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Okay, I’m going to list off a few lies I hear entrepreneurs tell themselves — I am bad at selling. Selling is bad. Salespeople are always slimy. Selling is scary… Have you told yourself a variation of any of those phrases? I have. Selling used to be my downfall. And then I learned (with the help of books and my coach and teachers like today’s guest) that selling requires a mindset shift. And this conversation will help you make that shift and start selling with confidence.
Ivirlei Brookes is an actor, an entrepreneur, and a mindset mentor for creatives. She leads her students through the same transformations that she’s experienced herself, which is what makes her coaching so impactful. Her mindset tools for reframing your approach to selling will help you shed that “slimy seller” feeling and stand in confidence knowing that YOUR offer is what the world needs, even during these uncertain times. Here she is, Ivirlei Brookes.
Who is Ivirlei?
“I’m like a lot of entrepreneurs, where I had a winding road before finding out where I should land and where I belonged,” Ivirlei started. She always identified as a leader and self-starter, which led her into many projects and endeavors. From starting her own magazine to hosting a YouTube-based show (that never aired), Ivirlei realized that she really enjoyed coaching.
Specifically, she was coaching the men on the YouTube show team through their dating trial and errors. Her boyfriend at the time encouraged her to charge for this service and her dating coach business was born. When she landed a high-level CEO as a client, Ivirlei knew she was really on the right track. She refers to this period of her career as the “Female Hitch”. I love it.
“I got my coaching legs, but after a few years I realized I wasn’t working with women and that’s what I really wanted,” she explained.
So Ivirlei packed up her life and business and moved to LA. When a friend came to her looking for business coaching for her mother, Ivirlei offered to work with her for free. Many of her first female clients were coached free of charge… But soon it transformed into the full-fledged business coaching business she has today.
“I started working with entrepreneurs and helping them with limiting beliefs and things I didn’t advertise, but that ended up being my superpower,” Ivirlei revealed. “But I had never heard of a mindset coach at the time. I’m helping people design their lives around having a business and still loving the life that they have.”
First Steps in Mindset Work
Mindset work is something I avoided for a long time because it forces you to uncover parts of yourself that might be uncomfortable to confront. Ivirlei first leads her clients through a conversation about their personal identities.
“There’s this whole character that we’ve created,” she began. “We come up with this whole story and we stick to it. It gets even tighter as we get older. There’s no room to mold or grow because we get so stuck on the story.”
Ivirlei explained that it’s important to face the story you’ve been telling yourself and then start picking it apart. What parts of that story are true? What parts of the story are you accepting that don’t actually serve you?
“I think you can create a new identity based on whatever it is you want for yourself.”
Mindset Trends in 2020
This year especially, we’ve been cracked open and forced to face questions about ourselves that we may have never asked. And in a year where financial challenges are the norm for so many entrepreneurs, I was curious to hear what Ivirlei has seen in mindset trends. What challenges are women and female entrepreneurs facing now more than ever?
“So many of us make our identity out of what we do,” Iverlei began. “Out of our wins and successes we’ve had at work and when those things are snatched from you, when the rug is pulled, then there’s a struggle to keep a sense of yourself.”
Ivirlei shared that a lot of the mindset and identity struggles are centered on the reconciliation of what you do for work and if that was really who you are or who you wanted to be. Facing this can be traumatic, but it can also be powerful.
Press play on this episode to hear Ivirlei’s thoughts on pivoting and reinventing yourself if you come to realize that the identity you’ve clung to isn’t exactly who you want to be.
Ivirlei approaches sales in such a subtle and graceful way. She’s so gifted at inviting people into her work without ever feeling like you’ve been sold something. I asked her about the ideology behind her sales strategy.
With experience being a telemarketer, Ivirlei has a different view of selling. Instead of the tactics used in those high-pressure sales situations, Ivirlei says that for her, “Selling is all about connecting. And I’ve learned that I can’t sell anything that I don’t truly believe is going to create a shift of the person who is buying it.”
“I’m not really selling them the product or the service, I’m selling them the vision of what they can have after,” Ivirlei explained. That’s why it’s so important to believe in what you are selling so you can get excited alongside the person you’re selling to.
“People buy from you when they feel like you understand them, not when you try to get them to understand you.”
How to Sell Now
One of the biggest learning moments in this conversation for me was our discussion around how to approach sales and marketing in this season when consumers aren’t spending money on their wants as much, and instead focusing on their needs.
Ivirlei and I dig into creating and positioning products and services to truly fill a need for potential customers. Hit play on this episode via the links above to hear the full conversation around selling during the days of COVID.
More from this Conversation
Ivirlei recently went viral with a video she created, and with that brought a lot of attention — both beautiful and bad. We talked about the impact it had on her identity and what she learned through the experience. Ivirlei also teaches on the importance of understanding who you’re selling to, especially now. Be sure to connect with Ivirlei at @ivirlei on Instagram.
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Photography by Arielle Levy