223 Mary Shores: The Power of Words for Profit
Mary Shores put a multiplier on her business growth when she discovered the power of words to plant the seeds of positive outcome. Author of Conscious Communications, Mary credits her “Do Not Say” list with rapid growth for her collections agency to a $40 million business, and shares practical tips you can implement right away in how you and your team members speak that spell the difference between profit and loss.
Melinda Wittstock: Mary, welcome to Wings.
Mary Shores: My pleasure to be here. Once again, Melinda, it’s always an exciting day when I know I get to talk to you.
Melinda Wittstock: I know. It’s wonderful. I remember when we were talking back at episode 124 that you would have to come on again and so here you are and I’m so excited. And also so thrilled that you are part of the Wings of Success Inner Circle community where you gave the most amazing talk that honestly everybody needs to watch because how we show up, what we say, the words we use as we’re communicating in business can really change the game for us in business. I really want to get into this today on the podcast. It helped you scale a business well into the high eight figures and so tell me a little-bit about the way we should be communicating in business to change the game?
Mary Shores: You know, thank you so much for that. That’s really a great way to introduce this topic because I think that we’re so focused on growing our business. We’re so focused on being entrepreneurs. We’re so focused on those foundational pieces, that sometimes we can lose sight on one of the things that I think should be at the top of the list of importance, which is creating long-term lasting connections, building rapport and trust with other people.
How do you do that? Especially in this culture that we have where we’re working with people globally. We’re working with people internationally and there’s that feeling sometimes when you work with someone new, you don’t know if you can trust them. Well, believe it or not, there’s specific language that we can use that will absolutely work to build connection. I call this the communication code and I have been working on this for over 15 years and have used it in my business, but not only that, I have transformed thousands of other businesses using this exact same method. And so I am super excited to share … in fact, Melinda, I want to actually get in detail today.
We’re not just going to talk about the what. We’re going to talk about the how. So that your listeners can walk away from this show today and actually try some of these things for themselves.
Melinda Wittstock: I love that. Well let’s just dive right in.
Mary Shores: Great. So the communication code really begins with this basic foundational principle of understanding that everything you say, everything you do, every word that comes out of your mouth, every action you take, and every choice you make in those smallest moments of life are either working to create a deeper connection or working to cause a disconnection.
So think about this in your communications. That everything you say is either creating a deeper connection with your client or your customer or your co-workers or even your significant other and your children or it’s causing a disconnection. In the book Conscious Communications, which is my best-selling book that I published with Hay House, this is actually Chapter five. It’s called Cleanse or Clog. And so we actually talked about cleanse or clog, I believe, in episode 124. So if people want to know more about that concept, I’ll let them go back to 124 because today I want to talk about the specific steps of what are the rules and what are the steps of the communication code?
So it starts with there are actually three rules to this code. The first rule is that we have a Do Not Say list. We have a Do Not Say list because we have found or I specifically have found through my decades of research that certain words are going to trigger a negative response in the human nervous system. When you trigger a negative response by using negative words, what you’re doing is you’re planting a seed of a negative outcome.
And more importantly than even just planting that seed, you’re actually creating a negative stigma or a negative association between that person and your company, product, or service. So the words are: no, not, can’t, won’t, however, and unfortunately. And really any variation of those words. Now, I know this is a little-bit hard to hear in the beginning and you might think to yourself, I don’t know how to run my business without saying no because sometimes the answer is no, but if you stick with me, I’ll definitely … I can reassure you that the second rule of this process is we want to replace these negative words with words that actually do work to build rapport and connection.
So going back to … for just a second on those negative words, it’s understanding that you have to kind of [inaudible 00:05:41] yourself, Melinda. Think about the last time that you had a really frustrating experience with customer service. Do you have one?
Melinda Wittstock: Oh gosh. Yeah, sure. Of course, I do. And usually it is this. You feel like there’s obstruction at every … like all the reasons why they can’t help you. So it feels like wall, after wall, after wall and when confronted with that, I know the reaction I start to get, right? I get frustrated.
Mary Shores: You get so frustrated.
