Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are.
A few years ago, two friends and I went to the Atlanta Falcons – Baltimore Ravens football game. It was a great game and Atlanta pulled it out right at the end. I have to admit, I am not a big football fan but took great pride in razzing my friend from Maryland about the last second victory.
On the long walk back to the car, the rowdy Atlanta home crowd began yelling at my friend from Baltimore:
“Take that jersey off! … take that jersey off!”
He was wearing a Baltimore Raven jersey; Ray Lewis’ no less. It looked like we would have to fight. Have I ever told you: I am a lover, not a fighter? Even if I was willing to fight, the first two voices turned to ten…then turned to what seemed to be hundreds…literally.
Yes…he took it off. Thankfully, he had a t-shirt on underneath (that would not have been pretty!).
Whether or not the gathering masses would have turned violent or not, I learned a powerful lesson:
When people have something in common, they will band together – cooperate, spontaneously.
In sales, each of us has a unique audience that will respond to us, naturally. Spontaneously.
They will buy what we are selling.
New to sales? Don’t worry.
Even if The Message (the product) is new and awkward, there are people right now, who will respond to you as The Messenger.
People new to sales always ask, “Shouldn’t I mold my delivery to meet the client’s personality and preference?”
You can, and many salespeople do, but if you are acting “out of character” then you might sound disingenuous – the kiss of death to many a sale. You have met that salesperson before…right?
Does that mean you can only sell to a particular group of people? Those that look like you, sound like you, believe like you? Of course not. But commonality can open the door.
You must begin with a wide net of outreach for The Message you deliver and you must treat each opportunity as one you can close – whether you have things in common or not.
Even for those who are naturally drawn to you as The Messenger, you will still have to fight through a level or two of apprehension, rejection and objections to get to a ‘yes.’ We are in sales and that part of the process is normal…even if you are selling to your best friend.
If you analyze why you close sales and why you lose them, you will likely find there is the common denominator that you “clicked” with most of the people that you closed. You may not have been able to get a basic relationship created with those you do not close.
The old sales adage is generally true: People will more likely buy from someone they are comfortable with…someone they like.
That is not necessarily a disqualifier of people who appear different based on obvious things such as gender, race, ethnicity, religion and other differences. The concept of The Messenger is more geared toward a personality bias and natural affinity based on relating (building rapport) more than it is based on outward appearances.
If people connect with The Message, and you as The Messenger, a couple of things happen:
It makes the sales process easier. You do not have to act out of character and if the product meets their major needs, you will probably get the sale.
You get referrals. Those referrals are usually like- minded people who immediately receive you as The Messenger. Rapport and affinity are transferred to you by the referring client. The Message (the product) is all that is left to discuss.
That is why referrals are the “holy grail” of sales!
You will have to cast a wide net in your Effort Phase until you build the proper intensity of The Message as a state of being. When you become fluid and natural in delivery, then you can afford to focus on specific groups who would work with you as The Messenger – it’s called niche marketing.
To get there, first focus on perfecting The Message. Gain all the insight into what your product does and how it can help. Integrate your personal mission into the equation until it becomes first nature…a part of you – your being.
Then begin to extend your efforts to people you can immediately relate to you as The Messenger. Join clubs, civic and religious organizations and causes that you are passionate about. Become known in these circles as a ‘go to’ resource to people of like passions.
Over time you will find more of your business will come from referrals and people will spread the word about you as…