listen to my latest podcast episode:
[podcastplayer feed_url="" number="0" excerpt_length="0" hide_cover="false" hide_description="true" hide_title="true" hide_loadmore="true" hide_download="true" hide_search="true" hide_subscribe="true" hide_social="true" hide_featured="true" hide_content="true" display_style="modern" accent_color="#ffffff"]
The image features a smiling person on a teal background, with text stating "PROFITABLE WEB DESIGNER with Shannon Mattern." It's likely promotional material.

How to Sell in a Way That Doesn’t Feel Gross with Heather Wylde Smith

Today on the show we're talking about a topic that as a web designer you either love, hate, or try to avoid at all costs: sales.

My guest is Heather Wylde Smith – a sales coach who specializes in helping entrepreneurs confidently raise their rates while closing up to 70% of their best leads… and most importantly, in a way that doesn't feel gross.

Heather talks about sales in a way I've never heard it talked about before.

She dives deep into what happens in the brains of our prospective clients when we make offers, what our prospects make it mean, and the core biological hurdles they must get over in order to reallocate their resources (which are currently providing them with safety and security) – to make the decision to work with you.

We talk about how the best salespeople respond in that vulnerable moment (and SO much more…)

Our conversation was transformational for me personally, and I hope you hear something that makes you rethink everything you've learned or thought about sales.

Shannon Mattern (00:01.717)

Hey everyone, welcome back to the profitable web designer podcast. I am here today with Heather Wylde Smith. She is a sales coach who specializes in helping entrepreneurs confidently raise their rates while closing up to 70% of their best leads. And I know you guys love the topic of sales on this podcast. It's one of the things that either you love it or you hate it or you try to avoid it or all the things. So Heather.

I'm so, so glad you are here today to talk about this topic. Can you share a little bit more with our listeners just about you and your background?

Heather Wylde (00:43.07)

Yeah, so thanks for having me. Um, yeah. So sales, uh, as I was telling you a little bit before we got on, I hated sales. Hated it. It's like the biggest com cosmic joke that I ended up being a sales coach. Um, so I, I came in starry eyed to the coaching industry and I just wanted to save the world and, um, quickly realized that, um, I was not going to save anybody much less myself. Um,

Shannon Mattern (00:56.662)


Heather Wylde (01:10.098)

unless I learned how to sell in market. So I started investing in the sales and marketing programs and everything, well, not everything, but so much of what they taught me felt so sleazy and so pushy and completely out of alignment with my mission to help people. And so I just, I kept investing and I kept seeing the same things over and over again. And I was like, no matter who I talk to, it's basically the same process. It still feels gross.

I quit the coaching industry a number of times because I was not willing to sell out my values to make money, nor to harm people who were coming to me for help. And finally, just kind of had like this download moment where I realized that if I wanted to live my mission and my purpose that I had to learn to sell. So I was going to have to figure out a way of selling that worked but didn't make me want to throw up in my mouth. And

about six months later, I had figured out a way of selling that actually felt good and was fun. And then I started teaching it to other people and it started working for them. And I was like, well, I guess this is how I have the biggest impact is I help the truly high integrity coaches, healers and service providers learn how to sell in a way that doesn't feel gross. And I don't stick them totally into my system. I teach them and then we customize it because everybody's values and everything are a little bit different, right?

And I just love it, is I think high integrity people have the hardest time marketing and selling, and it shows in our industry.

Shannon Mattern (02:49.085)

Gosh, I cannot wait to dig into this with you because I also hated sales so much that back when I started my business, I had such a bad relationship with sales that I started off by teaching entrepreneurs how to build a website for free.

in exchange for affiliate commissions from other companies because I was like, I couldn't even get to the point where I like, I'm like, I'm going to sell you something and we're going to have an exchange. I'm like, how about I sidestep it so that I'm giving you something and they're the ones paying me. Like what in the world? Like how convoluted is that? Because my experience of being sold to

Heather Wylde (03:16.395)

I mean...

Shannon Mattern (03:40.657)

up until that point was like, well, if I have, if this is how this is, I can't do it. But I also want the result of having a business and being my own boss and all of the things. So I'm gonna just have to figure out a way around it. And I love that you figured out a way through it. So can we talk more about that? About like, what were the things that you were, that weren't in alignment with you? Let's start there.

Heather Wylde (04:07.714)

Probably the biggest thing was the whole concept of overcoming objections Right And so the one

Shannon Mattern (04:19.468)


Shannon Mattern (04:24.493)

Okay, tell me more.

Heather Wylde (04:28.814)

So the way that I was, I'm putting air quotes for all of y'all in audio land. The way I was taught to sell was, here's a script, ask these questions, they're magical. They're going to have the client just talk themselves into working with you. Then you're gonna pitch. And if they don't say yes, then you're going to argue and belittle and bully and gaslight and shame them until they buy.

Shannon Mattern (04:54.325)

because they really want to say yes. That's what we're taught. They really want to say yes. You're just helping them get out of their own way by overcoming their objections.

Heather Wylde (05:08.082)

Yes. And so something similar that I've heard is that these people need what you're selling. And so it's okay to push them into buying because it's for their own good. And I talk about that in my book, the online entrepreneur survival guide that came out in March of 22. And I'm re-releasing a new edition in like the next month or so. But I call it like narcissistic rationalization.

