Today's guest post comes to IBP from the team at bebo mia. As a doula, many of us are not wired to be natural salespeople. There might be something more to this, though -- our beliefs. Today you'll learn three simple tips that can make a significant difference in your doula business. Enjoy!
You are a doula, and somehow, you also ended up in the role of entrepreneur. Not exactly what you signed up for.
It happens to the best of us, we sign on to guide mothers through birth and parenting, and we end up navigating the world of sales, marketing our services and are forced into having awkward (for most of us) money conversations.
When one of our co-founders, Natasha Marchand, started her solo business before bebo mia, she remembers having the money conversations in her early career as a doula and her whole body language would change. She would literally ‘kill the consult’ answering every question with ease and confidence, only to shrivel into a ball when they finally asked ‘so what do you charge?’
She would fumble around, nearly apologizing for charging a fee. She would give payment options and make up excuses for them before they even said a word. We are sure that she lost clients because of this…many of them would have been happy to pay her full rate.
Does this sound familiar?
We get it, and we can help. Below is a list of simple strategies that can get you on the path not only loving your career as a doula but loving to sell too!
When we think of selling, most people feel yucky about it, they think of being pushy and aggressive. The reality is, you do not have to ‘sell’ you simply have to listen and offer solutions. We are getting ahead of ourselves, so let’s start with Tip #1:
Change your relationship with money
First, we want to explain why this was happening to Natasha: Her association to money was a negative one.
She saw money as bad, as a negative thing, and we know for sure she is not the only person who feels like this. It is very common for people, especially those of us who are innate caregivers, to see money in this light. Natasha, because of her own life experiences, thought of people who have a lot of money as ‘greedy’ or ‘selfish' or ‘entitled’ ... does this sound familiar? Her belief that was so deeply ingrained over the years that she hardly knew it was there.
Stop reading for a moment and take a second to write down what you think about people who have and/or want LOTS of money. It will only take a second and we promise this will help.
Now, read over your statements. Are the statements you wrote down absolutely true?
Take a look at the word 'greedy' which was mentioned above. Are you greedy for wanting to earn a living wage for the services you pour your heart and soul into? Do you have an intense desire to want more wealth than others by any means necessary? Are these statements true of you?
Of course not!
Take the statements you wrote down and flip them so that now, they read as positive statements that feel true to you. Does this kinda sound like positive birth statements? Because they should!
Spend some time thinking about money and what it truly means to you. See the good in making money and see the benefit it can have on your life and your career.
Here is an example:
“They won’t be able to afford my fees” or “I’m not experienced enough to charge this much for my services”
Now, flip it!
“I deserve the money that I make, and I accept it with ease”.
Like everything else in our lives, receive money with gratitude and joy. Truly believe that your value is equal to your fee. When you do this, all will be in balance and ‘selling’ will feel good. Wanting money for your hard work is not greedy, nor bad or mean. It makes it possible for you to do this good work in the world.
On to Tip #2:
Selling is NOT about you, it is about THEM!
We love that truth bomb! When we are ‘selling’ we want to focus on the needs of our clients. Selling is truly a NEEDS exchange.
You have a solution to their problem. Your solution is a gift to them!
And just as you like to give, so do your clients. By not allowing clients to receive your gift AND offer you something in exchange for solving their problem, you are taking away that good feeling from them. You throw off an important balance by not allowing the exchange to be completed, and that feels yucky to a lot of people. Yup, yucky is exactly the word we would use to describe the feeling that permeates the air whenever someone collapses around money conversations. Natasha was truly taking something away from her potential client’s by not allowing them the buying experience that most people love.
People love to buy, it feels good!
Like that segue into to Tip #3?
People truly do love to buy and it comes with a fun rush of adrenaline and endorphins - it can even be addictive it is so good. What people don’t love is to be sold to, so your job is to create an amazing buying experience.
Every touchpoint you have with your potential and soon-to-be client should feel good. Every email, chat, meeting, and Facebook message should be a fabulous experience. Some fun ideas for this:
- Listen and be mindful, only talk only 20% of the time. This will help you pick up on mini-problems that you can easily solve, like a quick email letting them know where to get the best price on the best baby carrier!
- Connect with them. Consumer science shows that people like to work with people they are like! What do we mean by that? People like working with people that are similar to them. People that compliment them. Not being fake or gross, but rather connecting and finding things you have in common. Starting your consults with this is crucial!
- Exceed expectations. There are so many ways to do this that the sky’s the limit. Our advice is to find ways that are truly unique to you. Just like every email, chat and meeting should feel fabulous, it should also exceed expectations. Have the best informational packet, surprise them with organic baby balm after purchasing with you, send birthday cards. Whatever feels good to you and fills them with absolute joy.
Practice makes better!
We totally understand that learning to love selling is a work in progress. Changing a lifetime of negative beliefs and associations around money will not happen overnight. There will be times when truly believing in our value feels hard and nearly impossible, and it will absolutely get easier with time and of course, practice.
We want to let you know that your beliefs around money truly do impact your actions, and those actions impact your outcome. You will notice that gradually, as you change your dialogue around money, your actions will change. You will stand a little taller when it comes time to state your fee, you will say your fee with pride, and selling will become easy.
And the outcome will change. More clients? Well, we all want that and with this abundance mindset, we can all get that!
Interested in learning more about running a successful doula business? Check out this FREE video series from Natasha & Bianca of bebo mia inc.
bebo mia inc. started off as a brick & mortar doula agency in Toronto, ON, Canada in 2008. They quickly became the fastest growing agency in the city - their amazing team of fertility, birth and postpartum experts supported hundreds of families. During this time, co-founders, Natasha & Bianca also began educating women in Toronto who aspired to become doulas themselves. Since then, Bianca & Natasha, have gone on to support hundreds of families through their pregnancy, birth and postpartum periods. In 2014, Natasha made a move across the country so bebo mia made the decision to move online with its Maternal Support Practitioner (doula) Training.
Today, bebo mia is a global training & mentorship organization for women in the maternal health field, including pregnancy/birth professionals, childbirth educators & parenting specialists. They currently offer 6 Certifications, a and they are beta-testing an online course platform that they designed themselves, called Beez Kneez. Adorably nicknamed by their students, the #bebobabes, the entire bebo mia team brings humour, kindness and a fierce commitment to positively impacting the birthing space into everything that they do.