In today’s episode of the Brand Strategy Podcast, I’m chatting with business mentor and mindset coach Anna Rapp about heart centered sales for creative entrepreneurs. Whether you’re a newer business owner who’s feeling a little less than confidence about your sales process, or you’re an established entrepreneur looking to take your sales approach to a heart-centered space, Anna’s sharing valuable, action-based advice on how to reach your sales goals with integrity.
Anna Rapp is a Business Mentor + Mindset Coach, mama to two and founder of the Heart Centered Entrepreneur Podcast and Community. Anna lives in San Diego but coaches ambitious women internationally to help them launch and grow their service based businesses so that they can have wild, profitable, monetary success… but without compromising what matters most to them like their values and showing up for their family.
CONNECT WITH ANNA
Anna’s Podcast: https://www.heartcenteredentrepreneur.com/podcast
Anna’s Free FB community: www.heartcenteredcommunity.com
Anna’s Instagram: www.instagram.com/heartcentered.entrepreneur
Anna’s Website: www.heartcenteredentrepreneur.com/
SUPPORT THE SHOW
LIKE THE SHOW?
IN ORDER TO PROVIDE CONTENT YOU LOVE I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! SUBSCRIBE TO THE BRAND STRATEGY PODCAST AND LEAVE A 5-STAR REVIEW HERE. THE MORE REVIEWS, THE MORE I’M ABLE TO PROVIDE THIS FREE-ACTIONABLE CONTENT!
Review the Transcript:
Please note the following transcript has been auto generated and may contain typos.
Hi, friend, and welcome to the Brand Strategy Podcast, a show created to equip you with the inspiration, encouragement, and clarity you need to build a brand of your dreams. I’m your host, Bonnie bti, brand designer, strategist, and founder of the retreat from sustainable Strategy to heartfelt Encouragement. Each episode is designed to equip you with the tools you need to chase after your dreams because you deserve a brand that empowers you to do what you love, connects with your dream clients, and offers a deep sense of fulfillment along the way. So grab a cup of coffee and join me on this journey, won’t you
Friends, welcome back to the Brand Strategy podcast where today we are talking about heart-centered sales with Anna Rapp. Personally, I’m really excited for us to have this conversation around heart-centered sales because I believe that there’s so much potential and the way that we approach sales and sales-based conversations with our ideal clients in a way that honors our values and aligns with who we are and allows us to live out from that heart-centered space. And Anna is absolutely an expert in this area. Anna is a business mentor and a mindset coach, a mama to two, and founder of the Heart-Centered Entrepreneur podcast in community. She’s based in San Diego, but coaches ambitious women internationally to help them launch and grow a service-based business so they can have wild, profitable monetary success, but without compromising what matters most. Like their values are showing up for their family. So Anna, I’m really excited to have you on the podcast. Thanks so much for coming on and sharing on this topic with us today.
Bonnie, thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to, um, to have this conversation.
Me too. Well, if you’re up for it, I’d love to hear a little bit more about your business, who you are and what you do.
Yes. So I started my business. It’s really fun because my business is actually the same age as my daughter, so I started my business when I was pregnant with her, so it makes it really easy, right? She’s six years old, so I always know exactly how old my business is, but I started my business back in 2016 and I, my day, uh, I always say, call it like my past life, but my day job was I was a mental health therapist. So I did that during the day and I kind of had an inkling to do something on the side. So I, that’s when I started coaching.
I love that. And honestly, um, what I find so cool is how many people I talk to who had a past life in therapy and social work, and they use that to kind of segue into the industry of coaching, mentoring, and helping people in this online business space. So do you find that you use a lot of those skills from your past life in this, this business?
Oh my gosh, all day every day.
, . Well, I love hearing that and I think that, you know, knowing that you use those skills probably makes you such an incredibly empathetic coach to work with .
It’s true. I think like all of us, like I, I like, no matter what we did before the online space, like it’s really fun to see how like it was all breadcrumbs like leading us here, right?
