Reality Check: There Isn’t a Way to Make Sales Without Selling

Like any of us, I see plenty of ads on social media, and lately, there’s been a troubling theme around ways you can make sales without selling. This is insanely dangerous, and not at all new. The reason I want us to discuss this is that the theme I’m seeing lately is how you can use your podcast (public or private) as away to make sales without selling in your business.

And spoiler alert… that’s a lie. 

In this episode of The More Profitable Podcast, we’re going to dig into why this notion is flawed and explore how your podcast can truly support your sales process – without trying to skip the most critical part: selling.

3:00 – Debunking the myth and understanding why selling is a necessary part of business growth.

8:45 – How your podcast can change the way you sell, but will never eliminate the need for selling.

13:30 – A real-life example of selling through podcasting. 

17:00 – Why selling is a skill that requires practice and awareness.

22:00 – Every small business owner’s primary job is selling, and how to strengthen your sales skills.

Mentioned in Reality Check: There Isn’t a Way to Make Sales Without Selling

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Today's episode is a little different. I don't have an outline. I am truly, deeply just riffing because I have been seeing this messaging in a lot of ads, specifically ads built around podcasting, mostly private, but some public.

I think it's really concerning, and I think it's really alarming, and I think it's really dangerous for business owners who are looking to use their podcast to generate, educate, and convert right-fit clients.

So I decided, because I'm in charge, that I wanted to give some space to this messaging today. I wanted you and me to have a conversation about why this is not the approach to take and a different way we can look at this podcasting piece in our sales and marketing process. Cool? Let's dig in.

Welcome to The More Profitable Podcast with Stacey Harris. I'm Stacey. This is the spot to learn more about the strategies, tactics, and tools you need to build your more profitable podcast. My team and I work every day with podcasters like you to shift shows from frustrating time sucks to productive members of your sales team, because your show should be built to generate and convert leads. So let's get into it.

As I said, today's episode is going to be a little different because I don't have the structure that I normally have, which is funny because last week I told you all about consistency and da, da, da.

We'll have some structural consistency here for sure because consistency is important. But my process looks a little different for today's episode. I'm not looking at an outline. I'm not looking at the three points I need to make today. I have a sentence written. I'm going to tell you what it is in just a minute.

We're just going to talk through this because, A, I wanted/needed a space to talk about this. That's what this is for. Also, this is something that I want you to be cognizant of as you're scrolling because I think that scrolling can be a lot of fun. I do it on the reg. I'm not going to lie. But it can also create a dichotomy in our heads around what we're seeing and what we know is real.

I want to address the what we're seeing side of it because it does not line up with what I know is real. The sentence I have written and the thing I want to talk about today is that there's no way to sell without selling.

I have been inundated lately with ads from service providers and coaches selling specifically private podcasting, but occasionally even public podcasting as a way to sell without selling, as a tool to generate sales in your business without you having to sell anyone. It's not true. I'd go as far as saying it's dangerous.

There's no way to grow your business, there is no way to generate revenue consistently over time for the whole life of your business without having to sell something.

I don't mean having a sales page up and an offering. I mean you selling. We're going to talk a little bit today about why that's so dangerous. We're going to talk a little bit about the reality behind it, which are the ways that your podcast can support you in selling and change the way you sell, but it will never, ever, ever, ever remove your need to sell because it's the whole job. Your whole job is to sell.

Speaking of selling, here's an example of using your podcast to sell where you do have to sell. Ready? We've got coming up another Podcasting for Profitability Roundtable. I'd love to have you join us. I'd love to dig into this more with you and hear your thoughts on this. Make sure you head on over to uncommonlymore.com/roundtable and reserve your seat.

While you're there, after you reserve your seat, submit your question. Let me know what you want to talk about, and hear about. What do you want me to answer? I would love to answer it. I do prioritize questions that come in before we go live in the call just because it gets the ball rolling.

Also, I find that it creates a lot of questions in the room when we start with a question. I always start with the submitted questions. If you want to be top of the heap and get your question answered first, make sure you get it done in advance.

Again, head over to uncommonlymore.com/roundtable. Reserve your seat, submit your questions, and join me live for our next roundtable conversation. All right, let's dig into this, this idea is that there is no way to sell without selling. Because, again, this stems from having seen an obscene amount of ads recently, selling podcasting as a solution for making sales when you don't want to sell.

I think this is wrong on several levels. The first and foremost being when you launch a podcast, you've just created something else to sell. Yeah, let me say that for you again. When you create a podcast, when you launch a podcast, you are adding another offer to sell.

I have to sell you on listening to this podcast. Even inside of this episode, parts of this episode are built to sell you to do something. Many, in fact, most of those things have nothing to do with paying me money.

Only one time in this conversation will you hear me mention something that includes paying me. That doesn't mean that that's the only time I'm selling. In fact, you could do an entire episode where you not once, not one time mention your email list or your offers, and you'll still be selling in that episode because you are selling an idea. You are selling a concept. You are selling your brand values. You are selling your perspective. All of that is sales.