Heather Wylde (05:39.966)

You know, it's like these people need it. So it's okay. It's okay to be a disgusting human being because you're really being of service. And it's like, no, I'm doing a survey right now of common experiences in the coaching world and 17 people have taken it so far. And I think 12 of them have said that they felt bullied and or rushed into the buying decision.

Shannon Mattern (06:04.693)

Yeah, and that doesn't make a good experience for them. They're not gonna get the results that they came for. It makes for like, you end up working with the wrong people if you're the person doing the bullying or the pushing or the chasing or the whatever. Yeah.

Heather Wylde (06:22.23)

Bro marketing, let's just say it, it's bro marketing and it must die!

Shannon Mattern (06:30.535)

I love it. So you experienced investing to learn how to sell, approaching that, running into the same thing over and over. Here's the magic script. This is the process. They're just going to be pulling out their wallet. But if they're not, you have to like.

you know, gaslight them into why they're in their own way if they don't want to spend this money. And how did you then like how did you then go on the process of like figuring out what was in alignment with you?

Heather Wylde (07:07.026)

Yeah, so, you know, I kept thinking, well, I'm going to find somebody who's going to teach me this differently. And I was like, because I don't know anything about this. I felt very much like an imposter and I love to learn. And I have I think it's very valuable to have a student mindset. And at the same time, you kind of have to find with each mentor where having an open mindset is good and where you draw that line of like, no, this is not good for me. And that's a tricky thing to figure out. Right.

And what the mistake I made in all these programs, I was like $14,000 in debt before I started making consistent sales and selling high ticket. The mistake I made was that I would find a few things that didn't feel morally aligned and then I would just throw the baby out with the bathwater. So when I finally got it through my head, that I was like, okay, you know you are here to help people, you're here to change lives, you can't do it if you're working for Uber 14 hours a day.

and then trying to work on a business on the side. You've got to learn to sell. And what I did was I went back and I revisited the least toxic training that I had been through. And I just kind of like, one mentor called it eating the fish and spitting out the bones. And so when I went back and I wasn't in this just like hyper defensive mode, I could see that there was a lot of good there.

And so I took what was good there and what was good from here. And I kind of pulled a bunch of things together. And one of the things that I realized, you know, like they're quote unquote training was, you know, just read these questions, these sales questions, but nobody talked about, what are you listening for? Right. And when I started to geek out about it, I was like, Oh,

Because the concept of ideal client avatar is one of the most poorly thought taught things in the business world. Right, they have you like, you can spend hours creating this fictional character, it's completely not helpful. So I really didn't like that concept until I started geeking out about sales. And I'm like, oh my God, if you don't know who your ideal client is for this offer, you don't know what to be listening for in these questions.

Heather Wylde (09:29.522)

So figuring that out was like, oh, okay, you know? But the biggest thing, the thing I'm most proud of is that I took some of the things I had learned about navigating objections, handling objections, overcoming objections, and again, took like the least toxic parts of it, and I'm like, okay, how could this be useful or how can I tweak this so that it's not awful? And then I combined it with a thing about, you know, like your...

the rationalization that your mentors spoke about, like, well, they want to say yes, so it's okay to push them, right? So the reason that happens, or one of the reasons, is that in the beginning of the conversation, you're talking to their higher human consciousness, you're talking to like the cerebellum, right? And the cerebellum is all about possibility and change is good and blah blah. But as soon as you start talking about reallocating resources, so

reallocating focus, time, money. So basically you've pitched to them. That's when their critter brain, the reptilian brain gets activated and is like, oh my God, wait, change is bad, we could die. It's like the dad from the Croods. You've seen that?

Shannon Mattern (10:45.069)

I'm sorry.

Shannon Mattern (10:49.703)


Heather Wylde (10:52.914)

And then she died, you know. So once I understood that, I had so much compassion. Instead of feeling like it was a standoff with somebody when they said, I don't know if I can afford this or if I don't have the time, it helped me to start coming at it from compassion. And so what I do and what I teach is that we don't overcome objections, we address concerns.

Shannon Mattern (10:54.773)


Heather Wylde (11:19.966)

And we help people to see like how much of this objection is fear and limiting beliefs and how much is actual a real world situation because it's usually both. And the way most people teach sales is to say everything is a mindset. Any objection, any question is a mindset issue or you know just a fear. And sometimes I have no money really means I have no money.

Shannon Mattern (11:45.729)

Yes, that makes so much sense what you just said of that like people start off in a, and I've been on the side of selling, of being in a discovery call where it's all like excitement and logic and analytics. And then when it's like, okay, well tell me, like it's time to talk about like, what does this actually look like? Their whole body language changes. And like, they like kind of tense up.

And I love how, and I've, my thought process is like, I'm doing this part wrong. Like I'm doing something to make them feel unsafe. I need to change how I do this. Like this is not how I want people to feel. And what I'm hearing from you is that this is just going to be the natural, the brain's natural reaction to a reallocation of resources. And in that moment,

compassion for what they're feeling is the only thing required. Because yeah, I can totally understand that. You're not just asking. It's not even about the money. I mean, it is, because money means a lot of things to us. It's like, oh, if I give you this money, am I going to be unsafe? If I shift my time around, am I going to lose like a lose?

love and safety and security over here because I'm not able to provide like that just like I've never heard it said that way before. I never like been really able to like identify what's going on in that moment when people are so excited and then they're not or they are so excited and they're like yes I would love to work with you and then they just ghost because it's like it felt safe in that moment to people please you.

