Join business strategist Tina Tower as she explores how to build your empire by packaging your expertise into online courses, speaking, content, podcasting and credibility.

Tina has over 17 years of experience in starting, building and selling companies, she's a speaker, teacher, mama and world traveller.

She's unapologetic about living an intentionally big life and if you want too, this show is designed to show you many different options to help you gain clarity over YOUR version of awesome.




  • Key strategies I use to sell my business offerings with integrity ¬†

  • What Ethical Selling Looks Like

  • Connecting with Your Audience Authentically

  • The Problem with High-Pressure Sales Tactics




If you're feeling frustrated and disheartened by slimy sales tactics such as being bombarded with pushy sales pitches and feeling like your time and money are being disrespected, then you are not alone! Many women in business struggle with the discomfort of selling and fear of coming across as gross or unethical.

In today's episode, we delve into the problem with high-pressure sales tactics, what ethical selling looks like, the key strategies I use to sell my business offerings and how to connect with your audience authentically. 

Check out my signature group coaching program, Her Empire Builder, the best online education for female course creators in the world at

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I know that you're the expert and you've got all of your subject knowledge nailed - now it's time to build the business behind your online course and stop being the worlds best kept secret. 


Show transcription 




Hi, friends, and welcome to episode 237 of her Her Empire Builder podcast. It is so great to have you here with me today. This is not a normal episode that I create. I am very much someone who likes to go high. I don't like criticizing other things or people people.

However, this is an exception to that rule because I feel like it's really important and really integral to everything that I see women struggle with in this world of running businesses. And so I want to talk about it today. How to sell without being gross hello and welcome to her Her Empire Builder show. I'm your business strategist and host, Tina Tower, and I am so happy you are here. My goal with this show is to bring you the inspirational and informative conversations with interesting humans, as well as the tools, tips, and resources to help you build your online business.

Since I started my first business at 20, I have built and sold four times. And in 2018, while I was traveling around the world with my family for a year, I tripped and fell into this wonderful world of online courses, and I instantly fell in love. I'm the million dollar course creator, a world traveler, bestselling author, a mummer of two man children, and a lucky wife. There's no playing small here. It's your turn to grow to run a highly profitable business that makes you wildly wealthy while you positively impact your clients and the world around you.



Main episode 


And, of course, have that dream life that's perfectly aligned with you. Let's get it. So last night I went to what I did not know was a sales event, and I have been in business long enough that I probably should have known. However, the topic was something that I really wanted to learn about. So I did think, you know what?

I'll come and learn. It might be really good. You never know, and I will see what happens after that. I always like witnessing other people's sales pitches to kind of figure out, okay, what's going on and how can I learn from that? Also, I did learn from that.

I learned what not to do and that there's still a lot of gross tactics being used out in the world. And it was really opportune timing because a couple of weeks ago, I was at a large conference and I had a couple of the men there saying, why are you doing her Her Empire Builder? Why aren't you doing his Her Empire Builder as well? Or why is it gender specific? And I was thinking after that, because my reasoning for starting her Her Empire Builder in the first place was that I had joined a few masterminds that were very bro markety, very heavy in a lot of what I would say, toxic masculinity.

And I wasn't comfortable being the beginner in that environment. And so I wanted to create an environment where I knew it was safe and comfortable for women to thrive. And so that's why I started her Her Empire Builder. But I was like, is that still relevant? Is that still true now, five years later?

And so I was thinking about that. Anyway, I walked into this room. I don't want to stereotype, because I sound like an asshole when I do it. And the thing is, I will sound like an asshole in a bit of this episode, but I am so gobsmacked at what happened that I'm like, I need to talk about it, because I do think that especially a lot of women will not sell for fear of coming across like, this guy came across, and it doesn't happen very often. And so I want to talk about the distinction between that.