Mm-hmm. That’s a really good way to put it. I, I completely agree. I think that when I look back just on my own journey, I kind of say that, you know, I consider myself to be an accidental entrepreneur in the sense that like, I didn’t, you know, set out too, start a business. But, um, you know, looking back on the experiences that I had before starting BS for Bonnie Design, all of that absolutely has had some role in some way in what I do now. So it’s, I love seeing that kind of overlap and how we like each individually bring those past experiences into what we’re doing today. It’s
So true. Was there anything like even in your, like childhood or like, do you have any like, memories from a young age that you can tie back to like, I don’t know, breadcrumbs of what you’re doing today?
Ooh, I love this question. Um, I always was really creative as a kid and I loved art. I loved drawing, I loved painting, I loved all of this kind of stuff. And I absolutely adored connecting with people. And so what I think is so interesting is all of these little aspects that were kind of, um, labeled, or at least, you know, the adults or the, the caregivers in my life at the time would, you know, kind of label them as Oh, that’s a cute hobby, or that’s like a fun, you know, passion. Yeah. But nothing, nothing that was ever like, applauded or celebrated as something that, um, had a huge amount of potential to be something more. And so what I think is so funny is kind of looking back on all of those little just areas where I experienced creativity and those little outlets of joy, um, absolutely have led me to the brand design industry and the education, the coaching that I do as well. Like all of this connection and my value for really understanding people and connecting with them from a values-based place. I feel like that really led me to say a lot of where I am today.
That’s amazing. It’s so interesting, right? Cause I think you’re right. Like our caregivers, like, like you probably really early on had that skill for like the artistic, the ecstatic, right? Like, and also like the human connection and like, those are like soft skills, right? Mm-hmm. , but like, think about how much money and impact you’ve made off those soft skills of, and they really are talent. Like, it really is, it’s so funny cuz for my clients that are, um, designers or have some sort of creativity in their element, I think we’re all creative, right? Mm-hmm. , but like, especially for them that are creative, I just have extra admiration because you’re really putting your creative art on display, right? Like every time you create a website, like you are vulnerably putting your art out there, right? And I think about that, like when I coach, right? When I’m doing a coaching session, in some ways that’s like me painting on a canvas, but in many ways, like all many entrepreneurs are using creative, soft, skilled talents and monetizing on them. And in many ways it used to be thought of that. Like you couldn’t really monetize on that type of skill, right?
Mm-hmm. , absolutely. And what I think is incredible is the way that people have been not believing that kind of looking at that narrative and saying, actually, I don’t think that my soft skills are weak. I don’t think that they’re not valuable. I don’t think that they’re anything, you know, that I should be putting on the sidelines. Instead, I’m actually gonna focus on making that this really key component of my services or my brand, or how I create thoughtful experiences with my clients and for my clients. And I just love the way that people have been maybe unintentionally maybe intentionally kind of reclaiming that space for themselves.
It’s so true. One of my best friends just started her business recently and like, of course I’m gonna like nerd out about it, right? She just started doing like interior design stuff and she’s been good at interior design forever. Like, she has the most stunning house. When I did a photo shoot, I was like, I need to use your house, right? But I think it’s so fun for her to see like something that she’s always been good at almost comes so naturally to her, like now she can monetize on it, right? So I just think it’s so fun. Like it doesn’t always happen. Like I don’t think money always has to be like perfect, perfectly aligned, right? But when we can monetize off of like the essence of what we’re so good at, like, it’s just such a miracle,
Right? I totally get that. And I also love that, you know, when we do have those opportunities to take the things that, you know, really light us up and we don’t necessarily have to take, like for example, if you have a hobby and it brings you so much joy, I’m not saying you need to turn your hobby into like a full-fledged
Business, a hundred percent, a hundred percent
, right? We don’t wanna like lose the joy No, we have for the hobby, um, by putting that kind of pressure on it. But if there’s an aspect of the way that you’re showing up in your relationships or with the people close to you or in your free time for yourself or something that you’re doing, is there a way maybe that that could show up in your business? Would you maybe want, would that serve you well to integrate that more into what you’re doing or maybe what you’re dreaming of doing? I think it’s, it’s a, you know, when we kind of think about it in that way, I think for me personally, at least it opens up more possibility to play with
Yes, it’s true, right? Because at the end of the day, I mean, I have this belief where like, I could be happy or make any business work in the sense of like, you know, if my, I hope I get to coach till I’m 80 because I’m obsessed with coaching. I love talking to women about their problems. Like it just makes me happy . But should that business like crash and burn, I know like that’s the entrepreneur in all of us. Mm-hmm. , I know that I could start a new business or find a new revenue stream, right? And so I think you’re right. As soon as we can swing the pendulum too far one way and be like, we have to only one. Like I really think, like you said, we can use our skill and our talent in different ways within different businesses and find satisfaction.