Melinda Wittstock: And you get more and more kind of potentially irate and then obviously that’s not going to be great for the person on the other end of that anyway, right? And so-[crosstalk 00:06:27]
Mary Shores: And then don’t you-[crosstalk 00:06:27]
Melinda Wittstock: All of that-[crosstalk 00:06:29]
Mary Shores: Those are the conversations that you tend to remember. Like, two, three, four, 20 years later. Do you know what I mean? Those really bad customer service experiences, they stay with you because our bodies are like libraries and they store everything that ever happens to us, so that’s how we can get a bad taste in our mouth.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, where we get triggered. Because you’re those-[crosstalk 00:06:52]
Mary Shores: Yes, we get those triggers-[crosstalk 00:06:53]
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, so we hear those words and this is something that was really interesting and what you said, this idea of a negative word planting the seed of a negative experience because it’s happened to us so many times before and it’s kind of in our collective unconscious even. It’s like our bodies prepare. It’s like you hear the however or the but, and you know something bad is coming. So you kind of like tense for that. Is that what’s happening, like physiologically?
Mary Shores: Absolutely. And you have just pinpointed to the key exactly the reason why these words are so important to eliminate from your language in business communications. Whether that be that you’re speaking to someone in person, over the phone, or on email. In fact, email sometimes can be the easiest way to learn how to use the communication code. So you described it perfectly.
You know, number one, as soon as you hear one of those words that, first of all, your needs will not be met and when we feel like our needs are not going to be met, we go into this fight or flight mode. So the other thing that you said, which is absolutely perfect, is you might get irrational. The reason that you’re becoming irrational is because our fight or flight portion of our brain, so to speak, it’s not that simple, but for today it is, is not capable of being in both fight or flight and being in the rational thinking center of the brain. You cannot both be … you can’t be in both places at once. You could only be in one or the other. And so a lot of times I’ll refer to this as the moment you trigger someone in that frequency scale of emotions and they have tipped into that fight or flight, they’ve put their boxing gloves on. They’re ready to beat you down, okay?
So we all know what it feels like when we have a client that’s attacking us, right? We think a lot of times it’s that person. We don’t really want to maybe look in the mirror and wonder what we said to trigger that person. We think the other person is unreasonable. And being unreasonable is actually a symptom that someone is in fight or flight. So you have to re-frame your thinking a little-bit and instead of looking at someone as being a problem or being a vampire client or being unreasonable, you have to look at them and say, “This person’s behavior is irrational. They are in fight or flight.”
Melinda Wittstock: This is so important in all aspects of life. Looking at where we can take responsibility for our own actions, but moreover see our own shadows. This is hard. It’s so easy to externalize and blame other people, but the root of it … we’re all in this together. And so, stepping up and like oh my God, did I just say something in my language that I was totally unconscious of that might have caused this to happen? What an interesting question.
I wonder. You know, I look back on my life and I think, “God, how many times did I communicate in a way that was not in line with your communication code, Mary? And how different outcomes may have been.”
Mary Shores: Well, you know, listen, I think, sometimes in life we teach other people what we need to know most ourselves and so I came by this code, developed it all in the laboratory of my own company, which is a debt collection agency. I mean, can you think of more tense conversations than that?
Melinda Wittstock: I know. Every time I talk with you and I think, “Wow. A debt collection agency and all your words are positive.”
Mary Shores: Absolutely, because our mission is that we want people to feel good about paying a debt because having a debt is a psychological burden. And so sometimes in business situations, in communication situations, before the phone call is even made, your client might actually be anticipating some negativity. And so that means they’re even coming into the conversation already a tiny bit triggered. So the way that you handle that is going to … like I said, it’s either going to create a connection or a disconnection. There is actually no in between. It’s one or the other.
I have found that by eliminating these negative words, which does take some practice to do, and it’s not that we’re lying to people and it’s not that we’re giving them everything that we want. It’s that we’re using a set of code, we’re using a language. Rule number two is replace these negative words with words that will actually work to create that connection and deeper rapport. And so these are words like, you know I want to assure you that we’re going to find a solution.
