514 Mary Silver:
Many entrepreneurs are born rebels – we see a path where others don’t and to succeed must walk it without fear of rejection. Yet our nurturing and empathetic nature as women can often interfere with our ability to ask for what we need, including the sale.
I’m Melinda Wittstock and today on Wings of Inspired Business we meet an inspiring entrepreneur who helps business owners and service providers master the sales process so they can become profitable and build independent wealth.
Mary Silver was a disillusioned social worker before she discovered The Secret’s Bob Proctor and earned her first 6 figures in 18 months. She had always wanted to help people and found she could more easily accomplish her dreams as an entrepreneur. Mastering the sales process, Mary decided she wanted to help other service providers do the same.
Today we talk about the mindset you need to create a profitable sales process, the common mistakes many women make, how to build independent financial wealth, and much more.
Mary Silver is an award-winning business and success coach helping heart-based service providers become profitable by mastering their sales process. Named one of the top professionals in her field in 2018 by Powerful Professionals, Mary has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBC, Fox, Bustle, Medium, and many more. She is a master at mindset, a certified Law of Attraction coach, and has spent 20 years helping people get what they want with proven strategies to create a business they love. She is passionate about helping women gain financial independence and freedom by building an online business that is fueled by their passions!
Let’s put on our wings and fly with the inspiring Mary Silver.
Melinda Wittstock: Mary, welcome to Wings.
Mary Silver: Well, thank you so much, Melinda, for having me.
Melinda Wittstock: So you started out in social work before you became an entrepreneur. What was the spark that led you into entrepreneurship?
Mary Silver: Well, I went into social work thinking I was going to help a lot of people. And the system is, unfortunately, broken. We give resources, but the help I didn’t see any big changes occurring, and it was really wearing on me. I had started losing my hair. I was gaining weight. I was stressed. I wasn’t sleeping. And I went to a career counselor and she said, “You should really look at entrepreneurship.” I had never really thought about it, but my dad started teaching me about the subconscious mind, and following your heart when I was nine years old.
Mary Silver: I had always had this interest in what it would be like to go start my own business helping people. It was more motivational. At that point it was more I can help people change their lives by being motivational and inspiring. I followed Bob Proctor and he just spoke my language. So I said, “Why not give it a try? It can’t be any worse than social work was.” I ended up I made my first six figures in my first business after that within 18 months. I was like I’m on the right path.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s fantastic, but how blessed you were to have a father to start teaching you about mindset at such a young age. I happen to believe that should be the curriculum of every elementary school right the way through because you see so many people not really living the lives they were meant to lead, and having all kinds of problems as a result, and discovering only much later into their 40s and 50s, and even later, sometimes never, the subconscious drivers that prevent them from really stepping into their true power and what they’re supposed to do. I’m curious, though, that you saw the immediate connection, though, between mindset and entrepreneurship.
Mary Silver: It was more I have to say it was because I went to the career counselor and she had me take some tests, and everything that came back as something that I would thrive in had to do with sales and entrepreneurship. I remembered when I was in high school I did speaking just in front of groups for my class and everybody would say, “You should be a speaker.” So I followed speakers, but I never made a connection that that was a business. That didn’t hit me until after following Bob for a while and seeing that he was speaking all the time, and he was making it a business, but along that same line I really wanted to, okay, let me just be honest. I was a little bit of a rebel and I didn’t want to follow anybody else’s plan. So it fit for me, my personality, and it gave me the creative outlet I really wanted.
Melinda Wittstock: Entrepreneurs are natural rebels, right?
Mary Silver: That’s true.
Melinda Wittstock: Because you have to dare to go against the grain, or you have an idea and you create something that hasn’t been done before. So that’s inherently rebellious.
Mary Silver: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: Or being willing, being okay with being different than everybody else.
Mary Silver: Yeah. And on that same note it’s scary because there is rejection out there and you do, like you said, it’s therapy just going into entrepreneurship because you learn so much about yourself, where you feel weak, where you need to grow, where your strengths are, and where your interpersonal power lies inside of you and how to tap into that.
Melinda Wittstock: I want to talk a little bit about sales because, of course, there’s a direct correlation between mindset and your ability to sell. I want to start really simple what you think makes a great salesperson because entrepreneurs even if that’s not our main role in the company as founders, or CEOs, we still have to be good at it, especially, in the very early days.
