How NOT to Sell During A Pandemic

Cartoon holding No Sign
How Not To Sell

First off – I hope you’re doing okay. Second – I’ve started reaching out to people who I haven’t messaged in a while to see how they’re doing. It’s been very helpful to both parties.

I’ve also been doing a lot of personal development while my work has slowed down. Personal development isn’t the easiest thing to do when a) I’m worried about where my next pay cheque is going to come from and b) I have a two year old constantly shouting “Daddy! Daddy!”

While working on me – I came across the below post on LinkedIn. It’s from a former business associate of mine.

Poor LinkedIn post
WTF was he thinking?

So, this isn’t an over-the-top sales pitch, but c’mon man! I’m here worrying about my businesses, my bread, my family. I don’t give a FUCK about “optimizing” my digital advertising.

No surprise – the post received zero comments, zero likes, and zero “strategy call” bookings. Although I agree with the messaging, now is definitely not the time to be selling how to optimize your digital advertising. And this is the third or fourth time he’s posted something similar to this.

I’ll show you how to sell without selling a little later on, but FIRST! MORE SHITTY SHITTY SALES PITCHES!

Another no-no

One of my former colleagues works for Habitat For Humanity and while she and her team are working from home someone had the gull to DM her asking if she was interested in doing reno’s in her office seeing how no one was in there.

“Good time to do that reno you’ve been putting off.”

This asshat is trying to leverage the Coronavirus to get a not-for-profit to spend money during a time where Habitat is trying to keep a roof over their own damn heads.

I get it

These guys are trying to do what they can to survive, but they’re eroding whatever brand equity they’ve built by not showing any compassion. It’s a heartless sell over and over and over and over.

Thanks to my personal development – here’s a better way to go about selling right now:

  1. I touched on authenticity during a crises last week
  2. Stay Local
  3. Be kind and put yourself in the shoes of the people you’re trying to reach with your message.

    To the last point – I’ve pivoted and adjusted my “pitch” to be research based opposed to a hard sell. I don’t mention Coronavirus – until I get a response from a prospect. Once he or she DM’s me then we chat a bit about how the world has gone to shit.

Below is my LinkedIn post.

LinkedIn post, Guy With the Bow Tie
Sell the research, not the product/service

No likes, no comments, but I did get 4 responses. Okay, one was from a guy who I personally messaged, so 3 DM’s off one post isn’t bad.

Btw – if you want to check out the survey I put together as my follow up to the post above – go here

Love you,

Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft

PS. Punch in your email addy below to get more shitty content sent direct to your inbox.

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WTF is going on?

Coronavirus
Coronavirus

Two weeks ago – who would of thought we’d be here? It’s safe to say just about everywhere there are people fighting over toilet paper.

In times like these – you have to be as authentic and as transparent as possible. If you’re staying open for business – then let your customers know why (see what Radisson Hotels and LUSH Cosmetics are saying).

If you’re closing your store(s) – let your customers know why (see Everlane).

Stay Local

Local business is going to be hurting over the next few weeks and potentially months. If you’re a small, local business – you should be reaching out to your customers or local news agency to spread your story.

Let them in on your vulnerabilities. Don’t be desperate, but open up and be truthful. Everyone’s BS meter is through the ceiling, so be as down-to-earth as you can. You will be respected for it, and hopefully that leads to some sales to keep you going.

More on being vulnerable in business here

Now is the time to hammer away at how local you are. This will really set you apart from ‘The Big Guys’. ‘The Big Guys’ can whether the storm, but you may not. You have a very powerful story to tell and EVERYONE likes an underdog story.

Can you be a hub for people to drop off supplies to those in need? Can you support your local food bank? Can you offer free delivery services or consultations over video chat?

I’ve seen companies – who are closed – pay their employees to go support those in personal care homes. As you can imagine – personal care homes are in need of extra support whether it’s cleaning or security.

As I sit with my hands on the keyboard – I really don’t know what to think. I’m so thankful I’m able to work remotely if I so choose. I’m thankful I have enough savings built up in the event I’m not selling too much over the next few months. I understand you may not be in this position, so if you need help – you can find me here.

Love you,

Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft

PS. Stay safe and friendly!

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How To Defeat the Lizard Brain in Four Fast Steps

homer simpson with lizard in brain, Lizard Brain

You’re in sales. Whether it’s in a job interview, presenting a multi-million dollar pitch to a room of investors or your online t-shirt store – you’re constantly selling something. Once you’ve gotten a potential customer through the door – you’re selling.

Psychology of the sale

I sleep with a psychology book on my nightstand. I love diving in to how the mind works because once you understand how we’re wired, it makes certain things like selling quite simple.

Here’s the three-step cycle going on in your prospects mind before they purchase anything, hell before they even approach you:
1) Fight or flight (THE LIZARD BRAIN!) or spam filter to your pitch
2) What does this mean to me (providing social context)?
3)
What problem does this solve (very analytical)?

Before visiting you online, setting foot in your store or chatting with you at a networking event, humans primal extinct is to fight or flee the situation. It’s only been for the past century or so where our basic standards of life (in the Western World anyway) have been covered to a point of not having to worry about a large predator jumping out of the bushes and devouring us on the spot. However, our minds have been slow to change.

This is the lizard brain quickly deciphering whether we should run or stand put and duke it out to the best of our ability. Our mind has been conditioned to conduct a quick survey of our surroundings within nano-seconds. Once this assessment is complete – the body chooses whether to fight or flee.

This is why you may find your palms or brow get sweaty before a pitch. For me it’s my lower back and armpits. Hell, I get sweaty before I ask my wife about whether or not she wants pizza or a pita for dinner. It’s human nature.

Knowing this primal instinct is hardwired into everyone’s mind – you must get it to calm down before moving to the second part of your prospects decision making mind. To do this you must be clear, concise, while sprinkling in a bit of humour (if you can).

Click here for a script on how I get past the lizard brain selling CCTV cameras. Sounds sexy doesn’t it...

The Lizard Brain is very picky

The lizard brain is essential for survival. This is why it’s so difficult to get past. In your pitch you’re selling using data, metrics and all these things the lizard brain doesn’t care about. Remember the lizard brain is the spam filter. 90% of what you’re saying or pitching isn’t getting through. The lizard brain is lazy and if you’re throwing numbers, and business jargon its way it will get overwhelmed and discard the vast majority.

The lizard brain likes black and white. It’s taking care of your survival. It doesn’t care about data. Your pitch needs to be clear and concise. The lizard brain is lazy, so don’t make it do too much work.

How to get past the lizard brain

  1. Focus on the big picture in black and white. No grey areas. Remember this is fight or flight you’re dealing with.
  2. Use emotion through visual and audio cues
  3. Create novelty (how are you different and exciting?)
  4. Throw in concrete facts (verified evidence)

Your entire sales pitch is wasted unless you get past the lizard brain. Your pitch was created with the analytical part of your brain. Having said that, don’t pitch to the lizard brain with analytics. Get past it using the points above. Once through the lizard brain you can dive into the details.

If you missed it above – Click here for a script on how I get past the lizard brain selling CCTV cameras. Still sounds sexy doesn’t it…

Love you,

Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft

PS. Punch in your email addy below to get more ‘lizard brain approved’ content sent direct to your inbox.

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