So this next part is really about planting that seed of a positive outcome. It’s not that we’re just going to give in and give them everything that they want. It’s not about that at all. It’s about communicating your solution without them being triggered because you know what? They can’t hear your solution. They can’t move on emotionally if they are triggered. Okay? So we want to not trigger someone. That step two is just really super simple. It’s a … excuse me, I keep staying step. It’s rule number two. It is all about just planting a positive seed with words that are going to activate the parasympathetic nervous system.
So what’s really super interesting about the parasympathetic nervous system, Melinda, is like just like I asked you about a customer service experience. Tell me a time in your life … I want you to go back to when you were a child, that you were going to some holiday parties with your family. Whether it’s summer, winter, doesn’t matter, but a time where the family gathered and tell me what was your favorite dish at this family gathering?
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, my goodness. My mind immediately went to Christmas and there used to be so many amazing desserts. There was this one that my Mom made and she didn’t usually cook, but this was one thing that actually she could cook. She made this thing with rice and fresh whipped cream, whipping cream and maple syrup. It’s an odd dish. I’ve never seen it anywhere else in the world. It’s her own thing. I used to love that as a kid. I used to get really excited because we got to have it only at Christmas.
Mary Shores: Yeah, and then let me ask you just a few questions about this magical whipped cream rice and maple syrup.
Melinda Wittstock: I know, right? It’s actually really delicious. It’s the biggest calorie bomb in the history of mankind, right? But, you know, whatever. It was great as a kid. I loved it.
Mary Shores: So did anyone else ever try to make that dessert?
Melinda Wittstock: No, I’ve never known anyone before or since. She had a magical way of doing it. I tried to make it once. I can’t. I don’t know what she did. So, yeah.
Mary Shores: So here’s an interesting phenomenon and what my research shows is that it’s actually not so much the dish that’s magical, but it’s your feelings, your emotional connection to that dish. Because it was Christmas, because it was this special thing that your Mom made, because she hardly ever cooked, but she made an effort to cook during that particular event. All the cousins, all the playing, all the anticipation of the Christmas gifts the next day. This is … again, our bodies are like libraries. They’re storing everything that has ever happened to us.
And so I always love talking about this during my workshops because what I want you to understand is that magical connection you have to this whipped rice maple syrup concoction is … it’s an emotional connection. Okay? Because I’ve got to be honest, it doesn’t sound that good. Right?
Melinda Wittstock: No, it sounds awful actually. It’s really funny. It came out of my mouth and I’m thinking, “Oh my God, people are going to think I am just really weird for liking that”, but actually it’s good. It was good. I don’t know.
Mary Shores: And I believe you.
Melinda Wittstock: Maybe if I had it now it wouldn’t taste as good as it did when I was a kid, right.
Mary Shores: No, it absolutely would. You know why? Because the moment that you anticipate that, you’re actually re-creating all the same neurochemicals in your body as you had when you were a kid. And all of those chemicals have everything to do with those games you were playing. It has everything to do with all of those special feelings. And if you think for a moment that companies like Harley-Davidson, Apple Computers haven’t figured this out, I mean, think about it. Is there a … do you know any Harley riders that are not absolutely dedicated to being Harley riders? And wearing clothing with that brand and tattooing their bodies with it.
Melinda Wittstock: I heard Sally Hogshead speak not so long ago, and she has this whole system for how the world sees you, and she’s … you know, her advertising, copywriting, is in the Smithsonian. You know, she’s one of the world renowned advertising copywriters, and she was telling this story about Jägermeister, you know? And just the feeling … it tastes awful, but it’s actually the fact that it tastes awful is what makes people really love it.
Mary Shores: You know, it’s interesting, talking about Jägermeister, because I remember … like, when I got a little older in life, maybe in my 30s, occasionally I’d be with a friend or something and, say, oh, like maybe we’re out celebrating, and they might say, “Well, I’m not drinking such-and-such.” Whatever that might be. For someone, it might be tequila, for another person it might be whiskey.