Mary Silver: Absolutely.
Melinda Wittstock: So what makes a good salesperson?
Mary Silver: Well, I think that for me it is about authenticity. I’m a heart-based sales woman, so I believe that when you’re honest with somebody, and switch the attitude from selling and taking something from somebody to selling and serving someone, and helping them transform an area of their life that they really want that’s when the switch becomes a really powerful salesperson because if you’re selling something to somebody who you can’t help, that’s when you’re going to fail. So it becomes about recognizing can I help this person in the best way? It’s not really about the closing of the sale. It’s the connection of the person, how authentic you are to it, and really allowing them to self-identify themselves as your client.
Melinda Wittstock: I think with sales, sometimes, though, people do, and this is where the mindset comes into it because you can be creating amazing value for other people, and solving so many problems, but I still see women still feeling bad about asking for the sale. Do you think that is just because we can often fall into a pattern of just not valuing ourselves enough, and then by extension not even valuing our own products and services enough?
Mary Silver: Yeah, I actually believe that it goes back to core wounds. I believe that it goes back to am I worthy? Am I lovable? Do I even have the right to ask for this? And those are so ingrained. They come into our lives zero to seven years old is when we start picking up on these core wounds. And it takes years if you’re not aware of them, it takes years to get through them. So when you’re in the process of asking for somebody for something that they’ve worked hard for it’s almost a guilt that you have to recognize. I don’t believe that there should be guilt just to be clear, but there is almost when I’m working with my clients this guilt that they think they’re taking something away from somebody instead of giving somebody something.
Mary Silver: I do think it goes back to, well, first, we’re taught don’t bother people, or there’s the sleazy sales guy that’s going to sell you the used car. There’s a lot of messages that are put into our heads as we grow throughout our lives. I think that that really starts to become a mindset issue for people who are moving on this journey. They don’t want to be seen as a sleazy salesperson. They don’t want to be seen as taking something away from somebody, but they’re worth getting paid for their service. If you can help transform somebody’s issue into something that can flourish in their life then, of course, you deserve to be paid.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s interesting to me though, too, that often you hear people talk about when they succeed they’re going to give back. As entrepreneurs, we don’t have anything to give back. There’s an inherent guilt in that, that we’ve somehow taken something from somebody to build successful businesses. In actual fact, I go back to say what you were doing as a social worker with entrepreneurship we can put a big multiplier on all sorts of social impact, improving people’s lives. In a way we’re creating so much value so why feel so guilty about it?
Mary Silver: Yeah, I think it goes back to these messages that society brings up over and over. And even if you look at some of the most, I have a lot of my clients are very spiritual-based, and they have that thought that spiritual people should just give you don’t take money, but then when I challenge that thought process with them, I say, “You don’t think that churches ask for money? Look at the Vatican. It’s one of the biggest, largest, most abundant buildings I’ve ever seen.” So, absolutely, they are taking, or not taking, but they’re accepting money because they’re giving a service, they’re giving people faith. So it’s when you shift from, how am I really serving these people and moving through that.
Mary Silver: I think it does take a while to get over the guilt and sometimes you’ll even have a client that will say, “This is really stretching me.” And it will trigger that. And there’s a whole new layer that you have to go through, again, but each time, each level, I think that’s when you become stronger. I think your products, services, anything it is that you’re selling become better. And it’s that confidence that people become attracted to, and that’s when you go back to the authentic selling. You don’t want to sell something to somebody that it’s not going to work for because that’s not a win-win for anybody.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. At the bottom line there’s all kinds of money mindset issues here about money. All money is, is just a marker of the exchange of value between two things. It’s not a thing in and of itself. A lot of people say it’s essentially an energy, and yet we have all these issues. Perhaps when we were children, we heard our parents arguing about money, or saying that money doesn’t grow on trees, or somehow people who have money are bad inherently, or some such. I mean, it comes up in our politics all the time as well. So when you’re working with your clients, how do you help them past those money issues that I think we all have in some way, or another?
Mary Silver: Well, absolutely. I’ll give you a great example. I had a client, she asked, this is really interesting. She came to me and asked me if I would trade with her. She wanted to do some healing work with me and I would give her business advice. She wanted to do it as a trade. And so I worked with her. I said, “Listen, this isn’t going to be a trade. And here’s the reason. It took just as much energy for you to come to me and ask me to trade as it would for you to come to me and ask me to purchase what it is you were selling.”
