Everyone wants to buy and they want to buy from YOU

Me carrying a load.

Me carrying a load.

The art of selling has changed, especially if you’re a new sales rep or a new business opening its doors. Authenticity reigns supreme at this day and age. No longer can you hide behind your marketing and PR. People will find out about you through Google, a Yelp review, Tweet, etc… Fancy sales lingo and closing techniques are things of the past (although I’m sure some still work).

PEOPLE WANT TO BUY

No one wants to be sold. Marketers used to tell people what they want. Now it’s a discussion or it should be. As a marketer you should put all the information you have out there. That’s what we’re accustomed to now. We’re information junkies and we want to load up on the info before we buy. If we’re interested in buying, we’ll ask you a question. Please don’t shove it down my throat.

Think about this – not too long ago if you wanted to buy a car, you’d see / hear the ad, visit the dealership, talk to a sales rep, negotiate and away you went. Now, it takes 2-3 months for the average person to go through the process of buying a car. For me, I had a general idea of what I wanted, so I went online and searched through a ton of info (customer reviews, spec sheets, videos, price comparisons, etc…). When I was ready to BUY (noticed how I didn’t say ready to be sold) I went to the dealership for a test drive.

My wife and I were interested in a hybrid and the Toyota Prius came to mind (Yes, we’re THOSE people). We popped into the dealership, got hooked up with a sales rep (this part of the sales process is still the same) and off we went for a test drive. We liked the car, so the negotiation began. Instantly I could tell the sales guy was going by the book (aka script). He was relatively young, and he’d only be doing this for a year or so. I commend him for going by the book. Why? Because that’s what our managers tell us to do. “Here use this script and all of your dreams will come true.”

Unfortunately, those managers have been out-of-touch for a couple years on what people want because they haven’t been ‘pounding the pavement’ like the sales reps. And they’re out-of-touch with the new generation of buyers.

BE YOU 

We’re intelligent beings (for the most part). We know when you’re reading from a script and when you’re uncomfortable. We can sense it. The easiest way to sound confident and to be confident about what you’re selling is to be you. Be your genuine self. How many people 30-years-old and younger have ever bought something from a telemarketer? My estimation is slim to none. We know you’re reading from a script and we know you only have one goal in mind…to SELL us something.

When I started out in the sales world (everyone is in sales in some way, btw), I used scripts and techniques that were passed down to me. I read countless books on the sales process and human psychology. I tested everything I learned from those books, managers, and scripts and what did I find? When I CONNECT with people and put them into a position to BUY. They buy ME first. Not the product or the service I’m peddling. THEY BUY ME. Then, they buy the product / service.

Why do they buy me? Because I’m genuine. I’ll tell you things most people keep as secrets. I’ll tell you things my managers tell me not to say. I’ll be as open and honest as I can, so you can make an intelligent buying decision. That’s my personality and that’s who I am.

Maybe you’ll buy me, maybe you won’t. Business is a series of rejections. If you stick with being yourself, you’ll find plenty of people who accept you. Those people are your fans. Continue pleasing your fans and you’ll be very successful and very fulfilled. Don’t lead with the product or service. Lead with what you know best…YOU.

Love you,

Jordan

PS. My wife and I ended up buying a different hybrid from a different sales rep. He didn’t use scripts, he told stories and gave us the information my wife and I requested to make an informed buying decision. I was a fan of his because he was real.

Social Media & Traditional Media

cat with a bow tie

Scotch with a bow tie

Social media and traditional media. Notice how I didn’t say social media vs. traditional media. I’ll touch on that in a moment.

Social media is exactly that. It’s social and it’s media. However, as our society usually does, it pretty much has already destroyed the social aspect of the media. There are more PUSH marketing messages than actual social conversations. Again, marketers are trying to stuff things down consumers throats.

It started out as people being able to have conversations on Twitter, Facebook, etc… all over the world. Now, it’s more of what we’re used to. One directed messages from a company or person not really concerned with carrying on a conversation.