But if they had a bad experience, maybe because they had too much of that drink when they were in college, they’ll still remember that 20 years later and say, “Oh, no. I’m not touching that stuff.” But again, it’s these emotional connections we make when things trigger us to remember something, and so how would you like your clients to be triggered into a positive emotional connection every time they think about you or your brand?
Melinda Wittstock: I hear you talking about this, Mary, and I realize that most companies just are not thinking about this. Not in a conscious way that you are. Certainly not United Airlines, say.
Mary Shores: You mentioned United Airlines. See, I fly American, but I would say the same thing, and actually American Airlines has the fifth worst customer service for any airline in the entire world, so I have to believe that I think United is higher on that list. But, you know, it’s not … see, the fact that you mentioned them on the last show, and you mention them now? That means something. You have another-
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, really? I did? Seriously? I mentioned them?
Mary Shores: You absolutely did.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh wow. Okay. Well, yeah, no, because you always feel like you’re an afterthought, that you’re not important.
Mary Shores: You’re not getting your needs met, that they don’t care. They don’t value you. You know?
Melinda Wittstock: Yes. That’s exactly how you feel, and so look at the negative publicity. So this is now twice on a fast growing podcast that has many, many listeners I mentioned my negative experience with United Airlines, so I mean, how many other people have done that? And yet, you know, when you have a really great experience I’m thinking about Zappos, which is a great example, in the book Delivering Happiness, Tony Hsieh the founder of Zappos, he’s traveling somewhere in New Hampshire or something and they’re really hungry.
The hotel has shut its room service, there’s no place to go to eat, it’s 10:30 at night, and Tony Hsieh challenges his friend to call Zappos and order a pizza. And so friend calls Zappos, orders a pizza. Now what does the customer service person say? The customer service person says, “Oh, hey. Yeah, you must be really hungry. That’s really okay. Well, let me just kinda figure out what’s near you. Hold on a moment and we’ll get you a pizza.”
Mary Shores: That’s awesome.
Melinda Wittstock: So it’s like a shoe company, but so that customer service person, like, Zappos put so much effort into training their customer service reps to have leeway and latitude and actually unlike a lot of customer service, they were rewarded for keeping the customer on the phone longer, rather than a shorter period of time, and just really helping them with whatever.
So the fact that this is probably the 100th time I’ve told this story, maybe even more, and it’s also the reason that Zappos sold to Amazon for a billion dollars. They weren’t doing anything that Amazon wasn’t already doing, but what the value was the culture and the customer service.
Mary Shores: That’s brilliant. You know, and to speak to what you just said, I want to tell you that Americans actually tell an average of 16 people when they’ve had a bad experience, and that statistic’s very interesting to me, and I actually think that, considering social media … because whenever I give a speech, I’ll go on that morning and I’ll just go through my Facebook feed and I will always, always find someone complaining that they called the cable company, or, you know, “Don’t use this cable company, because they just did X, Y, Z, to me.”
Or, you know, “Don’t use DirecTV,” or, “don’t use X, Y, Z, bank.” And I always find an example every single day, but they actually only tell an average of nine people about a good customer service experience, so what this means is if you trigger people and you create a bad outcome, or a negative outcome, and they remember that … because we’re wired towards negativity bias, and see, negativity bias, it simply means that we have a stronger reaction to things that are negative stimuli than we do to positive stimuli.
It’s a survival technique. It doesn’t mean that you’re a negative person. We are actually all wired for this. Every single one of us. Just means we have a stronger reaction if we lose 20 dollars versus if we found 20 dollars, and so moving on, because I want to also cover rule number three, in this communication code, is we want to get into the habit of always telling people, and forming our communication around the solution, by telling them what we can do instead of constantly telling them what we can’t do.
Because the problem is, the tendency, and the way that we’ve been conditioned to communicate, is to say, “No, I’m sorry, I can’t do that. My policy is … ” Well, when you’ve done that, you’ve actually just shut your client down to what the actual solution is, because there’s always a solution to every problem. You know, even if the solution is to part ways, you will do it without burning a bridge if you use the concepts in the communication code.