Mary Silver: When you can flip it into it’s just energy it’s the belief that you have behind what you’re asking for. And then I go into you can’t pay your bills with a trade. You have to have an income. You cannot put on your tax form, and I traded X amount of hours because it doesn’t show up in a monetary value. In our society that is what we need. Our bank statements, our credit scores, they’re all on a monetary value. So, yes, is it energy? Absolutely, it’s energy. And if you have enough gusto to ask somebody for a trade just flip that energy and make it a sell.
Melinda Wittstock: So you have a signature program, and I love the name of it. It’s called the Seductive Sales Solution. Why seductive and how does this system help your clients actually master sales?
Mary Silver: Absolutely. The Seductive Sales System is more about I love ‘love’. I wanted it to be on something different than client attraction, or anything. I really feel that when you step out in front of your audience there’s a level of seducing them. It’s not meant to be manipulative at all. It’s how does your audience fall in love with you? And that’s really the seduction phase. The seduction phase can be broke down into your client attraction, your list building efforts, your speaking engagements, but it’s really where you go out and you’re seducing somebody to fall in love with you. Then with the Seductive Sales System it moves you once they’re into your audience and become a raving fan then you can move into the serenading phase. The serenading phase is the know, like, and trust factor. That’s where they get to know you, and you’re just giving them swoon worthy content, and you are showing them there’s a lot of value in staying in touch with you.
Mary Silver: And then we work on sealing the deal and that’s how to authentically close the sale. So it’s how do you want to do it? There are so many different ways to close the sale. You can do sales calls. You can do cold-calls if you want. You can go through a speaking engagement. You can go through email. I think that a lot of people feel that sales are just done over the phone, or in person. There’s a lot of heavy energy around that and you can make sales fun. So when we’re doing the seal the deal process with my Seductive Sales Solution, it really works to allow them to find what really lights their fire up, what makes them excited, and how they want to sell the most authentic way for them, and in the most loving way as well.
Mary Silver: And then I have the five-star experience and that’s where I teach them how to create a program, or a service that is just above and beyond so their clients keep coming back for more. And that guilt about asking for the money goes away because these programs, these five-star experiences, they are just loaded with benefits. It’s a no-brainer for them to sign up. So it’s the entire sales funnel, actually.
Melinda Wittstock: Do men and women sell differently? Is there something that, yes, tell me about that because I think there’s a lot of women who imitate men and it doesn’t work.
Mary Silver: It doesn’t. When I first learned how to sell, I was in real estate, and I just did everything that my broker would tell me to do. I didn’t even blink an eye. I was wearing suits, and knocking on doors, and doing everything it took. Of course, that is why I went over six figures in such a short period of time. However, I really found that I was missing that feminine side of my selling. I missed it tremendously and I felt more in a masculine energy. And so when I got out of real estate, I went into coaching. I really knew I wanted to be a coach. Of course, with my background in social work, I wanted to help people.
Mary Silver: I was transitioning. I had learned what I needed to know about marketing and sales. So I was transitioning into the online coaching industry. This was back in 2009, and it allowed me to open up that feminine side. And that was really where my messaging turned into I want to work with heart-based service providers. I was able to allow more feminine stuff. And that actually goes back to my signature program, the Seductive Sales Solution. I wanted it to be a little bit flirty, and a little bit more edgy, and it was okay to do that. I didn’t have to be like, man, I just bought a jet plane and now you can have the kind of wealth I have, right?
Melinda Wittstock: There’s a lot of that.
Mary Silver: There is, I call it the bro marketing. I just find it very inauthentic, and I find it misleading because as you know no business is an overnight success. It takes years. And those people who do make it relatively quickly, a year, 18 months, they’re 1%, if even that.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, it is very rare. And there’s a whole bunch of people who are like, hey, I made seven figures and then they didn’t tell you that it cost them high six figures to make the seven million. Maybe they made a $1 profit.
Mary Silver: Absolutely. I just read an article on a man that had worked behind the scenes for a big name marketer, and the marketer was telling everybody he had a million dollar launch, which he did, but this guy who wrote the article broke it down and actually what he paid out his affiliates, and then what he paid for his designers, what he paid for the ad spend, and at the end of it, his net was $45,000.
