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Have you earned the right to ask for the business?

One of the phrases leaders often recited at the bank was “bring your swagger, you’ve earned the right to ask for the business.”

I’ve often wondered, had we really?

If the team really had the confidence, believed they earned the right, the natural effect would be to extend an invitation to a client or member to work together.  If they had it all going on, and were the best thing since sliced bread, then why did they struggle asking for the business?

I believe that people don’t ask for the business because they haven’t earned the right, and they know it. They don’t have the swagger or whatever moves that word alludes to (thoughts of Elvis come to mind), because they don’t think they’ve offered value or have something valuable to offer.

You’re struggling to ask for the business because you don’t know how, aren’t prepared, and fear rejection.  You don’t believe you’ve earned the right because you don’t know what makes you different and why you’re better than the alternative. You don’t have swagger, because you just started your business, are breaking ground in a new niche, or trying to keep up in this ever changing and uncertain time.

 Be it capability or credibility, asking for the business is hard. Even uttering those words drums up images of a guy wearing a big collar shirt, buttoned down three holes too many, completing each sentence with ‘eh, oh’.  This is not the business you’re in. You’re here to bring value and help people.

Here’s my proposition: you don’t have to wait until you’re fully prepared, ready, or have unshakable confidence to make the ask.  It can happen today, no matter where you’re starting.

Your mindset plays an integral role in how you sell.  Reframing is a strategy you can use to replace default ideas, thoughts, images, and memories, of what it means to sell or ask for the business.  Reframing provides a more balanced, generative, and realistic perspective. This is not about putting on a positive, naïve, or overconfident spin, it’s about reassessing the real intention behind your actions.

Let’s take these three phrases:

  • bring your swagger
  • you’ve earned the right
  • ask for the business

…and reframe them so you are energized and excited to invite more clients to work with you.


Reframe #1: ‘Bring your swagger’ to ‘Deliver your Brilliant Difference™’.

As we’ve highlighted, swagger has a brash, boasting kind of energy.  It has you lead with ego, rather than the natural confidence embedded in who you already are.  It’s important to be confident when selling and in client conversations; however, you need to be aware of where that assurance is coming from. When it comes from a place of inadequacy because you don’t know enough, aren’t prepared enough, or worry about getting a no, you twist and contort yourself to fit into who you think your clients want you to be.

Instead, here’s an alternative. What if you’re already enough? What if you have everything you need to razzle and dazzle your clients?  Even though you may be new to a role or portfolio, you already have something brilliant and meaningful to offer. It’s your Brilliant Difference. Your Brilliant Difference is how you, in your unique way, bring value to your clients. It has nothing to do with how much you know, and everything to do with who you already are.  When you come from this place, anchored by the strength of your Brilliant Difference, you stop hiding, invite partners to support you, and are confident even when you tell your clients you don’t know. You may have a short-term knowledge gap that you circumvent by being resourceful, however at no time does this gap question or compromise your worthiness.


Reframe #2: ‘Earned the right’ to ‘Request permission’.

Earning the right also encompasses this haughty posturing. It’s subtle, and its intent is to build someone’s confidence in believing they’ve done enough to ask for the business.  But we all know intention does not equate impact. The truth is, if you haven’t put the work in or invested in the client relationship, you put your brand and relationship at risk by leading with this mantra.

What if instead of earning the right, you request permission? Asking for permission makes it an autonomous choice for your client and puts them in the driver’s seat. They get to tell you if you’ve earned the right to make an offer, prepare a proposal, or have a discovery meeting. Requesting permission creates a collaborative conversation your clients say yes to being part of and is not something you believe you’re entitled to. 

There are two other cool things that happen when you request permission. First, it opens up your clients to being more receptive to your offer. Think of it as a key to a door in your client’s mind, that enables them to be willing to hear what you have to offer because they’ve said yes for you to come in. Secondly, if you get a no, not now, or not yet, you’ve learned you have more work to do to ‘earn the right’.  You now have the opportunity to find out what you need to do to get a yes next time.


Reframe #3: ‘Ask for the Business’ to ‘Deepen the relationship’.

No one wants to be sold to. Asking for the business has an ‘ick’ factor associated to it.  The reason being that your attention is on what you’re getting out of the deal, more than on your clients.  Be it meeting a sales target or looking good on your next sales call, this term tends to tune you right into WIIFM (What’s in it for me?).  You feel it and so do your clients when this added pressure is on to make a deal happen.

Even though asking for the business is a brazen move it can arrive prematurely.  This doesn’t mean you need to wait to have five meetings with a client to make a request.  It can happen on your first call. Instead of thinking about the business you’re getting from a client, reframe it into the relationship you are cultivating by deepening this connection.

