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Rethinking What it Means to "Sell"

March 31, 2021

By: Kyle Van Deusen

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Doing “sales” has always felt a bit gross to me.

I’ve never considered myself terrible at it — but I was rarely confident going into a situation where I needed to “sell” someone on anything.

When I think about selling, I think about sitting across from someone at a table, trying to convince them that they should open up their wallet and give me money.

Maybe you feel this way too?

I fully realize that it takes sales to grow and sustain a business — but it always just feels just a bit icky… Well, it always did — until I heard Nick Gulic talk on the subject.

Last year at Lee Jackson’s Agency Trailblazer Live event, Nick gave a presentation titled “Sell by Helping”, which out of all the fantastic presentations at this event, was the one that had everyone talking.

See for yourself: You can watch the short 25 minute presentation here: https://youtu.be/HrJy-ngT4KA

I don’t think he realized it at the time, but what Nick was sharing was forever changing the way all the attendees thought and felt about sales.

Not because it was a mysterious, complicated scheme that would magically trick people into buying anything — but because it was so simple, natural, and authentic to who we are as service providers.

Because of the overwhelming demand from the people who listened to Nick’s presentation, he recently expanded on this short talk and broke down the entire “Sell by Helping” methodology into a step-by-step system in his new course under the same title.

Check out the full course description here: https://theadminbar.com/sell-by-helping/

I think we’ve all struggled with clients who don’t want to pay our fees, tell us how to do our job, or ignore all of our advice… It’s frustrating, and oftentimes degrading — but there’s a reason it’s happening... and it’s all about how you’re positioning yourself as a “salesperson”.

The Sell by Helping framework will help you uncover the real mindset of successful sales, understand the phases of a sales meeting, teach you the importance of educating your prospects, help you close the deal (without coming off as sleazy), and comes chocked full of bonus scripts and templates for immediate implementation.

Questions from This Call


One thing you talked about, and I identified with, was the “pressure” that comes from a sales meeting. You feel like you need to sell something in order for it to be successful. This pressure, for me at least, manifests itself in getting nervous, talking to much, and bragging. But you start the course by saying how the objective of a sales meeting is not to sell, but rather to help them. How do these things differ, and is this a better strategy for you, the client, or both?


The understanding module is almost entirely focused around asking questions. What questions to ask, how to ask them, and how to dig deeper — not questions about their potential website, and the features they want to have — but about the problems they’re experiencing that lead them to reach out to you in the first place.

If the customer already believes they need a website, and you build websites, why is it important to go backwards and ask questions about the problems they are facing and what led them to the decision that a website is the solution they need?


I want to read a quote from one of the lessons on this module.

“When people take cheap, crappy options, it’s usually because they just don’t know any better. Your job is to take those options away... We teach them better, so they know better and make better decisions.”

- Nick Gulic

In this module, you start to introduce the concept of giving your client “lightbulb moments” where they start to connect the dots. And for me, going through this course, the quote I just read to you was my “lightbulb moment” on exactly why education is so important. 

Most clients don’t go for the cheap solution because they are cheap or don’t care — they simply don’t know better. It’s our job to help them understand what the underlying problem is, where they, their previous service provider, or even people in similar situations, go wrong, and how the solution you’ll be presenting to them both helps solve their problem and avoids those mistakes.

First, am I understanding this correctly? And second, can you give us an example or run through a scenario of how this works in the real world?


You talk about closing as a continuation of the education process with an invitation to work together — which is a bit different than the “always be closing” type strategies you hear about.

We already spent a lot of time educating the client about their problem, what mistakes they might have made in the past (and how that’s led them to where they are today), and how the solution you propose actually solves their problem.

What kind of education do you need to do in order to “close” the deal and the meeting?

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Kyle Van Deusen

Kyle is the co-host of The Admin Bar, the owner of a agency of one called OGAL Web Design and the co-founder of Docket WP. You’ll likely find him trolling The Admin Bar community.

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