So, once you know that you’ve got a solution, you just simply want to use the words to present that solution. Like, “What I can suggest is X, Y, Z. What I can do for you is A, B, C.” And then this is really the theory, you know, the rule number one, two, and three, that’s the theory, but how you put it together in a system, which is very, very important, and trainable. So easily trainable.
You know, when I first put this system into process in my company, our revenue grew 34% in the first year, and so you’re absolutely right. How did I get to $40 million dollars? Because of my communication skills. Because of the ability and understanding the importance of creating a connection, and let me tell you something: everyone thinks their business is a tough one, but you try to create a connection with people who owe money, and you’re the bad guy, and your whole job is to get the money from them.
And so we were able to do this, and I know that you can, too. The first step … so, there’s three steps, which the first is validation, the second one is plant a seed of happiness, and the third one is using action statements. So anything that your person that you’re communicating with … you know, Melinda, and it doesn’t even have to be business. Like, you and I as friends would communicate this to you.
You know, when we got on the show today, earlier, you know, the first thing I noticed … you were finishing up another interview, and I said, “Hey, why don’t you go take a break for a few minutes?”
Melinda Wittstock: That was so nice of you.
Mary Shores: You know, because … you know why? Because that’s like a form of me validating, look, I know you’re working hard. Go take a few minutes. Have some time for yourself. It shows … you felt, I’m guessing, that that was really nice of me.
Melinda Wittstock: Very nice of you.
Mary Shores: And that kind of makes you feel a certain emotion, like, “Oh, Mary. She’s okay.” You know? “She’s a sweet person. I like that. I like Mary.”
Melinda Wittstock: You are a sweet person.
Mary Shores: Well, I am a Scorpio, so I can be all over the place. Like I said, we teach what we need to know ourselves, but validation is non-negotiable, because as human beings we have certain emotional needs, and we are unable to move through a process of communication until this one very important emotional need has been met, and that need is to be heard.
We cannot move on in a situation if we do not feel heard, and I’m sure this has happened to you, but have you ever been in a conversation with somebody, and you are trying to present to them the solution, and they’re busy telling you their story over, and over, and over again?
Melinda Wittstock: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yes.
Mary Shores: So, what’s happening inside … it’s like we have these check boxes inside of our brain, and we cannot move on into the next step until we check off the box that says we’ve been heard, and the way that you can make someone feel like they’ve been heard is to simply say, “You know what? I can see why that would concern you.” You’re not agreeing with them, you are not apologizing to them.
You are simply consciously acknowledging that you have heard what they said to you, so if they just said a whole string of things that have nothing to do with the point. You know, when someone’s completely off point? And you need to re-direct them. Right? Well, I think the traditional way we would re-direct people is by trying to gently interrupt and politely say, “Okay, I need to talk about,” you know, “we need to stay on task here,” or, “we need to stay on point.”
Whereas if you could just say to somebody, “You know, I can really appreciate what you’re going through here.” That gives … just a few little words of validation will build a stronger connection than you could ever imagine. As a matter of fact, it actually builds a stronger connection than even just giving in and giving people what they want.
Because the moment that they feel heard, see, their body is going to flood with certain neurochemicals, like vasopressin. It’s a connecting, bonding hormone, alright? So all of this stuff, every single step, is backed by neuroscience, and if you know me at all, if you go back to [inaudible 00:27:00] you know I’m super steeped into the neuroscience world, and in Conscious Communications, my first book, it’s a lot about taking these concepts from neuroscience but also new-agey concepts, metaphysical concepts, like law of attraction, but explaining them all through a scientific lens instead of like a woo-woo kind of a lens.
So, validation is very important. It’s non-negotiable to create connection. It’s empathetic, it’s different than sympathy. You’re creating empathy. You know, you’re not trying to make their situation better, you’re not trying to judge their situation, you’re not trying to say, “Oh, isn’t that too bad? Oh, bless your heart.” You know? You’re saying something like, “You know, I know that’s tough for you. I know this is hard.” And then you hit ’em, boom, right with step two, which is plant a seed of happiness.
