We’ve all experienced that salesman knocking on the door of our house or business and abruptly asking if we want to buy the “#1 one most effective stain-remover cleaner in the world”. Before you can say no, the salesman has chosen a section of your floor to show you the magic in his spray bottle.
I’ll never forget the sight of the guy sprawled out in the middle of the floor at NUYU Juice Bar scrubbing it within an inch of its life. Customer’s were walking in and out but he was determined to make a point and sell me on his product.
Needless to say, even though the cleaner worked (scrub anything that hard and you’re bound to get it spotless), I kindly but firmly rejected him as soon as he’d let me speak.
When we think “sales” we think of knocking on doors, cold-calling, cold-emailing and ultimately, trying to pitch people on your product or service out of the blue right upon meeting them.
A few weeks ago, I was at a family office conference where there were several salesman trying to pitch their services to the high net worth attendees. It was perhaps the most inauthentic event I’ve ever been to. The type of event where you get into conversations with people that abruptly end as soon as they find out you’re not going to buy what they offer. Towards the middle of this conference I was asked if millennials would come to this event willingly. I told the truth- no. This is the last place millennials would want to be. They would cringe at the agenda-ridden and fakeness of it all.
Although the sales tactics mentioned above have definitely been a somewhat effective approach in the past, millennials are paving the way to a new approach of sales. An approach that is literally the opposite of the old way of selling.
Engaging and Converting Sales in 2018:
Recently, I interviewed sales expert and serial entrepreneur, Richard Moore on The Entrepreneur Before 25 Podcast. If there’s anyone who practices what he preaches, it’s this guy.
Richard essentially states in his episode that sales in 2018 are reached through relationship. It’s through engagement, trust and building a bond with someone directly that will ultimately generate you and your business the most amount of sales.
Although they’re done at the same time, Richard separates effective sales in 2018 into two steps: the short play and the long play.
The Short Play:
The short term play is composed of engaging with people directly, one-on-one. This step is extremely effective, but it’s often bypassed by people because it’s not the most efficient up front. But essentially you’re accomplishing the same outcome as the old sales model and manually bringing customers in.
Converting sales in 2018 comes through relationship and trust- engage and relate with people. Build a friendship and offer value, over and above all. Through building that relationship, what you see start happening is incredible. You become that person’s number one resource for what you do. Even if they don’t have a need for your product or service until 2 years down the road, you better believe that when they know someone who does, they’re going to recommend them to you!
I was inspired on how Richard personally does this with his business. During certain seasons of his life, he’s made it a point to reach out to 20 like-minded people a day to start a conversation. These are people he could be in the same groups with, be friends on Facebook with, etc. But the point is, he start’s building relationship. 20 people a day is 600 people a month and 7,200 people a year! Social media has opened the doors to massive potential.
This is actually how Richard and I originally met. He had built a relationship with one of my entrepreneur friends and because of that relationship, that friend recommended us together because he knew we could offer each other mutual value.
Once that relationship and TRUST has been built, you will start to see sales come from it.
But it shouldn’t feel like a normal sale. They should be asking for it. They should get to the point where they want more of your value at a more condensed version. Essentially at this point, you’ve proved that they can’t live without your product or service.
“When there’s no resistance, that’s good selling.” states Richard in our episode.
According to Richard’s perspective, although every person you engage with is a win, eventually those engagements will start to convert.
However, remember that this whole approach must come from a genuine and authentic place within you. Your core agenda must be to build relationship and add value. Out of the fulness of that motive, everything will take it’s proper course.
The Long Term Play:
The long-term play is composed of your content marketing: Your website, brand, social media accounts and whatever platform(‘s) you use to represent you, your business and what you stand for.
Your long term play could take a lot longer to see direct results, but it’s essentially the funnel to accomplish the short term play. When people see what you do and you’re outwardly giving with no agenda, they will want to start engaging with you and getting in orbit around you. Your content and brand grant you credibility and help you start to create a tribe on a larger level.
This is why podcasts, instagram stories, social media and other things that help you reach out to people on a larger scale are so powerful. They bring you to life and help people relate to you on a larger level.
As you’ve probably guessed, both the short term and long term play are done simultaneously and work hand-in-hand to create this circle effect.
People see your content, start following you and join your tribe. Eventually, you start a one-on-one conversation- building relationship and ultimately trust because you’re relating and adding value to them, genuinely with that agenda primarily.
Through this trust and relationship, you become their go-to person for your product or service.
Does this approach to sales seem indirect and perhaps non-efficient? Maybe. But like Richard states in our episode, “You have to wait for the rewards… but they come in thick and fast after a while.”
It’s no coincidence that in life and in business we always come back to the same root: relationships. That non-tangible and sometimes distant concept. But relationships are what make the world go around and we must harness and be intentional with them.
My favorite thing about how millennials are making sales in 2018 is not only is this the most successful “sales” route to go, but it’s also the most fulfilling. You get the best of both worlds, relationships and business all wrapped into one.