Today our guest is Deb Brown Maher, and we’re going to be talking with her about how you can sell with integrity. Deb is the President of Deb Brown Sales and author of Sell Like Jesus. She helps business owners and entrepreneurs change the way they sell from convincing a prospect they must buy to instead being of service.
Deb is passionate about helping people sell from a position of integrity. During the episode, Deb dives into her sales experience and touches on her strategy for selling better. She also shares why selling in service is more fulfilling and effective than trying to make a buck.
On this episode of the Live. Love. Engage. podcast:
- Deb’s journey to becoming a sales coach.
- How Deb landed her first experience in sales.
- Why Jesus is a good model for sales.
- Why it’s important to find out if you have the right solution for the buyer or not.
- The common trap a lot of salespeople continuously fall into.
- Useful questions to ask prospects in the initial stages of selling.
- Why it’s important to draw out your prospect’s needs.
- The common struggle Deb sees among her clients.
- Why most salespeople don’t follow up (and why they should).
- The best way to approach a discovery call.
- What it means to consciously break your own rules.
- Why Deb says God wired her with a love of color.
- The unique way Deb merges her love of both worship and painting.
- The pitfalls of a victim mentality.
- Why a shifting in perspective is powerful in life and in sales.
Connect with Deb Brown Maher
Deb’s website: https://debbrownsales.com/
- Join the Live. Love. Engage. Community
- Intuitive Business Coaching
- The Live. Love. Engage. Book
- Support the Podcast with BuyMeACoffee.com
You’re listening to the live love engage podcast on today’s show, we’re gonna be talking about how to sell from a position of integrity. Stay tuned.
I am Gloria Grace Rand, founder of the love method and author of the number one Amazon best seller live love, and engage how to stop doubting yourself and start being yourself. In this podcast, we share practical advice from a spiritual perspective on how to live fully love, deeply and engage authentically. So you can create a life and business with more impact, influence, and income. Welcome to live love, engage
Namaste and welcome to another addition of live love. Engage. I am delighted to be with you again today and to have a fabulous woman on the show who is, has a different approach to sales, unique perspective on how to approach sales, shall we say? And I first off wanna welcome Deb Brown Maher to live love, engage.
Thank you so much, Gloria. It’s great to be here.
Well, it is excellent to have you here. And, for those you who are not able to watch on YouTube, you’re, you’re gonna, those of you who are seeing have, have a clue already what we’re gonna be talking about. So I’m gonna, I’m gonna explain for those of you who are listening, um, who Deb Brown Maher is she is a sales coach, an author, and a speaker who helps business owners and solo entrepreneurs change the way they sell from convincing a prospect to buy, to being of service. And she is really passionate about helping people sell from a position of integrity. And she shares her methods in her book in video training course, which is called “Sell like Jesus – seven characteristics of Christ for ethical sales. And when I first met you, I saw that that said, what? That was the book you had written. I was like, okay, I’m intrigued right away. I definitely definitely wanna talk to this woman and find out more about that. But before we get to that, um, I wanna have you share with our listeners and our viewers a little bit about, um, your journey and how you came to become a sales coach.
Yes. So I got a degree in Latin American studies and undergrad degree, which I, although I spoke Spanish and thought I was going to work at the UN, I found out that you needed three languages minimum. Oh, Not just two. And I really didn’t wanna teach in the public school systems. So what the heck was I going to do for a living? Um, I ended up for about three years in a, um, teaching role with underprivileged youth where I taught them basic job skills. Um, and then I ended up running the customer service department for Nutrisystem weight loss centers.
