If you are actually selling, you are probably going to struggle.
If you are actually selling, you are more than likely going to dread going to work in the morning.
If you are actually selling, you will have to work really hard. And make slow, grinding progress.
If you are actually selling, you won’t have too much fun.
So don’t actually sell.
Go in through the back door.
Move your markets in ways that are accomplished by ANY MEANS other than actual selling.
How? Here are three simple examples:
1. Teach people. Teach people things that make their life (and business) better. The key here is to enjoy what you teach.
2. Write books. [Yes, even short e-books count] Hopefully, you are writing words that excite and inspire you. And, actually move people (and markets) to action. People want to associate with a writer who moved them.
3. Connect people. Nothing makes people happier than when a friend connects them to a promising business opportunity. All you have to do is be nice, and be human to people. Help them. And they will spring surprising opportunities on you. When you least expect it. And your sales process is already advanced down the field, since your new connection already trusts you because of a referral from someone they trust.
But here’s how I do it:
4. I interview people on my podcasts.
A simple strategy.
You could say I am doing my guests a favor by being a guest on my show. I am giving them a forum, I am giving them a platform, I am giving them an opportunity to tell their story/deliver their message.
I am exposing them to my audience, which I have worked really hard to build and cultivate.
For this, they are grateful.
But that’s not it entirely. After a heavy majority of my interviews, my guests inevitably ask, “So tell me what you do?” Or “Tell me what you do with this studio…” Or, “So, do you always broadcast and do live interviews on trade show floors?” [see above photo]
This is how the conversation starts. And more often than you might imagine, these conversations lead to business opportunities.
All because I did them a favor. I helped them in some small way.
I didn’t sell these people. I didn’t cold call them. I didn’t send them a brochure. I didn’t send them a piece of direct mail. I didn’t ensnare them in some marketing automation campaign. I didn’t hunt down the name of key executives in a Lexus/Nexus search.
I merely found interesting people, running interesting companies, doing interesting things. And I helped them. And in return, they struck up a conversation. And that simple conversation leads to business opportunities.
It doesn’t even feel like “selling.”
My friend Joe Lavelle, and businessman and friend I very much admire, called what I do selling through the back door.
I think it means I get the time and attention of key decision-makers without having to do the yucky, unpleasant, hard, and time-consuming tactical side of sales.
Now, I am not saying this is easy to do.
It took me years to craft a business model where I move my markets via radio shows and podcasts. And I’m slogging hard towards my 10,000 hours of honing my interviewing skills.
But that’s just it. I spend my limited time honing my podcasting skills, giving my guests an amazing experience.
I don’t spend my time cold calling a stale database that I bought from some vendor who copy and pasted my email address into a pre-written email template…hoping I’d respond.
I don’t call what I do selling. Selling, in some circles, has a negative connotation.
No, what I do is move markets, and I move markets (and decision-makers) by going in through the back door.
And the best thing about it?
I don’t dread waking up in the morning, having to tackle some ungodly call list…
To learn more about my take on sales, check out my book: The Zen of Sales!