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The Dirty Offer Hook Exposed

by Blaze Lazarony on January 28, 2015

She sat behind me; I could hear her sniffling even above all the bustling ballroom chatter.Put down the Gloves during your offer

I turned around and saw a woman in her mid-thirties with tears streaming down her face. She looked up at me with bloodshot eyes and flushed cheeks as she said; “I feel so terrible, I don’t have that kind of money, I wish I did—but I don’t because…” (I’ll keep the details private)

This is a common occurrence in the work I do as a Transformational Business Strategist, people who I’ve never met before feel comfortable telling me deep, emotional, and spiritual things that they share with very few people. It’s almost like I have a flashing light above my head that says, “Talk to me, I’m safe, and I won’t judge you.” Years ago I used to feel odd about how often this happened to me. But as I’ve done more work around embracing my intuition, I realize this is an energetic vibe I give off, and one that people are clearly attracted to.

I’ll call the woman I met that day Michelle. She was upset because someone had just made an offer of his or her products, goods, and services from the stage at the large event that we were both attending. And what Michelle described to me as we continued talking is what I refer to in my business as “the dirty offer hook,” or “the D.O. hook” for short.

“Once they get their hooks into you, you’re a dead pigeon.” –Bud Abbott

“The D.O hook” energetically feels like you have just been served a powerful boxing move in your mid-section. Where you literally feel like someone has just punched all the air out-of-your-body and you’re left feeling an intense level of shame for not doing what they have just told you to do. And to top it off, “the D.O. hook” is sticky too, meaning their words, actions, and motivations stay with you for some time, and you’re left questioning who you are, what you want, and why you do what you do.

“The D.O. hook” was why Michelle was crying.

It wasn’t because she didn’t have the money to invest in the speakers program, it was because the speaker had just hit her with what I call “ the dirty offer hook” and Michelle could feel it.

Do I believe that was the speaker’s intent…absolutely not!

What I do know is this: I have spoken from stages since I was nine years old. The more speeches I’ve given, the more I learn about others and myself. And I’ve even taken multiple programs over the years on how to become a better speaker, and taught them too. And trust me, I’ve made a lot of mistakes and I unknowingly and unintentionally hit people with “the D.O. hook” myself. I like the saying, “When you know better, you do better.” What I’ve discovered, through my own experiences and insights is how to make an empowering offer from the stage.

Three Tips to Make An Empowering Offer

Tip #1–Know Yourself First, then Your Ideal Client

As a conscious women entrepreneur you need to understand first who you are, and then who your Ideal Client is, as well as how you serve them, and make offer to them in words and actions that they understand. That means you need to know your client intimately, this process takes time, energy, and research on your part. Many of my business strategy clients are also speakers; it’s a way of spreading their message to wider audiences. I believe we are each our own client attraction magnets; people don’t work with us as entrepreneurs and small business owners because just of what we offer, they work with us primarily because they resonate with who we are as people first.

[tweetherder]You are Your Ideal Client Magnet.[/tweetherder]

Tip #2–Your Offer is All About Sharing Your Value with Love

As someone who has worked in the retail world for twenty-years, I understand selling and offering goods, services, and products very well. Making an offer from the stage is selling you, not doubt about it, but not in an icky Used Car Salesperson kind of way. Rather, it’s about sharing the value with integrity that you can potentially bring into a client’s life and business with love, generosity, and kindness. There are no scare tactics or doses of shame when you offer with love. When you shift your mindset to sharing your value with love, the entire offer process changes!

Tip #3–Empower People to Make a Choice

Choice is all about allowing people to stand in their power and to say yes and no with authority, and then it is our responsibility to honor their choices. Too many times people feel shame because they are not seen, heard, or acknowledged for who they are, and/or belittled publicly because of who they are or are not as business owners. As a speaker, give people an option to choose without making them feel wrong or invalid for not raising their hand, cheering, or even speaking their truth. I encourage you to find ways to make people feel empowered no matter what they choose.

 

Remember this: We all want to be included, especially in groups. One of our core motivations is to be liked and respected as human beings, if we change who we are to do that, many times we end up not liking or respecting ourselves. The other end of the spectrum can include liking and respecting ourselves, but not feeling empowered for being who we are, especially in groups. We’ve all most likely experienced peer pressure, even as adults. As in many things in life, I believe this is not an “either/or” situation, rather it’s an “and.”

When we can feel empowered for our choices and still be liked and respected for who we are, we physically feel good.

That’s what Michelle desired—to know she was seen, heard, and acknowledged for who she was, even though she chose to not sign up for the speakers program now. If she had known that, she might not have cried, she may have walked away feeling empowered by her choice to say no instead.

How can you put down the gloves and help others feel empowered by your offer? Please share your comments below.

Word Carnivals January 2015

 

This blog post is part of the Word Carnival. Each month, expert business owners get together to share their strategies, wisdom, and insight on unique topics. The New Year is bright with all sorts of new ideas, but in certain circles there’s still plenty of shady tricks and underhanded practices that we think should be called out. This month’s word carnival: Dirty Deeds and Due Diligence – what to watch out for in 2015!

Are you a Conscious Women Entrepreneur–Coach, Consultant, or Healer, who has been in business 2+ years and is ready to take your business to the next level of profitability and success? Let’s talk, I can help!