And learned quite a bit about dealing with the public and customer service us in general, but it wasn’t where I wanted to stay. So, um, one of the owners of the company was for me and said, Deb, what do you wanna be when you grow up? And I said, well, I’d really like to be in training. And he said, well, in order to train here, really need to work the jobs. And one of them was sales. So that was my first experience. And Laurie, I have to be honest and say it was one of the hardest things. One of the most uncomfortable things that I ever had to do now as a kid, I had sold potholders that I made, I sold newspapers. I sold girl scout cookies, and I had no problem with that. Right. But now I was in a role where I was expected to use a script that was using high pressure tactics, Which fell icky, manipulative insulting, honestly. And I just couldn’t do it. So I, Hmm. Yeah, I did it as long as I needed to, to get the experience to go into the training department. Right. Right. Um, and I got a good foundation for teaching and training in that role, but once I left there, uh, my husband got a job in another city, so we moved, what was I going to do? Well, I ended up in another sales role this time selling computer and medical practice management software.
Oh my wow.
Yeah. So that was the time when I started studying, taking courses and learning from other people about how to sell in a way that didn’t use high. And that was the beginning of my journey to, um, which ultimately culminated in writing the books, uh, like Jesus.
Wow. Um, yeah, it’s interesting. Yes. I, I similar situation in a way, because I did, uh, as a kid, I think I did have like a lemonade stand or something, you know, when I was really, really little and then I did sell girl scout cookies and I sold, uh, I sold shampoo door-to-door in high school to raise money for a band trip. Now that, that, that was like, I think that was the one that kind of did it for me where I was like, I don’t wanna be in sales. You know, I was like, I do not wanna do this until I realized when I started my own company that, oh, that means you have to sell to people. Oops.
Right. Right. And actually you’re the target audience that I wrote for small business owners who have to sell, but hate to sell because of the negative stigma.
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. We, you know, we all know that the stereotype of the, you know, the car car salesman and, and all of that, which has really helped not to mention other, other folks out there, you know, even, and even television sales and things it’s, it’s, it really has gotten to be, um, a bad way about it. So let’s, let’s dive into the book a little bit and share with me, uh, a little bit of what are some of the characteristics that, um, that makes Jesus, I guess, a good salesperson or, or, or good a model for us to emulate. Right.
I would say in general, Jesus was all about building relationships and restoring us to relationship with God. The father. So sales is really at its relationship building when it’s done from the perspective of being of service. If I am in selfish mode and I’m just trying to meet my numbers, get paid, make a buck. And I really don’t care about you as the buyer, then that selfish way is going to come across to the buyer. If instead I put the buyer first and I try to understand them their needs, their expectations, their wants, their hopes, their dreams, depending on what it is that you’re selling. Right. Understand them. What happens is in that process of asking questions, to understand them, we are building a relationship. They hear through my questions that I care that I’m listening, that they matter. And in that dialogue, we can figure out whether I have the right solution for them or not. And if I don’t, we still have a good connection, which means if things change in the future, they’ll feel comfortable coming back to me, or they might know somebody that I could help and they’ll refer me. So I think a lot of salespeople fall into the trap of short term thinking instead of long term relationships are a long term deal when they’re done. Right. And so if you’re thinking long term, if you make this sale, that’s great. But it isn’t the only objective for connecting that changes how the other person perceives you.
Yeah, absolutely. Can you give us an example, maybe of a couple of questions that, uh, someone should ask a prospect, you know, in that developing that Congress and developing that relationship?
Sure. So first off when someone says, because it’s my world, I’ll just coaching. When someone says, Deb, I wanna talk to you about sales, coaching, traditional sales, would I say, oh, that’s great. I do this. And I do that. And I do the other, and I’ve got this, that and the other, and I’ve lost them because it’s all about me. So instead from the get, go, thank you for asking, what is it that prompt a you to ask about sales coaching at this particular time? So right there, I’m asking an open ended question to start to hear their story and whatever they respond. I’m going to listen for the keywords, the key element of what they’re saying. And I’m going to ask another question based on those words, And that will take us deeper into their story, their concerns, what they’re looking for, the challenges they’ve had fulfilling this need and that process of putting them first caring more about them and hearing from them than telling all about myself,
That builds trust.
