How to Sell without Selling
If you’re in business, then you know that sales are the lifeblood of the company. As soon as the sales dry up, your business does too. So it seems a bit counterintuitive that you should stop trying to sell people when that’s the only thing keeping you in business.
The trick is that people want solutions. They don’t want to be sold. When you figure out that you’re a solution provider, and not a salesman (or woman) that is when selling gets easy and you can basically stop trying.
Here’s how that works.
Share and Educate Instead of Selling.
I read a lot of blogs. I get a lot of email newsletters. While I may skim through some, I try to read all of the words so that I can claim to be highly educated on the matter. Want to know what I have found from the most successful blogs? They all have this one thing in common:
A successful blog shares the most information.
When you read company blogs, you see the hard sell all the time. Everything they write they try to give you a snippet of the information in hopes that you’ll become a paying customer to get the rest. And it must work, because this model is all over the place.
But when you read the blog of a highly successful company, you find that they give away 99% of their information. They aren’t trying to hide anything, they aren’t pushing you to become a client, and they aren’t holding back saying, “You only get this if you pay!” Instead you get immense value, and never pay a dime.
Why does that work? It’s all about trust. People only buy from people that they trust. So if you give away amazing information, techniques, and tricks, then people trust you. If the free content is THAT good, imagine what the paid content has!
You don’t have to sell, the sale makes itself.
Provide Solutions Instead of Selling
People have needs. People want those needs met. Often people don’t even know they have needs until you help them uncover them.
When I was a financial advisor, I would sit down with people and collect all of their financial information. I would put together a plan that would show where they are on target, and where they are falling short. Back in those days I had to make a living (to be read: I had no money), so I would often push life insurance even if it wasn’t their highest priority. The result would usually be that I didn’t make a sale at all.
If I had provided a solution, and then added life insurance 6 months or a year down the road, my career would have lasted longer than 9 months.
Or imagine if you sell for a cable and internet company. People have entertainment needs, but they often don’t realize what those needs actually are. Instead of pushing the big 3 bundle (cable, internet and phone) which most people don’t actually need (who uses a landline anymore?) meet them where they are. Find what their needs are, and then offer a solution.
If you provide the solution rather than sell a product, you make more sales, to happier customers, that refer friends.
Quit Trying to Sell People
Nobody wants to be sold, but everyone needs to be sold. Instead of pushing a product, offer solutions. When the customer makes the choice, they are much more likely to become a customer for life instead of cancelling 6 months down the road.
Are you offering solutions?