But I walked into this room, and not in a very long time have I seen so much hair gel and big muscles in tight shirts, just a lot of cologne and a lot of people with big hopes and dreams trying to break out of their current reality and make it big. And what I saw in the room, obviously, I had never at any point in my life had hair gel or big muscles under tight t shirts, but I saw myself in that room. I saw me from when I was in my late teens and early twenty s, and I was going to every personal development speech. I was going to seminars by Anthony Robbins and John D. Martini and everybody, basically, if they came, I was going, because I was so hungry for knowledge and to change my current reality.

I came out of a rough childhood. I had no money, no self confidence, was very vulnerable, and fell into personal development like a lot of people fall into religion. It was in there. And I saw myself in that environment. And so I sat down and straightaway was, like, a little trepidacious and, oh, my gosh, the second it started, I was going, oh, no, Tina, where have you got yourself to?

What has happened here? So it started late. And the thing is, I am happy most of the time, except if two things happen, people waste my time or my money. That is what sets me over every time. So going there.

And the thing is, I'll preface it with this as well. It wasn't free. It was bought. So the tickets were a couple of $100, which is still a cheap, educational evening. So I did expect a sales pitch at the end with that, but I did not expect what I walked into.

So it came on there was straight away a lot of NLP happening. So neuro linguistic programming for anybody who doesn't know was really, really. I mean, it's still used a lot. I learned a lot about it in my early 20s when learning about sales and learning about influencing people, and you've got to use it for good and not evil. This is the thing.

And straight away, there was all these different things, like, you know when you're in an audience and you're like, say yes, if you're doing this. Yes. Put your hand up if you're doing this. Yes. Like priming to buy, getting you ready to say yes to opportunities.

But it wasn't just a couple. It was like so overt, over and over and over again and going, are you here to play? If you're not here and you're not engaged and you're not doing this, you're not going to learn anything and you should just walk out the door. That's the point. I should have walked out the door, to be fair.

However, I did not. I stayed there because I wanted to learn the content, I wanted to learn the subject matter. And I thought, I can sit through a little bit of this, like, bruhaha to be able to get to the good. Aha. However, we started 15 minutes late, and then at the 20 minutes mark, I was going, oh, we're still on his story.

We're still on his story, which was not his story. So when I say it was not his story, it was elements of his story, which all of us, of course, bring out, elements of our story that we want to talk about in terms of parts that we pluck, that are going to be relevant to the audience that we're talking to, and we're going to omit things because no one's going to tell their whole story or how long have you got anyway? He kind of took that a little literally, but also 20 minutes in, he had told us the parts of his story that he knew would resonate with the audience that he was trying to sell to. So it was all about him being a failure. Now, this guy is worth tens of millions of dollars.

He is anything but a failure in terms of financial success, which is what a lot of people were going after. He has worked very, very hard for many, many decades. The first time I saw him speak was like, 2009. So he's been in the world for a long time, working very, very hard on perfecting all of this. So to stand up and say that he's done nothing but fail and just been there, and if he can do it, anyone can do it is just wrong, because there's no point in going.

It'd be like me saying I just tripped and fell into online courses, and it all became completely successful overnight. And now I have this beautiful life where I work 15 hours a week. I take one week off every month, and I travel the world with my family and my friends and live it up. And it is so easy. And if I can do it, you can do it, too.

Now, that wouldn't be a lie, because I do all of those things, and I do believe that if I can do it, anyone else can do it, too. However, there's massive caveats to that. It is everything that came before it. This is year 20 for me in business. When I discovered online courses, I had already been running business for 15 years.

And so I had personal brand already built. I had a lot of foundation behind me. I also worked like an absolute, possessed, obsessed woman for years to be able to create the life that I have created now. I think I do a lot that a lot of people aren't willing to do. I'm willing to make a fool of myself.

I'm willing to experiment and try. I'm willing to do things and admit I was wrong and change it and do it again. And a lot of people aren't willing to do that. And so I think that, yes, you can prime people to do that. However, what a lot of people like to ignore about success is that it takes a lot of hard work and it takes a lot of gumption and a lot of self discovery.