Melinda Wittstock: And that’s more normal than not.
Melinda Wittstock: What is interesting with men because men are naturally hardwired for pursuit, right? So way back hundreds of thousands of years ago they had their spear and they’re waiting for the wildebeest, so that’s still the way they’re wired. Whereas, women, I mean, we’re so collaborative, we’re very intuitive, we’re empathetic, right? Men can have these characteristics, too, but we’re better at attracting, that’s why I think the name of your thing is so interesting, seductive, because when we attract and do more of an enrollment sale it works so much better and it appears softer, but it’s more co-creating with your customer, collaborating with your customer, and leveraging those natural feminine, or archetypal feminine skills.
Mary Silver: Absolutely, and both men and women want to be seduced. They want to be. Seductive sounds just so inviting. Who doesn’t want to be a part of that energy? I’ll give a great example. My husband is a vice president of a large company for sales, and they’re a one call close. His way of selling is do takeaways. They are in there, and if it doesn’t close, they don’t go back. I’m more relationship type sales. I like to nurture my clients, nurture my audience, and have raving fans. I don’t think there’s one better way or another way, but I highly, highly agree with you that men like to have that immediate conquer. I did it, and I can show that I did it, and I’m able to do it on the first try where I think women are a little bit more easier on themselves and saying, “I really want this connection with my client.”
Melinda Wittstock: So you’re a big champion, too, for helping women to really become independent financially. What propelled you in that direction, first of all? I’ve got a bunch of questions about that, but what was the inspiration there?
Mary Silver: Absolutely. So when I first started coaching back in 2008 I was married, and I had two little girls. Long story short ended up going through a divorce and had all of my retirement money, all the equity in the house. Everything that had been growing actually got split. I had to pay my attorney fees. I was sitting there with these two little girls looking at them saying, “I want to be a role model for these girls and I don’t want to ever depend on a man for my income. I want to be able to inspire my little girls to find their own income, and to be financially independent.” No matter what happens in their life, God forbid, when they get married, or with the partner they pass away, or get divorced I wanted them to feel confident and strong. It became a mission for me because when I started making my own money I had paid off $75,000 of debt not filing for bankruptcy.
Mary Silver: I did it a little bit different for sure. I mean, there’s probably some financial advisors that would tell me I did it wrong, but I didn’t want that debt, so I took my 401(k) paid it out and paid down my debt. I was debt free within a year after being divorced, and had started creating a new savings account. I started having savings accounts for my children so that they could have something, a nest egg to invest in. And then I started reading a lot about how women can become financially independent and it’s by taking it’s just 10% of your income. If you take just 10% of your income when you’re a kid, and you take that when you’re 25 and invest it you can be a millionaire by the time you’re 30. It became more of a goal to help my children get there because I never wanted them to be in the position I was in.
Melinda Wittstock: It strikes me though that men and women, none of us really get a good financial education as young people, and for your daughters to know all of this is so important early on, and it’s an opportunity for all female founders, my goodness, to be such role models for our kids if we manage our own businesses. And yet I see a lot of entrepreneurs I call it entrepreneurial poverty because they’re not actually building assets in their business, or when they take money out of their business, the money is coming out of their businesses to support their lifestyle. Their personal is funding their business, but none of it is going towards creating assets either in or outside of their business.
Mary Silver: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: So, do you do a lot of financial education with your clients as well?
Mary Silver: I don’t touch on that very much just because of the legal ramifications of giving financial advice.
Mary Silver: I do recommend people follow T. Harv Eker has a great book on wealth creation, and he talks about having the 10 accounts for separate things. I think that when you do separate your money like that for anybody, and this isn’t financial advice, it’s just something that I’ve picked up along the way. When I did create these accounts and put money into different accounts, that’s when I actually started seeing my wealth increase. My husband and I now, my now husband I found the love of my life after my divorce.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s great.
Mary Silver: Yeah. We talk about how we want to invest in real estate, so some of the money that we bring in from our businesses, we go ahead and put those into like you say assets that don’t necessarily even relate to our business. I think that when you can open your eyes and see that there’s other possibilities out there, even investing in other people’s businesses, there are some ways you can really fast-track your financial independence.
