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The End of "Selling"
The invading army
Organizations once spoke of “feet on the street,” as though a large enough invading army could gather customers—sort of like taking prisoners! Once you “surrendered” you would stop being attacked, use what was offered (and you paid for) and the army would be back with something else in the near future.
The “attacks,” of course, are solicitations in person, robo-calls, massive advertising, blanket email blasts, messaging, junk mail, and on and on. Stores still have signs on their doors that state “no solicitation.” We use junk mail filters, voice mail, phone ID, and rudeness to dissuade the sellers.
Enabling the buyer to buy
But this has largely ended. Ad revenues for both broadcast and print media are way down. Companies today pay “influencers” on social media to promote their products and services. “Placement fees” are provided for obvious and blatant use of products or “mentions” on regular programming.
Organizations host events, go into the communities, welcome negative feedback and advice on their web sites, and are ubiquitously sending surveys to customers. (I’m actually doing an hour Zoom interview—I get a gift card—for the game Angry Birds!)
Welcome to the age of peer-to-peer reference and evangelism. The research is very clear that people make important buying decisions based on word-or-mouth and peer-to-peer referrals. (See, for example, the work of Jonah Berger at the Wharton School.) Think about it: Don’t you ask trusted others for the name of a good dentist or decorator, and aren’t you asked by them for your choice of vacation spot or restaurant?
What's in it for us?
Traditional selling has died. You need to advise your clients of their new relationships with their own customers. And you need to start practicing this yourself, immediately.
Bring your clients (who love you) and your prospects (who don’t really know you) together and get out of the way. Host live or virtual events. Create connections. Host meetings on a general topic of interest to all. Provide free Zoom or Livestream sessions.
I run events that are about $1,000 per person and draw 125 people, but I make three times that from the business resulting from the 50% of the people there who have used my help talking to the other 50% who have not. And that occurs during casual conversation, at meals, and in the halls.
I get out of the way.
Questions I've Never Been Asked
I’m inviting you to a Zoom workshop such as you’ve never attended.
I’ve been interviewed thousands of times, coached thousands of people, made thousands of speeches. Not many people can claim that. Yet I’m always amazed by the questions I’ve never been asked. I’ve been around the block (over 60 countries to be exact).
Maybe there are some things I’ve never shared because, as I think back, I’ve never been asked. If I were interviewing me, I’d be a lot more probing. I’m aware of what’s “missing” so I’m going to delve into it. For example:
• What have been my most embarrassing moments and what did I learn from them to improve?
• What intimidated me to the point of being psychosomatically “ill” before the assignment?
• Did I ever really “fake it” and on what occasions?
• What have I said that I regret?
You’ll be hearing about these and scores of others in this self-interview (I got the idea from Ken Wilber’s A Brief History of Everything which I’ve been reading and in which he employs this technique). When I’ve worked with and chatted with Marshall Goldsmith, Jonah Berger, Dan Gilbert and a raft of other thought leaders, I’ve found we’re mostly asking each other questions and self-disclosing in response. (If Marshall and I had recorded our conversations in co-authoring Lifestorming we could have sold those for more than our respective coaching fees.)
And I’ll take questions throughout the session from attendees, and subsequently, by email, from those who watch the recording.
I guess it may be the only I can ask these questions, but I’m certain that you all can profit from the answers.
Date: March 9, 2021
Time: 9 am to noon US eastern time.
Session will be recorded and sent to those wanting to time shift.
Fee: $1,300, but only $1,000 for Mindset subscribers. Consider this therapy that I’ve convinced you to pay me for.
© Alan Weiss 2021