Althea McIntyre – Selling is Serving | Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

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Althea McIntyre | Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

When I reached out to Althea to come back on the podcast, I asked her if there was any topic in particular that she felt called to speak on. She responded with, “The value of sales”. I knew that would be a fruitful conversation, but it was even better and more expansive than I’d imagined!

In today’s episode, we explore how “sales” is often considered a dirty word by some, but really it’s about finding the right ways to serve your ideal prospects. We touch on the importance of both quality AND qualifying questions in determining whether or not the “fit” is right for everyone, as well as the value of intention and attention in showing up for the people you seek to serve.

We cover a LOT more ground as our conversation evolves, but you’ll just have to listen to get the rest! 😉

Althea is the owner of a Christ-Centered Leadership Development Firm that grows your profitable Spirit-Led business with a tailored strategy, expert coaching, and God’s blueprint.

To learn more about Althea:

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Kevin Stafford 0:02
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the conversations with coaches podcast. I’m your host, Kevin, and I have the great, great pleasure of chatting with Althea McIntyre. We’ve already been chatting for a while we did that thing where we started talking before I hit record. And we basically had a full podcasts worth of ideas in conversation. So I was like, Hold on, let me record and let’s just keep this going. So allow me to reacquaint you without the she is the owner of a Christ centered leadership development firm that grows your profitable spirit led business with a tailored strategy, expert coaching, and God’s blueprint. I think it’s really nice to see you and have you back. I remember really like enjoying our cut. Like I had a like a warm fuzzy thinking about our conversation, I went back and listened to our last episode, which was short and sweet. And yeah, it’s just, I’m as expected. It’s very delightful to see you again. So thanks for coming back on.

Althea McIntyre 0:54
Well, thanks for the invitation. I’m honored.

Kevin Stafford 0:58
Oh, well, let’s let’s dive right in. And when I did send out that invitation, I asked for if there were any, like any topics or concepts or ideas you wanted to talk about. And you actually mentioned that you wanted to talk about the value of sales. And uh, one thing I’ve noticed too, is you’ve actually capitalized the V in value, and the essence sales and I was like, ooh, ooh, okay, so let’s, let’s, let’s look at chapter headings. So t you up to just to start talking about whatever the core of what you mean by when you say the value of sales?

Althea McIntyre 1:28
Right? Well, it is a way of looking at sales that often isn’t looked at. And when I’m saying the value of sales is understanding that when you are selling, which I believe is a form of serving, you are adding value to your clients or customers life, you are helping them solve a problem that, quite frankly, they can’t solve on their own. And so it’s valuable, it’s a valuable practice, it’s a valuable skill. And so I want people to look at sales differently, and see it as an honorable thing that they’re doing when they are inviting people, specifically inviting ideal prospects to learn about their offers, knowing that they’re adding value in that invitation, when they’re sending out sales emails, when they are promoting their programs, packages, book, that they there’s a value in what they are doing. So that’s part of the value of sales. Because, again, you are helping someone solve a problem quicker, faster, more effectively than they could on their own.

Kevin Stafford 2:59
I, I love this topic of conversation, because really, and I’m speaking personally to for the longest time sales was kind of a dirty word, if that makes sense, where it’s like, it just had all these connotations and all this baggage, I think of sales, you think of a Salesman you think of, I don’t know how to all of these preconceived notions, not just about, like the external concept, but about what it would look like for me to be doing it. And so I’ve rejected the notion for quite some time purely based on just all these like baked in societal preconceived notions about what selling and sales is all about. And the thing that you said right off the top, it just, it hit me like a gong, I felt the my heart ring a little bit when you said selling is serving as like that. So first of all, I’m gonna write that down, because I’m gonna make that the title of the episode. And second of all, that is a message that I don’t think we hear nearly often enough. That right so

Althea McIntyre 3:51
many times, yes, I talked to people, and they’ll say, Well, you know, I don’t want to be pushy. I don’t want to be rude. I don’t want to, for our fellow Christ centered entrepreneurs, I don’t want to be pimping out Jesus. They have equated selling with all those things when it is in fact, none of those things. Right. It is a skill set to help let people know that you have a solution for the problem that they’re facing. And how you show up in the sales process starts with how you view selling. So if you think it’s pushy or rude or slimy or off putting, why in the world would you want to do it? You wouldn’t. And so often, people ignore it and make everything else a priority, when in fact, this is a skill that they need to learn to really unleash and unlock their full sales potential.

