How do you sell yourself, your services or your products?
There are many approaches, but surprisingly most people go with one – blatant self promotion. I guess I won’t surprise you if I told you self promotion and hype no longer work.
There are several well known online marketing “gurus” who own huge mailing lists and send hyped emails to their subscribers on regular basis. Guys like Ewen Chia and Mike Filsame do make huge sales and profits although all they sell is crap and their promotional methods are close to spam.
It won’t work for you. Guaranteed.
If you think you can do like them and sell a lot, sorry to tell you – you won’t. There are many reasons why these guys can sell using hype – they have reputation, they have huge email lists and their potential customers are desperate newbies in the “make money online” market. Unless you have the same, you won’t have any success.
If you are a freelancer or small business owner targeting prospects with above average intelligence, you should try different approach.
People want genuine suppliers.
No matter if you sell copywriting services, software consultations, e-books or potatoes – unless you are a very well known name, most buyers want to know they deal with credible person.
How much do you add to your credibility when you claim being the best (or your product being the best), giving the best price, offering outrageous money back guarantees or monkey “bonuses”?
I’ve seen freelancers who bid on $50 project and claim to be a company with 200 designers and developers. Imagine if someone believes them.
Next time when selling your skills or products you can raise your credibility along with the sales process just by being honest. Saying that you have no experience with something, explaining that your resources are limited to X and Y and being upfront about why you are interested in the deal and why is your offer exactly that is unlikely to push your buyer away. It will make them feel they work with real and genuine person.
“Why” is the most important question in business and “because” is the answer that will make you close that deal if you are honest. Try to cheat and you just lost the buyer forever.
A little story…
Some time ago I worked with a friend on a site about high yield investments. We had a small section recommending investment opportunities to the readers usually having referral links. Once he smelled something phishy with the top performing investment program we decided to add a warning. The warning was saying something like “We have reasons to doubt in this program. We advice you to think carefully before investing and if you have large funds in it, better get some money out”.
After releasing the warning we expected most people would withdraw their money and no new investments will go in. Instead of that the investments and commissions doubled.
Makes no sense? Think again. People value honesty. But no, it is not that they were rewarding us for being noble. Here is what one of them told us:
“You are warning us about potential problems. So you are honest. If there were very serious problems, you would warn us to get out. So this opportunity should still be good”.
I would guess that even without talking to anyone, just by putting myself in their shoes. Do that more often and you can change not only your business, but your personal life too. Too bad empathy is not taught at school.
Honesty sells. Empathy helps you know when, why and how much honest to be.
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