It’s Not Just About Selling…is it?

When you came to Internet marketing, I’ll lay odds that you didn’t come strictly to …sell. 

I believe very few people are called into this world strictly to…sell. 

That is, in the hard core… “She could sell ice cubes to Eskimos”… sense.    Salespeople who really don’t care about the product…only their ability to manipulate others into doing their bidding…feeling the power of total control.

Most of us, instead, begin with a passion to have others experience something wonderful we have discovered or created.  You want to share.  It’s our nature.  And what better place than the Internet?

So why do so many hesitate to share…to offer goods or services to others?

In large part, because you perceive it as selling.  The perception many people have of selling  is that it requires an aggressive personality and the absolute ability to influence others into buying a product…whether they need..or want..it.  Many equate selling with the used car sales lot…with that pesky salesman who somehow pushed you into buying a car that wasn’t really what you wanted years ago.

Unfortunately that perception may be keeping talented people like yourself  from offering your skills, knowledge, and products to others. 

It may be keeping you  in a dead-end, or unrewarding job or position where you are secure in the knowledge that you will not have to “sell” anything…where you can keep your head down, keep out of sight, and…unfortunately for the rest of us…keep your secret knowledge. 

You may be thinking others really wouldn’t be interested.  What you have to offer is offered by others…even if it’s not quite the same thing.  And…maybe you’re right. 

 But…what if you’re not? 

Is the only reason you aren’t sharing your passion is because you’re afraid of  selling?  Or…your perception of what selling is, and your fear that you don’t have that aggressive salesman’s personality?  When you have something you passionately want to share,  it can be difficult to take it to the marketplace –any marketplace — if you perceive yourself as not being a “salesperson. ”

Is that you…have you tagged yourself as a “non-salesperson?”

Are you standing on the sidelines, waiting to offer something you feel passionately about to others…be it a product, skill, or information that might improve their lives?  Would you like to get paid for it?

I’d like to suggest strongly that you can!

Here are 3 secrets I’ve discovered about selling..without …well..selling.  When you’ve read all of them, and batted away your objections to getting started, I’m betting there will be a streak of action coming from your entrepreneurial “non-salesperson” self!

The first secret is that when you offer something of value to another person, they want to give you something in return.   In other words, not only will they pay you, they want to pay you.  Not that people won’t accept bonuses or trial products, but once someone has discovered that what they are getting adds value to their life, there is a need to explain to themselves, and/or others, how and why “it” adds value.

In our culture,  value,  price, and power are the benchmark comparisons.  The more we pay, the more value we perceive it to have.  And…the more you’re able to pay, the more power you’re perceived to have. 

 It’s important to understand this concept, because it is how you accept that if someone is willing to pay for whatever it is you are offering, you are selling something that is of value to them! The greater the value they perceive, the more they are willing to pay.

The second secret is…if you have a product that someone wants…they will buy it… if…they can find it.  That means you must advertise.  Not only must you advertise, you must advertise where it can be found.  Easily.  Your advertising that captures the prospect and brings them to a sales close, will clearly describe all of the benefits…and most clearly…how it adds value.

Your product, regardless of its type, must deliver…exactly what is advertised…with a full money-back guarantee if it does not satisfy.  You are, after all, staking your integrity and your reputation on it…and gaining the customer’s trust.

The third, and most important secret… is that it’s all really about doing your homework.  You don’t stand a chance of fully sharing your passion, your creation, or your discovery unless you start by doing your homework.  There are no shortcuts! 

 Once you’ve discovered or created a product that you are convinced will add value to others’ lives, you MUST share it.  Visibly and well.  That is what we’re called to do.  To provide opportunities for others to receive the benefits we’ve received from what we’ve created or discovered…if they choose!

Sharing…visibly and well…requires lots of homework before it gets to the eyes, ears and heart of the prospect! 

Know your product well…if you didn’t create it…study it until you know it better than you ever thought possible. 

Check your competitors advertising…find out what’s working for them, and what’s not.  Know the unique differences between their product and yours.

The other critical homework you’ll want to do is to study the marketplace.  Research your prospects’  habits about buying your kind of product, what the unique characteristics they like the best are, and how they talk about them. Informal interviews or marketplace forums and discussions are a good way to discover  what promise or promises will get them to buy.  

You’ll also need to research to determine who is your market.   What does it do..for whom?  Knowing that will tell you where to position it in the marketplace, and…on the internet…what keywords and phrases are most likely to attract your buyer.

Your product needs a unique identifier…something that makes a strong emotional connection with your buyer.   It’s called branding, and, particularly at “like” quality and price labels, it’s what sells your product over another.   

Now…if your passion is telling you…you have a LOT to offer…and you’re intent on bringing  the next really big idea to the market, I think David Ogilvy, in Ogilvy on Advertising,  captures it best when he says: “It will help you recognize a big idea if you ask yourself five questions: 

  1.  Did it make me gasp when I first saw it?
  2. Do I wish I had thought of it first?
  3. Is it unique?
  4. Does it fit the strategy to perfection?
  5. Could it be used for 30 years?”

If you know you have the next big idea… and it fits the 5 criteria above…it’s definitely not just about selling.  It’s about getting it to the marketplace so prospects can become buyers, and you can add value to their lives…and your own!

I challenge you to begin today…now.  There are dragons to be slain, maidens to be rescued, princes to swoon for, and peace to be brokered.  The marketplace awaits.

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