
I want to encourage you to go check out her site at MichelleKopper.com and take the quiz. It will give you some insights, some distinctions you probably hadn’t thought of. Whether you’re brand new, wanting maybe to get your voice out or you’re a seasoned veteran and you want to have a bigger impact and get to that next level. This quiz will give you some distinctions that will help you. Go check out what she’s doing on her website. She has a lot of other resources there as well that you’ll love. Michelle, what were you known for in high school?Your message and your mission are more important than your fear, doubt, and insecurity. – Michelle Kopper Click To Tweet
I was an outcast in high school. I was the party girl in high school. The theater and choir kept me in school, but I was pretty much an outcast for most of my high school years. I rallied the senior year by winning a local talent contest and getting to be a spokesman for the cherry industry for a year. I was the Cherry Sweetheart of 1985.
What were your responsibilities for the year being the Cherry Sweetheart?
I represented the cherry industry for four states. I went to Seattle and handed out cherries in Pike Place Market and crowned the winning horse in a horse race were my official duties. The girl the year before me got to represent the cherry industry in China. I got a bummer cherry crop, but it was a pretty exciting opportunity for me having been the bad girl, party girl to get to be the Cherry Sweetheart.
Can you remember back what your decision-making process was to decide to go for this?
That bad girl self is a cry for help place and I wanted to be accepted and I wanted them to see what I thought was inside of me. I wanted to prove myself and show them. It was a wonderful opportunity to embrace more of my own vulnerability and ability to show up and be a leader. I surprised myself even.
How old were you?
What advice would you give your seventeen-year-old self now knowing what you know?
You’re going to be there. You’re going to make it. You’re going to be okay. You are worthy simply because you exist and be kind to yourself. Be brave and ask for help when you need it. That’s what I would say to her. Mostly that she’s going to make it. She’s going to turn out fine and all is well in the kingdom. She has to trust her gifts. You do have gifts to bring and you’re going to find your way to share them.
Can you remember that time, whatever age you were, when you were inspired that you knew you were going to head in this direction of coaching and entrepreneurship?
I had a transition into working and choosing to be online and be an online leader specifically. I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I’ve never considered anything but a creative entrepreneur. I’ve had a lot of temp jobs and waitressing jobs and done that for sure, but I’ve always been a creative entrepreneur. I felt called to bring something great through, but a long journey of being withheld and terrorized and holding back and not trusting or believing in myself to do it. Choosing to be as visible as I am, have the presence that I do, to speak on stages, to do frequent lives and interviews and to serve on the biggest possible way was a decision that I made during that time. I got quiet and was like, “What am I not doing?”
I realized I was not fully walking my walk because I was helping other people to play bigger and be bigger and step into their own greatness. I was holding myself back. That was the beginning of another level of transformation and ownership. That’s what has allowed me to find my words and hone my message. Even on the days when I don’t feel like putting on my makeup, show up and put on my makeup if I feel I need it and share the message. That the message is more important than how I feel about it or whether I feel like it now. Self-care is important. I’m not saying to hustle and force yourself to show up and trust the message that has been the gift of all that.
What was your greatest inspiration as a kid?
I wanted to be a rock star. I wanted to be Pat Benatar is who I wanted to be. I thought that was going to be living the dream for me. I felt this calling from a young age. I have a distinct memory of being three or four and wanting to be an angel in the church Christmas play. Having that opportunity and the light’s coming up and being there with that heavenly host and about to sing with the angels and being too scared to do it. At that moment, meeting the friction that has made me into the person I am now. By feeling that calling to serve and to bring something big through to sing my song and yet being overcome with fear around being seen and heard at the same time, that was a pivotal moment. Sharing that message has been that feeling of being called by my higher power, my connection to God. That I’m here to serve and my courage and the fear that I transcend is what allows other people to transcend their own fear and their own limits. That’s my real purpose and calling. I’m inspired by my connection to spirit that way.
Thank you for sharing your gifts, your story, your heart, your vulnerability and singing your song and singing your message loudly. What action steps would you hope our viewers and our readers would take now as a result of our time?
Definitely go take that quiz and find out what might be slowing you down, standing in the way or stopping you from moving forward into your own greatness. I’d love for you to do that. Get the support you need to clarify your message and find a champion. Find somebody who will be your champion, who will see you, hear you and help you pull that message out of you. Get it honed and clarified and empower you. Help you cultivate your daring to step into your own greatness so that you can trust yourself and serve as many people as you can or want to.
We want to help you serve as many people as you can. Go take Michelle’s quiz. Find the support and a champion to help pull out the message, to cultivate your better you. To sing that song you deserve, to have an impact, to share your gifts with the world. You can go check out what she’s up to at her website. Take the quiz. Check out all her amazing resources. Michelle, thank you for being with us.
Thank you so much.
You’re welcome. I want to encourage you to take action with what Michelle has been sharing with you. Go out there. Realize that even if you’re nervous or even if you’re a little scared or a lot uncertain and you don’t know where to start. We all started in that same place and on the other side of that beginning is greatness. What Michelle will share with you, what the whole focus of our show is about, you’ve got permission to go make the difference you want to make. I encourage you to take action with what she shared. Go check out what she’s doing at MichelleKopper.com. Seize the day. Make it a great week. We’ll see you next time.
Michelle Kopper, a leading Voice, Video, & Visibility expert, has helped thousands of creatives, small business owners and entrepreneurs embrace self-promotion and selling as serving. Her unique method helps you find and free your aligned, authentic voice to unlock the power of your unique message and share it in the biggest possible way online, onstage and on camera. She’s the author of the book: Your Powerful Presence: How to Get Clients, Gain Influence & Become a Leader Online and CEO of The Inspired Voice Business Coaching. And she’s dedicated to helping creatives overcome self-limiting fears and unleashing the power of creative self-expression on the planet.