Melinda Wittstock: And it’s a big passion of mine to encourage women to take a more active role in investing. I’m shocked how few female entrepreneurs invest even if they’ve had an exit in their business. If it’s that kind of a business like a technology company to have a big exit, or whatever, aren’t really active investors. And wouldn’t it be nice if we were a little bit better at investing in each other’s businesses and really supporting each other a lot more?
Mary Silver: Absolutely. Amanda Steinberg wrote a book on wealth creation and it primarily is for women. I had a chance to meet her and talk with her. I actually volunteered for her as she was out here in Denver during a speech. And I ended up being able to spend some time with her. And she was really the one that opened my eyes up around taking just that 10% and investing it into some funds, and having even when the kids were small and getting those investments prepared for them.
Mary Silver: I was shocked because it wasn’t that long ago that I found out about it. It just was not talked about. If anybody was going to do investments, it was through your 401(k), and they made the decision go moderate, aggressive, or where you wanted to be, but they never explained it. I found talking with her really catapulted me on that idea that, wow, we can make our money work for us. And that is part of the entrepreneur, that journey that we go through, but I’m surprised it’s not talked about and taught in schools.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, it really needs to be. So tell me a little bit about your ideal client, the type of client that you love to work with most so maybe a before and after story.
Mary Silver: Absolutely.
Melinda Wittstock: What are some of the transformations that you see as well?
Mary Silver: Sure. I love working with heart-based service providers, coaches, or consultants, but really people who are settled in the fact that they’re going to come from a space of love. It’s not going to be manipulative, and it’s not going to be this false urgency that I see along the Internet because the reality of it is you’re always going to have a business, and you’re always going to have a service. So there is no urgency. People will come to you in the right divine timing. I love to work with people who believe in that as well.
Mary Silver: I find that the clients that I have the most fun with are the ones that don’t even know. They start out, they’re a little bit new, and we will start working on their sales funnel. They put out their freebie offer, their list building offer, and then I’ll ask to work on a value ladder. And when they learn about the value ladder, it’s like this whole light bulb goes off like, oh, there’s different price points for different things. So clients can come in at different levels because you are going to have people who want your one-on-one attention, and who are willing to spend a lot more money for that. And then there’s people who know they can do it on their own. They don’t want a lot of connection because they’re more, I’m going to go do it on my own and create it on my own. So you can have programs on that as well.
Mary Silver: One of my favorite stories is I work with a woman who her whole goal is to give back to nonprofits. She is really great at doing events that bring in thousands of dollars for nonprofits instead of grant writing. And as you know, grant writing can be quite a long process and it’s very competitive. It’s not always something that you’re guaranteed, and you spend a lot of time writing the grants. She takes her clients and she helps them create these events. They’re like evening with, oh, I’m trying to remember what she called her last event.
Mary Silver: Oh, it doesn’t matter, but they create these black-tie events and they do auctions. They bring in $10,000 to $20,000. The nonprofits she’s working for are just blown away at how much money they bring in for one event. All the stuff is donated and the space is donated because they’re nonprofit. Her whole dream of giving back to the community is coming true. When she first started, she just saw it as doing these little classes and now she’s doing workshops. She’s doing membership sites. She’s doing these one-on-one events and now her high ticket item is where she goes in and she works directly with the board itself. It was such a great experience to see her take all these pieces and put them in her own value ladder and still be excited about what she was doing.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s fantastic. Well, that’s got to feel good. I can hear the enthusiasm in your voice and when you see, I know this, when I see my clients do something really amazing, or in any of the businesses that I’ve done it’s why you do it, right? So that’s got to feel good. How can people find you and work with you?
Mary Silver: Absolutely. I’d love to offer a free gift and it’s swipe files, actually, they’re scripts for sales scripts, and they’re through email. It’s authentic. They’re really the way I went from making just barely $500 a month when I first started coaching to bringing on multiple clients at $2,000 and above contracts. I’d love to offer these scripts for them for free. And they can get them at Bitly. It’s bit.ly/swipescripts and there is an S on the end of that. Swipescripts.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. That’s hard to say, but very valuable. Mary, thank you so much for your generosity in that because it really, really helps, and a lot of women struggle with the sale. So thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us.
Mary Silver: Absolutely. Thank you so much. What an honor. I feel blessed to be here.