Demo Therapy with Julia LMFT: How to Create an Authentic Connection is the second in our Demo Therapy series but it is the first step to conducting better discovery. In this session, Julia and Ed discuss ways to engage and disarm an audience. We move away from manipulation, and towards genuine and authentic connections. In case you are just tuning in, some context on why a sex therapist-run Demo Therapy? We have been exploring the ways in which we communicate, or don’t communicate, with audiences. The most compelling techniques for communicating to an audience and talking about pain are derived from addiction models of therapy. So we thought, what better way to help our SaaS sales audience understand communication, conduct better discovery, and build relationships, than in Demo Therapy. Julia LMFT is an LA-based therapist specializing in sex, addiction, and relationships. Click on link to learn more!
Watch! Demo Therapy with Julia LMFT: How to Create an Authentic Connection
How to Create an Authentic Connection Transcript
I think a lot of that, “I know something you don’t know,” is a way that salespeople have been taught to exude confidence. And unfortunately can often come across as arrogance.
There are plenty of other ways to exude confidence.
And some of that is. Sometimes just speaking a little more casually and being more personable, small talk, not getting right down to brass tax right out of the gate. That’s a little more human you’re trying to connect. And I think that’s often lacking is, is that humanistic component.
It becomes abundantly clear to whoever they’re speaking to that they have dollar signs going through their minds, that they’re trying to make a buck. They’re trying to get something out of this person. It can feel opportunistic. It can also feel kind of “used car salesman-ey”, like it’s kind of gross. And it’s just the way that I think I exude confidence is in the way that I build rapport, which is very human.
I don’t try to be very cold and clinical and rigid and not answer any personal questions, turn everything around. I come in and I bring my personality and I bring in humor. I bring myself, I bring personal stories, things like that to the table that make me, obviously, feel human and genuine. And also it helps others to connect with me because they’re seeing me be vulnerable and people tend to mirror naturally. It’s just sort of this thing that we do from when we’re pre-verbal. And so when one human being sees another being sort of laid back, casual without all the pomp and circumstance and they’re being vulnerable and open and sharing about themselves, not excessively, but to some degree to demonstrate this comfort level, it tends to loosen them up a little bit.
Ed: When you talk about being vulnerable – what does that mean to you and what should that mean to us as we hear that word?
Julia: To me, vulnerability is sort of a way to volunteer, take the initiative to volunteer openness and personal examples. To share something with another person or share expression of emotion that is not something maybe you would ordinarily share in that kind of situation.
You know, I work with sensitive topics, right? With sex therapy, sex addiction. I work a lot with infidelity issues, betrayal, and you know, one of the things that tends to disarm people is when I offer up personal experience. And I’ll give an example of when I went through that and I’ll give sort of a brief overview of what happened in my first marriage.
And, you know, I talk about it a lot in my podcast and whatever else, but I offer that up and I volunteer it and I say, you know, part of the reason why I do this work is because it’s near and dear to me. And it’s something that I went through, and I really could have used somebody’s support through that time – more so than what I had and , I’m not in the same exact situation as you, but I do understand how painful some of these things can be. And so it’s, it’s openness, it’s personal as well.
And it also shows that I’m sort of letting my guard down. I’m not just sitting here going. So how does that make you feel? I mean, To me, that’s, that’s not therapy, that’s boring. So I think that’s how I go about it.
Ed: What I see a lot of salespeople do is they’ll tend to just talk about themselves. And so I know you’re trying to balance that being vulnerable, but also creating a client centric environment.
So how do you balance those two things, which I could see kind of being a little bit in conflict if you do it wrong.
Julia: Even therapists are taught to be very careful about self-disclosure because obviously we don’t want to make it about ourselves entirely. So for example, in the example I just gave you, yes, I’ll share that I’ve been through it, but I make it a point to always circle it back around to my client.
The person I’m speaking with, you know, I’ll say I do this because this is the meaning for me. This is where I find purpose. But even though I don’t understand your exact situation, I’m not in your situation. One thing I can relate to is how painful this is for you, because I’ve been through something, although not the same, similar. That was also extremely painful. And I was looking for a very specific type of support just as you are. And so it’s not just about me – it’s about more building rapport in terms of helping the other person feel seen and understood on some level. Obviously. I’m not in their position.
I’m not in their shoes – even hard as I could try to empathize, that’s going to be limited because I can’t put myself into their body in their life. But even the effort can go a long way and the demonstration of a willingness to share something so personal also tends to be something that doesn’t go unnoticed.
People will say, “wow, it’s amazing that you can talk about that so openly. And I would love to know how you’ve overcome that. And it gives me hope to hear that another person has been through this.”
And so it’s, ,it needs to pertain to whoever you’re speaking to, and not just about yourself, because then that connection gets lost.
Ed: What if you haven’t come from the industry of the thing you’re selling or you don’t necessarily, you haven’t gone through it. Is there a way you can show empathy or show someone you see them without that personal experience?
Julia: Well, I think that’s where asking questions comes in and that’s something I do quite a bit of, not in an interrogative way, but even demonstrating a desire to understand what they go through, what are their pain points? What are the things that are going well? What is it like for them to be in this position? I have people who are from all walks of life, in different professions, and some of that comes through in session. For example, a lot of attorneys tend to be a little argumentative. But at the same time, I’m not an attorney. So all I can do is ask questions. And I think that pertains to anybody who’s trying to connect with another person the same way that you would at a party. If you met somebody and they do something that you’ve never heard of, you’ve never heard of this job before. You’ve never heard of this industry before. So you would probably ask questions, “you know, I don’t know much about that. Can you tell me more about that? What does that entail? What is a day in your life look like at work?”
And let them explain to you? I think that’s the best way to go about it. Don’t assume you know.
Ed: That’s a really good point. And a lot of times that is one of the common discovery questions. You’re supposed to ask about their life, but then it ultimately ends up being sort of self-serving lot of times, you’re trying to get them in a certain direction. If you want to try to guide the conversation a certain way, but you want it to feel authentic. How could you balance those two outcomes as well?
Julia: I think there’s a way for, for certain, if I was in a sales position, I think my approach would probably be to just start with open-ended questions, not go right into what I’m selling, whether this person’s interested, but just getting to know you kind of line of questions.
I speak from my personal experience. When people have tried to sell me things, whether it’s software programs or a car or a pair of shoes, I tend to feel more comfortable and be more amenable to negotiation and to maybe even spending a little more when this person is likable is warm. I don’t feel pressured or uncomfortable speaking with them.
It’s not too formal when there’s a connection . You know, human beings are social animals. We, need the connection and that’s also what builds rapport and trust. So start there rather than, ” so would you like to hear about what we’re offering today?” Actually, no, I don’t wait.
Ed: “But wait, there’s more!”
Julia: Right. Oh, that’s my least favorite. But you know, I think when, when people can sense that you’re just being nice, you’re trying to get to know them and you’re not immediately going into your whole spiel about whatever it is you’re selling. It. It almost gives them the opportunity to open that up on their own.
So it’s not on you.
“Okay we’ve, we’ve had some small talks and chit chat for awhile. So, you know, I came over to see your product because this is what I’m looking for. Can you tell me if this is something that you do?” And then they’ve invited you in to tell them about it rather than you feeling like you have to chase them down and sort of intrude.