And if you're not prepared for that, it's not going to work out. And I think trying to sell people a dream that is completely unrealistic is setting people up for failure and going to leave nothing but a graveyard of broken hopes and dreams everywhere. And I want no part of that. So when it got to 20 minutes in, and we're still listening to this story, which is all worded in a way that was priming people to buy, I was just starting to a little bit of vomit starting to come up into the mouth. So that started to tick me off.

Then ten more minutes, 30 minutes later, and we're talking about his program. Not the name of the program, but that if you're thinking that you're going to be sold something here tonight, I don't want to disappoint you, because everyone in this room needs this. Everyone wants this. And then he was talking on and on about it. Now, this goes for 90 minutes, is the whole segment.

And so at 40 minutes in, I'm going, oh my gosh, we still haven't learnt anything yet. And so I was starting to get really, really angry. I left at the 46 minutes mark where I heard nothing but sales priming and had not learnt a thing. As the third testimonial video rolled, it was the point that I knew that the only thing worse than wasting an hour was wasting 2 hours and so decided to turn and leave, which was mortifying for my husband. My husband was coming with me and we were sitting like third row from the front and he's like, Tina, you can't just stand up and walk out.

I'm like, I'm not sitting here through this. There may have been good content to come, but taking our money and time and being so disrespectful with it that someone would talk for that long with no substantive content is so rude and so lacking in integrity. So we got up and left. And this is the thing, right? I am all for a sales pitch, all for it.

Like, I know as business owners we need to sell, but I think prime it at the start for like five to ten minutes and then pitch at the end after you've shared some value. But for me to drive 2 hours, wait in the lobby, doors open late, then sit there for 45 minutes listening to a blatant self promotion is so out of integrity and not what I would have expected from someone who wanted to sell a $40,000 a year program. So the line for me that really got me in a little bit of a tears was, you don't need to be great. You don't even have to be good. You just have to be a little bit better than shit.

I mean, what even is that? And this wasn't said once. This was said at least twelve times in be better than shit. This is it. This is the bar.

You only need to be better than shit because most people are shit. And if you're not shit, you're going to be successful. Like this was it going on and on. So much swearing like the f bomb, every third word. Like it was just so gross.

And the thing that was the grossest for me was that the presenter does not believe that. He does not believe that all you need to be successful is just a little bit better than shit. Because he has been pursuing excellence in business for decades, he knows how hard you need to work for the edge that you need to get if you want to be in the top 1% of people who can make millions and millions of dollars a year. It is an edge. Like you ask yourself, why doesn't everyone do it?

Why isn't everyone making millions of dollars? Why is the average business owner still earning under six figures a year? It's because it takes massive strategy, really clever strategic planning and every single thing on how can we be just that little bit percent better to aim for? Exceptional. Exceptional is what it takes to be in the top 1%.

And so to me, it's just awful to, on so many levels, prey on people's vulnerability like that. Yeah, I'm like, I still can't believe that that is allowed to happen again and again because there would have been people that are like, wow, you know what? I believe that I can do that. That are going to spend so much money, that are going to be heartbroken that it's not working for them. There's going to be people that it will work for because they had within them what they needed to have within them.

But an example of this, which is embarrassing, I will tell you at the beginning, is a little embarrassing. However, it will illustrate this point. So when I was 26, 27, no, 25. So I started franchising when I was 27. I'd been going to personal development things and seminars for a long time.

But when I was 25, I was like, I want to start building wealth. So I would go to property seminars, wealth building seminars, all these different things in trying to learn how different people had done it. I wish I knew, like, just pick up a really good book. The good books that we have out there are so good. Most people selling from stages, there are exceptions to this.

