Catherine Watkin, founder of Selling from the Heart, is a sales expert who works with heart-centered business owners who are gifted and passionate about what they do but struggle in business because they feel awkward when it comes to selling their services. She teaches them how to sell in a way that feels authentic and comfortable and still gets great results.
Catherine's mission is to be a role model for how it IS possible to create a wildly successful and fulfilling business without resorting to sleazy or manipulative sales and marketing techniques. To learn more, visit www.sellingfromtheheart.com/leadingwomen (7-steps to yes video course).
Catherine shares her unique story
Catherine was really lost back then before she started her business. She had a career in sales in the corporate world – in the travel and recruitment industry.
She left the corporate sales world because she had this deep sense that there is something else out there that she was meant to be doing with her life. That she had a greater purpose.
The problem was that she could not find that purpose. She could not find the thing that she was meant to be doing.
After taking a leap of faith by leaving her corporate career, it took her a number of years of what she would call really seeking of what she was meant to do. She tried a lot of things and retrained in a lot of modalities. She trained as a nutritional therapist and in NLP.
She also spent about a year in India and trained as a yoga teacher and she studied meditation. She also spent time in Buddhist retreats.
She was seeking what her purpose was in terms of meaningful work but she was also her meaning for life. She was seeking her happiness.
At the pint when she started the business that she had right now, she was still quite lost. On the surface, she had a business, it was 4 and a half years ago. She was effectively by then working as a business coach and an NLP practitioner. She was living on the South Coast of England. It was not really a big problem for her, getting clients.
She would then sit in front of her clients and her heart would think and she would have this feeling that in theory, she was living the dream. She’s working for herself and she’s getting clients, but it did not feel right to her.
Catherine had a long journey in finding out who she really is and what it is that she is meant to do.
Lies and Myths about sales
The biggest lies and myths about sales according to Catherine are the things that people tell to themselves.
Catherine was really lucky when she started in business because she been working in sales for about 20 years. She had gotten over all of her negative beliefs about sales and she loves it. She used to say that she is so blessed that I get to talk to people all day and get paid for it. It was amazing.
There were some things about working in the corporate world that she did not like so much and that was why she left.
What she found with the students whom she works with in her programs is that, yes she teaches practical things. However, the biggest problem lies in the myths the people are telling themselves about sales.
People tend to believe things like, if you want to be really good at sales, you need to focus on your own agenda. There’s a common phrase in sales that says that you’ve got to close the sale and Catherine feels that it is the biggest myth of all.
If a heart centered business owner who actually cares about their clients, goes into the sales conversation with the intention of closing the sale, then they’re coming from a non-helpful energy from the beginning. Because they’re going into their sales conversation, very wrapped up in their own agenda and what’s in it for them and how they’re performing. The poor potential client then is feeling under pressure because someone is trying to close the sale.
There’s a lot of thinking around traditional sales that the sales person is chasing the client, then there’s another belief that you have to be thick skinned to be good at sales. All of these beliefs are the opposite.
To be good at sales, you’ve got to be really sensitive. You’ve got to be in tune with your client. You’ve got to pick up their energy. You’ve got to use their emotional intelligence.
Interestingly, just before this podcast conversation, Catherine was on a call with a client about working with her for a one to one mentoring. Normally, as a good sales teacher, Catherine would recommend to get the client’s decision right there and then within the call. However, she had made a connection with the client and that she could sense where she was at and Catherine suggested that she take a couple of days to make the decision. Then she advised for them to talk again after two days.
That was because Catherine’s tuning into her told her that pushing her for a decision right then and there was not going to be the best outcome for either of them.
There are a lot of myths like that in traditional sales that very heartened business owners buy into and then they try and follow. They try and be like it and it just does not work for them. It does not feel good, it does not feel good for their clients, and everybody’s left feeling uncomfortable and with no clients.
Steps Catherine used to start her business
Catherine wants to share first that if anyone here has a corporate career in sales, it may not be the right thing for them to leave to set up a sales training business. It just happened for her that this is what makes her heart sing and also her absolute calling and purpose in life.
You should not feel that the only way to do business is to do what you have always been doing. A lot of people have made a very big and braves shift and retrained in something completely new.
Step #1 for Catherine is a mindset thing. You should be OK to start small. We all started small. Nobody started and woke up in business with a half a million turned up business.
What happens is that people who are at the very beginning of the journey, look at the big names, the big gurus, and they see them with these big, successful businesses and their heart sinks. Because they think about how could they ever get there? You get there by starting small and taking one step at a time.
Step #2 is when Catherine actually started her business, she started out by running small, local workshops. Small workshops in London and the south coast of England where she was living, with not very large numbers.