Planting a seed of happiness is just a few words. I call it the bridge between step one and three, because step three is going to be where you present the solution, and so if you can say just a few words that create that bridge, what you’re doing is you’re connecting them to the solution. You’ve made them feel heard, because you validated what they said, and then you are moving them forward to the solution by saying something like, “I have great news for you.”
You know? “I can see why that concerns you. The great news is we can do X, Y, Z, to solve this problem.”
Melinda Wittstock: Ah. See, that’s wonderful. It seems so logical and so straightforward, and like, “Duh. How come I didn’t know this before?” Right? But it has such game-changing impacts. Just really being conscious of how we communicate, the neuroscience of all of it, and what it means, because, you know, obviously our businesses are going to be much, much better, and perform better, when we have happy teams.
So it’s even like, interpersonal communications within a company when everybody in the company is obviously talking much better to customers, as well … you know, who doesn’t want to run a company that everybody loves? You know? Like, your bottom line is going to be so much better. You’re going to grow much faster. You’re going to have more fun doing it just by changing a few things, and the way that we speak to each other.
I mean, it’s wonderful. Sublime. I love it.
Mary Shores: It’s so true, and I will tell you that the … you’ve just lead right into this perfectly, because, yeah, one of the first benefits we had was that increased revenue, but the improved happiness in our clients, in our vendors, even, and in our own selves … because what happens is, you know, and this is true for yourself or whether you’re managing other people, that when people know what to say, when to say, and how to say it, their confidence goes up, and when their confidence goes up, it puts them into an empowered state of being.
And empowerment is huge right now, because everything that you do from a state of being of empowerment is going to show up stronger, faster, better. It’s going to have a greater impact on everything, and the communication code does not just reform your business, it reforms your life, because what the tendency is is once people learn this communication strategy in their businesses, and I know this to be true for all of my staff and for thousands of people who I’ve trained this to, because they write to me every day and tell me, but they use it in their personal lives, too.
Husbands use it with their wives. You know? They learn to step back and not just throw that solution at her, but to first engage and validate that yes, she is having a real problem. Because, see, if we don’t feel validated then we don’t feel like that person acknowledges that our reality is real to us, and especially in the coaching business. You know? There is a lot of coaches that want to change someone’s mindset so quickly, but you know, this kind of goes into that positive psychology movement that we’re having right now, but we really do have a spectrum of emotions.
It’s not just about being positive all the time, and if you are convinced that being positive all the time is the way to go what’s happening is you’re suppressing your darker emotions, and one of the ways to heal … you know, I’m in this business of debt collections. I’m trying to heal people of their trauma wounds, of their shame wounds that they have associated with even just the fact that they have a debt. Because we’ve got a whole messed up perception about debt in this country.
That’s a whole story for another show, but here’s the thing: Validation heals. It’s not even … You are actually healing someone. I will have people come up to me that literally had a conversation with me ten, 20 years ago and they will remember these moments. I don’t even remember them as a person. Someone comes up to you out of the blue and they’re like, “Mary, I always remembered this conversation I had with you.” This goes back, I have people write me from even in high school. I think I was wired this way. I really do believe I came in here with this purpose, with this knowledge of how we need to create deeper connections, would be better.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes, and so validating someone as simple as saying, “I understand.” What are some examples of things that you say when someone’s really upset or they’re nervous or they’re challenged, particularly in coaching other entrepreneurs, for instance, because we all have these ups and downs?
Mary Shores: Yeah. That’s a great question and I’ll tell you what I’ll do, we have a free give-away that we can give you a link for that has our communication code, little workbook that I take along with me, but it’s got some suggested phrases in there. You guys can all download that for free if you’d like.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, that’s wonderful. Yes, thank you. That’s great.
