Sell more of your new thing with the Pickle Jar Principle

Carolyn Herfurth | Business Coach for Women Business Owners

It would be ridiculous to give a pickle jar one twist, give up and say, “this will never open. GET ME A NEW JAR OF PICKKKKKKKLES!!!”

Hell no, you give it a few more twists. Pull out that rubber jar gripper you got from the chiropractor at that BNI meeting 13 years ago. Bang it with a knife. Hand it off to a family member. And then POP! It miraculously opens.

This principle was in action at a family wedding we attended in the UK recently.

And it’s the same approach you can use when offering a new program or service for the first time.

At the wedding, a bunch of us lingered too long at the bar (ahem) and found ourselves standing in the back of the room once the dance started.

All the tables had been snapped up so there was no place to rest our booties or our drinks. We faced certain “death by standing” for the next 4 hours.

So the uncle of the bride (aka my favorite Irishman) turned on the charm and asked the event manager if they would set up another table for us in the back of the room. She declined, explaining it would be in the way of the bar and the late night food buffet.

Then the bride’s aunt asked. She also got a no.

The groom’s sister pleaded. Nope.

3 strikes.

Exasperated, they asked if I would be willing to talk to the manager since nobody else had any luck.

I listened to the objections the others got (twist, twist, twist) and went in with a slightly different ask.

I approached the woman in charge and reasoned, “the bride’s family flew from Ireland and the US for this wedding and we’re all standing in the back of the room. Is there any way you can set up some chairs? We don’t need a table, we just want to sit together.”

Within a few minutes, 15 chairs appeared and everybody was happy.

It was as easy as opening a pickle jar that everyone else had already taken a crack at.

Thus, the name, Pickle Jar Principle.

This Pickle Jar Principle is the same approach you can follow when offering a new program for the first time.

Let’s start with the reality that whenever you create something new, you’re making your best guess about what your audience wants (or needs.)

Sometimes you nail it from the get go. And sometimes you miss something.

Hey, you’re human.

That’s why, when you’re offering a brand new service — you want to prioritize having real life conversations with real life potential clients — in lieu of spending extensive time and money on writing sales copy.

Because each conversation is a *twist* when potential clients indicate the true desire they have for the new offer — as well as their reservations.

Your goal isn’t to overcome or beat down their objections. It’s to absorb them — and determine how and if to adjust.

Because each bit of feedback… positive or negative… loosens the jar (aka sale) a bit more.

The problem most people have is that many of us don’t want to face the rejection that may happen in response to this “dream” thing our future is hinging on.

I recognize that it can feel deflating to have someone tell you… in a real live conversation… why they don’t want to be a part of your exciting new thing.

But if we hide behind sales copy to do our selling for us, we don’t know what to adjust if we don’t know which part of the offer people aren’t resonating with.

I did this recently with a BEYOND client, Pia Silva who created a brand new, high-ticket program.

She’s sold plenty of things over the years, but nothing quite like this. So once we settled on the pricing and packaging for the program, defined the value clients would get by participating and their potential reservations — she got on the phone.

Within a few days, she already had her first paying clients — and her first objections.

Some of the objections validated that those candidates weren’t right for the program. And others were used to help us craft better questions to make the value more clear.

Within 30 days, she filled her program and had booked $180,000 in new business.

All because she followed the Pickle Jar Principle and didn’t get discouraged by a tiny bit of rejection.

Plus she hired a kickass coach to walk with her every step of the way. 😘

So the next time you’re ready to offer something new, remember the Pickle Jar Principle — and I promise you those first few twists won’t feel so painful or personal.


Pia had the idea for this program for awhile, but…

she shelved it because there were a couple of pieces that she wasn’t clear how to put together.

She says, “Within a couple of weeks, Carolyn coached me through… from not knowing what I was going to do next… to closing $180,000 in sales. It has completely transformed how I’m going to be working in my business moving forward.”

Pia Silva

Pia Silva

Have an idea for your next new offer, but unsure how to put together all the moving parts for a kickass debut? Let’s talk about how I might be the ideal thought partner for you to carry it across the finish line:

Posted In: Thought Leadership