This was how she got to practice her content and it’s how she discovered that people are falling in love with her teaching and are finding a lot of value in it.
She did not have a lot of confidence in working with people one to one and so she worked with a couple of people for free. Her first 2 VIP clients, she worked for free in return for their testimonials.
Catherine’s step #3 which happened in between all of this in a period of 2 years, is that she took a big leap and she took all those small, local workshops and she turned the content into an online program and she launched it locally to a small group of people. She had only 20 people on it the first time.
That was her transitioning from a small workshop into something that she can work with people globally.
Step #4 was to take a really deep breath and go and ask some Joint Venture partners to promote her and suddenly, everything took off. She suddenly had 81 people in one program. She also had people all over the world.
Step #5 then is she launched a high-end business mentoring program where she takes people through a much more intensive 12-month journey.
That whole process, from starting small to launching the high-end mentoring program took her a year. This is still the business model that Catherine follows today. For the last 3 years, it has not changed, it just got a lot bigger.
Being willing to start small is the biggest message that Catherine can share.
This is the one thing that you should do today according to Catherine
In a way, it is different for everybody because we all have our sweet spot in business.
Joint Ventures for Catherine is today, the only marketing activity that she had done in her business. People think that they have to do things like social media, facebook ads and blogging. Actually, if you master Joint Ventures, it can be all you need to grow your business.
Catherine recommends that you lay the groundwork for Joint Ventures early. She does not recommend doing a Joint Ventures before you’re proven in what you do. At the point when she started doing Joint Ventures, she already had really strong relationships with some very successful business owners with big lists because she had been developing those relationships.
She was naturally good at connecting and she would meet people at events and speak to people.
If you’re selling a program for the first time, Catherine says that you should not be overly hung up on exactly how much you need to sell it for or even giving away some of it for free. Because if you can get the results and the testimonials to prove that it’s valuable, your Joint Venture partners are then more likely to be willing to promote you.
You should be developing those relationships from now even if you are maybe 12 months away or 18 months away from being in a place where you would go and ask people to promote you. It might take you that long to develop a relationship with these people deep enough to be willing to promote your product. If the relationship isn’t there, most people would not want to do it.
Catherine talks about her program
Catherine’s program is called “Get More Clients Saying Yes.”
Don’t wait until you can think of a perfect name for your program. Just go out and launch it.
It’s designed for heart centered business owners. It’s for people who went into businesses because they want to make a difference to others, to help others or are passionate about what they do.
It doesn’t mean we don’t want the money or a good lifestyle, but the driving factor on why we do what we do is not financial to begin with. A lot of business owners with this motivation are sort of allergic to the idea of sales.
The core of marketing is your message and how you clearly communicate what you do in such a way that people actually want to find out more. People will want to have a sales conversation with you whether it’s one to one, or a sales page or a webinar.
Catherine helps these small business owners who struggle to get clients because the whole sales process feels very uncomfortable and because there are pieces of that process that are missing and they don’t even know that it’s missing.
It’s an 8 week online program which is supported by live Q and As with Catherine.
The 1st result they get is more emotional than practical because people who do her program fall in love with sales. They go from dreading it and feeling sick about it to falling in love with the process because they come to understand that it’s all about supporting a client and creating a deep connection and guiding them through a conversation.
So the confidence, in the way they talk about their business increases and everything starts to take off.
Catherine also encourages her students to enter the program with the intention of making the investment in the program back before the program ends. If they package and price their products correctly, they know how to do everything clearly, and they understand how to take somebody through a conversation that feels smooth and easy for both parties, and if the client is right for them and they are right for the client, the client will say yes.
Catherine’s ultimate aim is that her students get their investment in the program back within 8 weeks and then they will also get these really valuable sales skills for the remainder of their business life.
One of things Catherine loves about sales is that it doesn’t change. Things like Facebook ads and social media, you always have to stay updated and they are changing.
Sales is ultimately about human psychology and once you learn to sell in a way that feels authentic, you have it for life. You don’t have to keep relearning it.
Sales is such an important skill and one that Catherine sees that people are neglecting all the time in favor of marketing.
You need to market. However if you know how to attract clients to you but you don’t know how to convert them to say yes, you are wasting all your time, energy and money on marketing. Because you don’t know how to capture people, it’s like putting water into a bucket with a hole in it.
She usually launches the program twice a year, on March and September.
Catherine has a free video training series called “The Seven Steps to Yes.” It guides somebody through a comfortable and authentic sales conversation. You can download it from: sellingfromtheheart.com/leadingwomen.
It’s very bite-sized and is a series of 8, 3 minute videos. You will then be notified when the main course launches if you are interested.