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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
Now more than ever YOU have to be YOU. You have to be your authentic self. I don’t know who’s going to come out above this crises. It may be a different version of your business or even a different version of you.
It took me awhile to realize who I was (more on that at the bottom of this post). Plus, I continue to discover new things on a seemingly daily basis (reminder – I do have a toddler). I literally spent 20 minutes last night discussing with my wife what she thinks I do well. After all – we have lots of time on our hands. Find some time and ask your partner or a friend what they think you’re good at.
What is authenticity?
I’ve been on quite the authenticity trip lately, and here’s why – it’s imperative to your brand. Whether it be a personal brand or professional brand, people will see through your BS.
My wife, and I started our e-commerce store, Ever Rose, with the mindset of being as transparent as possible. The same holds true for my ‘Guy with the Bow Tie’ brand, and the community magazines I used to publish. Be authentic, and you’ll start to see amazing results.
How real are you?
Stop and ask yourself this. When you wake up in the morning are you excited about doing what you’re doing? Even in these times.
Maybe you are, maybe you aren’t, and I’m not going to preach about ‘doing what you love’. I want you to get real, because if you aren’t REAL you’re robbing this world of your natural talents. And if you aren’t being real when you step into work whether it’s your business or not – you’re only hurting your bottom line.
It’s inevitable your business will kind of be like you.
It will stand for your values, and your beliefs. You are your business, and your business is you. And that’s okay. It’s when you or your business starts to be something it’s not that you start to lose.
There are so many options available to consumers to poke holes in your BS. If you claim to be the world’s best chef, but a quick Google search discovers you’ve only flipped burgers at McDonald’s, well BS meters are going to start going off. Just be yourself, and someone somewhere will have a connection with who you are, and what you stand for.
If you think you’re boring, then tell people about it. Say, you’re really boring, but damn do you ever make a good pizza or build a great garage. The more genuine, and open you are, the more genuine, and open people will be back to you.
This comes to mind as I’m working with an inspiring entrepreneur who’s going to be launching an online platform shortly where you can use Bitcoin to book hotels online.
He lives in the Southern US, and is originally from India. He runs a couple hotels, and as such he started getting fed up with OTA sites (Expedia, Trivago, Travelocity, etc…) eating into his margins, and taking away from his LOCAL business, and the LOCAL economy. So, he does what any entrepreneur or savvy business owner would do – he’s fighting back. He’s so passionate about creating a fair, online portal for hotel seekers that he decided to build his own platform, and it’s going to be launching soon. His company is a reflection of his personal beliefs, and feelings. He’s REAL.
Your Personal Brand
You hear it, I hear it, we all hear it…BE YOURSELF! And it’s so true when it comes to business, and especially in times of a crises. When I was starting out, I was trying to be something I wasn’t. I thought I knew it all. I thought the world was at my finger-tips, and I was humbled quickly…very quickly.
Whether you like it or not, you’re being judged everyday. People are Googling you and colleagues interact with you at work as they try to figure you out. On this note – have you Googled yourself lately? What comes up? Anything?
When I made the change from the corporate world to being self-employed, I was going back to my original self. The guy who I am at home, and on weekends. The guy who I knew I wanted to be when I was growing up. I dropped the act, stopped caring about what others thought, and started being REAL.
It’s not easy – it took me 10-years to figure out who I REALLY was, but it all started with my gut. How I felt in the morning was a HUGE indicator of who I was and what I wanted to do. I went from wanting to hit the snooze button repeatedly to bouncing out of bed, and ready for the day ahead.
I can’t tell you how many strong connections I’ve made by showing people who I truly am. I even let people in to tell them about my childhood, and my biological father who I never, and still don’t know. You won’t find that in a sales or business book anywhere, but it’s who I am, and it’s what allowed me to make the connections I have.
I no longer have visions of me quitting my job while I brushed my teeth in the morning. I’m doing what I want, and what I’m supposed to be doing…at this point in my life anyway.
Start being your authentic self and the rest will follow.
Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft
Ps. It’s a shitty time we’re in right now. If you need help, whether it’s financial, emotional, mental – let me know. I’m here for you.
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).
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
Focus on the big picture in black and white. No grey areas. Remember this is fight or flight you’re dealing with.
Use emotion through visual and audio cues
Create novelty (how are you different and exciting?)
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.