Mm-hmm. I agree. And I think that, um, that’s really one of the, one of the reasons why today’s conversation around heart-centered sales really caught my attention in the first place. Because I think that it’s, it’s easy for us to almost get hyper focused in the online business space on these aspects of launching, running, and scaling a business. And sales, I think can be a big area where we believe that, you know, our sales process needs to look a certain way or we have a lot of self-doubt around how to talk about our services and ask for that sale. So knowing that you encourage your clients to take this heart-centered approach, I’m just excited to kind of unpack that and learn all of the intricacies more. So my question really is, when you think about having a heart-centered approach to sales, what does that mean and what does that look like for you?
Yes. I love this question. So for me it means, so selling at its score, I think like there’s certain words that can like, have a bad rap, right? I think sales in itself isn’t bad, but because you may have had a bad experience with someone selling to you, or we kind of villainize the word where it’s kind of like a neutral, like social media, right? Like social media is the worst. Well, is it, or is it how we’re using it, right? It’s not social media in itself, but it’s how we’re operating. So I think it’s the same thing with sales, right? Um, but for me, sales at its core is just sharing your work, inviting people to buy from you. And if you’re in a business where you’re selling something you love and you believe in, and after you sell the person, the thing you’re actually gonna deliver with integrity and show up, like this is a good thing, right?
Mm-hmm. like we want. So to me, sales is the beautiful key and missing ingredient between more people being impacted by our work. And when I started seeing it that way, I’m like, oh, wow. Like sales is a gift, right? Like at that time I remember googling, like, um, when I first started my coaching business, I was doing like life coaching, and I remember googling like, how do I get clients without selling like ? And then I realized like, oh, maybe that’s the wrong question. Just how do I sell in a way that’s in alignment with me and alignment with my values feels good to the people I’m selling to, right? Like figuring out how to do it with heart, with alignment instead of figuring out like how to not do it right.
, right? Absolutely. And I think you just just hit the nail on, on the head where yeah, a lot of us, we do have these, you know, kind of a bad taste in our mouth maybe about sales and selling and selling your, you know, your services. Because I think that, well, first of all, I work with a lot of women in the online business space, and I know that you do as well. And I think that there’s this kind of narrative that a lot of us have maybe heard from people in our past where, um, we should not take up so much space. We shouldn’t, um, you know, be perceived as having needs, having wants. And so that feels, if, if that’s messaging that resonates at any point, it can feel really counterintuitive to then in a sales conversation show up and ask for the sale and say, I would love to work with you. Here’s how we can do that, and here’s how much it costs to, to partner with me in this way. Um, and so I think that at least in my experience and what I’ve seen in our industry, um, there can be some discomfort that we need to work through as we focus on having these conversations. But I’m curious, is that something that you’ve seen with your clients at all?
Absolutely. Absolutely. I have.
Interesting. So what kind of encouragement or what sort of advice would you share in, in a, let’s say you’re working with someone and they’re feeling uncomfortable with the thought of putting themselves out there of, of showing up for these conversations boldly of taking up space in that way?
One of my favorite, like first tips to share there is I think we have kind of like a co-dependent view of sales and marketing . And what I mean by that is like, we take a lot of ownership and responsibility too much so for the other person’s feelings and experience because we care, right? Like this is a good thing. Like we care about the person we’re selling to, right? We care about the people that are subscribed to our email us. And that’s why like a lot of times people get stuck in like getting devastated when sun unsubscribes or whatever, right? I hear a lot of my clients saying like, I don’t wanna sell to someone because what if they feel pressured into working with me, right? Mm-hmm. . And I’m like, well, are you pressuring them? They’re like, no. Right? . So I think it’s like we, we take on this guilt or this fear or the shame for maybe other people who are doing weird shady stuff selling, right?