Mary Shores: It also has right in the center of it, it has what I call a pro tip guide, which is all the phrases that you could put together to form your own, because my suggestion is that you pick one or two as your go-to. You don’t have to get creative every time. You’ll get good at it if you use the same phrases all the time. Let’s say somebody presented something and they put it in the form of a question, like, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, I want to know what you can do for me.” They’re complaining at you a little bit. A really great way you can validate that type of a situation is you can say, “You know what? I’m so glad you asked me that.” See, you’re acknowledging that you’ve heard them and also you’re poising that for, “I’m so glad you asked me that. I am certain that …” Whatever it is. “I am certain that I’ve got a solution. Let me ask you a question.” That’s an example of putting all three together. Another one might be someone is going on with their story and you say, “I can see how important this is for you. This must be really important to you.” When you say, “This must be really important to you,” you create a huge connection with someone.
Melinda Wittstock: So elegantly simple. It’s a matter of really being conscious of it. I wonder too, and this is something we talked about a little bit. When you did the presentation for Wings of Success, and everybody go and check that out at wingssummit.com and definitely catch Mary’s presentation there. We talked about this in terms of the sales funnel even, when you get those offers, online offers or whatever. This is interesting. I want to go into this a little bit, because there’s so much scarcity in all of that. There’s a lot of phrase like, “If you don’t do it now, you’re going to miss out,” all of that. Where fear is being used and scarcity is being used to get the sale.
Mary Shores: Well, and we know it works. But it works by creating a negative association to something, and I will tell you that a lot of times when people are pressured into buying something, at the end of the day they’re disappointed with their product or service, and when they are disappointed or they never go through the program or whatever, they are more likely to bad mouth that situation. You can get just as many sales by creating connection, and I think that we are now finding … One of the reasons that fear works in sales is because we are emotional buyers. We can also create connection –
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly.
Mary Shores: And feel much better about ourselves. Let’s face it, that scarcity stuff, it’s a bit of a B.S.
Melinda Wittstock: I would like to think that we are evolving as a society where you can sell from a place of abundance, rather than scarcity, from love rather than fear. Everything that you’re saying there in terms of the words we use, what are some examples that you could do that, say, in a sales funnel in your good, old email or your click funnels or your lead pages, or whatever it is you use? If you’re selling information products, for instance?
Mary Shores: The steps are going to be the same. You’re going to say the validation and you’re going to validate whatever it is the consumer said, even if the consumer said something positive. You can validate them by saying, “You know what? That is great news. I am so happy for you.” Do you ever tell someone this big, amazing thing that happened to you and they glossed over it?
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, I know. It’s like …
Mary Shores: You feel like they didn’t care.
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly.
Mary Shores: And you feel like they’re a little bit selfish. If you could take a moment to say, “Wow, that is really great news. Thank you so much for sharing that with me,” that’s a validation. Validating whether it’s a positive or whether it’s a negative, we want to validate the emotional state that the client or the consumer or a coworker is in. It’s the same steps, really. You’re going to say, so in a sales situation you might say something like, “I’m so glad you shared that with me. Let’s get this going. Let me ask you a question.” A lot of times in sales we want to gather information. For us, for example, we might say, “Step one, step two,” and then we might say, “Let’s go ahead and update your information and we can discuss all of your options.” This allows me some space to get all of the information that I’m trying to get, whatever, demographic information, ask them some qualifying buying things. There’s a book I really love. It’s called The Perfect Close by James Muir. Full disclosure, I haven’t finished the book. I’m like three, I’m enough of the way through that I am thoroughly impressed with the book. If it’s about sales, you really want to be always moving the situation forward and using, combining those sales techniques with how you reframe your language.
We might be, say, trying to go through an objection with a potential sale and we might say, “Oh, but have you ever considered.” Saying, “Oh, but have you ever considered,” is still using a negative word and it’s a little bit argumentative and it causes the client or the potential sale to close up a little bit. It causes them to want a little bit of space. What you can do instead is to say, “Oh, you know what? That’s really interesting. Let me ask you a question.”
Melinda Wittstock: I can see how this all works while you’re having a conversation. How can it work in email copy or sales letter copy? Are there ways that you can validate? In a way I think of webinars that I, where they are validating statements like, “You are sitting in front of your computer right now or your phone, you are doing this, you are probably feeling this or you’re doing that,” those kinds of statements. Is that a way that this works? Is there a way to do it without being in an actual conversation off the written page?