And it takes us where we want to go quickly, efficiently, effectively, and re respectfully.
Yeah. I like that. Um, are for, is, is there like a common concern that they have that they they’re really like? You know, I, I, I really need help. Can you help me with X, Y, Z? What, what, what is that?
So there’s one common, uh, problem that I hear a lot and there’s one common skill deficiency that I see, but most people are totally unaware of. Mm. So we’ll start with the question that often brings people for coaching and sales. How do I get people to stop asking for a, mm I’ve already priced my products fairly. I get so mad. I can’t lower my price anymore than I already have. Mm. So it’s that constant pressure to give a deal because the world has taught us. If you don’t ask you, don’t,
Everybody’s always discounting. So there must be a discount. Right? So, so that’s the problem that brings a lot of people to my door. Mm. The skillset that is missing pretty much, I would say 80% of the time is having a structured approach to selling mm. People sell by the seat of their pants, and they’re not methodical. Therefore they’re missing key opportunities and they’re making mistakes. They don’t have to make. Mm. So that structured approach is something that most people don’t realize is missing until we talk a little while
Now, is that When you say structured, is that like having perhaps like a, maybe not necessarily a script, but sort of an outline of like, what questions to ask and then, and then maybe even, especially for like, so printers, um, different options of, of products that they can offer to someone they’re talking to.
Yeah. So there are some key steps to the sales process, which include when you are engaged with someone. Okay. Cause we’ve got and backend, right? When you’re engaging with someone you want to always set expectations, then dialogue about the problem. First exploring the problem that they have and the pain it’s causing them, the budget that they have to take care of that problem and their decision making process, how they’re gonna make the decision to move forward, to take of the, and then there’s a presentation and a delivery. So at the front end, you have preparation in the preparation. You wanna learn anything you can about the person or their company ahead of time. And the internet makes that very possible to do these days, right. Even just understanding their industry and the kinds of challenges the industry has is helpful. Um, also as you do your research, listing out some potential questions to ask based on what you’re learning and on trying to uncover potential areas, that they may have a challenge that you would be able to fulfill, um, on the back end, if they don’t buy immediately, then you’ve got the follow up process.
And Gloria, can I tell you most salespeople don’t follow up at all because they don’t wanna be a bother or they only follow up once. And the statistics say it takes five to seven follow up before someone buys.
So how much business is being left on the table?
Yeah. Yes. I’ve heard this expression a lot over the years of by being in business. But if you haven’t heard it before, take note of it. Now, the fortune is in the follow up. That’s where it is. You have to stay in contact with people. I’ve I stayed in contact with someone who I had talked to about a V I P day. And it was a whole nother year before she came back to me and said, you know what, now I’m ready. I wasn’t ready then, but now I am. But if I hadn’t stayed in contact with her through emails and you know, then she probably would’ve forgotten all about me. And she would’ve found somebody else,
Faculty. Yes. And so I talk about that structure for the sales process. There’s also a whole follow up process that you can put into place and there are different ways, but they start with, and here’s where we can take the pressure off of,
Everybody feels like I’m being a bother. I don’t wanna annoy. I, I don’t wanna follow up too soon. I don’t wanna be too late and therefore nothing gets done. Right.
So analysis paralysis. Yeah. So here’s the simple way to solve that. Ask the prospect. When would you like me to follow up with you and don’t leave it? Just there, get them to be specific. Oh, follow up with me in a couple of weeks. So get the calendar out. So couple of weeks that would put us to this week, do you think that would be, oh no. Do it the next week. Okay. Which day is better and what time it’s best. And would you want me to call or email now when I do that follow up, what should I be asking you?
And I get them to write my follow up script. So now I’m not bothering them. I’m doing exactly what they ask me to do. I’m asking them exactly what they want me to talk about. And there’s no pressure I’m fulfilling the expectation. And oh, by the way, when I do what I said I would do when I said I would do it, just the very act of doing the follow up, I’ve built trust. Right.
