Earlier today I published a guest article Stop Selling and Start Teaching!. In the article, Jessica Swanson tells of her experience with the hard sell in a brick-and-mortar store. She shows clearly how off-putting “the sell” can be and advocates using an educational/informational approach in your online business, to build trust and confidence.
Jessica’s article reminded me of my Dad. He was a “born salesman.” He was one of those guys who could sell anything. He could extract your eye teeth and sell them back to you. And get you to agree he had done you a favor. He did it all by informing, explaining and demonstrating. In his retirement years, he became a crafter. He made tole-painted decor objects and sold them at craft fairs. I occasionally got to see him work his sales craft on customers. He would pick up an object the customer was inspecting and just start talking about it. With great enthusiasm, he would tell the tale of how it was made, what materials went into it, and even the history of the particular pattern or the history of tole-painting. He never asked someone to buy something. He just talked to them casually, while showing great love for his creation. Not only did the immediate customer buy the product, but also bystanders who overheard would often buy the same item or other items. He usually drew small crowds just curious to hear his stories. And when he ran out of product, he took orders to make and deliver the sold-out items. He actually build a fan-base of customers who would look for his booth at the craft fairs, buy from him again and again and phone him to make custom gifts to give.
Think about it. What can you do to connect so powerfully with your prospective customers or clients on line? How can you show them the value of your product or service? How can you create for them a demonstration of your commitment to, enthusiasm for and expertise in your field of endeavor? And for those who operate only on line: how can you show your interest in and concern for your customer or client even though you never connect with them face to face?