What is the difference between selling and manifesting? To me, it’s simple. Selling asks “How may I be of service to you?” Manifesting asks “How may I be of service to me?”
The Art of Selling
I know many people think of sales as a pushy process that forces someone to buy something, a process that feels lousy, unnatural, and manipulative. We’ve all had the experience of a pushy salesperson trying to sell us something we don’t want. This, in my book, isn’t sales. It’s just bad manners.
The mindset of “I need to sell this (yoga class, group workshop, DVD, etc)” can be extremely stressful and create behavior that backfires. When you approach selling with an arsenal of weapons—a list of benefits, a glossy brochure, lots of testimonials to convince others of how great your product or service is and how it can help them—it can feel like you are engaging in battle.
The fundamental mistake we make is buying into the idea that we’re under the gun to sell something. If we turn this whole process around and ask, “What do they (the people I’m trying to reach) need that I can give them?” you have the most efficient, effective and stress-free mindset for the sales process. Selling, at it’s best, is service.
Instead of selling to just anyone, look for the appropriate buyers—the people who want or need what you have to offer. Within that mindset, there are three things that good salespeople develop. They are:
The framework for the sales interaction is listening intently to what the client needs and determining if your services or products can help him or her. That’s the context within which your work will flourish.
The Art of Manifesting
When you set out to manifest something, you are committing yourself to what you are going to create. Notice I didn’t say committing to what you want to create. What you want often changes, and looking for the “right” answer can eat up way too much time. By making a clear decision about what is to be created, you intentionally screen out other options, and focus on actions, words, and thoughts that support that intention.
Manifesting takes just as much focused attention as sales, but instead of focusing on what someone else needs, you are focusing on your own needs. Manifesting also demands the same creative energy as sales–moving with the flow, rather than sticking with a rigid definition of what you think is “right.” Selling calls for a deep listening to another. Manifesting calls for a deep listening to yourself.
In the art of manifesting, I love to play with the concept that there is only One. Different forms, yes, but only One reality from which all the forms come out and play. If that’s the case, then I am Everything. If there is only One, and I am Everything, how could I want more? I approach manifesting as a broadening of awareness, an openness to seeing what is already there, waiting patiently to be seen.
I love what Byron Katie says about money. She says money is like air: it is all around us. That’s the essence of manifesting for me. Trusting that what I think I am lacking is available. Can I breathe it in?
Trusting the Process
I notice that when it comes to either sales or manifesting, I most definitely have a biased opinion. By that I mean I want to get what I’m asking to manifest. I want you to buy what I am selling. I am not an impartial participant in the game. I am actively rooting for—and taking action toward—a particular outcome.
A defense lawyer’s job is to defend the client. You wouldn’t hire a defense lawyer who said, “Let me just release to the flow and be with what happens.” No, a lawyer argues the case vehemently to the jury. After all the facts are discussed, the jury makes an informed decision. Just like the lawyer, you have a role. Your job is to confidently position your services and trust that other people have the capacity and the intelligence to make a sound purchasing decision that fits their best interest.
The same holds true for manifesting, in my experience. I am an advocate for what I want to manifest. In both sales and manifesting, I have an intention. In both sales and manifesting, trusting the client or the universe to make the best decision means you don’t need to sweat the outcome. Trusting the process gives you peace of mind.
You have absolutely no control over what the actual outcome will be—just like the lawyer can’t know how the jury will vote. The trick is not to let that future possibility deter you from standing confidently in your own truth now. There is a difference between surrendering and giving up.
The other thing that keeps me sane as I balance what I want against what is unfolding is being curious. Asking questions about the unfolding outcome can stimulate your creative juices and help you flow around the perceived obstacle.
In her book The Forgotten Body, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy co-director Elissa Cobb shares a story about a client’s experience during a session. The client reports:
. . . I had an image of a teeter-totter and I was right in the middle, with arms outstretched, in complete balance. My intention for this session was to explore the difference between control, surrender, and giving up. Even though I know intellectually that surrender does not mean giving up, a part of me feels like surrender is giving up. At one end of the teeter-totter was control and at the other end was giving up. Here I was in the middle. What was this place? It came to me that this must be surrender.
That’s how I view the most productive mental position relative to sales and manifesting. Be clear in your thoughts and actions about what you are selling or manifesting, and enjoy the ride as you let the client or the universe make the next move.