The Best Way to Get People’s Help, Purchase, or Support

Everything is easier when others are on our side, help our cause, contribute to our mission.

Whether you want to raise awareness about pollution, get your team to perform better, improve communication between your teams or you want a buyer to say yes and become the owner of your thing:

You need others to buy in to the vision that you have.

You need others to enroll in your vision, in order to contribute to your mission.

And most people completely sabotage their efforts.

“You should eat your veggies, it’s good for you!”

“I think you ought to buy my course or book or webdesign or SEO services – it’ll solve exactly the problems you just described”.

“Together we can start a movement to clean up the oceans. We need you to join us”.

See the pattern? (And: are you one of the very very few people who never make that kind of mistake?)

In all these examples, it’s about what you think would be best for the other.

And sorry, but nobody likes to be told what to do, or what’s best for them.

Communicate as above, and you’ll directly work against your mission, whatever form it may have, because it’s push, and it’s pushy.

It’s this attitude that has given ‘selling’ a bad name.

Instead, try the opposite: create a way for others to want to be pulled in.

People love to buy (or buy in, if it’s about a ‘sale’ that doesn’t involve money), but everyone loathes being sold to.

When you can create a vision in the other, of a kind and intensity that they want to be part of or step into, it’s that vision that will pull them in.

It’s a much nicer, more ethical, and far more effective way to get people to help us further our cause.

Cheers,

Martin

Random (or Deliberate?) Acts of Service

A warm day in Granada, bustling streets, beautiful people.

I step onto a zebra crossing and see a girl on her hands and knees, middle of the road, frantically reaching left and right. Just outside of her reach: her eyeglasses.

I’m about to move towards her and help, when someone else quickly bends over, grabs them, and puts them in her hand.

A random act of service. Beautiful. I smile and carry on my way.

Oh sure, you can call it an act of kindness, and it certainly is.

But really, that’s euphemising a beautiful quality of humanity:

The ability to serve others. Which, incidentally, is also what a healthy business does (and please: don’t say you ‘service’ clients. They’re not cars).

Serving is one of the most important things we can do in life, because it does what every single spiritual tradition, all sages throughout history, and most philosophers recommend:

Put ‘other’ before ‘self’.

It’s why the coach and author Farnoosh Brock wrote an entire book about it – The Serving Mindset. Smart girl. (I’ve not yet read the book, but I’ve spoken to her, and she’s the real deal – I do expect the book to be excellent).

Now, all this is well and good. We can commit random acts of service at any moment.

Helping a kid with their homework. Cooking that special meal for your lover. Helping a charity with your skills. Giving someone that car you don’t actually use, when theirs breaks down.

All very nice for the ethically inclined, for those who care about others and their well-being.

But what if…

What if you could apply this – the attitude and intent of serving – to the very act of turning a stranger into a customer – apply service to the process of selling?

What, in effect, if you’d make the sales conversation an act of service?

I hope that this notion blows your mind, at least a little.

Because when your intent is to serve a potential buyer inside of the conversation, all kinds of good things happen.

They’ll trust you more, they’ll share more about their painpoints and their doubts, they give you permission to follow up, and, yes, they’ll be far more likely to buy from you.

Why?

Because when you serve a prospect, the clear message is that your only interest is for them to make the best possible decision for them, at this point.

Even if – ESPECIALLY IF – that decision is to not buy from you.

Think about it: why would you ever want someone’s purchase, if that purchase isn’t perfectly right for them?

Serve your buyers. It’ll grow your sales and your revenue.

Cheers,

Martin

Selling? Try Mindmeld Instead

Got an email this morning, from one of my readers who scheduled an appointment to help me with my research in product market fit, asking how do we connect?

Phone, skype, telepathy, mindmeld?

Made me laugh, but then I thought about it. It’s actually really serious.

(In case you don’t know, mindmeld is an ability that the alien Vulcan race has in the Star Trek franchise, to create telepathic connections with others.)

At first I thought: she’s been reading me for a long time, which means my articles must mean something to her – so in a way, there’s been a kind of mindmeld going on already. A sharing of ideas, which get absorbed and influence the mind.

And then I realised: when you’re in a conversation with a potential buyer, the same thing occurs. Or rather: ought to occur, if a sale is to be the result.

And not in some new-agey telepathy way: I’m talking more about alignment between two minds.

