Do you find you give and give, but people do not seem to be buying?
Or maybe people do buy, but not in the numbers you would like?
I get that, and I hear it a lot. You might have heard me joke that for a while there I was stuck in a loop of being known as a “freebie guy”. Luckily it wasn’t so bad that I left to go herd goats or something, I have always had a little something up my sleeve that was my get out of jail card (will talk about that in a bit), but it was frustrating until I broke through that problem.
No Sales, No Business
The fact is, if you don’t get sales then you are not in business. And you don’t want “just enough”, you need enough strong leads that your business can thrive.
This is true if you are selling your services, offering an ebook or running live events.
We react differently to this notion. Some of us resort to cold-calling, others will pound their lists with offers.
While we don’t want to be that type of person, we do have to first understand what is going to make our audience take notice and take action, and also we need to confidently put offers out there knowing that they are good offers in service of our market.
Sometimes that is easier said than done. Sometimes we think we are doing that, but still our offers land with a dull “thud”.
What we are talking about, of course, is the “trusted advisor” type authority, the go-to person in your niche, the person we grow to know, like and respect.
That’s the first advantage that I had over some other players in my markets, even though I started out in the programming and IT geek worlds. We can’t really call computing topics niches because, well, who doesn’t use a computer nowadays, right? But the bits that I got known in, man they were niche. Ultra-nerdy niches of niches. There were not millions of people battling to push hundred dollar bills at you. We couldn’t promise fame and fortune.
But still I made a decent living and I did it without any kind of hard-sell (in fact to begin with the idea that I could sell something hadn’t occurred to me, I had customers coming to me before I had an offer).
It was authority that did it. My audience found me and trusted that I had a solution.
Given the Choice, this is Who We Choose
The next element that made all the difference, and continues to, is the reason why most of us are happy to buy from certain people, and would rather have root canal than buy from others.
Yup, good old “Know, Like and Trust”.
I don’t need to cite any scientific studies here, just observe your own behaviour. In fact, walk up to a used car lot and start checking out the merchandise. Visit enough dealerships and you will soon understand what people do to make the sales process “icky”.
On the other hand, we all know what it is like to “have a guy who does that”, or “know a lady who can help you out”. That’s who we want to be known as. The person other people will happily refer business to over and over.
If I had to rely on my sales skills then I would never still be in business for myself. I am not an entrepreneur by birth, I didn’t sell baseball cards in the playground, and I am not the world’s most confident pitch man. Most of my “sale” happens before the offer is made. People make up their own minds about the solution and my ability to offer it. When I talk about an offer it can therefore be presented as “here’s what I have that would help you, take it or leave it”.
We Don’t Like Being Sold to, But We Like to Buy
If we are looking for a solution, if we believe it will work, we trust the person offering it, and we can see that there is more value to us than the price, then we happily buy.
Heck, looking around my desk, I have so many cool gadgets and doodads, we don’t always need all of the above criteria to happily buy, do we? I am not sure I have any reason for my army of stormtrooper legos other than I think they are very cool 🙂
We love to buy stuff, we just don’t like being sold to. Most of us don’t like to make offers in that way either.
That’s why sharing content works. Before we talk about offers we give people ideas, tips, and we share the benefit of our experience. We attract an audience who need what we can offer.