Kevin Stafford 4:56
I often find myself jokingly thinking about the moon The Field of Dreams where it’s from, I don’t know if you’ve it’s kind of an older bag of baseball movie Kevin Costner from the 80s, or whatever. But if you build it, they will come is that line? That kind of resonates back in that movie? I’m just like, Yeah, but that’s a movie and in life, you do at least have to sell tickets. Like, you gotta have a way to get people in the door, let them know that the game is happening.

Althea McIntyre 5:22
Absolutely, absolutely. That that’s in fact, not true. For those of us who are seasoned entrepreneurs, we know that you can build a website you can build a store for, and I’ll just say that, and they won’t necessarily come up, they don’t even know it exists.

Kevin Stafford 5:40
Yeah, he’d be the best one. It could be. It could, it could be objectively by some, some positive, there was like just a consortium of everyone who’s ever known anything about websites, and you build it’s official, you’ve built the best one. If, if you don’t put it out there. And by putting it out there, I don’t mean sell it. It’s like, advertise it, put it out there, open up bridges of connection, no one’s gonna know anything about it, regardless of how beautifully well built it is.

Althea McIntyre 6:08
Right? And so I know that for some, some people love the marketing aspect, right? And so marketing is letting people know that it exists. It’s helping, as I would say, people ring your virtual phone. And then selling comes with what do you do when you pick up the phone? What is the conversation you’re having? What are the questions you’re asking? How are you presenting your offer? How are you helping the person on the other line, the prospect, the lead, make a decision, because that’s all selling is doing is you’re helping them make a decision? And so yes, you marketing is essential. But do you know what to do when someone sends you a DM? Do you know what to say when someone leaves you a comment? On one of your posts, can you recognize a sales opportunity, or you just ignoring the phone and letting it go to voicemail? And hoping that you don’t have to answer it that they’ll just know exactly what to do to purchase your services.

Kevin Stafford 7:26
Thank you for for calling out that distinction. I think I slipped naturally into marketer speak as a as a as a marketer myself. And that’s again, it’s another thing too, that I feel like it’s really important to shine a light on to is the distinction between marketing and sales. And you You stated it beautifully, very simply and very beautiful and very accurately, with how it’s that sort of attraction. And then what do you do with what you’ve attracted being when sales comes in? And I like how you put it in in a very tangible way. Like when people come to you with with some intention. We talked a little bit about that before he record? What do you do with it? What are your thoughts? I love your focus on whatever questions that you ask. It reminds me quite a bit of what’s something I talk about with pretty much every coach I ever talked to on this podcast is we always talk about the good questions. What are the good questions that you’re asking?

Althea McIntyre 8:13
Right. And the questions, you know, if you want to have better sales conversations, and have close more sales, you have to ask better questions. There’s so much in the questions that you’re asking

Kevin Stafford 8:35
both on Earth information, and also open up avenues of communication when you ask a question. A good question. A good question is essentially a braid of the rope. It’s it’s a bridge built out to someone it strings and because a good question, whenever you’re asking a really good question, something that demonstrates a knowledge of who you are, even if it’s just the surface knowledge, don’t you just like sit up a little bit straighter? Don’t you feel you feel seen you feel seen? You’re like, oh, okay, open things up.