Which is actually a real, physiological and measurable phenomenon:

When two people agree, or share ideas – in other words: are aligned – the patterns in their brain activity increasingly start matching eachother.

So it’s not telepathy or mindmeld, but it’s a super useful notion to work with, when talking to a potential buyer.

If there’s no alignment, there’s a host of other things missing: trust, confidence, belief, desire and so on.

And unless everything lines up for the other person – unless they believe they’ll benefit from their purchase as much as you believe they will, they’re not going to buy.

So if you’d like to improve your results and skills at selling your work, you could do worse than to seek alignment.

In other words: think a bit more like a Vulcan.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to help me with my research as to who would benefit most from learning my LEAP ethical sales system, all it takes is 20 minutes on skype.

Just let me know you’ll help.

Thanks!

Martin

Value x Audience Equals…

Could be, you think I’ve gone over to the dark side, what with all this talk about selling stuff.

Is everything about money?

Absolutely not.

There’s only one thing that everything is about, as far as I’m concerned, and that’s Love (capital L intentional)

‘Selling’ – or enrolling – is really about exchanging things of value, and that be anything.

Even something as abstract as an idea can be traded for some attention in listening to the idea.

And as for money, and the conflicted attitudes so many people have:

It’s curious that the people who say that money isn’t important, are usually the ones who think about it most, almost obsessively – exactly because they usually ain’t got any.

Money is just a measure of the value you put into the world, multiplied by the number of people who appreciate, and want to experience, that value.

A perfect example is an author: If his books are good enough, and the audience big enough, he can become very wealthy indeed.

Aside from that, money is agnostic of ethics or personal values, just like a car or a hammer doesn’t know, or care, what your ethics or values may be.

And as tools go, they can all be used for good, or for evil – all depends on who wields the tool.

But isn’t money evil, and the root of it?

Nope, because the quote says that the *love* of money is the root of all evil.

And even that is something I don’t agree with.

Maybe it’s because it was translated incorrectly, I don’t know – but the root of evil is attachment to money, coupled with greed. Hello, politicians (well, a large percentage of them – some are actually good eggs).

Money is an object of trade, and it’s a scorecard.

Either for one’s degree of greed, or – and I guess my readers will resonate with this notion – the amount of value you put out into the world.

Create more change, good stuff, happiness, results, beautiful and truly useful thing – and offer it for sale, and you’ll see your money-score go up.

That is, provided you know how to identify and find the people who want your thing, and you have conversations with them that enable them to buy.

In order to have those conversations in an ethical, meaningful way, that enables people to decide whether or not to give you money for your thing, I’ve soft-launched a new training programme, tentatively title the the L.E.A.P. to Sales.

It’s based on empathy and ethics, and it’s especially for people who truly care about their buyers.

Will you help me with my research, and answer a few questions for me?

We only need 20 minutes, and it would help me a lot.

Let me know if you can spare a moment – thanks!

Cheers,

Martin

The Unspoken “What’s In It For Me?”

“Hey Martin, how about you become our product manager?”

I smiled, and said: “Nah, but thanks though”.

The product was good: security software. And he and his wife weren’t offering me a contract job, but something more on an advisory basis. Easy to combine with my coaching practice.

I liked both of them, and since they handle the website for a client of mine, I’d been in touch with both of them before by phone – so I knew them to be professionals, instead of the sadly very common ‘playing at being in business’ type of entrepreneur you get to meet here on the coast.

And I liked them – we’d had lunch at the beach and excellent conversation – and earnings would have been very interesting, had I taken on the gig.

But I didn’t.

In practical terms, it was because I prefer coaching and teaching: running marketing strategies for someone else’s business isn’t my thing.

Much more fun to help clients create their own.

However, if he’d played his cards differently, there might have been a chance.

All he would have had to do, is tell me ‘what’s in it for me’.

Not that I go through life asking myself what I can get out of things, and I suspect neither do you.

Except… we do. We all do.

It’s a biological imperative, it’s survival and evolution.

On the deepest, most primal level of our being, part of our subconscious is always asking the question: ‘Will this cause pain, or wellbeing?’

It’s the only way a species can survive.

Can I eat it, or does it want to eat me?

Friend or foe?

Blessing or risk?

Poisonous berry, or sweet?