Mary Shores: Yeah, I’m so glad you asked me that, because I was on another podcast and the woman that was the host of … It was called Business Breakthroughs with Estie Rand. The woman had actually done some research on me and we always send a copy of the first couple chapters of the books, so if the host wants to look into things ahead of time they can. Well, she took everything that she got from my book and used it in one email. She told me, “In one email conversation, she made $4,000.”
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, my goodness. Okay, everybody, everybody, okay, say that one more time.
Mary Shores: In one email she made $4,000. I’ll tell you exactly how she did it, if you want me to.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes, please. Everybody’s all ears. I know everybody that’s listening right now, yeah, okay, yes, Mary go ahead.
Mary Shores: Okay, so she does some business coaching, I think specifically in the social media space, things I’m not good at like building audiences and all that stuff. Well, she had this client that she was referring to as a vampire client. She said, “You now the kind that want to suck your blood.” She was actually going to fire the client, and she goes, “But I just researched Mary Shores and Mary Shores has a do not say list.” She was trying to start this email with, “Unfortunately, I don’t think our services are quite what you need, blah, blah, blah. I think it’s good to part ways.” But she said because she wasn’t allowed to use the word unfortunately, when she … And this is what happens to us neurologically when you use the communication code. This is the magic sauce, people, that when you eliminate those negative words your brain goes into problem solving mode, because you’re trying to figure out what to say instead. What she came up with was no longer an email saying that she had to end her relationship. Instead she said, “Hey, so and so, that thing that you and I were working on would be better served if we did this.” She actually found another coach that she felt would work better with this particular individual and somehow worked out some sort of fee share or something.
She said she got rid of the word, she gained a positive relationship, and she made $4,000 in one email, because he said yes. She validated, she planted a seed of happiness, she provided a solution, and he said yes, and she was about to fire him literally, and then she said, “I’m going to give this a try.”
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, how wonderful. I want to say as we’re starting to wrap up the podcast, I want to make sure that everybody knows how to find your book. It’s Conscious Communications from Hay House, and we’ll have the link in the show notes, of course, as well, plus your generous gift, Mary. Also, how can people find you and work with you? Do you ever do any consulting or anything with [inaudible 00:43:01]? I know you’ve got a big business that you’re running. [inaudible 00:43:04] over here, but you’re also doing this wonderful work. How can people find you and work with you?
Mary Shores: Well, I’m speaking in Toronto soon. I know you go up there occasionally.
Melinda Wittstock: I’m from there, originally.
Mary Shores: I know, I know. That’s why I said you have to hook me up with your massage therapist for while I’m there.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes.
Mary Shores: Okay, so finding Mary is super easy, you could check my website, maryshores.com, S-H-O-R-E-S. I’ve got over 100 blogs written on there. As far as the book, I always say, “If you’ve resonated with what we’re talking about today, please go on Amazon or wherever you buy books. You can certainly get it at Hey House, but Amazon’s easy and convenient. Look up Conscious Communications, read the description and some reviews. You will know absolutely if this is the book for you or not. I am really jazzed on Linkedin lately. If any of you would like to connect with me on Linkedin, I’m always sharing content on there and also if I do put out some webinars, it will certainly be on Linkedin. If you download the free gift of the Communication Code workbook, you will get a notification of a next webinar that I’m going to be doing. That’s it.
Melinda Wittstock: Awesome. That’s wonderful, and of course one more plug for Mary’s amazing talk at Wings of Success. You can check that out at wingssummit.com where Mary … You and 64 other woman, including me, all paying it forward to many, many, many more women and men about everything you need, the mindset, mojo, money you need to succeed in business and in life. It’s amazing that we’ve all gotten together to do this.
Mary Shores: I couldn’t agree more. I’m so excited about your Wings of Success. It’s such an honor to know you, Melinda, it really, really is. Thank you.
Melinda Wittstock: You’re so sweet. Thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us again, today. It was wonderful as always, Mary.