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I’ve mentioned this phrase, “selling without selling out”, several times on this blog and in my videos on Periscope. I’d like to take a moment to break that down a little bit and explain exactly what I mean by this.
The act of selling comes natural and is a regular occurrence in our daily lives, it’s all about building relationships. When you make a new friend, it is because they have succeeded in selling you on that relationship. When you think about it, the idea of friendships is a little strange.
One day, this person that is a complete stranger begins chatting with you. The conversation is interesting and you decide to keep in touch. A few days later, you get drinks together or attend a sporting event or show. After several months of socializing, your friendship becomes strong enough that this person asks you over to their house because they need help loading a moving van – and you gladly help out without pay.
The above scenario happens so often that we can all think of a time we were in that situation. Now imagine how much selling goes into building a committed relationship with a romantic partner. It’s such a common part of life that we don’t even notice the activities involved in selling these relationships.
If selling is so natural, selling out is the timeshare sales pitch for an amazing vacation package with easy payments of just $295/month for 30 years. The goal of selling out is not to build a relationship, it’s a pure and unadulterated financial transaction. The seller has no desire to serve the buyer and could care less if they ever return for a future product or service offer. It is in the best interest of the seller, when selling out, to get as much money as they can from this one transaction – because it’s unlikely there will be another.
We’ve all seen websites and email marketing schemes that were nothing more than a complete sell out. Flashing banner ads all over the site, offers that seem “too good to be true”, and amazing 99% discounts on products that have never sold at full price. So, how do you sell without selling out?
The key is to focus on serving your audience. If a product or service does not add more value to your audience than it takes in monetary gain, then it’s not worth selling. I focus on building win-win-win offers within my own business, and my clients businesses. That is, I look for ways to offer value to the customer (win), earn income for the business (win), and strengthen the relationship between the customer and the business (win). If one of these is missing, I’d prefer not to make a sale and to focus on building the relationship. That is how you ensure you are always selling, but never selling out.