Heather Wylde (13:42.158)


Shannon Mattern (13:42.997)

to say yes, but then they really weren't gonna say yes. I don't know, that's just what was coming up for me as you shared all of that. So what are your thoughts on all of that?

Heather Wylde (13:55.626)

Yeah, no, and that like the way most people teach, you know, objections is overcoming them, you know, at a sell at all cost, which I love what you pointed out. And I talk about this in the book, I talk about it with my clients, you don't want to overcome objections. You know, when you push somebody into buying

they're not a good fit or even if they are a good fit and they just weren't quite ready yet, they're not gonna get as good of results. And it's gonna be, if you are truly a high integrity person who is in your business for the right reasons, which is to truly be of service to people, yes, you can make great money and really be of service to people, right? But there's people that have kind of the cart for the horse, you know? So, you know, if you're really here to help people, then you only wanna work with people that are a great fit. And...

If you're working with somebody who's not a great fit, it's gonna drain you, it's gonna affect other parts of your business, it's gonna affect your personal life, it's a downward spiral. But if you're working with great fit clients, it's an upward spiral on everything. And I really emphasize that to people, like not all money is good money. But what you're saying, like that realization that there's not a standoff, it's not a adversarial thing, which is how most people teach, overcoming objections is adversarial. It's a...

it's a collaborative moment where you have compassion because we've all been there, where we were really excited. And then, you know, somebody pitched and we were like, oh shit, you know? I'm sorry, I don't know. Are these cursing aloud on here?

Shannon Mattern (15:18.058)


Shannon Mattern (15:28.281)

It's, yeah, I mean, I don't, I don't disallow it. So you're fine. You, how about this? You, you be you, you be you on this podcast. Maybe, maybe we'll keep it PG 13 cause I know people have listened with their kids, but yeah, you, you be you.

Heather Wylde (15:35.113)

Okay. I'm trying to be mindful of my audience.

Heather Wylde (15:43.605)

So there could be a lot of F-bombs. So.

Heather Wylde (15:54.767)

Fair enough, but just warning you, if you reach out to me, I curse like a sailor if that's not what you wanted to coach, then we're not a good match. You know, contact me, I can help you find somebody who's a better match. But, you know, what I figured out.

Shannon Mattern (16:07.869)

Well, I think that's important to know too, like being yourself in the sales process, right? Like.

Heather Wylde (16:14.782)

Oh, 1000%. Like I can be considerate and monitor my language for a podcast. But if I'm having to do that with a client, I'm not gonna be at my best. Cause a part of my brain is now being used to hold myself back instead of just having all of my mental focus to just be able to be, use my brilliance and use my genius to like, and I'm very collaborative.

Shannon Mattern (16:34.742)


Heather Wylde (16:44.566)

I don't, my sessions are not just me talking at people. It's me like, it's me pulling up a document and actually going through your homework with you so that I know for sure that what you're, what you think you learned is what you actually needed to learn and then we tweet things and yada yada. But going back to like that moment, it's almost like you're talking to a different personality, right? You go from talking to the human to talking to the cave person basically.

And the funny thing is, is like, the cave person is now holding the human hostage. And it thinks it's the good guy. Right. So it's, it's trying to protect. And so I have a, I have a funny thing in one of my, um, in one of my master classes, or it's, um, how to handle objections without being an asshole.

Heather Wylde (17:42.878)

And I talk about, you know, at this moment, when they switch from the human to the caveman, you have a choice, you know, do you shoot, walk away or negotiate, you know? And the best way is to negotiate, you know, have a talk with this cave person, part of them, and see if there's a way to frame it that they can feel safe, you know? And this is where like...

you really show if you're a high integrity entrepreneur, this is where you really, really get to showcase that. And if you do this process well, it can actually deepen the bond and make somebody who was already going to be a great fit, like really, really get them some stellar results because you've created such trust, you know? And you've shown compassion and you've shown that you're not like so many of the other online business people who's just gonna try to rush

push them into a decision. And maybe the money objection is probably the most common one. And maybe it's real. Maybe they really do have some severe financial stuff going on and maybe they don't buy right then, but they're gonna remember that you treated them with compassion and humanity and empathy. And when they get the money, they're gonna come back and they're gonna work with you. And it's gonna be a much better fit for everybody, rather than just saying,

Well, here's a link to a credit card.

Shannon Mattern (19:10.365)

Yeah, no. I've had that happen to me before, and I'm like, are you kidding me right now? Absolutely not. One of the things that you said earlier is if I'm really all about helping people, it's about working with the right people. But I also think it's like helping the wrong people not invest in something that is not the right fit for them.

Heather Wylde (19:38.27)

Yes. So my sales process, honestly is more about striking people out as quickly as possible. Then it is trying to like, because here, here's where, here's where most sales trainings and sales coaches go wrong. They have people out there trying to create as many leads as possible. And then, you know, playing this followup and they like, it's a numbers game. It's like a real common one.

And what happens is that, you know, you get, I don't know, you do something and you get a hundred leads in a month. And there's people that are generating far more leads than that. But the thing is, they're not quality leads. They're just people, right? And you will burn yourself out and drive yourself crazy trying to nurture all these people. And the people who actually are good fit will end up falling through the cracks for the most part, right? So it's very important to know what I call

your ideal client traits, but this is something we talked about a little bit before we get started, was it's also really important to know your nightmare client traits and to be really aware of those so that when you're talking to somebody in the DMs or you're reading people's posts or they're commenting on your stuff, this is for people that are social media marketing, but it could also be if you were doing a discovery call with somebody, you need to know what those traits are so that you can recognize them quick.

so that you are not wasting time and energy trying to nurture somebody that is a freebie hunter or is just not in the right place or maybe they have all their ducks in a row and they're like people don't talk about starting point starting point is really important. But maybe they are the ideal starting point but their personality is going to drive you effing nuts. You know and for me I not only am I not going to enjoy that but I'm also not going to be able to deliver for that person because they're going to drive me crazy.