Althea McIntyre 9:06
You know, I love how you said that. Because there there is. There’s a purpose for the questions we ask. And the purpose doesn’t mean just for for them to say yes, like, we want to take that off the table. The quality of your questions will reflect the value that you’re bringing to a client, you because you may ask a question that they never actually thought about, they may not have seen their problem or their situation in a certain light, they may not have seen the consequences of them taking a certain action or not taking a certain action. And so that is you know the quality of your questions. It’s going to help both you and the prospect know if they’re a good fit for your services. It We’ll help you, right? Like, they’ll know like, oh, wait, this is a fit for me, it will help them know if you can help them or not. And for you as the business owner, it’s really important. As I say, the quality of your questions will help you say, can they actually pick up what I’m gonna lay down? Well, they actually get the benefit from working, you know, with me, are they ready to work with me? Maybe they need to do a few things beforehand. So yeah, it’s about the quality of your questions. And it’s not. That’s why there are certain questions that I, I have a blueprint, a roadmap, actually, that I provide for people who want to have what I say one call closes the Spirit lead way. And it’s not about a script, because you want to put your attention on the individual. And while there are certain questions to ask in a certain order, it’s not just following this script.

Kevin Stafford 11:05
A script can be it can be a trap and a hindrance as much as it can be a hell of a script.

Althea McIntyre 11:11
Set it Yeah, righty a trap.

Kevin Stafford 11:16
For the traps to where it’s it sucks the meaning out of what I’m doing. Because I’m the I’m the adhering to a script. Now scripts can teach me how to formulate my words and my thoughts and my intentions and my questions. But if I if I stick too closely to it, it’ll begin to be the script talking through my mouth, and not me talking to another human being trying to connect and see if there’s a fit here a way to serve. And that’s meant as aid is a trap, I had to fall into face first more than a few times in my learning journey.

Althea McIntyre 11:48
Absolutely. Me, myself and I, and also for the way that I teach sales is Holy Spirit lead sales. So it’s partnering with Holy Spirit in the sales conversation. And if you’re so tied to a script, then you’re not allowing yourself to yield to Holy Spirit, when he tells you to ask a certain question or not say something. So we definitely want it to inform us to guide us, to educate us, to provide us something that we may not have. And the important thing is to focus on what I teach my clients to people, one is the prospect, and most importantly, God, right, and that they’re going to inform you on what to ask.

Kevin Stafford 12:33
There’s another word, a cue word that came up when we were told where we were talking about questions and talking about the quality of our questions. But also thinking cuz you started talking about fit, which obviously is hugely important if you’re if you’re selling as serving as service. And I was thinking about qualifying questions like the questions that reveal to you, is this, is this the right path? Or am I leading you down the right path? Are we going down the right path together as me trying to offer you and serve you in this way, by selling you this thing that I think you need? And having qualifying questions, I feel like it’s such an important part of the quality, the overall quality of your sales and the quality of the value of your questions. Because you want to know you want to arrive at a knowledge that you’re going down the right path together. And you always want to make sure that you both are on that same page, to avoid ever letting yourself slip down that sort of slimy slick salesman road that you do want to avoid that you can become that kind of person throughout all manner of interactions, not just sales, it’s good to have that awareness to serve your intention to serve or to serve your intention to serve. I mean, more times gonna say sir, but I was thinking about those qualifying questions that help you to evaluate the fit, as you’re figuring out whether or not someone is right for you, and you’re right for them, whatever it is, you’re happy to be selling.

Althea McIntyre 13:51
That’s so true. And and, you know, we are we should always be asking qualifying questions, even before we get on the phone. You know, the qualifying questions are going to draw our ideal clients to us and repel our non ideal clients to us and, and we really want to ask those qualifying questions again, not only for the individual, but for ourselves. Because we don’t want to be so tied to let’s say, a sales goal that we you know, say yes to working with a client who is not ideal, and we find that, you know, perhaps they don’t respect our boundaries, perhaps they don’t do the work that’s necessary. And so then then we are working harder than we need to, and it can also have a hit on our confidence. I can definitely have a hit on our energy level and just leave for a bad experience all along the road. I remember speaking to someone who did not ask good qualifying questions, and would engage in these Client engagements and then find themselves where they were the client act as if they were an employee, and they got more embedded in doing work that they didn’t want to do, because they never set boundaries up front. They didn’t ask the qualifying questions, they get that that so tied to, you know, getting the client and getting the sale, and then it would end up eventually with a severed relationship. Battery,

