Stewardship

An average seller tries to reason with people: “Once you understand how good of a choice it is to buy this thing…”

A good seller works with benefits and desires: “You’re telling me you want outcome X, which is precisely what we created this offer for. It looks like this is the thing you’ve been looking for”.

A terrific seller works relationships and service: “I’m here to help you get to the right decision, be it buy or don’t buy – talk to me about any concern you may have, I’m not pushing anything here”.

And someone who sells with a purpose, from the heart, out of sheer desire to make a positive impact?

That person seller sells stewardship. “I’m here to make sure you’re taken care of – by me, and by the product or service you’ll be using. I’m here to be a steward over your outcomes”.

That seller btw is the one who gets the easiest sales, most referrals, and best clients.

Sell stewardship: let people know you’re there for them.

Cheers,

Martin

Sell a Cork

One of the best ways to pivot or adjust when a market changes dramatically – or, indeed, when a global ‘Aaaaaah!’ disrupts practically every industry and every economy – is to find a cork and offer it for sale.

As in: if you suddenly find that your normal buyers don’t buy the same way and at the same speed they used to: figure out what ‘leak’ they have in their ‘boat’, and find a way to plug it.

Because crisis or not, there are always ‘good to solve’ problems in the world of your buyers, but also ‘need to solve’ problems..

And at times like these, especially in B2B sales, there’s very often a ‘need to solve, right now’ problem.

Find that, build a solution, and ask if they want it.

Identify the leak they can’t plug, and offer to do it for them. Sell a cork.

I wanted to show you the system I built for that last week, but it turns out I had to redesign the system. Something that only became clear this morning, while showing the system to a rather savvy leadership coach.

I’ve spent the rest of the day redoing the system, and will proceed to recording an explainer video asap – apologies for the delay.

Meanwhile, think of these, the four core steps of the system:

1. Segment and survey:

Who’s on your list? Who has bought before? What segments do you have there?

Next, talk to people. What leak do they have going on? (google ‘customer development interviews’ for a broader look on how to survey, the way startups often do it).

2: Extract and design

Your intellectual property, that zone-of-genius work you do: get it out on paper.

Then, knock it into a package you can offer for a very specific, narrow solution, for a segment that is the most likely to need it – and want it.

3: Show up and sell

“Look, you said you needed this kind of cork. I’ve built it, it’s ready, I made this for you. Do you want it?”

4. Iterate and optimise

Look at the data: who responded? Who didn’t? Are they qualified? Why yes, or no?

What buy blockers can you exist? How can you remove them and go for more sales?

Those four steps, that’s just the very core of the system, but it goes much much deeper and I believe it’s going to make a difference.

Watch your inbox for the video I’ll be sending…

Cheers,

Martin

10 Million Voices | Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

Two things I noticed this week:

On Sunday, the world online seemed to have calmed down a little: Twitter seemed slightly quieter, and the online groups I’m in were mostly deserted.

Made me wonder if people were spending the day actually with their families. That would be a nice side effect.

The second thing, and I hope this is useful to you, was a few thought leaders in the entrepreneur space whose discourse started getting a little defeatist. Which I understand, and I don’t blame them.

But.

Everybody has a soapbox these days.

There’s 10 million voices to listen to.

And whether it’s you, or me, or another online entrepreneur:

If you, like some of those others seemed to, end up wondering ‘why bother’ or you’re feeling anxious or depressed… ask yourself who you’re listening to?

Which biases are you consuming, which narratives feed your mind and emotions, which agendas are behind those narratives, and, very importantly:

What emotional reactions and states are being triggered in you?

Because while I don’t advocate living in lala land thinking that all the wrongs in the world will right themselves automatically, I do recommend you keep your mental and emotional state optimal. Fortitude and a healthy, reasonable dose of optimism matter.

And what this outlet or that speaker, this author or that vlogger says, affects your state.

Which brings us to the 3rd thing I noticed, already last week:

I’ve been finding myself saying ‘ain’t nobody got time for that’ a lot more.

