A Conversation With Atlanta Local Ethical Sales Coach and Consumer Advocate Heather Wylde
Q: How did you get the idea of writing your book ‘What Every Entrepreneur WISHES They’d Known Before Hiring a Business Coach’?
HW: I’ve invested almost $100k in business coaching in 10 years. Some of my mentors were truly expert teachers and coaches who were genuinely interested in helping me get results and my business grew!
Others weren’t so great. Despite paying their premium rates and doing the work, I made very little progress. It was very frustrating.
I learned how to spot the coaches who were much more likely to help me get results (and avoid the ones that were more hype than substance). When I shared this knowledge with my online business friends, every single one of them said that it would have saved them thousands of dollars in bad or unaligned investments.
The purpose of the books is to educate and empower business owners on how to find the right mentor for them so that everyone who invests in business coaching and does the work gets a significant return on investment, each and every time.
Q: What was your own journey in business like?
HW: I’ve been an entrepreneur most of my adult life, from owning and operating my own limo company to being an online coach.
I love learning and I love helping people. After most coaching calls, I feel even more energized than before the call.
And truth be told, it’s been tough. Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart! I’ve had to learn resilience, adaptability, and find deeper layers of commitment than I even knew were possible. It’s honed me into the woman I always wanted to become.
Q: What is the number one thing new entrepreneurs should think about when they are considering hiring a coach?
HW: They need to first understand what skills and strategies are most helpful for their stage of business, then find a business coach who specializes in helping people in that stage. Too many business owners get carried away by flashy marketing and invest in complex strategies that won’t help them at their current stage.
For instance, brand new online entrepreneurs don’t need complex funnels or big websites but often invest in them thinking that it will help them get off the ground more quickly. Those are wonderful assets to have to help with marketing and sales but they are not necessary in the beginning and often don’t produce good results until the business has matured a bit.
The second biggest tip for hiring a coach: TAKE YOUR TIME. Don’t be rushed by the coach or give into FOMO. Being a careful investor will help you make much more progress and you’ll be able to do it faster.
Q: What are your top 3 sales tips for online entrepreneurs?
HW: Sales was super hard for me to learn, mostly because I hated the old school pushy methods that everyone was teaching 10 years ago. I had to create a way of selling that felt right to me where I was treating potential clients with respect. Funny thing was, selling ethically converts 3x better than the pushy strategies, for both me and my clients!
To get better sales conversions:
- Don’t sell, consult. Instead of thinking about how to convert a lead, ask powerful questions to “diagnose” their challenges and explore their desires. Make it about finding out if you’re truly the right person to help them.
- Pitch to each person differently. Instead of describing the features of your offer or service, match up the key benefits that address their unique needs and wants and connect the dots for them about your offer will specifically help them.
- Stop overcoming objections. This pushy, gaslighting tactic is rude and gross. Talk to your prospect about their concerns and try to help them figure out how much of it is a real-world concern vs a fear or limiting belief. It’s usually a combination of both. When you treat your potential client with respect and dignity in this part of the sales process, it’s magic! They are much more likely to become a client than if you tried to tell them that their concerns weren’t real.
Q: In researching your book ‘What Every Entrepreneur WISHES They’d Known BEFORE Hiring a Business Coach”, what was the most surprising fact you learned?
HW: We hear stories all the time about overnight success online. I was shocked to find out that not only is it not that common, but also that only about 18% of new coaches are still coaching one year later. And many other types of online entrepreneurs are struggling to create sustainable income for years after they first got started.
Building an online business is much more complex than people have been portraying it. And the quality of business coaches varies wildly so it’s easy to invest with the wrong people and wind up with debt and regret instead of a thriving business.
Q: What would you say to someone who wants to be a business owner, but who is scared of sales?
HW: I totally understand! I was scared of it too. My stomach would hurt, and I’d have panic attacks when someone booked sales calls. I’d secretly hope that they would cancel, that’s how much sales used to freak me out.
But sales is a learnable skill, you just have to find someone who A) is a good teacher and B) whose values are aligned with yours so that you’re able to successfully use the tactics they teach to you.
With my clients, I will teach them sales skills and strategies, then we will tweak them so that they feel 100% aligned for them. When we are done, they are able to enroll great clients in a way that feels comfortable and natural to them so that they can keep their rosters filled and consistent income flowing in…without feeling like they had to sell their souls.
Q: What is one word of advice you can offer to young women who want to reach your level of success?
HW: Be around positive, supportive, and ambitious people because they will cheer you on and challenge you to keep going when things get hard.
Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments of your career?
HW: I love when my clients share their wins, like when a client made $19k in sales in just 4 days. Before he worked with me, it was taking him about 20 sales calls per month to hit $19k which was burning him out fast. I helped him raise his sales conversion rate from 20% to 60%+ in just 8 weeks so he could make more money with fewer sales convos, freeing up his calendar so he could have more profits and more time!
Q: At the start of your career, what do you wish you had known?
HW: I wish I’d had a more realistic picture of the amount of work and time it would take to be successful. I believed the hyped up marketing that made building a business sound easy and quick and when that didn’t happen, I got discouraged and quit multiple times, losing all my momentum. It’s good to be hopeful about the results we will get but it’s wise to also keep a dose of realism.
Q: Which woman inspires you and why?
HW: My grandmother. She was a teacher and super passionate about education. She was dedicated to creating an accredited school system in my small town back in the 1960s and tirelessly coordinated with other members of the community to create what is now one of the best public school districts in the state of Georgia.
Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to pursue their dream and start a business?
HW: Get a mentor and take your time. Build slowly and strategically, it will help you reach your goals faster.
Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance?
HW: Honestly, I work a lot and I work most days. I’d rather work a little each day than work more on weekdays. But in 2024, I’m outsourcing a lot of my marketing to give me more time to standup comedy and my music!
Fifteen Things About Heather Wylde
1. What celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a cup of coffee?
Drew Barrymore. I love her quirky humor and how she’s created so much success on her own terms.
2. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time?
Perform Standup Comedy
3. What was the last book you really got into?
I’m reading Value-Based Fees by Alan Weiss but I mostly read paranormal romance.
4. Among your friends, what are you best known for?
Saying outrageous things!
5. What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve done?
Cliff dived in Negril, Jamaica
6. What’s your favorite quote or saying?
“Don’t talk about it, be about it.”
7. If you unexpectedly won $10,000, what would you spend it on?
I’d make a down payment on some land to build my sustainable tiny mansion and greenhouse.
8. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Total night owl.
9. Favorite City?
Las Vegas, I don’t gamble but I love all the shows and how delightfully tacky the strip is!
10. What’s your big passion?
Empowering high-integrity, soul-driven entrepreneurs to love sales!
11. What would you sing at Karaoke night?
“Give Me One Reason” by Tracy Chapman
12. What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?
Sports, like when they slam dunk the football? Ok, I’m not that out of the loop about sports but I’m fairly ignorant about them. LOL
13. Have you ever met anyone famous? Who?
I drove one of the Real Housewives of Atlanta when I had my own limo company.
14. What were you like in high school?
Nerdy/ Drama Geek / Jock
15. Would you rather cook or order in?
I’d rather go out to eat!