There are people that I love in massive integrity that sell from stages. But for a lot of the sales seminars, it's a sales strategy that worked hugely in the social media, wasn't around, so people could do a lot of shady shit without being caught. And so I went to this one that was like speaker after speaker after speaker, like a showcase day. And then each speaker had their package that you would literally run up to the back of the room and sign for. If you've been to one of these things before, I know you know what I'm talking about, and it's like, so cringe, but when you're drinking the Kool Aid, you don't necessarily notice that.

And so I was in there, I was running up the back, I had like $15,000 in my bank account, and I spent twelve of it that day on courses. One of those courses was forex trading, like exchanging foreign currency. I don't know who I thought I was at the time. So young and naive and I mean, of course I'm not going to be a currency trader. Tina, what were you thinking?

But amazing speaker and made me believe like it was possible. They had testimonials from people just like me who had no maths knowledge, no tech skills, no knowledge of the finance markets, couldn't do anything. However, they followed their ten point system and butabing badaboom, you're a millionaire. And yeah, I bought it. Yeah, I bought it.

It wasn't the only thing I bought that day, but I bought it. And then I remember still going into the city and doing like a mass learning day for this and walking in and getting an hour into it and going, oh, no, it's like a course that you would take at university for finances. And that was, for me, my first thing in going, okay, so that was sold out of integrity because what was sold was not what was delivered and the expectation of the prerequisites of what you need to be able to deliver on this. And so really good lessons in sales, and I haven't really been in that environment since. So this last night was a little bit of a shock to my system in going, oh, wow, this is still happening, this is still there.

And so what I wanted to talk to you about, because I knew that when I walked into that room that I'm so glad at the time that I was having the kind of mental conundrum on, is there still a place for her Her Empire Builder? Should it just be Her Empire Builders? Because doing that and all of the things that were happening and everyone that was like, yeah, I expected some people to pound their chest, but everything that was happening there, I'm going there, is so needed the safe space for women still to be able to have a different way of doing business, of selling, of marketing themselves without having to be that. And so that's what I wanted to talk about today, was not just to rant and poo poo on somebody who I have lost all respect for, but to also be able to say, this is how I have seen it done. Well, because I know that for a lot of women, especially women that join my program, her Her Empire Builder, they'll come in and when it comes time to launching and selling, a lot of people find it really uncomfortable to sell.

They find it really icky. And what I have found is that a lot of the time that is because of being in situations like I was last night, and nobody wants to see themselves reflected in that and go, I mean, I haven had a moment of going, of reflecting on my own sales, while I was sitting there and going, gosh, do I ever make people feel this way? Does this ever happen? Am I doing any of this? And really trying to put myself under a microscope to go check yourself, watch it, because I don't ever want anybody to feel like I am preying on their vulnerability.

And so before I go into what I think you should do, I have to talk about the call. So the next day, like this morning, which is programmed a day after they have their call center, their call team, like their sales team, call everybody. And so I was amped. When I walked out, I really wanted to record a live. I was really fired up, and I was like, I need to go live and talk about this.

And my husband, who is my protector, held my phone up in the air and going, no, you can't get it. No, you need to cool off. Which was the smart move, because if you talked to me last night, oh, my gosh, it was a lot. But. So they called, and their first thing was, how did you find it?

My response, I thought it was absolutely disgraceful. I walked out after 45 minutes, and I cannot believe how disgusting and out of integrity it was. Right? That's my response. The call center.

Are you interested in one of our free diagnostic assessment sessions? I mean, the purpose of having humans in a call center is so humans can adjust to the other human on the other end of the phone. And so that was just an example of going, wow, they're just taught to just steamroll no matter what. You just stick to the script and you just steamroll people into sales. Anyway, what I do think, and the email that was sent, oh, my gosh, I wish I could just copy and paste and share it because it's so bad.

