“When in Rome, do as the Romans…”
You’ve heard this before, right?
Well, “do as the Romans” is NOT always the better choice. And I’m going to show you exactly why.
For me, growing up in the tiny frozen town of Bethel, Alaska, I embraced this proverb.
Like any other kid, I focused on trying to just fit in.
And the idea of “doing as the Romans” rang especially true for me. The majority of kids I went to school with were native Yupik, by a large margin. So, every day I watched the “Romans” and did my best not to stand out or be different.
I tried to do what my teachers and parents told me. Still, no matter how hard I tried, truly “fitting in” just wasn’t really in the cards for me.
By nature, I’m a bit… “different”. I’ve always been interested in technology, which, I know, is not “normal” for most girls. Plus, even though I love people, I’m an introvert. And trust me when I say, living in remote Alaska doesn’t help with introversion. It’s thousands of miles from the rest of the country and not at all well populated. So, those two things were definitely huge catalysts for how I ended up getting onto the Internet so far ahead of most other people.
Once on the Internet, I found myself experiencing a similar “trying to fit in” scenario.
I wanted to grow a business that I could run from where ever I was, while helping other people who felt disconnected, like me. This meant I had to learn how to market my business services online.
Back then, before even MySpace existed, the Internet was very much like the wild wild west.
The online gurus of the day all seemed to push toward sleazy, hypey, manipulative copywriting and sales tactics.
It never felt right to me.
My internal struggle to somehow balance it with selling that didn’t feel “wrong”, was constantly frustrating. I watched it working for other people, and I didn’t really see any other options. So, once again, I found myself trying to “do as the Romans”.
Some of these tactics “worked” in the short term. They did. I sometimes got more leads and sales. But there was something gnawing at my soul. With each “success”, I found myself feeling further and further away from who I wanted to be and how I wanted to help other people feel.
Ultimately, I had two experiences that changed everything for me.
These two experiences explain why I ended up doing the research I’ve done that lead to me creating Lingo Dynamics and the HookLine Dynamic App.
Let me share a couple of stories with you.
“A Tale of Two Coaches”, if you will…
Several years back, I got to a place in my online business where I really wanted to help a lot more people. I just couldn’t seem to crack the code to scaling my business from one-on-one clients, to more of a group format. I found that helping people in groups was a great format for the type of things I taught. Now, to be 100% transparent, I also wanted to overcome whatever mental blocks I had about money. So, with this in mind, my secondary motivation was to somehow break through my income ceiling at that time.
I began researching different coaches I was following at the time. I wanted to figure out which one might be able to best help me.
There was one coach, in particular, who caught my eye.
I’d looked at her programs and the investments required. I checked out her testimonials to see what types of clients she worked well with. After extensive research, I felt confident I was ready to work with her.
The day of our scheduled call, I was so excited! Then the call began, and right from the beginning, it felt.. off…
She quizzed me on where I was at in my business and what my goals were.
“Why haven’t you reached that goal yet, if that’s what you claim you want?”, she pressed.
I thought to myself, “Well, obviously… because I need strategy help. That’s why I reached out to you.”
Of course, I didn’t say that out-loud to her. I just told her I was looking for help mapping out group coaching programs, plus things like structuring webinars and teleseminars.
It was right about at that point that she revealed that the only option to be part of her group program was $10,000, and I was shocked. That was a huge jump from the details on her website. I explained that I didn’t have any credit cards with a limit high enough for that.
“You’re lying to me,” she said, adding, “If I were to open your purse right now, I’m certain I would find at least 3 or 4 credit cards that you could use for this.”
I assured her that I was being truthful about not having the means.
She challenged me, “No, there’s another reason you’re telling me you can’t and you’re being dishonest with me about it.”
The purse comment has stuck with me to this day, because I’m not really a “purse” type gal. Diaper bag, backpack, giant “everything but the kitchen sink” bag… that’s my style. Not the point though.
It was the words she was using…
Those words she’d learned from the “Romans”… the online sales “gurus” – the pressing, abrasive, shake-you-until-they-break-you words.
I was speechless. I felt just awful.
She continued, “Look, you’re clearly not serious about your business succeeding. You’re wasting my time and yours. You’ll never build the business you’re claiming you want. You’re incapable of it.”
Her words completely crushed me. I cried on and off for days after that “strategy session.” But it taught me a valuable lesson. I learned how words can make someone feel.
Some time later, I realized that she was following that “do as the Romans” proverb and simply doing what had “worked” for others who came before her.
She was selling like she’d been taught. Pain points, pushing, fear, challenging, force the sale at any cost. When I finally got brave enough to talk with friends, I found out so many of them had had nearly the same painful, dream-crushing experience.
So how did that “do as the Romans” thing really work out for her?
Well, first, she obviously didn’t make the sale. Second, I’m using her way of selling as an example of what NOT to do if you care about more than just getting the sale.
But let’s pretend her tactics had worked. Let’s imagine that somehow, a magical unicorn handed me a credit card with a high enough limit that day.
Here’s where it really falls apart….
There can be no doubt that I would have been a TERRIBLE fit for her as a client.
Can you imagine trying to set goals and create plans with someone who accuses you of lying and pushes you into purchasing with heavy fear and guilt?
I would likely not have gotten the results I was hoping for, and she would probably have regretted the sale.
The moment I hung up that phone call, I realized I never want to make a potential client feel that way…
Not in my content; not in my sales processes; not in my marketing materials.
The REAL Coach
A while later, I rounded up all the courage I could muster, and got on a call with a different coach about her mastermind program. She asked questions, listened to where I was at and what I was looking for.
Never in my life had I felt so understood and respected.
“It’s OK… I can see how much you love what you’re doing and how much you truly desire to succeed. You want to overcome your current mindset challenges, but you need help identifying the puzzle pieces and how to put them together. That’s what I’m here for. We can solve it together.”
To be honest, even though I remember most of her words, more than that, I remember how they made me feel.
I ended up investing far more than I had planned to. She helped me work out a payment plan, so I could say “yes” to the program. I didn’t feel manipulated or pressured at all. I felt excited and empowered, and the results I got were amazing.
HOW did she do that?
Not only did she make the sale, she did it in a way that made me feel good about making the decision. THAT was the way I wanted to communicate.
I made up my mind, right then and there, to figure out what the difference was. It was obvious to see that the two approaches were different. But more than seeing it, I could feel the difference.
So, what was it, specifically?
I learned early on that I didn’t want to just copy someone else’s style.
And I knew that what I’d learned in school doesn’t work. Sounding like I had aspirations of becoming an Ivy League professor may have gotten me A’s in high school, but would NOT attracting the audience I wanted in my online business.
I started analyzing some of the best messengers I found online…
What was it they were all doing that was working so well to connect with their audience and drive their businesses?
They had some sort of natural filter for the way words made their audiences feel.
Empowered, excited, emotionally positive or negative. They knew what words to use to connect.
And by truly connecting in a way that made people feel understood, they could inspire action – from more subscribers on their list, to filling their coaching programs, to selling out their live events.
It’s all about the words we use and how they make people feel.
And that’s what led me to create Lingo Dynamics and to build the HookLine Dynamic app.
So now you know my story and what inspired me…
What’s your story? What experiences have helped you learn that words make people feel certain ways?
P.S. Membership in my Insider Club is about to close – if you’re looking for a coach and community who will respect your feelings and help you learn to sell and make money online in a way that doesn’t feel slimy or sleazy, join us! Get all the details here.