And it's not fair for me to take their money if I'm not going to be able to do my best for them.

Shannon Mattern (21:41.493)

Yeah, one of the things that's coming up for me as you're sharing that is like, a lot of times I see with web designers and we talk about this in our program, like they have an employee mindset where they're like, I'm the service provider, you're the client and anyone who wants to hire me gets to hire me regardless of who they are and how they treat people that I'm just, I am trying to like get, like be chosen by

Heather Wylde (21:42.539)


Shannon Mattern (22:11.009)

the client. And what I say is like, no, that whole dynamic is totally flipped. We got to flip that dynamic in your mind, because you get to look at yourself and your life and how you want to live it and what you ultimately want that to be and work backwards from there to identify who you want to who gets to work with you in what capacity. And

That's the power that, and I don't like to use the word power, but that's the only word I can come up with at this point to describe that, the dynamic of, I'm allowing you, I'm allowing you to work with me and it'll be a collaboration. And so it's not, they have to shift it in their mind that it's not like, oh, let me do whatever I can to get you to choose me.

Heather Wylde (23:04.302)

Thank you.

Shannon Mattern (23:13.149)

And that's how you end up, I think, in that place where then people say no for whatever reason, but you're like, oh, they didn't choose me. It's like, if you can fix that dynamic, then you can do the things that you're talking about. I think if that dynamic isn't in place, then you won't even try to get to the, okay, there are cave.

woman is sitting there like coming out trying to protect her, you're in your head making it all about you when their objections don't really have anything to do with you.

Heather Wylde (23:48.224)


Heather Wylde (23:54.958)

I agree and one of the things that there's like three points that I want to make, I'm going to try to hold onto in my head, but on that last point, one of the things I hate about the way sales gets taught a lot is that coaches, sales coaches will say, well, if somebody doesn't buy, they're just stupid, right? And they put all the blame on the clients and they don't.

Shannon Mattern (23:56.535)


Shannon Mattern (24:04.09)


Heather Wylde (24:21.078)

This was especially true with these people that had the proven scripts, you know, or just like, just ask these questions and then bully people and you'll make $10,000 in 10 minutes. Oh my God. So if you're getting a lot of nos, I mean, it could be that you're not getting on the phone with the right people. It could be that your messaging is off with so many things. And I do deep, deep dives with my clients because I don't wanna fix something far down the line. I wanna start fixing it at the root.

Shannon Mattern (24:29.517)

I'm going to go to bed.

Heather Wylde (24:50.558)

right and work my way up the line. But it could be a lot of times we just don't know how to convey the value in a way that the client gets it. And so some sometimes we're losing sales because our sales skills you know need work. Sometimes people genuinely are not the right fit right and it's and it just takes practice. Gosh there was so much and I've just I've lost it completely like um but you made you made a lot of really good points. I agree with that.

Shannon Mattern (25:21.497)

I'm sure it'll pop back while we're continuing to talk. But can you circle back to the starting point concept that you were talking about before? What is that? Tell me more about that.

Heather Wylde (25:34.535)

So most marketing and sales trainings focus all on the client's desires and what they, you know, we'll talk about pain points, right? Sometimes to the point of, I don't think all pain points are toxic, but some people take it to a toxic level. But we don't, and we talk all about the after, but we don't talk enough about what the starting point is. And so

One of the biggest problems in the coaching industry and the business coaching niche specifically is that people put out programs that they're like, this will help everybody. And it's not true. Like as an entrepreneur, you need different things at different levels, right? So, you know, the starting point for my current pro, I have a lot of programs, the program I'm talking about most right now is the 5K Month Simplified. And this is, you know, the starting point is not just,

Oh, you're an entrepreneur, you're a coach, you're a healer, you've got high integrity. Great. This is the program for you. No, this is a program for people who are already making sales and they're either at a plateau and nothing they were doing seems to be moving the needle and they just haven't gotten to consistent 5k months yet. Or maybe they've had a couple 5k months, but it's inconsistent.

You know, it could be that they're making 3k a month for a couple months and then nothing, you know, for a couple of months and they don't understand why. So, you know, I'm very clear with people when I'm talking to them, like they need to know their basic ICA. I'm going to help them refine it, but they need to have a handle on it. They you know, they already need to know that they're a coach or a healer or a web designer or whatever. Um, they already need to have like an offer and I mean I can help refine.

but this program, it's only five weeks. So that's not enough time to build a business from the start. But if somebody is at that right starting point, I can help them double or triple their sales within a couple of months. And that's just, it's hype marketing. My stuff works for everybody. So they don't wanna talk about the starting point or the starting point is all, if you're a new entrepreneur and you wanna make lots of money.

Heather Wylde (27:51.006)

If you're, if you're highly ambitious, if you're like, and it tells you nothing, it's just a space holder. So your brain can be like, yep, they told me who it was for. But if you look at it and really you're like, this is garbage. This is so general. This is nobody. This is just a bunch of hype and motivation with no, my words, no real content.

