Most entrepreneurs were taught that in order to make money, they have to sell hard. That might have worked in the marketing booming era, but today the game is very different. Consumers from all generations have been exposed to marketing at a mammoth scale. Big brands and their agencies are always trying to reinvent their marketing approach as it’s getting increasingly challenging to get people to buy.
Most entrepreneurs oversell – hard. Majority of them completely forget to build relationships, which is the cornerstone of business growth. They push their products or services down their potential buyer’s throat. This isn’t their fault. They just don’t know any better.
Is there a chance that you oversell to your prospects? I’m going to assume that there is . Even if you’re not, I hope this post inspires you to keep on growing your business the right way.
So how do you sell to people without selling to them?
Here’s the key. Instead of selling to people, become their friend first. In fact, you want to become so valuable to people that they become advocates for your business. That means they believe and trust you so much that they refer their family, friends and even strangers to you without thinking twice. Believe it or not, this is the oldest growth hack in history. WORD OF MOUTH.
Here’s my tips to boost sales by turning your prospects into friends.
Stop hard selling by making friends and watch how they’ll give you money without thinking twice and maybe they’ll even become hardcore advocates for your business:
- Tell your story. Nothing makes people connect with you better, than telling them your story. That means sharing with them how your business came to be, but more importantly WHY you are doing what you are doing. Be honest and let it come from the heart. Weave your story into your sales copy, your about page – make it a theme to share your story with people so they connect with you. I’m not saying you should write a book about yourself. Keep it simple, but get the most important, meaningful things across.
- Put a face to your business
Your story might be epic and moving, but if you really want people to bank your story, put your face to it. That means a picture of your ugly mug. If not you, then your team. Start humanizing your brand. Facebook has Zuckerberg. Google has Sergi. Microsoft has Gates. Get where I’m going?
- Give before asking One of the most important lessons you can take from this article, is that in order to start building a relationship with your audience, you have to truly GIVE. By giving, I mean, you have to give your prospects something that actually improves their lives. Share real value. There is something called the Law of Reciprocity. This law basically states that reciprocity is so strong that a person will feel obligated to ‘buy’ from you regardless of whether they like you or not. Now imagine they actually like you! This tip is something that I truly try and embrace here on GrowthNerd. I feel like sharing as much value with people before asking them anything in return. I challenge you to do the same. You’ll see a big difference.
- Invite them to your secret club Bonds are built immediately when we share our secrets with others. How do you apply this to business? Well this plays on the whole ‘give before asking’ principle. Consider your newsletter. Your newsletter can become your ‘secret’ voice – your secret club. A place where you share your best tips, ideas, freebies… not available anywhere else. Everyone wants to be part of the secret club. It’s psychology By inviting people to your ‘secret’ club and sharing all that juicy stuff with them, they will love you for it and stick around for dear life.
- Keep in contact What happens when a good friend suddenly stops talking to you and suddenly vanish? Would you be upset about it when one day out of the blue they call you up to ask “what’s up”? You’ll be pissed, right? At the very least, you will be a little disappointed. That’s what happens when you don’t keep in touch with your subscribers or customers. This doesn’t mean you should be spamming them. Once a week is sufficient enough
- Listen & respond sincerely The more you listen to people, the better you’ll understand them. The web gave us the gift of social platforms, a place where people speak their minds and engage freely in conversations. Social platforms are big speaker phones for potential customers. You should be listening to people and help them where needed. Listening also means keeping your ear to the ground for things that affect your potential customers’ lives.Oreois a fantastic example of a brand who keeps its ear to the ground. During the third quarter of the 2013 Superbowl, the lights of the superdome went out for 34 minutes. Oreo was obviously watching, as only moments after they made a tweet with an image that became one of Twitter’s greatest case studies.Or how about restaurant chain Morton’s Steak House, who made things a little bit more personal? A man with a 100,000 strong follower list tweeted Morton’s Steak House to ask if they would surprise him with a steak to end of his trip. Boy did they surprise him
- Initiate a get together
Invite your friends to all get together. In business this can be done in several ways where you basically are the igniter and driver behind it.
- events such as a conference
- live streaming
The main purpose of these events is to build and maintain relationships with your prospects and customers. These events also give unacquanted people a chance to have talk. Who knows, they might start sharing their positive experiences with your business. You can also use these events to push your products or services to prospects, but don’t overdo it. Rather get newcomers into your secret club (Tip #4 above).
- Be consistent and congruent
To maintain trust, it’s important to be consistent in your connection efforts. Have you ever been in a situation where you have ate at a restaurant a few times (and enjoyed it) but one day you get there and you experience bad service and crappy food? Your trust level is likely to drop because what you have experienced is not consistent with your past experience and expectations. Being consistent in business is about aligning your business’ vision, mission, goals, values and ethics to your actions. The way you present your business through communication, marketing and other activities has to be congruent with who you strive to be. Be consistent.
Anything to add? I’d love to hear from you
Are you actively building relationships with your prospects and customers? Is there something you have been doing in your business that has been working really well for you? I would love to hear from you!