 

 

 

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Blaze Lazarony is a Transformational Business Strategist, CEO & Founder of Blaze A Brilliant Path, Host of the Blazing Women Entrepreneurs podcast, Best-Selling Author & Speaker. For 20 years, Blaze held high-level positions in Fortune 500 companies, including Macy's, Inc. Today she works with Conscious Entrepreneurs who are frustrated and confused with how to take their business to the next level of profitability and success. Blaze helps them create a strategic and custom-fit business, so they can make all the money they want and live a soul-based life that lights them up!

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Nicole Fende February 17, 2015 at 4:52 am

I’ve always hated seeing people like Michelle in your story. While I’ve never done an obvious icky used car salesman pitch when speaking, your post helped remind me how to not unconsciously tip into that category. Best reminder ->Your Offer is All About Sharing Your Value with Love
Nicole Fende recently posted..Serious or Sucker? When to Spend the Big BucksMy Profile

Janice Schwarz February 5, 2015 at 8:47 am

Great post. I know my ideal client so well, I have prominent link in my nav that says “Don’t Hire Us?!” It’s a list of what type of people we’re compatible with and what we’re not. People can read it and decide if they want to work with us. Weeds out a lot of emails and phone calls now.

” When you shift your mindset to sharing your value with love, the entire offer process changes!” This has always been my approach. I love what I do and I love watching others succeed because of what I’ve done for them. They share the love and refer friends and family. My customers are very loyal, because of my love for them personally and what they do. I’m amazed (but shouldn’t be) that more people don’t operate like that.

I like tip #3. I explain to all potential clients (and it’s all over my website) that I TEACH my customers as we go, so they can make informed decisions about their website and doing business online. I give them options. Shoot, it’s why I finally wrote the e-book! It covers all the stuff the other books don’t! Hopefully, a lot of people can avoid the rookie mistakes I’ve watched so many make the past 15 years.
Janice Schwarz recently posted..Shady Tricks In the World of Web Design & Site PromotionMy Profile

Tea Silvestre February 3, 2015 at 3:54 pm

Stuff like this is what gives marketing and sales a bad name. And it never seems to go away. I’m so glad you were there to keep that woman from jumping off a bridge – WOW. We may all do better with a good buddy who can help keep us grounded and thinking clearly about decisions like this. Thanks for sharing your story and tips!
Tea Silvestre recently posted..One of the Biggest Storytelling Mistakes You Can Make While Marketing Your BusinessMy Profile

Nick Armstrong February 3, 2015 at 3:39 pm

Yeah, I’ve definitely been there before.

Good speakers can drive an audience to believe in something enough to start throwing money around. It’s on the speaker to pay close attention to who is getting over-sold. I’ve been over-sold. And dove right in and bought a lot of things I probably shouldn’t have – until I learned how to sell, myself.

When that happened, and I learned the language of persuasion, it became more about preserving the relationship not because there’s money involved, but because the more you empathize with that other person, the more human/relatable they are to you. Sometimes that’s problematic because you can negotiate against yourself or take on clients you really shouldn’t (you can’t save everyone). More often than not, though – when you remember your value, you can slow your roll enough to stop the other person from making a huge mistake.

You can’t make it in business very long if your customers go broke trying to buy your product, you sell the wrong solution to the wrong crowd, or if the product (or service) doesn’t deliver.
Nick Armstrong recently posted..Marketing Nonsense: Meaningless Words and Red Herring ConcernsMy Profile

Molly McCowan February 3, 2015 at 12:09 pm

I love this. As someone who gets a feeling in the pit of my stomach when something is likely amiss with a person and/or their sales pitch, I’m usually able to steer clear of the dirty offers you refer to. But I love your underlying point: we’re all capable of unconsciously creating a “dirty offer,” especially if we make even one person feel ashamed of themselves, their style of working, or their business.

There’s a big difference between a wake-up call (“Oh, that’s a much better way to do that. I definitely want to learn more/hire her”) and a dirty offer as you define it (“Oh no, I’m terrible at what I do; how could I do it for so long?!”).

In my field, I need to be careful not to make authors feel shame for their errors or blunders: it should be all about empowering them to learn more about how to improve.

Empowerment and teaching is the name of the game, and this post hits the nail on the head. Thank you for writing this!
Molly McCowan recently posted..How to Hire an Editor, Not an “Editor”My Profile

SandyMc January 29, 2015 at 3:26 pm

Blaze, so that is what it is. I’ve heard the seminar fever explained in many ways, but you have encapsulated that winded, wounded, wound up, agonising sensation so well as the Dirty Offer Hook.

Many years ago, even though I understood that we had been virtually hypnotised in a dark room over four days, the spell should have been broken, when on the fourth day a speaker told us, that we had been given all the tools to be successful, so if we didn’t succeed, we were at fault. Instead it made most of us run to the back of the room credit cards flailing. Awful. Glad you have exposed this syndrome. Too many people are badly hurt by it.
SandyMc recently posted..Why you shouldn’t buy a website.My Profile

Blaze Lazarony January 29, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Oh Sandy, Thank you for your comments. I have attended so many events over the years and been exposed to the “group-think” hypnosis myself. It wasn’t until I got my Certification in Hypnotherapy that I really on a deep, deep level understood what was going on in those dark rooms. And the sad thing is that I don’t think many speakers really knew what they were doing, it was that they were trained to do that in order to make sales transactions happen. It doesn’t have to be that way for them or their participants–if it feels like a hook punch to the abdomen, it is. And I have one word-RUN!

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