The subconscious – or rather, what’s known as the lizard brain – is deeply skeptical, because that’s how it keeps you alive.

This matters because whenever you want to enroll someone – be it for them to buy in to an idea, a collaboration, a sale, or screwing the cap back on the toothpaste, you’ll get far more results if you start out by showing people what’s in it for them.

And especially in the context of a sales conversation, where the other person permanently has a radar going, asking ‘what’s in it for me?’

If my buddy that day had said ‘You know, I have an idea. With the strategies you just recommended, we can sell a lot of this security software. And we’re willing to pay a very interesting commission – and it wouldn’t even take much of your time to help us’.

Had he said that, who knows if he’d have sparked my interest. I probably still would have turned him down, but at least he’d have had a fighting chance.

So whenever you’re in a conversation with a potential buyer, remember that the big question in the other’s mind, is always what’s in it for them.

When you address that question, you remove neediness and threat, and you inspire confidence and trust – which are always required in order to convert a prospect into a buyer.

Cheers,

Martin

Mandela, Ghandi, MLK & Lincoln: some of the BEST salespeople in the world

If you struggle with the idea of selling because you think it’s wrong, unethical or manipulative – or the biggest problem of all: that it doesn’t align with your values: I wrote this one for you.

Because yes, the names in the subject header each were phenomenally good salespeople.

Even Jesus was a terrific salesman.

Yes, I’m going there. You coming?

See, while none of these people traded time or goods for money, they all spent their lives selling ideas.

They had a mission for the benefit of others, they believed in it, and they worked tirelessly to give people reasons to buy in to that mission.

Their job wasn’t to sell so much, but to *enroll* people in their mission.

And that’s what ‘selling’ comes down to.

Enrolling someone in something.

Joining a movement for change, finally going on a diet, sticking with your exercise regime, flossing, or indeed: seeing yourself as a happy, satisfied buyer of something, who’s happy that the money was spent – because look at that computer or car or training or coat that I’m so happy with!

Where it comes to selling in a business context, what you’re doing isn’t manipulating or forcing or coercing:

Instead – if you do it right and you’re ethical (unlike politicians, who are also good sellers but who often appear to suffer from a condition called ethics-deficiency) – ‘selling’ to a potential buyer is a way to invite them to buy into a different view on themselves.

Correct, effective, ethical selling means you provide a way for the other person to see them in an ‘after’ stage, where the problem they have is sold.

You don’t ‘sell things to people’ – you enroll them. IF they want to.

Note that I’m eating my own dogfood here: I’m trying to find a way for you to buy into a different view on sales – one that will make a massive difference to your enrollment process.

Is it working?

Cheers,

Martin

Announcement About Changes to These Articles

You might remember that last year, I wrote many emails about the workings and application of a training programme I was creating – which I then proceeded to completely not launch.

(It was the ‘Calibrate Reality’ framework, which I recently decided to rename to ‘Stellar Edge’)

And today I decided to shelve the entire thing indefinitely.

Not that there’s anything wrong with it – but it isn’t really *right* either.

To wit: last week I had a major insight into why I’d been procrastinating on it so much:

What the training comes down to, is essentially a form of (learn-at-your-own-pace) life coaching…

And I’m not a life-coach – for me it’s all about helping people with their business.

All this became clear when a friend – a business coach – asked me where my heart lies.

And the answer is clear:

Helping people to grow their business – which at it’s core comes down to ‘creating more customers’.

In other words: how to present your product or service in such a way that people want to buy it.

In one word: selling.

(If that word makes you pucker up your nose, you’ll either find that you’ll want to unsubscribe from these emails, or… you might find you’d really best stick around, because I’m never about pushing people. Or manipulating, or sleazy tactics).

Like I said last week: selling is just another word for transferring enthusiasm.

And I happen to know a few seriously effective (and humane, and ethical) methods for doing that.

Which is why at the moment, I’m feverishly working on changing the programme into one that… well… helps you create more buyers (And not to worry: it will still give you a stellar edge over most other people).

Because, you know how people often say they don’t know how to sell, or have ethical objections, or for some reason they keep missing out on sales even though the thing they sell would be just
perfect for the buyer?

I bet you’ll have experienced some of that for yourself at some point or other.

And it’s a real, tough, hard-to-solve problem – which is why the new focus and direction of the programme is going to address that.