And we swing the pendulum the other way, and we’re not even allowing yourself to be assertive. And something I always tell my clients is, remember the people that you’re selling to are healthy grown women that can say yes or no, right? You’re not forcing them, you’re not manipul, you’re not saying like, if you don’t take your credit card out right now, your business is gonna fail. Right? We’re not doing like anything weird like that. So , I’m assuming that if you’re in Bonnie’s audience, right? That’s like, not you . So if you are, then we’re not talking to you. So I think it’s remembering like you can stand in your power, you can give a strong sell, right? Like, I love the pitch. Like you should rewind and listen to what Bonnie just said. That was such, such a beautiful way to say it, right? I would love to work with you. This is how you do it. This is how much it costs. Giving all of the data, letting them know on your half you would love to work with them. And then being able to let them make that informed decision and supporting them either way, right? If it’s a no no problem, if it’s a yes, then great. But I think we don’t, um, remi remember that it’s the person’s decision to make, but they can’t make that decision if we don’t give them the chance.
Ooh, I love that. Oh my gosh, you just like dropped so many gems in that response and I love all of it. Um, one thing that really stood out to me, and I kind of wanna, you know, revisit is this idea that when we are essentially attempting to micromanage someone’s response, we’re attempting to anticipate how they will respond to us in this conversation. And we’re telling ourselves a story about how they feel or how they could feel based on what we’re doing. We are actually, we are, you know, kind of robbing ourselves with the opportunity to use our gifts, our talents, our skills, all those things that we were talking about earlier to help this person solve the problem that they need your help with in the first place, right?
Mm-hmm. , what I find fascinating is that, you know, in our industry we’ve, we, you know, a lot of us can have a not so positive experience with sales, but, um, the way that you were describing it earlier, Anna, is, you know, kind of sales working with someone can be a gift. It’s this opportunity to show up and to help them. So when we think about it that way, it feels, ooh, it actually feels easier, you know, to start thinking about selling in a way that feels heart centered. It doesn’t feel like something that would be an opposition with sales. It feels actually like something that could be very compatible and very complimentary. So what kind of advice do you have around shifting your sales approach from a way that feels kind of intimidating or, um, you know, icky or, you know, vulnerable to a way that feels more grounded in this heart-based approach?
One of my, the favorite activities that I have my clients do is I call it a win list. And what it helps you do is it helps you get really grounded in who you are, what you have to offer as a service provider. Um, cause I think a lot of our hesitation in selling is a fear of like, okay, what if they actually say yes, pay me a lot of money, and then they’re disappointed? Or what if I can’t follow through, right? Even though you are someone that’s of integrity and is gonna do your best like you are, that it’s almost like an unfounded fear because if you have a fear that you’re not gonna show up, you’re the type of person that will show up, right? , , the people that are shady are not losing sleep over this. It’s always the heart-centered girls, right? That care and that have such strong values.
So there’s that. Um, but it’s taking a minute to list everything that qualifies. Kinda like Bonnie and I were talking about, like even the things from our childhood, right? What are, what’s everything that’s brought you to this moment today, whether it’s past degrees, past courses, past coaching, past reading, ahas, insights, like really fighting that imposter syndrome and reminding yourself, right? It’s almost like a resume for yourself to look at. Um, and I find like when you come to the call from that place, it’s a lot easier to be confident when you are doing the awkward thing of selling yourself. Like someone really is buying, for the most part in energy exchange with you, even if you are providing them a deliverable like a website or Right. Even if you are a done for you provider, you know, and especially if you’re a coach, you are essentially, they’re paying for part of your energy. And , that was the weirdest thing when I came to the online space, right? To really understand. Um, but I think that’s why it can be so helpful to really sink into that confident place of, I’m not perfect, but I do have something to bring. And when this person buys from me, they’re actually getting a great deal, right? They’re getting, um, a great exchange. I’m not like taking their money from them.
