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People HATE to be sold.
If you spend your life in advertising and marketing, sooner or later, it dawns on you that your entire career has focused on three things:
- Finding prospects,
- Attracting customers, and
- Closing sales.
If you spend enough time focusing on those activities, it will dawn on you that all three things are based on one principle and one solution:
People HATE to be sold.
People have problems they want to solve. They have needs they want to meet. And they have desires they want to fulfill. But they don’t always know how to make that happen.
And they hate to feel like they’re being sold.
That’s why for years (before the Internet, of course), we’d run ads that said: “For more information, call this free, recorded message.”
But that wasn’t where we started. The first ad said: “For more information, call this number.”
Since marketers test everything for the highest performance, we tried adding the word “free” and discovered that the “free message” received almost three times more calls.
Next, we tried adding the word “recorded.” That told prospects there wouldn’t be anyone on the line to coerce them into buying. That’s when the calls – and the sales – skyrocketed.
It’s the same for you and your business. Because your customers HATE to be sold, also.
I have a friend who runs ads with one target customer: people suffering from a particular medical condition. To do that, she markets a free book titled: “The Medical Condition Cure.”
(My friend uses the condition in her title but asked that I not share that. Why not? Because she’s making tons of money selling her product. She gave me permission to reveal her secret but not to reveal her name.)
When she initially tried to sell her product, she learned that her process required too much explaining; a simple 30-second ad, or quick social media hit, didn’t get the idea across. So instead she wrote a book about the disease, its causes, and its cures. This provided the time needed to show how her treatment works, why it works, and why sufferers should try it.
The book gave her time to tell people how she could improve their lives. Instead of selling an expensive process, she gives away an informative and empathetic book to people who are interested in hearing how she can help.
But this doesn’t just work for medical procedures. Take air-conditioning installers, for example.
One of their biggest problems is that their potential customers have watched too many exposés on 20/20, 48 Hours, and Dateline. Because of that, no one trusts HVAC Contractors. It’s the same with roofers, movers, and other residential real estate trades, by the way.
Knowing this was a big problem, my friend Will created a series of free books with a clever title that had the solution in it. He markets customized books like these to professionals who hand them out to their potential customers.
- 21 Critical Questions to Ask Your HVAC Contractor
- How to Price, Prepare, and Sell Your Home for Maximum Return
Will explains how roofers, movers, and the like can either keep struggling and losing sales because their prospects don’t trust them, or they can create their own custom books.
The books create a win-win-win situation for Will’s company, the professionals he helps, AND the customers they do business with. And this all happens because Will understands that simple, straightforward principle:
People HATE to be sold.
Think about your business… do your potential customers and clients understand how you can make their lives simpler, faster, or easier? If they did, wouldn’t they rush to buy your product or service? If so, why not write a book about it?
Bruce you are spot on. We call it the Resource proclamation that talks about outcomes. Working with a dentist once he said he never got new patients from networking. I asked him how did he introduce himself. He replied I say I am a dentist. I said most people do not like talking about dental work because of the pain they get when you going. I asked what are the outcomes of your restoration work? He answered that they have better smiles, which allows them to get into relationships, promotions, etc., So I suggested he simply say that what you do is create smiles that enhance peoples lives. Now most people are asking him to tell them more about that. Being a dentist is how he creates the outcomes. The outcomes are the smiles. And that’s what is necessary to gain the emotional connection with the people you’re trying to influence as written in the bestselling The Velocity Mindset book.
I like this. now can I remember to do this after many years of doing it the other way,
thank you for sharing!! very interesting
Bruce, I was at that same meeting with you and you always have the best self presentation. A great Brainstorm.
Bruce, always love the blogs and especially think this is a great idea and way to differentiate yourself. While not quite the same context the ending is similar to what Michael Douglas did in the speech that he gave in the movie “The American President” which was very powerful.
Thanks Al, I’ll check it out.
Speaking of Michael Douglas, watch his opening monologue in The Kominsky Method. It is sensational.
Great post and I really like the “I infection” term. In editing business copy, I critique with “you have too much of the we-we complex and not enough of you-you”. As you say, it’s “All About Them.”
Keep ’em coming.
Thanks George — I’ll use that one!!
Very good and instructive. Thank you.
AWESOME! I plan on stealing this one Bruce!!
Intriguing observation. But I’m sitting at the edge of my chair wanting to know what happened next. Did anyone react to your original way of presenting yourself? And if so, how did they react?
Always a pleasure to read your blog.
I have always learned from your blogs. Thx for writing them and being so creative and instructive. Keep em coming!
Wow – not a simple process! As always, thanks for the insights and
Thank you Bruce, you captured a great deal in a terrific synopsis. I am reminded of the critical conversations with client’s about defining and agreeing what business they are in. Which obviously has great impact on their positioning and brand personality.