The outcome is that you’ll be able to sell more, with more ease, at higher fees, whilst still honouring your values and feeling good about yourself.

Watch this space, because things are going to get interesting…

Except if you really hate sales, then you might not want to stick around.

Just know that it’ll mean though, that you’ll have a tough time being in business.

And if you feel conflicted about it, think of this:

Remember when you bought shoes, or a phone, or a sandwich, or anything really – and it was just perfect, and you’re so happy that you spent the money?

You weren’t upset that the vendour transferred their enthusiasm, right?

If anything, you were grateful, or at least appreciated, them doing a swell job.

Right. Well these emails, and the training, will show you how to become the kind of person who creates that kind of buyer experience.

I’m excited, because now there’s finally the clarity needed to help solve the real, important, problems that every business owner has.

More soon…

Cheers,

Martin

How to Sell Things and Still Sleep at Night

“Oh if you like that, you should totally watch Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, said my mastermind buddy.

I wasn’t feeling it – I mean I like Star Trek just fine, but it never impacted me as much as some other scifi shows and films.

He went on: “I really like it as a show because it’s kind of the forgotten stepson of the franchise and it’s the deepest one. Really interesting commentary on occupation, religious freedom, and racism”.

With that, I was sold. Must give it a try.

And I joked: “You should be in sales”.

Here’s why this matters, if you own or run a business.

Because if you have one, you need to sell your work or products.

Without sales, you don’t have a business.

But most people have hangups about selling.

Limiting beliefs, erroneous views, and of course the bad taste we have in our mouths, seeing how sleezy and corrupt and unethical sales can get, if it’s the wrong person doing it.

But, as per Daniel Pink: to sell is human.

“Shall we go get a pizza?” –> Selling someone on an idea.

“Don’t beat up your little brother” –> selling your toddler on learning and adopting societal norms.

“Eat your greens” –> selling your kid on learning to do what’s best for them.

“Will you marry me?” –> selling your partner on forging a lasting bond.

Sales are a tool for creating an exchange of values, nothing more or less.

Another tool is a hammer, made for putting nails into things.

And both tools are agnostic of ethics – it’s the handler of the tool who puts on the ethics and morals. Both can be used for right or wrong.

So, if you have doubts or concerns about sales, or if you think selling is bad, or that you’re not good at selling, here’s the solution:

Transfer enthusiasm. That’s what selling is.

It’s what my buddy did, and it works, and it’s ethical.

He suggested reasons that might make me care, by appealing to values that are important to me.

How to transfer enthusiasm?

Well, that’s something I train clients in, with 1 on 1 coaching programmes.

But the basic rules are as follows:

1: Be real. If you’re not enthusiastic about what you’re selling, you should not fake it, but find either a different product or a different market.

2: Care about the other person and their needs. If someone buys something, it’s because they want their life to improve, in whatever way. To be effective at selling – I mean, transferring enthusiasm – you’ve got to actually care about them.

3: Listen – not for the cue on what you’re going to say next, but really, truly, listen to what’s going on in the other person’s mind and emotions.

4: Once you ‘get’ what’s going on for them, make sure that your reply is tailored to join the conversation that’s going on in their minds.

5: Ask for a decision. Note that this is different from pushing people into one.

6: Accept ‘no’ with grace and gratitude. The person who says no has just freed you up from a conversation that won’t lead anywhere good for you or them.

That’s something to be grateful for – you get to move on with your life, and they too.

You now have more time to seek other potential candidates, and have conversations with them.

Bonus: you get to sleep at night, because you know you’ve operated with ethics and true human concern.

Do you want to get really, really good at having those kinds of conversations, and become really good at ‘selling’?

Let me know, and let’s have a conversation.

Cheers,

Martin

The Dangers of Visualisation

Do you use visualisation techniques?

(And I don’t mean the airy-fairy ‘think it and the Universe will throw piles of money, trophy wives and muscle cars at you, without you having to do aaaaanything!’ Creating outcomes and results requires that you take action and implement).

If you do use visualisation: are you doing it right?

It matters, because if you get it wrong you could be generating exactly the kind of results that you don’t want, and there’s a lot of neuroscience to back me up.

Here’s what I mean:

If you visualise an outcome, it’s exciting and it feels good – just look at yourself, winning in business, or marrying that tremendous person, or living in that villa!

But that kind of visualisation works directly against getting those outcomes.