I’ve shown integrity. I’m a person of my word. I do what I say. Right. So all of that goodness comes out of being methodical about how you conduct the follow up. Mm,
Yes, absolutely. Yeah. It’s so important to have systems in place. Um, for sure. Cuz I have definitely learned that let the hard way. And I think one of the other things that people, uh, or, well, certainly a mistake that I made early on and you probably have dealt with this as well is oftentimes, uh, especially other coaches, they conduct like discovery calls with clients and then they wind up giving them all of the information about how to solve their problem. And then they wonder why they’re not getting hired to do the job.
It’s you need to talk about the what not the how
The, what is that discovery conversation, the, how they have to pay for,
Right. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. That’s that was a lesson, good lesson I had to learn. And, and it’s, it’s, it seems so simple now, but I think the problem, a lot of, um, business owners, especially really heart centered business owners, you know, we, we come for place of service. We wanna be able to help and we wanna solve their problem. And then we, we kind of forget that, oh yeah, that, that was kind of the point You make a really good point and, and a lot of coaches are mercy hard and we just wanna help people.
And, oh gosh, if we get paid, it’s like a, I get paid to do what I love to do. Huh. And that can easily bankrupt you. So there has to be a balance and it’s really helpful to have some guidelines for yourself of just what you will share at no cost And what people only get when they have a contract with you.
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. That’s and that’s good. And that’s where that preparation comes from. I, you know, just to spend some time really thinking about that and, and really having a plan in place so that yeah. So that, that way you can be of service to someone in the moment if they need it, but then you can still be of service to yourself.
Exactly. Yes. Um, because if we don’t take care of ourselves yeah, yeah. We won’t be able to be there for anybody.
And, and you alluded to it, but I’ll put an exclamation mark on it. We can break our own rules, but we need to do it consciously And I’ll give an example. Yeah. Um, I would, I had someone referred to me and in a aspirate situation, unemployed, bankrupt. Right. And I made a choice to coach this person at no charge. And during the third meeting, they said to me, I have to find a way to pay you. I can manage a hundred dollars. How do I get that to you? Mm. And I gracefully accepted the pain. Yeah. Right.
Yeah. Yeah. So there are exceptions and, but we need to make them consciously, not because of some kind of weakness that we don’t wanna stand our ground to ask for money. That can be a issue.
Yeah, absolutely. Now I, I know why it’s important to have accepted that money, but can you maybe explain a little bit more detail? Why, why you did, did decide to say yes. Okay. I will accept that payment from that person
Because it was offered freely. And if I had declined it, it would’ve been an insult.
Thank you. Yep. Okay. Exactly. Yeah. That’s I make that point in my book. So I just wanted to you’ve like minded we’re on the same chart. Yes. Yeah, absolutely.
And it’s also a what’s what’s the term to feel like this person was pulling their own weight.
Mm yeah, yeah, yeah. You’re, you’re empowering them really. I think yeah. To be able to, to you’re helping them feel that they can now stand on their own two feet and be able to contribute to
Yes. So stand on their own two feet and also for them to honor me. Yeah.
With Right. So
All of those things were all wrapped together.
Yeah. That’s so important. Um, um, what do you think if you could make, do anything I would say to be able to make, um, make the sales process even better than, than you have right now, what, what would you do?
Hmm. Let’s see. Wow. That’s that I could bunch of different directions There.
Cause I’m thinking on, on the basic level, I would make sure to use the structure as is every time because tendency is to get familiar and to skip, to, or to read into a situation or a relationship and get lazy, get lax. And I know for certain that when I follow the structure, I get the best possible result. When I skip parts of the structure, I sometimes get a good result, but not a hundred percent of the time.
And I’m go, when I teach something, I teach it because it works a hundred percent of the, now that doesn’t mean you make every sale a hundred percent of the
It means that you preserve the relationship, you get the information that you need, you give the information that they need. So all the components work when you use the mm. And human nature is to abort the structure.
