Are You Wrapped Up in Your Work?

Are you “wrapped up in your work?” Before you answer, I should explain that I’m not asking you whether or not you are a “workaholic.”  Instead, I’m womanwrappedasking if the work that you do creates an insulated barrier between you and your prospects. Do you spend a lot of time networking and talking to prospects but they don’t seem to grasp exactly what you do and what you help people to achieve?

If so, this is a sign that you may be wrapped up in your work.  Let me explain further…

In order to be successful at closing more sales (or even generating referrals), you have to be able to talk about your services in a way that inspires people to do business with you.  The problem is, when you are wrapped up in your work, you tend to have a self-centered way of speaking about your services, rather than a client-centered approach. Selling is all about serving, so a self-centered approach is not an effective way to inspire people to work with you.

Many service-based entrepreneurs are wrapped up in their work because they are extremely passionate about the work that they do.  This passion is priceless! When channeled outwardly, it allows you to help more people! When channeled inwardly, it creates that insulating barrier I was talking about earlier.

So how do you know if you’re wrapped up and what should you do?

Here are the top 3 signs that you are wrapped up in your work:

1) You use a lot of jargon or “flowery language” when talking about your services.

When you’re really passionate about your work, it’s easy to “geek out” and start throwing around industry terms willy nilly, but remember that your potential clients probably aren’t as wrapped up as you are. If they were, they’d probably be industry experts, too.  Keep in mind that they may not know what you are talking about when you use industry terms.  If your prospects don’t understand you or they don’t feel like you understand them, then they aren’t likely to do business with you.

In addition to jargon, you also want to avoid using vague terms.  For instance, many coaches talk in “coach speech.”  If you aren’t familiar with coach speech, many coaches speak in an ornate language that sounds very poetic and beautiful, but it’s also very vague.  Avoid over-relying on phrases like “access your inner wisdom,” “achieve your full potential,” “overcome limiting beliefs,” “remove your inner blocks,” etc.  Terms like these sound great, but they are a bit over-used and not at all specific.

The solution is to speak the same language as your prospective clients.

2) You talk a little too much about the work you do.

One of the biggest mistakes I see service-based entrepreneurs make in sales conversations is talking too much about their services and the work that they do instead of focusing on the concrete outcomes they help their clients to achieve. I get it. It’s easy to do when you are passionate about your work. However, you want to focus more of your conversation on your prospective client’s outcome, not what you do. For example, I used to work with people who were struggling with compulsive hoarding.  I never enrolled a client saying, “I’m going to come in, throw away all of your stuff, and organize this place.”  Nope.  I focused on creating a space where they could do what they really wanted to do, like being able to have their grandchildren over for Christmas.

The key is to focus on the outcome, not just the process of getting there.  Most service-based business owners get stuck in their process because they love their work.  Your clients may not share your love for what you do.  I learned most of my selling skills working with compulsive hoarders.  I was able to help them see the benefit of doing the thing they dreaded most in order to achieve what they desired most.

Another example I’ve seen recently, are health coaches that help women “heal their relationship with food.” That sounds great, but it isn’t a concrete outcome. It may be part of the process of losing weight, being healthy, etc., but it isn’t an outcome that most people are desperately seeking.

Remember, you’re selling the destination, not necessarily the journey.

3) You focus on features, not benefits.

The other mistake I see a lot of business owners make is focusing on the features of their services or products. A lot of business owners list off a number of different features included with a service or product without explaining how that feature benefits the buyer.  Don’t assume people are going to connect the dots.  You have to connect the dots for them.   For instance, if you offer your clients email access, so what? What’s the benefit of that? You need to explain how it benefits them. You might say, “You can email me directly to ask me any questions you might have between sessions so that you stay on track with your weight loss goal.”

Whenever you tell someone about a feature of your service, ask yourself, “So what, what is the benefit of that?” If you do this you will be sure to always focus on what your clients really care about.

Remember, your clients care about themselves and how you can help them. They only care about the work that you do, your services, and how you package them in relation to how it helps them to achieve their goals.  Keep this in mind and don’t get too wrapped up in your work.

I’d love to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment below.

About Tiffany deSilva

Tiffany deSilva is the founder, CEO, and visionary leader of BrightFire Women’s Business Network, LLC.

BrightFire Women’s Business Network is the premiere sales training and coaching resource for service-based women entrepreneurs who want to increase their sales, serve more people, and change more lives.

Feedback & Comments:

  1. These are the big three classic “no-no’s” of marketing. You’ve nailed it. In my experience #1 is the one that small biz owners do the most. Preach it, Tiffany! :-)

  2. This is extremely well written and good way for people to re-evaluate how they are connecting with their clients. So would it be possible for you to do a “sequel” Are You Wrapped Up in Your Work 2 where the heroine is so wrapped up in her work she doesn’t make any time to go out on dates even though she has 87 more first dates to go on. (Don’t tell anyone it’s based on a true story…or maybe you should so she’s forced out of her wrapping paper.)

  3. LOVE this. So many people forget about the benefits and focus on the process. People don’t want to know HOW they are going to get there, they just want to know what they are going to get and how it will improve their life, biz etc.
    Write on!~
    Lisa Manyon

  4. Tiffany, the “coach speak” still has me laughing! Yes, I’ve heard (and had) a few of those. You realize how vital communications is to any process…you need a sender and a receiver and a message that is getting through in a clear manner. Thanks for another great post.

  5. Great solid advice. This is one I have to admit that I need to remind myself of all the time: “you’re selling the destination, not necessarily the journey”

  6. Great reminders. We all need to remember it is not ‘all about me’.
    It is ‘all about the client or customer always’.

  7. Great advice, definitely something to remember and to check myself and make sure I’m clearly focused, focused on the clients, and looking outward.

  8. Heidi Alexandra says:

    This is an awesome article Tiffany and so spot on. The key pearl of wisdom for me is “The key is to focus on the outcome, not just the process of getting there.” By focusing on the client we can shine a spotlight on that end point or vision.

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