Why?

Because your subconscious can’t tell the difference between a real experience, and a visualised experience. And I can prove that to you right now:

Close your eyes, and imagine a lemon.

Imagine you pick it up, see the yellow, you feel the dimpled skin, and the roundness.

Imagine you lift it to your mouth, and you notice the faint citric smell.

Bring it to your mouth and touch it with your lips…

And now: BITE into that thing!

Open your eyes.

Did your mouth water at the thought of biting into a lemon, or did you notice some other physical response?

Exactly.

It’s your brain taking the vision for real, and causing a neurochemical reaction in your body.

When you visualise an outcome, something similar happens.

Your subconscious experiences the outcome, takes it for real, proceeds to spend the afternoon watching Netflix, waiting for the outcome to show up.

But you know full well that without DOING something, outcomes don’t tend to show up. Funny how that works, eh?

Visualising an outcome isn’t wrong or bad, but it’s not enough.

The trick is to visualise behaviour, the kind that gets you the outcome.

If you want it to work, you’ll need to do it in two stages.

First, you visualise the outcome, and then the behaviour.

That still makes your subconscious experience the behaviour as already present and real, but now you have a powerful mental anchor, that you can use to drive yourself into the behaviour.

Without it, the anchor is ‘having a thing’, and where the hell is my thing and when will I get it? Hey universe, are you even listening?

So:

Want to get fit? Imagine going to the gym daily.

Want to clear the decks and get productive? Imagine yourself hard at work.

Want to get more clients? Imagine yourself taking action to get in front of people.

Want to own a muscle car or a fancy house? Imagine yourself saving up money.

That’s how you do visualisation right.

Because of my background in the monastery, I have a lot of experience with this kind of exercise, and sometimes I guide clients through the exercise.

It’s fun, and super effective.

Let me know if you want the experience for yourself…

Cheers,

Martin

*What* to the Power of 4: My Ninja Move for Getting Unstuck

I’m sure the mathematicians in my audience will say that mixing maths and linguistics is even worse than mixing metaphors, but bear with me – I’m going to show you a handy psychological method for quickly solving problems or making decisions or getting yourself unstuck and moving forward.

All you need to do is ask yourself ‘what’ four time. Here’s how it works:

Pick a problem, issue, or thing that you want to change.

Got it?

Ok, write it on a piece of paper, and proceed to step one:

Ask yourself ‘what is this?’.

Write that question under the thing you just wrote down.

Don’t overthink, just label it with whatever definition comes up first. Problem, conundrum, opportunity, dilemma – whatever. Write ‘= [label]’ (whatever label you chose) behind the first word.

Step two:

Ask yourself ‘What else?’.

This is where it gets interesting because everything (literally everything) is always several things at the same time.

A problem is also an opportunity, a chance to reframe, a reason to procrastinate, something to delegate, a thing to ask advice on, so on and so forth.

Write all of them down as well, and keep going until you’ve no other answers to ‘what else’. Make an effort, don’t stop too soon. We want to get your brain to exhaust itself looking for different ways to see the thing.

Step 3: ask yourself ‘what if?’

What if this were something easy, or fun, or exciting, or inspiring or… ?

Note that at this stage, you want to start digging around in your mind for positive or potentialising concepts.

And, concepts that challenge, replace, or obviate the label you initially assigned to it.

Again, write them down, and then underline or circle the word that most uplifts or inspires you, or gives you the best headstart or way forward on resolving the issue.

Step 4: Ask yourself ‘what can I DO to make it that way?’

Once more, start jotting down ideas, and don’t hold back on the crazy.

At this stage, you want to let your creative brain go berserk on the issue and pull out all the stops –  so don’t filter, don’t censor, don’t criticise – this is brainstorm time and anything goes (onto the paper, that is).

Do this as fast as you can, to avoid your inner critic from stepping in and slamming on the breaks.

Whatever crazy idea comes up, it’s game. Ask Einstein, build a time machine, become a cyborg, ingest a library… all good.

Obviously, those don’t help very much, but:

There’s a very big chance that inbetween the crazy and unrealistic ideas, you’ll find one or two actions that you can take right now, and that will move you forward.

There you go: my method for quickly getting yourself unstuck.

Cheers,

Martin

P.s. Give it a try, and let me know how it went for you. I’m curious.

Menu Title