Which is a bit harsh, but it’s because I feel a sense of urgency. There’s stuff to be done – for myself and my work and for my clients and my friends.

And we all have stuff to do, and nobody ain’t got time for things that take down our state, sap our strength, make us feel helpless or cause us to procrastinate.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

So the voices you pay attention to: select them with care.

Observe your state, and ask yourself: which voices cause my state to lift up, and which cause negative reactions and dips?

Engage with the people in the first group, and beware of (or eliminate your intake entirely) voices in the second group.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Cheers,

Martin

10 Work From Home Tips from an ex-monk (please share – people need it)

Hey there!

Ok, so here’s the ebook I promised – 10 Work From Home tips from an ex-monk.

Click the image to view and download.

And, please share it with as many people as you like.

Working from home can be a challenge any time, but even more so now.

We all need some help & good ideas, so do please share.

Thanks!

Martin

This Is Important. For Your Health, Well-Being and for Those Around You

I normally never do this, but:

The day is wearing long, I didn’t write my daily email yet, have only just ironed out the kinks in my new IP to Profit system so I haven’t had time to create a video to show you yet, and:

… and then I find this article.

I normally never let others speak to my subscribers but this is so good, and so important, I’d like you to take a few minutes and read it. It’ll do you good, I promise.

https://www.thatseemsimportant.com/mental-health/headlines-media-panic-pandemic/

Cheers,

Martin

“Is It Still Ethical to Sell?” (Smile)

Saw that question on Twitter the other day.

And I get it. We’re all reeling to some degree or other, and don’t we have better things on our minds, besides business?

Well yes, we do: Smile. Or do you have anything better to do?

(Ok, that’s a bit snide, but I really really mean it: smile. It’s better).

But that business and selling thing: should we? Is it right? Does it matter? Is it ethical?

Well, think of it this way:

You’d better hope your baker keeps selling bread.

It would be nice if you supermarket keeps selling and serving your needs.

If your phone breaks, hopefully someone is selling new or second hand ones.

Petrol, for those who need to get to work, such as medical, transport, foodstuffs professionals…

The online platforms you use for your business, they’d better keep operating and taking your monthly payments.

Now these are obvious… of course they should stay in business and keep selling. They’re important, for all kinds of reasons.

But if you think that because you’re a solopreneur, or a coach, or an author, or literally whatever it is you do or whatever reason you’re telling yourself why you should take your foot of the gas, that you’re not supposed to be selling your work, you’re making a mistake.

Even if you’re an artist, and you’re telling yourself that ‘there’s more important things than art at a time like this’, you’re making a mistake. Art matters a lot for culture, and even more now that folk will increasingly struggle to keep their head on straight. As evidenced by the uptick in the consumption art and music during past recessions and such.

And another thing: it’s not that you have to keep operating and selling if you don’t want to, but there’s nobody ‘exempt’ from operating their business.

Because whatever the world is going through, it will always have an economy, and you’d better hope that it keeps working, in whatever way.

Without an economy there’s little left except barter, and humanity is no longer organised in a way that makes barter easy on a wide scale. Besides, barter is just another form of economy, so my point stands.

‘The economy’ is a big, big thing, spanning continents and industries and demographics and crossing all kinds of societal and cultural divides… a huge, complex, web. And while I don’t know a whole lot about ‘the economy’, but I do know this:

An economy exists, and functions, by virtue of people trading things of value against each other, buying and selling things. And the more that happens, the more things can happen. Hopefully, good and ethical things.

But without an economy, things suck a lot more for people. Kind of like smiling, now that I think of it.

So the question ‘is it still ethical to sell’, can be replaced with a more important question:

Do people still need what you do?

If the answer is yes, and people also want it, then I’d say go out (well, you know…) and find people who want to buy it.

Your baker is selling bread. Go and keep selling your stuff. And then go give your baker some money.

Please smile as you do so.

Cheers,

Martin

P.s. If you’re concerned about your revenue and sales, I’m still on track to announce tomorrow the new system for turning your intellectual property into a profit centre that I’m building. Stay tuned. And warm, hydrated, and smiling.

