A long while back, a former Canadian mountie met with Albert Lasker, one of the grandfathers of advertising. His name was John E. Kennedy, and he supplied Lasker with one of the biggest breakthroughs of what advertising was: salesmanship in print. Just chew on that for a moment. Salesmanship in print.
I never liked thinking of myself as a marketer. In the old days, I railed against it. I also haven’t the guts to call myself a salesman, as the best salespeople I know are far better at their abilities than I could ever hope to be, and I do a few things that salespeople don’t find useful, so I can’t exactly put myself into that title very easily.
But I sell. I sell all the time. I sell ideas. I sell my services. I sell the various charities and causes that catch my attention. And I sell products from time to time. I wanted to talk briefly about how I sell, so that you understand my perspective, and so that some of you might see a bit an idea for yourself.
I Sell In a Straightforward Way
First, if I’d like you to buy something (be that an idea or a product), I ask. I point to the offer, and I ask you to consider it. Too many people get a bit antsy around the sale, and to me, that’s a recipe for a really uncomfortable process. When you have something to sell, ask for the sale. It makes things go better all the way around.
I Sell Three Times
I do my best to sell three times: I sell you on the idea of something. I sell you that something. And then hopefully, I sell you a relationship that extends beyond that something. If you buy Third Tribe Marketing, then I’m there to greet you on the other side. If you buy Genesis (affiliate link), and you have a question, then I route that to the right people and make sure you’re tended and comfortable.
Any sale is better when you sell three times: idea, purchase, support.
I Sell Without Much Pageantry
I try not to resort to the gimmicks that others use in their sales. I try not to limit a sale to 7 days (though this is really effective). I try not to reduce prices to show you the enhanced value (because we all know that whatever you pay is what the person wanted to get for the product). I never negotiate my prices because the offer I give you is the best one I’m willing to make (I learned this from buying Saturns for my last 5 cars). I try not to put anything flashy or blinky or otherwise obnoxious between you and the purchase. You’re better than that, and a relationship with you matters more.
I Sell With the Hopes of Referral
I don’t always want you to buy what I’m selling. You’re probably all set. However, I do want you to refer what I’m selling to people you know who could use it. Why? Because that’s the absolute best kind of sale. That’s worth more than anything I could ever spend my time doing on my own. Your word and your opinion on what I’m offering is much more valuable than me telling your friends that what I’m selling is worth it.
I Sell With an Emphasis on Return on Investment
In the case of me, or the products I sell, I consider the return on your expense. If you spend $47 a month in Third Tribe, then the goal is what I teach you (and what the other 2000 people in there teach you) is something you can use to bring in much more than $47 a month in additional revenue. If I sell you a professional speaking opportunity, then I’m intending to give you even more value than that, both as a draw for your event, and as value delivered to the attendees.
You see, there’s not much value in me getting the better end of the deal, because that means we’ll only have one transaction. I want you to buy from me (in many ways) more than once, because what I’d really love is that referral mentioned above, and you won’t give that if you’ve not seen the value of your purchase.
And That’s How I Buy
If you sell me with gimmicks, I rarely buy. If you sell me with a high ticket, but I see little reward, I won’t buy again. If you sell me only twice, and I never hear from you after the purchase, then I’m not going to refer you to my friends and connections, because relationships are a currency I value a great deal.
The same is probably true for you, isn’t it? You buy from people who sell the way you’d prefer to sell, were you in their shoes. (And the exception is when you have little choice, isn’t it?)
How do you see it?