Kevin Stafford 15:30
no one. Yeah, certainly no, every no one. Yeah, right. It’s certainly really, it’s, it’s tough to stay aware of that too. Because you do, you can get very easily caught up in, in arriving in meeting a quota and satisfying a standard. But sometimes, if you would, if you too, if you’re too hyper focused on a quota or anything like it, you can miss the unseen costs of a bad fit, like in time and energy, both for your client and for you. And it’s important to establish those boundaries, I love that you call that boundaries early, because that’s boundaries are often it’s often thought of as something that restricts or limits, but boundaries are really what allows you to serve the most and expand your opportunities in the in the best possible way. And so I think it’s, it’s so important to as early as possible, as early as is reasonable to establish those boundaries, because those boundaries are going to serve both of you.

Althea McIntyre 16:25
Absolutely. You know, Kevin, I was reflecting on last year, and I found myself where I, as someone who is naturally driven and naturally ambitious, I found myself compromising my own values, where I would be in sales. And this is like reflecting back in there was signs that this was not an ideal fit. But I was, I’m just I mean, he’s what kind of trying to force something that wasn’t going to happen. And you know, because there’s all these little different signs specifically because I work with high level clients, high ticket clients, and, and ignoring those signs because of, you know, the excitement of potential, like, Oh, my God, I would love working with this, because I can really see how it can help them grow. But there was signs along the way. And so once you know, one sign is just the behavior in which a prospect will take action to learn about your offer. I don’t know if you experienced this with podcast guests, like, you know, that the you know, the time, right, so, so they’re inquire about your services, you invite them to a sales call. And I believe you should qualify every person before they even have a call. So you send it out. And what I found with my ideal clients, they respond right away, there isn’t like 10 weeks or three weeks, or you know, you know, 10 months before they make, you know, set goal from I’m interested in learning about your services, and then scheduling a call. You know, these are the, these are little signs that I can say last year, I ignored and so or being late to have the conversation, that’s a really big sign or even how they fill out the questions on the forum. These are these are if you’re wondering, what are some of the signs? These are some of the signs that you should be paying attention to? You know, did they sign up quickly after inquiring about your services? Do they provide detail in in in their questions? Or was it just really, you know, one word answers, were they late to the meeting? Those are all tale signs. And so I found myself having conversations with people who are like when we get to a point they’re like, Oh, I absolutely want to hire you. But not right now. When if I looked at all of those signs, compared to what I know about my ideal client was those were signs that we were not a right fit and that those were signs that I didn’t need to follow up in the way that I followed up so yes, you’re right you can find yourself sometimes you ignoring your own boundaries that you have in place, and ignoring your own process. And so it happens to the best of and I just want to be really transparent like you know, I found my as I was reflecting on it from last year, like I found myself in that situation and this year, I want to be more intentional and more honest to myself and actually own my value in it. even greater way. Because when you own your value, you won’t accept certain behavior. Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah, I really wanted to share that. Yeah. So that people know, listen, you’re not alone. If you found yourself experiencing that when you said, I know like, Why did I knew this was not a right fit? Like, you know that there were some telltale signs, but yet still, I, you know spent time and energy and money, following up with with someone that I knew, didn’t demonstrate what an ideal client is for me.

Kevin Stafford 20:42
There’s a and honestly, this, this, this conversation applies to so many aspects of life beyond sales. Because I often find myself I’ve learned later in life. That makes a mistake mistakes here. But I’ve learned later in my life that when someone shows you who they are, yeah, and tells you who they are, believe them. Yes, it’s not it’s not an exercise in judgment or pre judgment. But the signs can be there, especially when you’ve set up your process correctly. And given people all these opportunities to demonstrate whether or not they have the values you’re looking for whether or not they have the interest and intention that will match your own. And again, it’s not just about saying, like, worth it not worth it. It’s like I want to get as soon as possible in our journey together to an understanding of whether or not we’re the right fit right now. Not gonna happen later. But