2 Steps to Growing Your Business – But Hardly Anyone Implements Them

Some of my readers already know that in the last few months, I’ve been deploying a marketing system that guarantees increases in revenue of 20% or more.

It’s super effective, really reliable (actually comes with a guarantee), and really the only thing wrong with it, is that I didn’t invent it myself – I simply obtained a license to teach and implement the system for clients, because it’s one of the best systems for growth I’ve seen.

But the other day, I realised how wonderfully it dovetails with my own LEAP model for running and growing a business.

LEAP being the Listen, Explain, Ask, Profit framework I invented.

And in terms of that marketing system, here’s how it works, and the steps to implement if you want to grow your business:

Listen:

What is it it that makes people buy from you, and not someone else? What do customers opine about doing business with you? Why do they give you money?

You’ll have an idea, but until you talk to your people, and listen, you’ll be operating on assumptions and random soundbites and data points.

But once you get your buyer’s feedback, and motivation, in their own words: then you have a USP – a Unique Selling Proposition – that speaks with the voice of your best buyers, and attracts more of that kind of buyer.

Homework: survey your customers (current and past – you want to learn why people stopped doing business with you as well as why they still do)

Explain:

You take that USP – the thing that differentiates you and makes people love you – and you make it part of every piece of communication you do. If there’s a compelling reason that your market has told you is why they buy with you, state that reason.

Integrate your USP, make it part of your messaging, brand, tagline, the way you answer emails or the phone: make sure that those who deal with you are made aware of why you are you and therefore preferable over your competition.

Homework: well, that. Update your branding, your messaging, your bios on social media, your email signature, your tagline: live your key differentiator out loud. It’s why people love your work, remember?

Ask:
Here we look at your database – your past current, and future customers – and we start asking tough questions about who tends to buy what, and what kinds of offers we can make to see if people will buy something else.

Packages, special offers, add-on services or upsells: You simply ask: “I’ve got this thing here – is it something you’d want?”

When you do that, after defining your USP and making it part of your messaging, you’ll find that digging into your database and your numbers brings up all kinds of opportunities for people who love (or loved) doing business with you, to buy something again.

Homework: analyse your database, create packages and offers, and run campaigns (email, phone, social media, in-person meetings once travel is advisable again): create theories about what people might want to buy, and ask them if they want to.

Finally, profit:
This is where we create strategic alliances with businesses that serve a similar audience to yours, and we create partnerships based on cross-promotion and commission – and it only takes a few well-chosen strategic partners, for you to increase your revenue without scaling up your workload or your advertising budget.

Homework: analyse your market, identify products and services they already buy, and get in touch with people who sell them, to see if you can create partnerships.

And that, in a nutshell, is the LEAP marketing system.

Follow these steps in order, and you’ll see your revenue go up.

Or, have me implement the steps for you, and I’ll get you to at least 20% growth. Guaranteed.

Shall we talk?

Cheers,

Martin

Selling Is Not Binary

In business, your job is to help a buyer advance, get better, solve problems – your job is not to ‘close a sale’.

Sometimes people buy from you, sometimes they don’t, and that’s up to them.

It really depends on what that person needs, and wants, and the timing of your encounter. Maybe their best choice is to not buy today, but tomorrow or next week.

Because even if someone has the money to work with you, it also needs to fit into their plans and projects.

Whether you sell a product or service, in most cases a client will also need to dedicate a certain amount of time to the project – and that already starts before buying: even the decision to work with you or not requires an investment in think-time.

So if they don’t buy today, who knows what they’ll want to decide tomorrow or later down the line?

This is why selling isn’t binary. It’s not a ‘sale/no sale’ scenario, because if you see it that way you’ll shut things down if you don’t get a yes.

Instead, consider it a ‘sale/or something else’ situation, where ‘something else’ is an outcome that you both benefit from, and one that keeps you in touch.

This change in attitude does magic for the relationships and conversations you have, because it takes the pressure off the situation.

