The Sneaky Steep Costs of Shame Selling

Have you heard of or experienced shame selling?

  • It’s not new but it seems to be most popular in the online coaching/consulting space and has far reaching negative effects on results for both people involved.
  • It focuses heavily on “the cost of inaction” – vividly painting just how bad your life will be if you don’t solve this problem.

Also known as “bridging the gap” or “holding up a mirror to your prospect.” 

  • There’s one very well known mastermind in particular that was even borderline threatening members they would lose their friends/contacts if they didn’t renew with them.
  • It really pissed everyone off, understandably, didn’t result in many sales and burned people so badly they will never be back.
  • And the ultimate shame selling tactic boils down to “if you don’t move forward then you’re not serious about whatever you said your goals are – you’re lying”
  • As if there’s not another option that can solve your problem and they’re the only ones.

It’s funny because when doing b2b sales in corporate or owning my own ad agency I had never encountered this strategy before.

If you talked to an executive at a company or any kind of B2B sale and told them “they weren’t serious about their success if they didn’t work with you” – I imagine they would laugh at you and tell you to get out.

Because they know they can just work with a different service provider.

Let’s be real – there are always other options to solve problems.

  • The conversation should be uncovering why you’re the BEST solution for THAT specific person’s situation – and being genuine about uncovering if it’s a fit.
  • If you’re just selling anyone you can for the sake of making a sale – you’re going to end up with a lot of people who aren’t a good fit in your program/service.

And they’re going to be pissed.

Because they won’t get results.

They’ll tell other people and that can be a real business killer when it starts to spread.

And it all could have been easily avoided if the salesperson simply focused on whether the other person could actually get results with them or not.

With clear filtering out of the people who wouldn’t.

Filtering criteria beyond “we don’t work well with people who aren’t action takers, decision makers, or people who believe in themselves and are coachable” – which isn’t a real criteria.

That is criteria created to shame someone into buying…as if the only people who say no to them are people who don’t believe in themselves and are lazy or indecisive ::cue eye roll::

Filtering criteria should be designed with the other person’s best interests in mind – which ultimately benefits you as well.

  • For example, someone shouldn’t start doing a bunch of paid ads if they don’t have a clear, proven offer and marketing – because they won’t get results.
  • Not investing in paid ads at that stage of their business doesn’t make them “not serious about their success.”

That’s like a general practitioner telling someone with an ear, nose and throat issue that if they seek out an ENT specialist instead of a GP, they “don’t care about their health.”

  • Another example is I can get people more sales in 30 days if you already have sales meetings – not if you need lead generation first.
  • If I’m not clear about that and shame someone into working with me who needs to work on lead gen first, then it could feel like delayed results and disappointment to them.
  • Now if you really want to work with anyone (not just those who get best results, fastest with you), then at least manage those expectations on the front end.

Letting someone know – this will take longer, this will help but you’ll still need to do more work, you won’t be able to get as much out of this – and them raising their hand anyway is an agreement.

“If you’re okay with it, I’m okay with it!”

Letting them know they’re not a fit benefits YOU as well – your confidence, profits, referrals, reputation and less stress on you having to support people who should have never signed up anyway.

When you’re only goal is a sale no matter what, you’re taking away the prospect’s ability to choose to move forward even if it’s not a perfect fit.

And when you take it even further by manipulating them into buying regardless of their best interests? It never ends well.

Customers will be confused, lost, in complete self doubt, resentful, resistant and huge time and energy drain for you in fulfillment.

There will be increased refunds, more required of your support, bad reviews.

And at this point, it’s so crowded with this in the coaching/consultant space it’s having negative effects on the industry as a whole 🙁

People don’t know who to trust and become more skeptical and hesitant to get the help they need because of how many times they’ve been burned.

And the people who can REALLY help them – usually think they’re “not good at sales” because they’re uncomfortable with shaming at all costs to get a sale, regardless of fit…

…the ONLY strategy they’ve been told works.

If you’re main reason for thinking “your bad at sales” is that you don’t want to be manipulative, pushy and aggressive then let me assure you – you’re actually probably BETTER at sales.

Because subtle selling will outsell shame selling 2 to 1.

If you’re feeling uncomfortable and lost with shame selling – I promise there’s an alternative that feels natural to you AND you will sell so much more with it!

That’s what we do in my 6 month Matchmaker Seller Method Mentorship™ – create a customized sales process that predictably wins business for YOUR personality, service and audience.

Together we’ll:

  • Flesh out questions that establish you as an authority instead of “digging into pain”
  • Customize how to effectively handle objections specific to you
  • Learn how to elegantly pitch weave (the ultimate subtle selling tool!),
  • Tweak your marketing and pre-call process
  • Create a sales process that’s a conversational EXCHANGE – (much less energetically draining for introverts!) – and consistently signs up to 8 out of 10 people you talk to.

If you’re a soleopreneur who sells something $3,000+ and you want an alternative approach to sales that wins MORE business than pressure, paint, pitching or pretending to be someone else…

…then please book a call to see if it’s a fit for your specific situation (no sales call required – can be a text only conversation if that’s more comfortable for you!)


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