Althea McIntyre 21:36
yes, it’s not right or wrong. And I love that you said that, because I remember someone saying to me, Oh, I’d love to work with you. You know what I’m not, I’m not ready yet. And I believe them. I’m like, I’m gonna I’m gonna believe them. You know, there’s, there’s no need to further this conversation. Because if you don’t believe that you’re not ready, then you’re not ready yet. And exam and it’s end because I know for myself, and I think you, you might share the same viewpoint is, I like to work with people who make the goals, that God has given them a priority. And when they are committed to their God given mission, I don’t work well with people who God told them to do something, and they’re not making it a priority. And they’re not being committed to that so.

Kevin Stafford 22:36
Or they’re just not ready. There’s lots of there’s lots of reasons to be not ready. Procrastination was one of them. Fear is one of them. There are lots of personal reasons, yes, significant illness or death in the family. There’s all sorts of like life happens, right, and being attentive to one’s readiness, both my own and the readiness of those that I seek to serve. It really is, it’s something I didn’t realize how important it was to be attentive in that particular way to be looking for readiness and to be responsive to it when it’s there. And also to be responsive to it when it’s not, and just when it’s

Althea McIntyre 23:10
not there. Absolutely, absolutely readiness. readiness is absolutely key and respecting someone’s readiness, whatever that is, whatever that is, yeah, so there’s no so because the one thing is, as in just being mindful of the time is, oftentimes people are like, Oh, I don’t like to be pushy, because they may have been taught that if someone says I’m not ready, you, you push them, you cold, cajole them, and letting them you know, letting them believe that they are ready so that you get the sale. And know Let’s respect that individuals says I’m not ready. There’s something going on in their life, internally, externally, whatever, and that they’re know that they’re not ready to give the commitment that your services need. So a lot of times when people say I don’t want to be pushy, and sleazy and slimy, and rude is because they have been taught that in sales ignore the prospect when they say I’m not ready. No. Okay. Thank you for letting us both know, thank you for being honest.

Kevin Stafford 24:17
Thank you for letting that’s great.

Althea McIntyre 24:19
That’s a perfect response. And, you know, when you are ready, you know where to reach me?

Kevin Stafford 24:25
Or, you know, would it be okay, if I circled back around with you in three months, six months, would you like that? Exactly. You pull notes somewhere, and then you just forget about it.

Althea McIntyre 24:35
Exactly. Exactly. And that’s how you’re able to follow up with a lead authentically and effectively you’ve asked permission, right? So whether the permission is you want to you know, you want to be proactive, which I love being proactive and owning the sales process. I think it’s actually a way of really being of service. I particularly like when people follow with me, because it’s like, oh my gosh, thank you. I was so busy. Thank you so much. for reminding me whatever that is, it might be my dentist, you know, might be my car person. Oh my god, thank you for reminding me that I need an oil change. Oh, thank you. But I forgot to schedule my cleaning. I appreciate that. So whether you want to go that route, or you want to give them the onus, because you feel in your spirit, you want to give them the onus either way, it’s there, again, is the value of sales.

Kevin Stafford 25:23
You said being mindful of time, I was unsurprisingly, this conversation has just taken off. And it’s already been we’ve been talking for 40 minutes and recording for for almost 30. This has been an extremely fruitful conversation. I knew this. I knew like we need to start off with the value of sales, I had complete faith that we would go all sorts of valuable places. And yeah, this has this has borne tremendous fruit and I love I love the light, you’re shining on this in the way that you’re shining shining it because again, it’s very easy to to be afraid of sales or to be or to be dismissive or to be some kind of way about sales. And really, it’s again, I’ll go right back to what you started with selling is serving. I think that’s that’s that’s the that’s the tree. That’s the trunk of the tree that we talked about today. That I think I hopefully for the audience I know it did for me bore lots of fruit.

Althea McIntyre 26:15
Amen. Good, because I want people to shift the way that they view selling and sales. And so that will affect shift the way that they show up in their sales process. And on sales calls. So good. Yes, selling is serving.