It creates encounters that leaves people feeling ‘I feel respected by you. I’m happy to talk to you again’.

Which is great, because what better person to follow up with, than someone who’s open to dealing with you again?

This kind of conversation and relationship is what I teach in my LEAP training for ethical selling.

It’s in pilot launch at the moment, and there’s still a few seats left for a live, 1 on 1, 10-week training.

Are you in?

Cheers,

Martin

Values, Experience, USP

When I talk about ‘solving the good egg problem’, meaning: helping good folk sell more because of their values, that means there’s a great many variation in the kind of business that I work with. Ghostwriters, designers, architects, startups, healthcare, web developers and yoga teachers: I’ve worked with all kinds and sizes of businesses.

On the surface, that looks like bad marketing, because if I’m for everyone in general, my marketing would say ‘I’m not for anyone in particular’.

Except I’m not for everyone.

I don’t really think in terms of ‘niche’ or ‘industry’ or ‘demographic’ – what you as a business owner do can be whatever you want – but I can only work with you if and I have shared views on items such as values, integrity, truthfulness… and, the idea of running a business that does something useful.

That’s my ‘niche’ – the psychographic make-up that you and I have, and whether or not we’re aligned in how we see certain things that matter a lot to us. Like values, and stuff.

That’s why I’m for: people who see business and service and money and marketing in a way similar to me: a force for good, to be used strategically and with purpose and intent.

Here’s why this is useful:

Your values, or those that your company embodies, influence the experience your clients have with your business.

When you then lead with those values, in all your marketing and sales efforts, you’ll start to attract the kind of people who seek a provider who has certain values in common with them.

So when I work with clients to grow their business, an important job is to figure out what experience your customers have had, what that says about your values, and how that informs the communication (i.e. marketing and sales) you should be putting out in your messaging.

Because when you have the right values in common, the sale is already half closed, before you even talk to a new customer, because you’ll already have a lot of rapport.

What all this comes down to, is creating a Unique Selling Proposition for your business, that is built to appeal to exactly the kind of person you love working with.

Part of the consulting system I’m rolling out, is figuring out exactly what your USP should be, so if you want to get clear on that – meaning, get clear on what sets you apart from others and why people should do business with you and not those others – feel free to schedule a free 30 minute consultation here.

Cheers,

Martin

Interesting vs Useful

While asking questions and listening are at the heart of ethical selling, there will come a moment, or several, where the buyer wants you to say something.

Answer a question, explain something, repeat something…

That’s a crucial moment, because the way you handle that determines whether or not your sales conversation will go smoothly, or instead you have to struggle.

Most people, when it’s their time to talk, will go for ‘interesting’, which leads to statements like ‘We’re the world’s largest blah blah’, or ‘I work with some of the most influential authors’ or, the best of the worst: ‘I was talking to Richard Branson about that yesterday’ (or insert whatever more minor celebrity that someone actually might know).

The problem is not that these statements don’t make you look interesting.

The problem is that they do.

And a buyer doesn’t give a damn about how interesting you might be.

A buyer wants to know how interested you are in them.

And not in the money they might pay you, but in the solution they’re hoping to get from you.

And for all you regular, normal, non-world’s-largest, not-connected-to-celebs business owners out there: the good news is that even if you’re as boring as a wet sheet of paper, you can still sell your stuff, and at good prices too.

How?

By being helpful, obviously. If your thing doesn’t help, people have no reason to buy it.

And if you want a buyer to understand how much you help and how useful you are, you show them.

When it’s your turn to talk, don’t start with things that make you look interesting.

Instead, say things that are useful: share insights, ask clarifying questions, suggest ideas or changes, and above all, and before anything else: make sure the buyer knows that you really get their situation.

Because it’s super useful to talk to someone who gets us: there’s no way we won’t get something useful out of the conversation.

And even if they don’t buy then, they’ll be happy you spoke, and you’ll be welcome when you reach out again.

There: an easier conversation, with better positioning, AND an open door when you follow up, just because you didn’t try to look interesting.

Ain’t that useful.

Cheers,

Martin

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