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Remember the last awesome movie you saw? Or that amazing cafe you went to downtown, the one with fair trade organic tea and a great atmosphere?
Chances are high you told your friends. Chances are also pretty high that a number of them–the ones with similar tastes as you– decided they might go see that movie, or stop by the cafe on their commute to work.
Guess what. You just sold something.
You told someone how cool xyz thing was, sharing your experience with it, and they decided to try it as well. That’s selling.
That experience slips right under the radar, because it goes nothing like what we think selling should be. Mostly because it didn’t make us feel terrible, which is the sensation most folks get from their attempts at selling. (High-pressure retail jobs, anyone?)
But we all know how to sell, we just never call it that. The word selling is all tied up in red string to the word marketing, which already tastes bad enough.
But selling, like marketing, doesn’t have to taste disgusting.
If the thought of selling makes you cringe, then learning that you already excel at selling the non-skeezy way can be a relief. It means that getting more clients for your business doesn’t equal selling out. All that needs to happen is a skill transfer: life skill, to business skill.
Let’s look at this cafe ‘selling’ thing again.
You found this great cafe. Delicious fair-trade tea, 100% recycled and recyclable carry-out cups, walls decorated with art from local artists… The sort of place you love.
So you tell those of your friends with similar tastes about this cafe. They know and trust you, and your taste in teas–you’re a bit of a tea connoisseur, without the snobbery implied by the word. You’re good at tea, so to speak. And they can tell when you share how creamy smooth and earthy your green tea latte was that you truly enjoyed it. They decide to visit the cafe themselves.
Now imagine doing that with your business, a product or a service. Suddenly feels a lot harder, doesn’t it?
Imagine if all selling could be as effortless as recommending a new cafe.
You can make that happen.
Look at what went into the cafe example:
- A fantastic thing (that’s you, by the way)
- Your friends (your email list, Twitter followers, Facebook fans, etc)
- Enthusiasm (pretty much the same)
Now, all the people who follow you do so because they trust you. They trust that you know what you’re talking about, that you want to help them succeed, and you’re not going to share new things with them without vetting them yourself first. (That last one is especially important if you ever promote something that isn’t yours.)
Your enthusiasm is straight forward. You’re sincerely excited about the cafe, just like you’re sincerely excited about your business. You know it’s amazing, you know it’s going to do wonders for people, you know it’s a step to a better world for everyone.
Say your friend wants a second opinion. They hop on the Interwebs and read a few reviews about the cafe, all of which agree that it’s the sexiest thing since sliced bread. (You didn’t know bread could be sexy, did you?) On your site, those are your testimonials.
Swear to gods, it’s the same pattern.
You can use that pattern to grow your business naturally, without making anyone, especially you, feel uncomfortable.
This is the sort of outreach we want. The kind based on human connections, on being helpful, on remembering birthdays and watering your neighbour’s plants when they’re out of town.
People always talk about selling. But what we’re really doing is building community.
What was the last thing you tried that you told all your friends about? Share with us too in the comments!