Absolutely. Yeah. That’s true. Um, I wanna change gears just a little bit and just talk about, um, a little bit about your personal interests, because again, for those of you who are listening, you won’t ha you’re gonna have to go to YouTube and check out the replay of this. That’s what I’m gonna say. Because behind Deb, in her office, she has the most beautiful artwork, especially a lovely painting of hearts, so different, different colors. And I understand that this is your artwork. So what, um, has this always been a passion of the yours or something you developed late? Uh, tell us a little bit about that.
Sure. Actually from the time I was four years old, I was drawing rainbows since I got my first set of crayons. I learned the rainbow how to do it in order. And I rainbows because I’ve always loved color and God wired me with a love of color. When I think about color, I salivate, I know that sounds really weird, but it’s, um, it just touches my hearts. And so as a child, um, because I was one of those kids that needed things to do, cause I was kind of, you know, all over the place. My parents gave me art lessons from the time I was six.
Wow. How lovely
I went to this lovely home, um, Mrs. Shafer’s attic. So the, she had her at decked out with all sorts of, um, cans and bottles and clay jars and, um, magazines and old cards, things that people could practice drawing. Right. And I would go, I started out at six for an hour every Saturday. By the time time I was nine or 10, I was going for three hours every Saturday.
And I went for lessons for eight or 10 years. So I learned all of the, the basics of composition color, shading perspective with Mrs. Shafer. And then again, um, in the year 2000, my husband gifted me, uh, for Christmas art lessons at the Harrisburg art association. I live near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. So I took lessons as an adult for 10 years.
Now my original love is watercolor, but photo realistic watercolor. Yeah. But about, it was 2009. I realized that two of my love, so I’m, I’m a Christ follower. I am past about the Lord and my faith. I love worship. Um, I realized the two, my artistic talent and my love of worship could blend together. So I now paint using acrylics during worship at church.
So I start with a blank canvas and I seek the holy spirit to see what he wants to be made manifest in that particular meeting. And then it’s, it’s almost the way, the best way I can describe it is it’s paint by numbers by home spirit, because you’ll say, start with purple, okay. Use this brush, start in the upper luck. And as I go, the image evolves and it comes forth. So it’s very much a discovery process for me, as well as the audience. I think maybe six times in the last 11 years, I’ve had some idea what I was painting before I started. But usually it’s a blank canvas and I’m in prayer and what comes is what I paint. Oh,
How wonderful that is. Oh, I, I, what a blessing to be able to do something like that and to be able to yeah. You know, it’s, I, I, I think sometimes these things are like gifts from God. And so it’s another way for you to kind of give back, um, and to be shared with others. I love that.
Yes. Yes. I, I was so thrilled just recently. Um, I painted a picture of a cross, but it was super imposed over gates and it references the scripture and the gates of hell will not prevail against the church. And I was so excited that, um, one of the people that showed interest in it was recently widowed. And I was able to say to her, you just asked the Lord what you think you should paint me and I’ll accept whatever it’s. And so the painting went home with her and it just thrilled me to be able to bless her and just minister to her through that painting. Mm
That’s a love line. Um, I was gonna ask you before, um, you know, like, what is your, the favorite thing you enjoy about coaching? And, and I guess I still will, but I wonder is, you know, do cause these are two radically different disciplines that you’re doing. Do you, do you prefer one over the other or, or is it it’s just that it fills different parts of your soul kind of helps?
That’s a great question. The same skill that an enables me to be good at coaching also enables me to do the painting as I do it because I’m able to process information real time. And so this ties in with my deep love and that is to see people heal.