Kevin Stafford 26:33
We did it. I love this. I might have to have you back on again. This is it’s such a good conversation. And quite frankly, I don’t I don’t hear enough conversations of this type around this subject. I mean, I hear them. But I don’t know this was a pretty good one. So I might just have to have you back on again to talk some talk some more

Althea McIntyre 26:51
about I absolutely love it.

Kevin Stafford 26:55
Well, thank you for being here today. This has been really, this is my last podcast recording of the day. And it’s like, I feel like I’m like, Ah, it’s it sounds corny, but like, yeah, I feel like I’ve been I don’t know, if you’ve been seeing me in the zoom window, I’ve been moving back and forth and shifted my feet and cocking my head up thinking about stuff. It’s just, it’s really thank you for bringing exactly the kind of conversation I love to have into my life and into my podcast feed today. I mean, I I expected as much because I loved our first conversation. So thank you for meeting and exceeding my expectations, which were already pretty high. It’s been it’s been a delight, a true delight. So I just want to I’ll say it again. Thank you. Well, thank

Althea McIntyre 27:33
you for that. Because you remember I started the conversation. I was like, No, I need to talk more about sales. God has been saying I can talk about a lot of things, right. And God has been saying, you know, you need to have this conversation more, you know, I have been procrastinated on my book And God’s like, No, you need to have this conversation or you need to be talking about sales more. And so as that we were looking back on some videos, I didn’t 2022 And I didn’t I steered away. I mean, I talked more about leadership and I talked more about trust. But now it’s like no, I need to go back to sales and really continue to talk about talking about so thank you so much. That was the reminder. And thank you for reminding me that I had talked about the value of sales because I you know, like you this is this is the god wink I need it

Kevin Stafford 28:22
like that the Godwin’s that’s great. I was thinking in my head, I was sticking with the tree analogy. And I was like, I looked down and I checked out the roots. Oh, man. Yeah, we’re definitely doing this again. But yeah, okay. I’m glad that this encouraged you to listen and to take action and hopefully your your channel will be filled with more sales videos, more sales conversations in 2023. I’m excited to check that out. I’ll have a link to all your all your usual places in the show notes. If you have a website, your LinkedIn profile. There’s a few other links. I think I still have from your last from your last conversation on the podcast as those are all still good.

Althea McIntyre 28:57
Yeah, they’re all good, you know, and if you just want to have my website, LinkedIn and YouTube that’s what we’re really focusing on this like I have, you know, all the other the Facebook and Instagram, but we’re really focusing on LinkedIn and YouTube. So Excellent. Excellent, perfect. Well, I’m around I’d love to have a conversation and please send me an email when it comes out so we can share it with our community.

Kevin Stafford 29:20
Absolutely. we’re big believers. We’ll share it on our on our feeds for our listeners out there, you’ll share it on yours. And yeah, to those of you who are to listening, who’s still listening to this, this conversation, I hope you are thinking about this important I mean, in your in your life in your business, as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, as someone who seeks to succeed and seeks to serve. This is an important kind of conversation to be having with yourself and with those around you. So thank you for listening. Do yourself a favor and connect with nothing and she’s clearly you’ve experienced how great she is on this, how much he has to say and how she’s really living it out and all the ways that matter. So just do yourself a favor and find out more about Althea and I

Althea McIntyre 29:58
love it. I didn’t even know this part. was still part of a good they get to see the real me.

Kevin Stafford 30:02
Yeah you know what I was thinking about clipping it off and I was like you know what I kind of like kind of like this conversation so I’m just gonna spin it back in. I like being able to demonstrate the the reality of it reality I’m and I love all aspects of the conversation and you’re such a delight and so genuine and so, so sharpened onpoint and focused on things so, you know, a couple extra minutes of the podcast. All good.

Althea McIntyre 30:24
Thank you so much, Kevin.

Kevin Stafford 30:27
Thank you out there and thank you to the audience. We will be tremendously grateful and just absolutely tickled to talk to you again here very soon. Okay.

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