TedX Musings: Clearance Behavior

While coaching TedX presentations last week for the TedX Youth Wrigleyville event, I was introduced to Judy Torres. She is a fantastic speaker who is also a singer and has a one-woman show she tours since it’s off-Broadway debut. Needless to say, we hit it off!

Her talk was titled, You Are Not On Clearance. It was a powerful message about how we can treat ourselves as less than worthy by developing “clearance behavior.” Her message was more about personal relationships and giving ourselves away to anyone who will take us because we have put ourselves on sale. But there are immediate business applications—which is the topic of this blog.

Are you engaging in Clearance Behavior with your business?

Are you reducing your prices or adding more services just to make sales? This isn’t just a problem for entrepreneurs. I’ve heard stories of sales teams promising more than is actually feasible to deliver or making ridiculous timelines which fulfillment teams are then left to manage. Are you in transition and finding it difficult to state your salary requirements? Call it scarcity mindset or whatever you want—it is a real problem.

How to prevent Clearance Behavior

  1. Make a list of “greats!” Write down what makes your company or products special. Include awards and company achievements, prestigious speaking events or great testimonials. Post this or read it each day to remind yourself you are a luxury item that never goes on sale!

2. Use the silent pause. Good things come to those who wait! It is easy to fear silence and jump in with options and lower prices when we hear nothing on the line or don’t want the prospect to get away. Luxury purchases take time to ponder. Silence as a nonverbal signal is one of the greatest and is underused. The ability to wait and to resist desperate, clearance behavior showcases your leadership and self-confidence.

2. Stand firm. Literally stand with great posture! Your feet should be shoulder width apart and knees relaxed (not locked). Think about making yourself wide, like an impenetrable, stable wall. Do this when holding the phone and stay on the message of your value. If seated in a meeting, put your feet on the floor and press through your shoes to stabilize yourself. Use your body to signal your brain to ward off attacks to your pricing and silence the clearance sound bites going through your mind.

4. Walk away. If your potential client is still on the fence- leave! Tell them you have another appointment to keep and will call them tomorrow at 9:00 am. Don’t ask if it’s okay with them or if that is a good time. Make the time good for you because you are a luxury item that others need and you can go elsewhere.

If this sounds difficult, it is! We are raised to be accommodating and we often do really need the sale for cash flow. Know your limits. It’s okay to add in something small or give a small discount as long as you don’t put your product/self or business on clearance!

If you would like to discuss your clearance behavior tendencies, sign up for a free consult. There is also a new hybrid (part on-line, part in-person) course called Confident and Sophisticated Sales which begins soon. Check it out and register for a Confidence Course Call to see if this is a good fit for you.