Anyway, how I do think you should sell is by not selling at all. I know that sounds counterintuitive. Now, I think we have sales events like launches and webinars and lives and different things that we do. But selling, my friend Colin Boyd calls it infusion selling, where you make known what you do, how you can solve people's problems, and then the audience is smart enough and sophisticated enough to make their own decisions. So that is the way that I sell.

I believe that the women that I work with, they're very smart, they're very qualified. They're really good at what they do. They know what they're looking for. And so all I need to do is to articulate. This is what I've got.

This problem is what I solve. This is how I solve it. And then people can see that and decide, do I want to do that or not? That is really as simple as it needs to be. You don't need to manipulate people.

You don't need to prey on vulnerable people. And you see it happen time and time again. There was a book I read, I can't actually remember what book it was in, but they referenced it as weak zebra marketing of going. And I was once that weak zebra, the weak zebra out on the plains where the lions can come along and just pick them off one by one. And I don't like seeing it.

I don't like seeing it at all. Obviously from personal experience, but also in going, how many people have lost money through buying something that the person selling it knew wasn't the right solution for them? So I think, first, know your audience. Know your audience so that you can connect with them and communicate with them in a way that is engaging and authentic and within integrity. The next thing I think is serve.

I have this debate with people quite often in how much free content do you give away? How much do you give in podcasts? How much do you give in webinars, on lives, on anything that you're engaging with your audience for free? And I have a really clear line with that is I will often teach the what, but not the how in free content. And so that to me, is a way of keeping the how for paying clients, but giving enough value and enough exposure to free content consumers that they can figure out what I'm all about and if they are the right fit for the programs that I have.

So I think that that needs to be a really clearly defined thing, but it's always giving value. So I know that every time someone comes to a webinar or every time someone's listening to a podcast episode, I want to make sure that when you finish, it's ignited something of value, whether it is different ideas or whether it is something practical. When people are giving time, you want to give some value back in that you don't ever want to disrespect somebody so much by taking literally our most valuable thing that we have, which is time. So I think, know your audience, serve them really well, add massive value so that I will sometimes get pushback from people saying, yeah, but if I give value, then why would people pay me on the other side? And I think the opposite is true.

There's no way I would pay this guy a cent, because I'm like, if this is the shit that you served me and you're free, is there going to be anything of substance behind the curtain? I don't believe so. Whereas I think you knock people's socks off. You've always got to have the barrier. Like, if you give people too much value, you'll overwhelm them, and then they won't want to take any action because they'll have paralysis.

But there's a line there in going, it's a fair exchange. And this is the thing that I think that everyone needs to find for themselves is what is the fair exchange in that? If someone's paying you, then what is the fair exchange of value that you can provide? So that everyone in every situation is always feeling a win win, so that you are feeling like you're paid well for what you've given, and in return, the person is feeling like they have got a bargain because they've got so much value. One of the reasons why we switched our challenges that we do at the start of each of our launches, we switched from paid to free, is because I wanted to sell in that I wanted to sell for five minutes at the start, 15 minutes at the end, and I was like, I don't want people to pay for that.

Even though our paid challenge was only $44, I didn't want people to pay for that. It felt out of integrity to charge people for a sales event. And so I know that if it's free, then people are getting massive value, which is a fair exchange because they're going to be able to get things that go straight into their business that are going to help them. And in return, I get to pitch at the same time and I pitch in a way that is not pushy, that is, this is what I've got. This is how it works.

If you are this type of person and you want this problem solved or have this goal and you want to build your online business and you're already humming along and you want to go bigger and you need the systems and the tools and the templates and the community and the support. This is an option. But at no point do I say, or should anyone say, this is the only way. It is never the only way. And I always get red flags as soon as someone's like, if you want to be successful, this is it.

This is the only thing you need to do. It's like getting up early in the morning. I remember I read 05:00 a.m. Club years ago, and it was like, everyone successful gets up early in the morning so that they can meditate and train and journal and do all the things before the rest of the household wakes up. I did it for 90 days because I don't think 30 days is long enough to know.