Shannon Mattern (28:18.598)

Yeah, and I mean, that, I mean, not to get on a rant, but I guess I will get on a little bit of a rant. Like, I get so not, I don't know, not angry is the right word. But it's more like when someone comes to me and they're like, I've tried so many things before and nothing has worked. Like, I'm just also like, it's.

because you probably should have been excluded from those things and you weren't, you know, because no one was looking out, someone wasn't looking out for you, you know, or, or for, or, you know, on the, on the thinking better of humans than sometimes I do, they didn't really realize that they didn't.

Heather Wylde (28:49.162)

Yes. Greed. It's just greed.

Shannon Mattern (29:10.593)

that they couldn't serve everybody. I'm hoping it's more naivety than greed. But then when people finally find their way to us, they're like, I've tried, I've been in so many programs. How is this one going to be different? I'm chasing this thing. And it's just like, I feel for them. And at the same time, I'm like, let me figure out what went wrong.

because maybe I can't help you. I don't know, but I need to know what went wrong over here. And I'm not going to sit here and tell you, oh, no, those were all like, they shouldn't have let you in or this, that, or that person's whatever. It's like, I don't know what went wrong, but we can dig into why do you think you didn't get the results? What happened there? Because I might not be able to help either. I'm not going to take your money if I don't think I can help you.

Heather Wylde (30:07.214)

There you go. Yeah, so that's like my sales process is really about like doing everything that I can to quote unquote diagnose about what's going on, you know, and you know, people can rant to me a little bit, but at a certain point it's like, okay, well that's in the past. And this is actually something to be aware of, right?

Shannon Mattern (30:07.937)

Ha ha ha!

Shannon Mattern (30:30.079)


Heather Wylde (30:34.006)

is when people are talking about their past experiences and things that work, how much of it is just like frustration and how much of it is victimhood and wallowing? Because if somebody is really in victimhood, I can't help them, you can't help them. They're gonna, you know, there are some people in this world that they will spend a whole lot of money pretending to want help and really they just want other people to validate their victimhood.

Shannon Mattern (30:43.405)


Shannon Mattern (30:47.794)


Heather Wylde (30:59.222)

So that is something that I look for when I'm vetting potential clients and when we get on the sales call. But yeah, it's not so important like what went wrong in their mentorship and their training, but me just looking and being like, what is actually happening now? Like where are you in this moment? And is the problem that...

you're not getting any leads is the problem that you're getting leads, but they're not the right ones. Um, is the problem that you're getting on the phone with too many people and too many people are saying, no, um, you know, I really ask a lot of questions because I want to find out. And from there, you know, like I have the 5k months program, but I also have like a sales simplified program for newer entrepreneurs. And so, you know, I'm mostly talking about this one that's for a little more advanced entrepreneurs.

But often newer entrepreneurs will get on the phone and I'm not gonna sell them the 5K month one. I'm gonna be like, okay, what you actually need is this. Right? Or, you know, if they're at a place and they're really like so new and so green and they have no idea, like they don't even know if they wanna be a coach or, you know, a copywriter or whatever, that's not my person, you know? So I'm gonna refer out.

And just, you know, having that integrity and, and some of it is a learning process. There's definitely clients that I took on in the past that like, they weren't upset with me, but I didn't feel like I helped them as much as maybe somebody else could. Um, you know, but I was new, you know, and I didn't know any better. And actually those people I've gone back and offered them free sessions from my, cause I'm just like, I feel so bad.

Shannon Mattern (32:44.733)

I think we've all been there. And sometimes I have had to, I have made the mistake, I guess I would say, of letting the wrong people in, but I didn't know it at the time. And then like you said earlier, it does really affect how you show up, how you, for me, it sends me into overwork and trying to go into overdrive to help them get results or whatever that means. And then,

And then from that place, then I'm like, oh, well, that didn't work. I don't wanna do that again. So in order to prevent that, I'm gonna build a 20 foot barbed wire fence around my business and make it really hard for anybody to get in, because I don't want that to happen. And so you make the sales process so tight. And then I've had to pull those walls back down and deconstruct that. And it's like, if y'all can avoid that, a whole...

process by like really fixing your sales process. Like that was such a convoluted path I went through to just fix my sales process. You know?

Heather Wylde (33:54.421)


Heather Wylde (33:58.426)

Yeah, well, and I think this kind of brings up, it's kind of like a little bit of a tangent. I was speaking with another super high integrity entrepreneur. She's a health coach. And, you know, she was talking about, she was talking about, you know, I had a program and I had, you know, all this information and she like, I realized I was overwhelming people. And so I had to step back and say, okay, how can I refine my program?

Shannon Mattern (34:05.527)


Heather Wylde (34:26.198)

so that I'm giving them enough information but not overwhelming them. And you know, how, and then she was talking about another client and you know, in the learning process, she was like, oh my God, she's like, I eventually figured out what was the problem, why this woman couldn't lose weight. And she was like, and then I stopped and I was like, how could I have recognized this sooner? And she's constantly refining her offers and her services and her program because she actually cares. She's actually monitoring what's going on with her clients.

So that she can be of highest service and that you know is similar like you were refining, you know, you're like, okay I didn't have enough boundaries around my sales and the wrong people got in. Okay. Now I've got too many boundaries Okay. Now I got a you know that being willing to refine and And look at you know client results and change the way that we're doing things so that we're serving people better That's the kind of people I want to empower in this industry because there's a lot of us

Shannon Mattern (35:10.326)


Heather Wylde (35:24.078)

We're just not as loud as the scammy people are, unfortunately.