This past week, I searched Twitter for #personalbranding. And guess what, I found numerous people using the hashtag, so I started a conversation with one of those people (in this case it was a brand). I recently wrote an article on my ‘Guy with the Bow Tie’ person brand (check it out here). I reached out to this company and shared my post. They liked it and guess what? We started a conversation. Ha! Go figure. It wasn’t a one way message. It was a back-and-forth on a subject that BOTH parties are interested in. Funny how that works.

Anyway, you can call my bullshit on the following, but the more the media world changes the more it stays the same:

Google Search = Yellow Pages
YouTube = TV
Twitter = Radio / Print
Facebook = Radio / Print

I could be way off, but let’s start the discussion. It’s not as if one is better than the other. They all are media and they all work if your message and strategy stays consistent (that’s a whole other bag of beans). The one striking issue with social media is message credibility. @JoeBlow could put something out there and we have no idea if it’s remotely true. Remember when a shark appeared after Superstorm Sandy hit the eastern seaboard? Ya, it never happened, but it made its way around the globe because someone was half-decent at Photoshop and tweeted it. Then again, it’s become increasingly difficult to take traditional media as credible.

The point I’m trying to hit on is the media landscape hasn’t changed much. There happens to be more people at the table fighting over the same scraps, but even the social media types have realized they need to start charging for ads and pulling back the freebies. As a result, the more the media landscape supposedly changes…the more it stays the same.

For example, I hear plenty of small businesses talking about Google Adwords. Well, it’s no different than the Yellow Pages. Google is a directory (like the Yellow Pages) and everyone’s fighting for the top of the page or the biggest ad. Funny enough, it doesn’t matter who’s first on Google. What matters is familiarity. People buy what they know regardless of whether or not you dropped a serious chunk of change on words like Calgary, Car, Pizza, etc… (more on what makes people buy here).

Social media and traditional media. The more we change, the more we stay the same.

Love you,

Jordan

2014: The year to be different

There’s been much hullabaloo over the “Misunderstood” holiday ad Apple is running. Many say it’s wonderful and potentially the best ad of the year. I like it, but it doesn’t feel like Apple to me. Take a look:

I’ve been a fan and customer of Apple for close to 15 years. I was an Apple user before it was cool to be an Apple user. And I always enjoyed their marketing. Under Jobs, Apple’s marketing was always about the product, its simplicity, and clean lines / look (white everywhere!). As soon as the ad came on or I flipped to the magazine ad, I instantly knew it was Apple. There was no mistaking it. It was different.

Before the above campaign it was the “Mac vs. PC” campaign. Again, unmistakable as to what it was and what Apple was selling. And the campaign keyed on points of differentiation. One of the tests you can use to see how effective your marketing campaign is / was is to use the ‘Swap Technique’. Cover up your logo on a print ad or watch / listen to your TV or radio ad without a mention of your brand’s name. If it’s unmistakable as to what brand the message is conveying, you win. If your ad could easily be used as an ad for a competitor, you lose.

For example, take a look at the Google India ad which caused quite a stir earlier this year:

This very well could have been an ad for an iPhone. Vice versa the “Misunderstood” Apple ad could very well have been an ad for an Android device. Don’t get me wrong, the Google India ad and Apple “Misunderstood” ad are great and will probably win a creative award or two, unfortunately they miss the mark on selling the product. When it comes to advertising, your marketing shouldn’t be about winning awards, it should be about making sales. One way to do this is to show how your product is different than everyone else’s. Don’t worry about being ‘creative’ focus on being different.

I wonder whether or not the Apple “Misunderstood” ad would have flown with Steve Jobs. For me, it misses the Apple feel, the simplicity, the sleek, clean look and for the most part the product.

Your mission for 2014…stop being creative and start being different.

Look at what your competitors are doing and do the opposite. Being different should scare the shit out of you and that’s a great thing.

Good things come to those who wait. Great things come to those who don’t. Don’t wait, be different and lead in 2014.

If you need some help being different in 2014, shoot me an email at effumarketing@gmail.com and put “I’ll be different in 2014” in the subject line. I respond to every email.

– Jordan