And when someone is struggling, challenged, having problems with sales, it’s affecting their business, it’s affecting their livelihood, it’s affecting their life. And so if I can help them discover what’s the real problem, then equip them to overcome that, oh, my work, there’s nothing that thrills me more. And then to see someone get past those obstacles so they can be successful because Gloria, I know you’ve seen this too. People usually have what they need already. Yes. There’s something blocking their ability to put action. So if you can deal with that root cause then they are free to use what they know to learn more, to step out, to be bold, take the risks that they were afraid to do before and get the results that were there all along. But they were covered up and piled on and yeah,
Yeah, absolutely. Ah, awesome. Um, I haven’t been enjoying this conversation so much and I don’t want it to end quite yet because I wanna ask you, is there anything I should have asked you about sales or even art for that matter or God or anything. Um, but I didn’t, anything else you’d like to share?
So I’m, it’s always a challenge to me to convey the shift of perspective that is possible for all of us. Whenever I run into someone who is living the life of a victim. Mm. Sometimes life circumstances, let’s just face it. Yeah. You’re a victim of circumstances. Right. And yet there’s still a choice in how you want to respond. Mm. I, I wish I could quickly help people see that they have the power to make a different choice. That victimhood is not, uh, signed for life. You can change it like that by shifting your perspective and I’ve done it. I’ve had to do it. You know, personally, I went through the tragedy of losing a husband, but we were together 25 years.
And we have no children. So it, it was him and me. Oh, he was my family. Yeah. So the, that devastating loss, I, I was a victim. Hmm.
But every day I chose to fight to get back to center. I knew I was out of sorts. I knew I had to go through that grieving process. I, I hated it, but I was ineffective to change it. I had to walk it out. But every day I made a choice to live. I made choice to give, I made a choice to do something positive towards the future that I didn’t know what it held yet. So I don’t say it lightly. Uh, I know the challenge. I know how difficult it is and it be done.
Absolutely. Yes, absolutely. Yeah. It’s, it’s amazing because when you are in the throes of it, sometimes it seems like, am I ever gonna feel better? It’s like, right. And then all of a sudden, one day you realize that I do feel better. Holy smokes. Wow.
Shifted. Yeah, absolutely. Oh, well, I am sorry for your loss and glad that you did come out the other side and are shining brightly in the world and, and shining colorfully in the world too.
I will mention that’s why the two last names. So I was Deb brown forever and had to keep that and Mary Charles Maher so
Very nice. It’s nice that you have honored him and continue to honor him by keeping his name. So that’s awesome. Um, I guess the last thing I wanna check in with you is if someone is listening to you and says, oh, I really need your help with sales. How do I get a hold of Deb? Where’s the best place for people to reach out to you?
Yeah. The easiest thing to do is go to my website, which is Deb brown sales.com. And there are all sorts of resources. There. There’s a link to get on my email list. There’s a link to sign up for a phone call or a zoom meeting just to talk. So I invite, I love having conversations like this one, this has been great and I invite people to connect.
Awesome. Well, I will be sure and have that in the show notes for anyone listening, who doesn’t have a pen handy. So not to worry, you’ll be able to do that. So thank you so much. This was a really lovely conversation. I’m so glad we had a chance to chat and I, uh, wish you continued success. Uh, and in helping people, uh, with, you know, having more sales conversations that are coming from integrity and not the hard pressure type of conversations that don’t do anybody any good, either one. So continue your good work and good luck with the book and hope you’re doing well. And, oh, well, how can people, if people wanna get your book, is that available like on Amazon or something?
Also through my website or through Amazon, it’s available Kindle and paper back on Amazon. And if people want an author signed book, you can get it through the website.
All right. Very good. Okay. There you go. Well, well thank you again for being here and I really appreciate it. And for all those of you out there, listening and watching on YouTube, I appreciate all of you as well and continue to, uh, up you’ll if you have any comments or considerations, you know, definitely let us know. In fact, if you ever wanna have a chat with me, you can always go to engage with gloria.com and, and set up a time. And I’d love to have a chat with you and make sure that you’re subscribed and tell your friends about the show, you know, lovely as well. So until next time, as always, I encourage you to go out today and every day and live fully love, deeply and engage authentically.
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