Selling is hard. Ask any salesperson. You encounter many barriers in the field. You spend time convincing people to purchase something that they may not be that familiar with or that interested in. Salespeople work under pressure of deadlines and quotas and administrative minutia. They often feel like lone wolves out in the field; people left alone to do their work.
What is rare is salespeople putting in the work in order to make selling easier on them. Hard work #1) writing. Creating a blog on your topic of sales expertise and then writing every day for it. Anyone can start a blog. Not just anyone can keep a blog going day after day after day. As with any creative work, especially sales, consistency is key. Get after it and write — day after day after day. Everyone will complain and say they do not have time for this. That’s great news because most people won’t get past the point of hard work #1. They’re already done. If you’re still here, good for you! Keep going. Keep writing. Keep sharing.
Hard work #2) speaking. Give a talk. Give a talk on your expertise or provide value on how you go about solving problems for your marketplace. Everybody’s got problems. Not everybody gets good solutions to them. find out what the key problems are for your market. Survey them. Pick up your smart phone and actual call them. Ask key questions. Write down their answers. You’ve just performed the basic market research that few would take the time to do. You’ve also developed the basis for your next talk for this group of people.
Problem — solution talks are powerful because they are the format we’re used to when it comes to pitches. They’re as familiar to us as the local news format. Why wouldn’t you want your talk to be as familiar? Get out there and give a talk. Get comfortable on stage with enough stage time. Speakers are leaders and they are perceived as such by the audience. Giving regular talks is an unfair sales advantage.
“When you say it about yourself, it is bragging. When others say it about you, it is proof!” Get proof.
— Jeffrey Gitomer www.gitomer.com
Sales Hard Work #3) create videos. Get ready to be uncomfortable again. Most people hate to see themselves on video. In fact, most people cannot even stand still photos of themselves. This is a classic case of most people being unable to get past inferior self-concepts. If this isn’t you, then great! You’re already ahead of the pack. Create videos that share your best ideas. Create videos that provide brief case studies for your market. How did people win by using your expertise, product or service? How did they enhance productivity? How did a firm benefit by using you? Better, get others on video to say it on your behalf. As Jeffrey Gitomer says, “When you say it about yourself, it is bragging. When others say it about you, it is proof!” Get proof. Get social proof. Creating value-adding videos of you solving others’ problems and getting customers of yours on video talking about their problems and your answers speaks volumes. And it sells when you’re not there.
Sales Hard Work #4) Create marketplace-specific lead magnets for the customers you wish to attract.
Having trouble attracting proper prospects for your solution? Create market-specific lead magnets for the people you wish to attract. Offer a free training in exchange for their email. Offer a Tools the Pros Use 1 page PDF in exchange for their email. Offer a common industry problems PDF in change for their email. Try your best to enter the conversation currently going on in their minds. Get them thinking about their problems and agitate them, making them seek out solutions. Market to them consistently and regularly. Be there when they need you. Be there when the competition drops the ball. And they will drop the ball.
Who will do these things?
Here is the great news about this hard work: almost no one will do these things. For those willing, actually executing on these items will give you a significant competitive advantage over the competition. Few want to do the creative, driven, hard work. They want it already done for them. They don’t want to write; they want to have written. They don’t want to shoot video; they want the videos already done. They don’t want to create marketing materials; they want the marketing materials done for them and sent on their behalf. Speaking and giving talks are really uncomfortable for people, so they avoid them like the plague.
Take a page out of the U.S. Navy SEALs book and be willing to do what others won’t, so you can do tomorrow what others can’t. Doing these things will finally make selling easy.