Shannon Mattern (35:29.311)

I'm sorry.

Very true. So you've mentioned your sales process a couple of times. Can you give us just a high level overview of how you either teach that to people or step clients through that? What does that look like?

Heather Wylde (35:47.854)

So it's so funny because like, most of the people that come to me for sales help, whether they are new-ish or had a client that was already making 20K months when he came to me, but he was killing himself to do it, right? So, but like almost all of them, it goes back to ICA. And so, like I said, they need to have an idea. The people I've worked best with, the people who already have a pretty good grasp on it, and then I help them refine it. So that's the first thing. And then,

It's very customized depending on, you know, what, what people need and where they are. We do this deep dive of like where maybe they need better skills or maybe they need a shift in the mindset. Um, Oh, and that, that thing we're talking about, um, not having the employee mindset. That was one of the things that really helped me to start being more confident in my sales calls is instead of going into it, like, okay, oh my God, I gotta, I gotta, you know, say everything right. And I've got to make them choose me. I started listening.

to see if I thought they were a good fit. And so like, I don't call my sales calls anymore because I don't call sales calls sales calls anymore because a sales call to me is like, it's a foregone conclusion that you're gonna pitch. My calls are a consultation and I am really trying to figure out if you're the right fit and if you're not, then I'm not gonna pitch. And switching that mindset from having to convince them to kind of they've got to convince me, it helped me to be more grounded and to be more present in my calls.

So that was kind of like a side note, but I teach people to instead of having generalized scripts I think they're like the worst things in the world We create a custom kind of bank of questions and kind of a structure for them to take people through so that They're efficiently getting the information that they need and they can be friendly and all that but they're not stuck on 45-minute phone calls or you know or longer

A lot of what I do also, I'm kind of going all out of order, is the pre-qualifying process, because I don't want people getting on phone calls with people that they're not 90% sure are gonna say yes. It's just, you have way better things to do with your time and it's demoralizing to get told no over and over and over again, right? So a lot of what makes what I do different is really that how to pre-qualify people, how to figure out as quickly as possible if...

Heather Wylde (38:13.442)

they're a viable lead or if they're somebody you should refer out or somebody you should just block and run away from. And then, you know, so we have the, the custom questions. I teach them like not only like what questions to ask, but what they're listening for, you know? And you know, when you're asking the question, like, you know, okay, so you're trying to, you've, you've tried to lose weight for five years and you've hired a variety of coaches. You've done Weight Watchers, you've done, why do you feel like it didn't work? Right. So,

you're getting you're getting an idea of like how their commitment, their determination, their level of victimhood, you know all of that like in this one question and if you don't know how to listen to that you miss out on so much right and then I teach them how to customize pitching one of the things that people screw up with sales is they try to pitch the same way to every person and that's going to get you a lot more no's and a lot more objections than you really need and then we go over how to address concerns.

rather than overcome objections. So it's just, it's similar to things. I'm not gonna say that I totally reinvented the wheel, but it's a much more humanistic approach to sales.

Shannon Mattern (39:28.061)

Yeah, that's what it sounds like every step of the way. You're like, oh, I'm taking into consideration making sure that this is the best next step for the person I'm talking to every step of the way. And you said something that jumped out at me where getting no after no after no is demoralizing.

or can be demoralizing. Can you talk more? I don't, you know, I guess I'm trying to frame my question, but that's one of the things that I see my students in the Web Designer Academy struggle with the most when they're like, you know, I've gotten two no's in a row, or you know. And then they want to go and change a bunch of other stuff about their business.

that they don't need to change, it's that they, maybe the person isn't the right person. I know we've kind of covered this, but how do you help people make that shift between like being demoralized by a no to, I don't know, learning from it, or how do you coach people through hearing no, I guess would be the very short way to answer to that long windy question.

Heather Wylde (40:50.771)

Well, no, and it's a great question because it is so, it's very common and learning, I say that like learning sales and marketing is simplicated or sales and marketing are simplicated. They're simple to learn. They are complicated to implement and to implement them well.

Shannon Mattern (41:09.409)

Yeah, I love that.

Heather Wylde (41:12.762)

And so, you know, it's very easy to go watch a training and be like, yeah, I know what I'm doing. And then when you go to try to apply it to your business, you're just like, I don't know what I'm doing, which is why like those big group programs are horrible, you know, cause there's not enough support, but I won't get on a soapbox about that right now. Okay, so one of the things that I do that's really powerful with my clients is once we put together their custom sales, I always screw up those words, their custom.

Shannon Mattern (41:25.982)


Heather Wylde (41:41.642)

sales process for them is that we then do a call where they sell to me. We do a mock call and then we record it and then I go back and give them audio feedback and say okay that what you did right there was perfect. Always do that right or I might I might go back in the audio and say okay

this is how I responded as your mock client, but here's some tips on how to respond if somebody responds in different ways, right? And then I also tell them like, usually it's around the pitch, like their voice gets lower. Their whole energy changes, they get a little sloppy. And I'm able to say like, hey, and I have some exercises. One is to like.

Close your eyes and think of yourself as like, I have one client who, one of her role models was Oprah. Oprah, very powerful, very well-spoken. And whenever she would get into those moments where her energy would kind of, her energy would withdraw and she just wasn't as confluent, I'm like, okay, close your eyes, pretend you're Oprah, and now do it. It's complicated. Like you, sales,

It is complicated. You've got to, I apologize for my phone making noise. There's confidence, there's communication. It's a whole skill set. And this is one of the things that people neglect so much. They go and they take these programs and it's all about marketing and they think that people are gonna show up and just start throwing credit cards at them because their content's really good. And it's like not.