Mm. I really love that advice when you are, you know, kind of pouring back into yourself with this information, you’re showing yourself the proof that you can trust yourself, that you are good at what you do, and that you deserve this opportunity. Um, let’s say you’ve done that work, you’re having a sales conversation with a potential client, and then they’re kind of pushing back. And it could be an objection about the price, it could be an objection about the level of service. Um, as we focus on prioritizing that heart centered approach, how do you suggest we really approach and encounter objections when they arise?
Ugh, I love this. I’m so glad you asked this question, . I just love objections so much. I think people see objections as like, oh, no, I don’t want them to have a question. I don’t want them to have an objection, but for me, this is the biggest compliment someone could pay you is having an objection because it means they’re actually interested in working with you. Right? I think about like, when I’m thinking about buying a blender, like I am Googling, I’m asking my friends, like, when you’re really serious about something, then all of the questions come up, right?
And so I always tell my clients on a sales call, if someone’s asking you a lot of questions, that means they’re really close to buying. Like they really are interested, they’re engaged with the process, right? So I think it’s like taking that as a compliment. I think the other thing is remembering like we want our clients to be savvy, engaged buyers and deep thinkers that are asking questions, right? Not that it’s bad to also have the client that like, like comes in, is ready to buy, right? But I think we like villainize the person that like has a lot of questions and is being mindful. Like, I want a client that’s self trusting. I want a client that’s thinking through things. Right? Right. Um, and so I think it’s hard because we take it personally, but when we take the personal piece out of it, it’s actually a beautiful gift that we’re interacting with someone that is mindful about how they spend their money, right?
Absolutely. And something that I personally have found helpful as I, over the 10 plus years that I’ve been running this business have encountered when I am on a sales call with someone is that I’m making it less about if you’re having a conversation about hiring me to build a brand, to design your website, to support you in that way, you, yes, you’re hiring me. Yes, there’s gonna be that energy exchange, but I put the emphasis on my process, on this experience, on this level of service. And so when I experience questions or someone who’s wanting to have a conversation even deeper about how I can help them, I perceive it as they’re not objecting to me, they’re objecting, not even really objecting, and I don’t love that word because it feels like there’s some innate kind of level of rejection. Instead, they’re curious, I like to think of it as they’re curious to learn more about my process and how it’s a good fit for their design needs.
And so I’m not intimidated by that. I’m not taking it personally, and I’m not making it mean something about me, which is what I see a lot of people do. And not that that’s a bad thing, but I personally find that that energy of internalizing something that actually has nothing to do with me and making it mean something about myself never brings anything good into my life. So that’s kind of a, a, you know, simple shift that has been quite profound in my own journey is making it less about you and their acceptance of you and their acceptance of what you do and more about the transformation that you’re offering them through the work that you do as a coach or a service provider or, um, you know, whatever your industry is.
That’s so good. I could not agree more. I think like, you’re right, like usually when someone’s about to work with you, right? They’re on the precipice of a transition, right? I think about that too. Like when women join my like sales mastermind, they’re not just saying like, yes to working with me. They’re saying yes to actually like learning sales, right? Mm-hmm. . And that can be intimidating, right? When someone’s saying yes to you, they’re, they’re, you know, whether it’s saying yes to a website or right. They’re figuring out, am I ready for the time and the money and the energy and maybe the fear and the exposure that’s gonna come with this next chapter, right? So I think it does help to really see it as, and we can almost like be on our potential client. I always call potential clients pre-client mm-hmm. , um, but we can really see being on their team and helping them make their best buying decision, right? I agree about objections. Like, I love also calling it like hesitations or like, and even if someone doesn’t share it, I’ll ask for it. Like, what are, what are your hesitations? And just being that safe space to explore that with them, um, so that we can help them make their best decision whether it’s a yes or a no.