The title of this episode is built to sell you on hitting play. The intro is built to sell you on staying a little longer. Each of these elements is a sale. By the way, that's just once you get to the title. If I posted an Instagram post, and that's what got you over here, the Instagram post was selling you this episode.

All we do is sell, which is great news, by the way, because it's proof you're a lot better at it than you think you are. You're already selling all the time. Instead of trying to chase a way to sell without selling, I want you to start getting comfortable acknowledging your sales skills, wherever they're at right now.

Because your awareness of where they're at right now is what's keeping you from successfully selling. It will never be easier to sell your services or your offers from your podcast than it will be when you figure out how to acknowledge that you're using it as a sales tool.

Until you put the energy behind improving your sales skills, which doesn't come from joining a sales program, which doesn't come from investing in a one-hour consult with a sales expert, which doesn't come from reading every book you can find in the library on sales, it comes from practice.

I'm not saying skip all of those things. There are tools and resources in each of those things that will give you stuff to practice. But hiring the person, paying for the course, and checking out the book won't improve your sales skills. They may give you more information about your sales skills, but they will not improve it.

Do you want to know what will improve your sales skills? Selling. Acknowledging all the little ways you sell stuff every day is going to jumpstart your recognition that you're already doing this instead of continuing to perpetuate an idea, a falsehood that you can sell without selling. Now, you may be able to sell differently because you have a podcast, but you do not get to skip sales.

There is no way to generate revenue in your business, to pay yourself, to pay your team, to pay for your software and your services, and all of the things you use to keep your business going if you do not learn to acknowledge that sales is a required skill.

In fact, most of the podcasters who I talk to, when we sit down and we talk about why their podcast isn't working for them, it's because they were given this belief. They were sold this idea that if they just had a podcast, that would be evidence that they knew enough that people would just be hammering down their door, when in reality what you were sold was another thing to sell wrapped in a solution to your desire to skip sales.

Until you adjust that belief, until you shift that perspective and understand that you're building a tool to support your sales to expedite a sales cycle, to do some of the sales call lift before you get on a sales call, until you acknowledge that this tool is a sales tool that you're building to help you sell instead of a tool you're using to try to skip selling, it won't work. Because you're not building it to work. You're not going to build something to sell if you're trying to build something that'll allow you to skip selling.

You're going to leave out calls to action, you're going to end up in an endless pit of nurture and value that attracts only people who want to pretend they're taking action and go through the motions of exploring a frustration or pain point without ever really resolving it.

We've all gotten those calls on our calendar before. I think I hope it wasn't just me, not that I'm wishing this on you, but I'm hoping it wasn't just me who ended up with clients who thought paying the invoice would be the solution.

I know my coaches out there hear that one. “Well, I joined The Mastermind. Why isn't the problem solved? Oh, I have to do stuff in The Mastermind. I have to take action on these things. I wasn't prepared for that.”

When you engage, when you purchase these courses, when you talk to these consultants who are trying to get you to sell without selling, trying to get you to create a thing that is going to allow you to skip something that is critical, again, is your whole job.

The primary job of every small business owner is that of a salesperson. We spend all day, every day selling. We're selling our team on the fact that this whole thing's going to work. We're selling our family, occasionally on the same thing. We're selling ourselves.

That's before we get to any of the actual sales in our business. You do not have a business if you want to skip selling. Your podcast cannot be a sales tool if you're building it in a way that avoids selling. Because you won't include the things necessary to get to use it.

I think for me, the most frustrating point about this is a sales hook. Because when you do these things, when you try to avoid selling, you create this massive juggernaut of to-dos that are never going to deliver you a result.

You're distracting yourself with action in order to avoid meaningful results-oriented work. I have heard this called—and I know I made this up, but I have no idea who to credit—but it's called procrastinaction. They are all of the actions we take in order to procrastinate on taking the actual actions that will move us forward. I have always thought of this as procrastiplanning because that's how mine shows up.

Instead of doing stuff, I plan to do other things. It's a big red flag for me when I know whatever I'm doing is not going to work if I am planning something to avoid doing something. It's not productive.

That's exactly what's happening here. You are being sold a whole plethora of options and actions that are never going to get you where you want to go. Because there is no version of this where you get to skip selling, even if you launch a podcast that's solely supported by sponsorships because you've got to on the back end sell the sponsors, and on the front end you've got to be selling the thing the sponsors are paying you to sell.

Now, in full disclosure, it can often feel easier to sell other people's stuff because there's a whole lot less vulnerability in it. But to get those sponsors, you have to sell you to the sponsors.

There is no version of running and owning a business that allows you to sell, that allows you to generate revenue without doing the work of sales, without doing the work of selling.

That's why whenever you see one of these ads selling you any kind of solution as a way to sell without selling, I want you to just see one giant red flag because there is no way to sell without selling.