Shannon Mattern (43:04.269)


Heather Wylde (43:28.23)

99% of us that doesn't work for and they don't understand how powerful like sales skills are Did that kind of answer your question?

Shannon Mattern (43:38.493)

Yes, absolutely. And I mean, with web designers, they are like, oh, if I just have a good enough portfolio, then I don't have to learn how to sell. My portfolio will sell for me. And I'm like, no, that's not really how that works. But one of the things that you were saying there, it's like when you're reviewing your clients, your students, or your student sales calls, and you can see that point where they get kind of small.

Do they turn into the cave person at that point? Are they trying to protect themselves when they do that? Is that kind of a, they go into their fear brain of, I'm going to harm this person or be rejected. And I'm asking for a friend. Because when I, because I still, I do a lot of discovery calls for our Web Designer Academy program. And for the longest time,

Heather Wylde (44:21.684)


Heather Wylde (44:27.796)


Shannon Mattern (44:36.357)

Um, I wasn't doing discovery calls. I was doing like an application and like, we'd like, it would be asynchronous, right? We'd like chat back and forth, but it wasn't like me and you face to face. I'm saying to you, here's, you know, here's what this looks like. And I'm looking you in the eye as you are like turning into your cave person. So for me, the moment felt very vulnerable. I don't, it still does. And it feels less and less every time, but I.

I can't quite figure out like, what am I, why am I like, why am I going there? So it's just, I was curious if like that happens to us because if I can see it happening to them, I can kind of feel it happening to me, but I'm trying to like power through it and.

Heather Wylde (45:29.186)

So I love your transparency and your vulnerability. Like that to me is a mark of a really great mentor. And I get nervous pitching, and this is what I do. I think that I've never thought, I have to get back to you about the caveman thing, but what I think it is that it is a moment of vulnerability, especially for those of us who I hate heart-centered entrepreneurs because that's been used to death by people who are not.

Shannon Mattern (45:46.165)


Heather Wylde (45:58.734)

heart-centered, but for lack of a better word, we really care and we've put our heart and our soul in our business and so it's a vulnerable moment to say, this is this thing and this is the value. And I think that people, number one, I think the coaching on the online world, whatever, creates imposter syndrome because there's so many skewed testimonials and case studies and blah, blah.

Shannon Mattern (45:59.307)


Shannon Mattern (46:03.873)


Heather Wylde (46:27.582)

So imposter syndrome is a real thing, but I think a lot of the marketing in the online space perpetuates it. And then I think those of us that are high integrity, like we can do everything possible to vet someone before we pitch to them, but we don't know for sure whether they're gonna get results. And that is heartbreaking for us. But one of the tips that I give my clients,

for how to pitch more powerfully is not only kind of like, you know, imagine your Oprah or, you know, Deadpool or whoever works for you, but wouldn't that be entertaining? But one thing that you can do is to walk around your house and if your program is $5,000, walk around your house going, you know, my program is 12 weeks and it's $7,000. My program is 12

Shannon Mattern (47:05.837)

I'm sorry.

Heather Wylde (47:24.042)

and you're just saying it over and over again at that higher price point, so that when you're on the call and you have to say like the real price point, it's not quite as scary.

Shannon Mattern (47:33.229)

Yeah. I think you tapped into something there when you were talking about, like, you know, we can, I can vet you, and I can look at all of the things that I look at and all of the questions I'm asking and listen for those answers. But ultimately, at the end of the day, I can't jump into your body and do the things for you. And

Heather Wylde (47:35.234)

So that's, that's.

Shannon Mattern (48:00.317)

you know, all of the things, all I know is that I will, I am 100%, 1000% committed to getting you to the finish line. You have to be that committed also, and I have to remind myself of that. Like, I will show up in what I'm supposed to do all day, 100%, and like, I'm not gonna back down from that ever, but...

I think it was just like, oh, that whole reallocation of resources conversation where if it's like, if I'm inviting you to reallocate your resources to come into my world, to co-create this thing together, and I'm having any doubts about my ability to lead you through that, then I'm gonna be weird. Or maybe it is just like, this is a vulnerable moment, and it just is, and it gets to be that way, and maybe I don't doubt it.

Heather Wylde (48:45.865)


Shannon Mattern (48:54.997)

Maybe I just get to honor it for what it is, is like, here's a moment where I'm asking you to like change your life. And that's vulnerable to ask, to invite someone to do that. So, no, I really appreciate what you shared.

Heather Wylde (49:10.262)

you're welcome, you're welcome. Yeah, and I think it is, you know, for those of us who really, really care, you know, we don't, the last thing we want is for somebody to not get results with us, not only because it might hurt our reputation, but it would just hurt our heart, you know. So, one thing that I did that really helped me with this, because I would have a lot of anxiety about,

I kind of had the 20 foot fence that you were talking about, like around my sales process. And I, and let me say this, everybody can go into it with the best of intentions. And sometimes you don't know what's the right fit until you get into it, right? So this happened to me with a client who looked a lot more advanced than she was. And this is super common. I've got another one. I've got another client that's similar to this now, although she's more teachable.

