How to sell without being a telemarketer
“Sales” is a word I’ve dreaded much of my adult life. Maybe it’s because of how movies always portray salesmen as greedy, manipulative scumbags. Maybe it’s the car salesmen occasionally yelling about how many dollars they’d like for me to spend while interrupting my TV shows. Or maybe, it’s all the people that call and email me constantly trying to sell me something I’ve never even considered purchasing.
When I started Zwelly, I knew I’d have to sell my services to other businesses. I knew I didn’t want to be like those people I disliked so much but I honestly didn’t know any other ways than to be a little annoying. I went down that path for awhile until one day I learned one of the most important things about selling that would completely change my feelings for sales.
When I hated the sales side of the business, here’s some things I could be found doing.
- Calling random people up to offer presentations on what Zwelly can do for them.
- I’ve made crazy spreadsheets with contact info of companies that have paid for something similar in the past – then went down the line and asked for work from all of them.
- I’ve connected with hundreds of random people on linkedin in hopes one of them would have a project they’d love to work together on.
- I’ve made booklets and spent hundreds of dollars mailing them to companies in the mail… on two different occasions.
- I’ve tried paid advertising several times.
Now, I’m not going to say these techniques never worked but when they did, it was a crazy low rate. I don’t have the numbers exactly but it must have been close to 1/250 attempts would lead to paying work. Those rare times I’d get work with these techniques, I noticed a few things that came with it.
The problem with begging.
The relationships made this way would usually start very lopsided because I was basically begging for money and they may have felt bad or like they were doing me a favor. I was playing the same “game” as others and opened myself up to direct comparison and was forced to underbid just to get any work. The key to making a great company that makes great work that produces great results isn’t by undercutting everyone else and having tiny profit margins.
Am I exactly like them?
At the time I was pretty adamant that I wasn’t like these unsolicited sales people that kept calling (even when you ask them to never call again). It wasn’t until I asked myself why my techniques weren’t working when I learned that I was exactly like the unwelcomed, over the phone, sales pitch I hated so much.
I didn’t have a preexisting relationship with the people I was contacting and I basically stole their contact info using an array of online tools. Since people are sold to dozens of times every day, I was immediately being placed in the ”not to trust” container with these people.
Time for something new.
By process of elimination, I learned that the root of my client relationship problems was my sales process. So, I thought — how could I let people know I could be trusted, that I produce great results for companies and I honestly care about helping people grow their businesses?
The answer to that question became, to give things away for free. I know what you’re thinking, “umm, giving things away is not selling.”, Right? Well, directly, no. Indirectly, you bet.
By giving things away to my audience, I build trust and show my care for helping companies grow creatively. Indirectly, gaining trust is one of the biggest hurdles in the sales funnel. You must start at earning trust before asking people to buy anything.
So what kinds of things do I give to my audience?
- Articles like the one you’re reading gives my audience valuable and actionable information.
- Free guides like this one goes in depth on how to create a profitable video campaign.
- Video content like this that quickly inspires or helps people learn how to be better with video marketing.
- Free consultations to learn about people and their businesses to find out if video or animation can truly help them grow.
So what are the results of not “selling”
?Since making this transition, I send cold calls and emails 100% less. I reach a much bigger (narrowed) audience with much less effort. I help 1000% more people and receive more work requests than ever before.
Sales doesn’t have to be a miserable part of your business. By focusing on your audience and giving them a reason to trust you, you’ll not only feel better about sales but make more sales.
So, what can you give to your audience?