There are ways to make selling more comfortable. There are different ways to sell. For example, I do zero cold calling. I don't cold call. I don't email. It's just not something I like to do. So I've built a business model that doesn't require it. I've built a business, a suite of offers, and a sales system that doesn't require me to do it. Does that mean I'm selling without selling? No, it means I'm selling without cold calling.

I sell nonstop all episodes, every episode of this show, all the time. That's true even if we remove the calls to action, which you should never do. But you hear me mention things, you hear me mention offers, you hear me tie this to work with me even when I'm not doing the two calls to action that sit structurally, consistently in this show week after week.

We talked about this last week. You know what's going to happen. You hear it. If you listen every week, you probably hear me say two words. You're like, “Here it comes.” You can tell by my tonal shifts when it's coming because it's here all the time.

That's why it works because it's here consistently. There is no way to sell without selling. If you are currently uncomfortable using your podcast as a sales tool, if you're currently uncomfortable selling, we've got a little bit of a different offer for you today.

I don't want you to look at an Intensive. I don't want you to look at the Mastermind. I don't want you to look at production. I want you and I to have a one-hour conversation about sales.

I love sales. I'm not a sales coach. I'm not going to try to sell you a sales coaching. I'm not going to try to sell you a sales training. I don't have any intention of selling sales skills as an offering, but I am happy to sit down and talk this through with you because it is an absolutely imperative thing that you get comfortable selling because you cannot make money. You cannot sustain a business without getting comfortable with your sales skills.

By the by, it's a thing that never stops improving. It's a thing I never stop working on. I have been working on my sales skills since I was six or seven years old. Frankly, honestly, before then, I've been selling my whole life. But I say six or seven, probably seven because that is the point at which I first started selling Girl Scout cookies.

That is the first formal time in my life I can think of like I was selling. Now, if you ask my mom, she will probably tell you I came out of the womb trying to sell people on things because I've always tried to get people on my side.

But I, without a doubt, am comfortable selling and frankly pretty damn good at it because it is something I do every day. It's something I practice every day. It is something I'm always learning more about.

Whether that's joining a course or program, maybe that's hiring a consultant, maybe that's hiring a coach, maybe it's checking out that sales book from the library—I do that a lot. That's probably the one I do the most—but it is the thing I'm always working on because it is the most important skill in my business.

Not just skill to have, but skill to have in practice. I talk a lot about batching your show being a muscle, sales is a muscle. It is the core muscle of your business. We talk when you're working with a trainer or you're learning about physical fitness, you hear a lot about the core. Strengthen your core. If you can strengthen your core, everything else will build off of that.

But your core is so imperative in functional fitness. Your sales skills are the core workout of your business. It is the skill set that all of your other skill sets are going to be strengthened by you strengthening. You will get better at every other part of your business if you learn to start practicing your sales skills.

Again, this doesn't mean you have to go buy a program, join a course, or hire a consultant, but it does mean you need to acknowledge that you are committed to practicing these skills.

Again, I'm opening up. I don't open these up very often, especially, generally, they're only open for our existing clients who need a little extra time with me. But I'm going to open this up in the link, in the show notes, in the description in the player, and on the show notes on the website, you will find a link to book a one-hour call with me.

There's nothing extra here. There's no pre-work. There's no post-work. You're buying an hour of my time. You and I can talk about sales. We can talk about how you're using the podcast. We can talk about how you can exercise this muscle every day.

Doesn't mean you're launching something every day. You know me well enough to know what my sales calendar looks like. Two-thirds of my offerings are evergreen. We're selling the same thing all the time.

Selling is not just about selling your core offer. Selling is not just about exchanging goods for money or services for money. We are selling people things all the time. If you have young children, you spend much of your day selling them things. Even more impressive, things they don't want, problems they're not looking to solve.

We are always selling. Let's have this conversation. Again, head to the show notes, grab the link, and book a call with me. I would love to talk this through with you because it's dangerous. It's really, really dangerous to the sustainability of your business for you to be pursuing or even taking in the idea that you could sell without selling.

It is the most important skill in your business. Your podcast will not be profitable, your podcast will not be functional until you stop using it to try to skip selling. It needs to help support your sales.

Putting the soapbox away, head to the show notes, book that call with me, you and me, one hour. It's going to be great. I will see you right back here, though, next week. Bye.

Thanks so much for listening to this show. Remember that content consumption does not make changes, so commit to doing something from today's episode. Maybe it's taking action on what we talked about. Maybe it's reaching out to me and learning more about Podcast Strategy Intensives or what podcast production looks like with our team. All of that is over at uncommonlymore.com.

If you haven't yet signed up for The Podcast Newsroom, I want to remind you that is a great next step. If you're not really sure what comes next, hang out over there. Get those exclusive private episodes. That's over at podcastnewsroom.com. The last favor I will ask, because social proof is endlessly important for sure, is to leave a rating and review for the show. If you go to ratethispodcast.com/more, that's the easiest way to do it. But I would love to hear what you thought of the show, what you think of the show, and if the show has been helpful for you. I can't wait to chat with you. This is just the start of the conversation. Reach out so we can keep it going. Talk soon.

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