Ooh, I really love what you just said, that last bit about helping them make the best decision whether it’s a yes or a no. And that kind of makes me, um, you know, really look at how these conversations with pre-client, as you call it, which I absolutely love, is more about holding space with another person with the intention of pointing them in a direction that will serve them best. Whether it’s working with you or maybe a colleague of yours or maybe, you know, you just amicably part ways versus having this really intense like jargon heavy, you know, kind of conversation, right?
Mm. I think that’s, for me at least, that’s a beautiful shift where, you know, the sales, the kind of bro marketing approach of sales as like this really, you know, action-based heavy, you know, kind of intense conversation where like, you must sign on the spot . Like, yes,
There’s all that. Where else your life will be ruined forever.
Oh yes, I hate those. Um, instead it’s this open, honest, heart-centered conversation where we are holding space with your pre-client, learning more about their goals, their struggles, how you can serve them well through the level of service that you provide. And then inviting them to take that next step. And sometimes they’re gonna say yes, and sometimes they’re gonna say no. But I think that getting comfortable with those nos when they occur is such a, such a great part of, of really realigning your expectations in business so that you become comfortable with pointing people in a different direction, even if that means that it’s not to you and your services.
I’ve absolutely loved all of this just absolute wisdom that you have been dropping. And I know you, you mentioned that you have an offer where you teach people how to kind of approach this heart-centered sales process, correct?
Yes. I have a mastermind, um, where we talk about sales, money, mindset, all the things.
I love that. And if people are interested in learning a little bit more about that, where can they go?
Yes. A great place to start is my freebie. It’s called seven Sales Affirmations and three Steps to Getting Fully Booked. If you want a little taste of how to start thinking differently about sales and um, also my podcast.
Amazing. And we are gonna have those links in the show notes for those who are tuning in today, you can go to brand strategy podcast.com, click on the latest episode link and all of Anna’s info, this incredible freebie, and all of those fantastic details are gonna be waiting for you there. But before we wrap it up, Anna, I wanna ask one final question. Um, is there a piece of advice or encouragement for those who are tuning in today that you would like to share as they begin to take this thoughtful action towards implementing a more heart-centered based approach to their sales conversations?
Oh, man, that’s great. I would say like, my parting advice would be to, um, kind of like to tie it back to how we started the conversation to really get clear on what the values in your business are. Um, like for me, I have a few, but one of the biggest values I have is honesty, right? And so really looking at your core values and seeing how you can infuse that into your sales process, right? So for me, being honest means that like, if I can help someone, I’ll say that compellingly, like, I would love, like I really feel like my offer could help you, right? That’s honesty. And so I think it’s looking at how do I bring my sales more in alignment? And usually it means being more compelling , um, in your process, but that can be kind of like a fun homework assignment.
I love a good homework assignment. , thank you so much for sharing that with us today, and thank you for having this conversation with me and just diving in so deep into what this approach to sales looks like, what it means, and some of the incredible ways that you help your clients. I have absolutely just had the best time chatting with you about this.
I’ve so enjoyed chatting with you, Bonnie, and even like, I so appreciate even the process of like booking the podcast and chatting with your team, like just so beautiful to see behind the scenes your organization and how you run things with integrity and congruency, and it’s just been such an honor.
Wow. Thank you so much. That, that really means a lot to me. Um, and as we wrap up today’s conversation for, um, the podcast, for those who’ve been tuning in, again, thank you for sharing your time with us. Thank you for tuning in. If Anna’s message, if there are parts of today’s episode that really resonated with you and you have a biz besting industry friend, someone who you know, who’s gonna be starting a business or maybe who’s wanting to focus more on their sales process in 2023, be sure to share this with them. I think there’s a lot of gems in today’s conversation that I’d love for more folks in our online industry to hear. So as always, thank you for tuning in and you know that I’m cheering y’all on from Waco. Thank you so much for joining me today. Friend. Before you go, I would be so grateful to receive your
Feedback on the brand strategy podcast. If you enjoyed this episode or the podcast in general has helped you grow your brand, I’d really appreciate it if you left us a review in iTunes. Your positive reviews enable the brand strategy podcast to continue to grow and reach like-minded creatives just like you. Thank you for all your support and encouragement as together we pursue building brands with purpose and intention. Until next time, I’m cheering you on from Waco.