So I did it for 90 days. I had a headache and was grouchy all day, every day for 90 days. Because I do think that you really need to do what is right for yourself and for me. Everyone measures success by a different measure. In my own measurement, I am very successful.

I have a beautiful life that is in alignment with myself, that is of my choosing, and I love that. And so that, for me, works really well. Now I don't wake up at 05:00 a.m. I also don't think that it is. The only way to be able to do things is to be successful with my program.

I think that there are so many other programs and different options for people that have different preferences. For some people, I will giggle too much. For some people, I'm too hyperactive. For some people, my add is too much. I just did all three of them right then.

But for some people, they love that energy. For some people, they're like, I want to be around that energy. For some people, I'm too list orientated. I love systems. I love lists with everything.

And so I can be very regimented in going, let's get organized. Let's put it this way. Some people like complete freedom, flexibility, creativity. And so I am very clear about what I am and what I'm not so that people don't get surprised when they buy my product. They come in and they go, oh, it's like I thought it was, but better.

That is always the response that we want when we sell and when we buy something. So I think that that is a big one. I think the other one is connecting and building relationships. So, to me, we are humans to humans. And I always think that we should feel proud of what we're doing.

And if at any point we don't feel proud of what we're doing, that is the signal that we're out of integrity and need to stop and change that. And so I want to connect, and I want to build relationships with people. I saw someone the other day actually criticizing Manychat DMs for the lack of personalization that they have. And I'm like, I see where that's coming from. However, I think it's like the most incredible tool to be able to connect with people.

So for people who don't know what Manychat is, it's online for social media, automation, integration, that happens, and it is fantastic. So in the past, where we used to say link in bio. Now you can say DM the word or comment the word, and you can be able to do that. What it has done is it has increased our conversions massively because people get to connect. And so where they used to just click a link in the bio and be able to find it, and then, of course, I've done this a million times.

You go to something and then you forget about it. You can connect with someone so you can get what you need when you need it. So if someone's looking for a link, they can comment the word. So, like, if you wanted to listen to this podcast and you saw me talking about it on social media, I'd say comment the word podcast and you'll be sent both the links to Apple and Spotify and our show notes. Now, previously, people would have to go hunting on it.

They might forget. But if I'm there and I'm on a story and I'm saying, listen to the podcast. And they do podcasts, they can find the show notes really easily. All of those links, it's making it easy for people to engage. Then I can also connect with them personally afterwards.

So it's like a win win from a consumer point of view. You get what you want when you want it, so you don't have to wait. And then from a connection point of view, you get to actually connect and build those relationships after as well. So I think it's absolutely fantastic. So I think, above all else, sales should be done with integrity.

We should have interactive and meaningful interactions because we're humans and we need to always add value so that it is a constant win win situation for absolutely everybody involved. And if you do that, then I think that you're doing selling with integrity and you don't have to worry about being slimy and gross, which is what I think most people don't need to worry about, which is why I wanted to talk about it today, because I know that so many people are like, I don't want to sell because I never want someone to think I'm slimy and gross. And my answer is, you're probably not. But I wanted to share that with you today. I hope it is helpful.

Let's all go on and let's be able to stand with pride and talk about our products and connect with the right people so that we can have long lasting, sustainable businesses that improve and infect people's lives forever more. And people, whenever they reference us, will say, the chick's got integrity. Loved working with her. I got exactly what I wanted and more. This episode was brought to you by my signature group coaching program, her Her Empire Builder.

The best online education for female course creators in the world. Check it [email protected]. Along with so many free resources to help you get building your empire and seeing those results that you deserve. If you loved this episode, please don't keep it a secret. Share it with a friend on social media and tag me at Tina Underscore Tower and give it a review.

It really does help us to be able to bring you bigger and better content as we grow. Have the most beautiful day. I'm Tina Tower, and I'm cheering you on all the way.