But this particular client had a podcast, had a thousand people in a Facebook group, you know, had killer graphics, looked like she was killing it, couldn't even sell a $9 infographic to her group because she didn't have an ICA. And so when she actually kind of rushed me through the sales process, which I then I was like, okay, I'm gonna look out for that. And if somebody's rushing me through the sales process and you know, it can be exciting that people are like, I wanna buy, I wanna buy, but.

if they're being pushy like that, they're going to be pushy as clients too, right? So lesson learned. But I ended up letting her out of the contract because it was going to be hell working with this person and she, she wasn't happy. She didn't want to take my suggestions. And so I just said, okay, you owe me for what you've done, but I'm letting you out of the contract. And at that point I went back and amended my contract and I added in what I call an escape clause and it clearly lists why a client can fire me.

and also why I can fire a client and how we handle any monies owed from there. So that way I can sell with confidence and also know that I'm not trapped. They're not trapped if it turns out to not be a good fit.

Shannon Mattern (51:18.505)

It's so interesting that you say that because I'm just like, oh, well, that's what I teach our web designers too. Like, obviously, you're not going to continue an arrangement if it's not working. And you're going to make the other person whole to the extent that whatever has been exchanged. So it's just, yeah. But it's so important to remember that too. Like when you're going, I think about this,

Heather Wylde (51:39.167)


Shannon Mattern (51:48.401)

I've entered into not business partnerships, but collaborations with other business owners. And the thing that we talked about first is, OK, if this doesn't work out, how do we break up? A prenup. Here's how, because I hope we never have to use this. But if we do, here's how it's going to work.

Heather Wylde (52:03.178)

Yep. Yeah.

Heather Wylde (52:11.17)

But if it's spelled out, and how they react to that conversation tells you a lot about who they are and how they're gonna be. I think that's brilliant. And I talk to people about, I tell people there is the escape clause if they're like, I don't know, I don't know if this is gonna work. And I'm like, okay, well, you're not gonna be stuck with it. And it's clearly in the contract that they get before they pay anything.

Shannon Mattern (52:21.079)


Heather Wylde (52:38.846)

I know you had a hard stop, I've got a hard stop. I wish I could talk to you forever.

Shannon Mattern (52:40.685)

I know I was just looking, I was like, I could talk to you for like two more hours, but we do have to wrap this up because we have to wrap this up. So I'm feeling like there's maybe a part two in our future, but tell everybody where can they go to learn more about you, to learn more about your program that you mentioned, to learn more about working with you and really like digging, diving deep into like their sales process.

Heather Wylde (52:52.046)


Heather Wylde (53:09.082)

Yes. So, there's not a lot on there right now. Honestly, the best thing to do is to go to Facebook and I'm at Heatherwild coach. And I've got a great free Facebook group, you know, and I'm just like these days, I'm just as much of an ethical sales coach as I am a consumer advocate. I'm all about safe coaching, clear a clean up the online space.


Shannon Mattern (53:41.269)

I love it. I'll link all of that up in the show notes. And for those of you who are listening and not going to go to the show notes, her last name is spelled W-Y-L-D-E. So when you look that up, look that up, and I'll link all of that up in the show notes. Heather, thank you so much for being here. It was a joy to talk to you and get to know you better. And yeah, that's a wrap on this episode.

Heather Wylde (53:41.942)


Heather Wylde (54:08.898)

Thank you Shannon, this was so fun, I appreciate you.

Shannon Mattern (54:12.945)

All right, we'll see you all back here next week. Bye, everyone.

Connect with Heather

Heather can be found at and on Facebook and Instagram as Heather Wylde Coach, and on YouTube @heatherwylde

Get Heather's book, What Every Entrepreneur WISHES They'd Known BEFORE Hiring a Business Coach: 7 Steps to Pick the Right Biz Coach so That You Get ROI, Not Debt & Regret now on Amazon.


In this conversation, Shannon Mattern and Heather Wylde discuss the challenges and vulnerabilities that arise during discovery calls and pitching. They explore topics such as imposter syndrome, marketing tactics, and the importance of commitment and vulnerability in the coaching process. Heather shares tips on pitching with confidence and creating escape clauses in contracts to ensure a good fit between coach and client. The conversation concludes with information on where to learn more about Heather Wylde and her work as an ethical sales coach.


  • Discovery calls and pitching can be vulnerable moments for both coaches and clients.
  • Imposter syndrome is perpetuated by marketing tactics in the online space.
  • Pitching with confidence can be achieved through mindset exercises and repetition.
  • Commitment and vulnerability are essential for successful coaching relationships.
  • Creating escape clauses in contracts allows for a mutually beneficial exit strategy.
  • Preparing for potential breakups in business partnerships is crucial.


00:00 Vulnerability in Discovery Calls
45:29 Imposter Syndrome and Marketing
46:27 Pitching with Confidence
47:33 Commitment and Vulnerability
49:10 Caring About Client Results
51:18 Creating Escape Clauses in Contracts
52:11 Importance of Preparing for Breakups
53:09 Where to Learn More About Heather Wylde



A smiling person with a tooth showing on their chin is looking indoors.

Shannon Mattern
Web Designer Academy


I help ambitious women web designers reclaim their time, book web design projects they love, and make more as a freelance web designer than they ever thought possible.

I created the Web Designer Academy to give you everything I wished I would have had when I started freelancing:  step-by-step processes and fill-in-the-blank templates for your messaging, marketing, packages, consultations, sales and project management combined with next-level support so that you have everything you need to create a consistently profitable web design business doing work you love for clients you love.