Deepening your client relationship happens in a moment, not over time. It’s the collection of these moments that build a long-lasting connection, that turns indifferent customers into devoted advocates.  These moments are available when you help your clients find solutions or achieve their goals.  You’re not selling, you’re solving. You’re not demanding, you’re delighting.  You have ideas, products, services, partners, and a myriad ways to help people.  Deepening your client relationship is how you serve them and help them get more of what they want.


There you have it: 3 ways to approach your clients so you can grow your business and sell with integrity.  Now it’s over to you, which reframe struck a chord with you? Which one will you implement?


Check out my new book coming March 7th!  Transformational Selling: 8 Habits to deepen client relationships and grow your business with your integrity intact! where you will learn how to become a Transformational Seller so you reach more clients and make a bigger impact.  Join the waitlist here and be the first to learn about upcoming special bonuses.

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Sell From Love Academy

For Coaches, Consultants and Advisors.

A new way to sell with ease, grace and integrity for a profitable business you and your clients will love.

Identify your Sales Gap

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Module 07Design a Marketing Strategy that Feels Good

The goal of this module is to make your Brilliant Difference and Most Important Thing Offer – VISIBLE.

There’s a saying, build it and they will come. We wish that it worked this way, rather fear does; because then we wouldn’t have to put our selves out there, up for judgement and rejection. Sharing your work, your services and expertise can be scary. But when we come from a place of love, as author Susan Jeffers says we “feel the fear and do it anyway.”

That is how we sell from love. We acknowledge fears presence and at the same time we take action that is aligned to our deepest desire and highest potential and possibility.

In this module we talk about the journey of making you and your offer visible to your clients and the milestones along the way, that will ultimately get you both to a place of saying YES, to working with each other.

Visibility is an option you decide on. My hope after this module is that you make a decision to be visible, in a way that feels good to you and is on the edge of your comfort zone. We need more of you, your Brilliant Difference and your work out in the world. Let’s help your ideal clients find you by showing them where you are.

In this Module you will:

Module 06Craft a Compelling Offer

The goal of this module is to clarify and confirm your most important thing – your offer.  In essence, it is what are you selling that you will use to serve your clients with and help facilitate the transformations they are seeking.

There are two important parts of the offer conversation we need to highlight here –

  • What are you offering to your clients – what are they getting?
  • What your clients are offering to you – what you are receiving for extending that offer?

Fear as a tendency to get in the way when we get to this part of the selling process.  But, not anymore, because you’re seeing that your offer is not about you, it’s about your clients and what they will get as a result of working with you.

In this Module you will:

Module 05Define Your Clients’ Transaction to Transformation Story

The goal of this module is to help you identify what is really happening when you sell. There’s the thing you are selling, and then there’s the thing your client is buying. What are the differences? And how do you not let selling from fear interfere and water down your transformation to a transaction.

At every stage of selling, fear has an opportunity to enter, this is even more prevalent when we are engaging and enrolling a client into our offers. This module is all about getting you aligned to what you are really selling – a transformation and giving you the tools to communicate that to your clients. This way you and your client are on the same page with what you are selling and what they are buying.

In this Module you will:

Module 04Discover Your Essential Client Conversation Skills

The goal of this module is to help you learn and understand how to create an environment that facilitates trust, connection, and confidence with your clients.  You play a critical role in making this happen for yourself and your clients, so fear does not get in the way of your intentions and impact.  In this module you’ll learn how to create a safe space for your clients that help them choose you as their trusted adviser.  You’ll also walk away with the most important conversation skills you need to that will help you do that.

In this Module you will:

Module 03Use Love as a Sales Strategy

The goal of this module is to help you move from your comfort zone and into your courage zone with love. Selling is filled with opportunities for fear to poke its head up inevitably holding you back from sharing your work and making the impact you know you are here to make. This is why we need to acknowledge that fear will be there, especially in times when you’re doing something you’ve never done before or reaching for goals you’ve never set out to accomplish before. This module is all about equipping you with the right tools to move forward with confidence, elegance, and ease.

In this Module you will:

Module 02Claim Your Brilliant Difference

The goal of this module is to help you discover and name your Brilliant Difference. This uniqueness you bring is here to add value and make change in the world. It’s here to make the word a better place. Focusing on who you are and finding the words to articulate your Brilliant Difference is fundamental to loving yourself, the first pillar to sell from love.
In this Module you will:

Module 01Unlock the Power of Love

The goal of this module is to increase awareness of when you are selling from love vs. fear and how embracing a new definition of selling will help you move closer to love.  Plus, you’ll learn all about how to manage the fears you face every time you market yourself and your business, make offers to sell your products and services, start on a new project or business idea.

In this Module you will: