Whether you manufacture paper clips or eye pieces for electron microscopes, whether you sell micro chips or chocolate chips, whether you paint houses or canvases, your business depends on satisfying people.
Lisa Davis, Persuasion Architecture: Persuading Customers
When They Ignore Marketing
I’ve been looking for a new dining room table, and I’ve discovered that I dread walking into furniture stores. It’s like walking onto a used car lot. Eyes following your every move, people waiting to catch your attention so they can “introduce themselves” and “help you find something.” If you’re like me, you just want to look around. If I see something I like, I’m not shy about asking for help.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just peek in the window, see if there’s a dining room table that piques your interest, and if nothing’s a fit, you could save everyone some hassle? I’m really not interested in looking at the office furniture, even though they’ve got some “great new styles,” and I don’t need someone talking me into a table I don’t like. When I don’t think I’m interested and feel coerced, alarm bells go off in my head. I don’t trust that person.
And God knows that I don’t want to be that salesperson when I’m talking to people about my business. For many speakers, consultants and coaches, they started their business because they wanted the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise, and they wanted to enjoy more independence, contribution, or financial freedom. All noble goals, right? The problem is no one cares why you went into business or why you’re good at what you do, and if you’re not careful, you end up sounding like a furniture or used car salesman who is trying to trick someone into buying his stuff.
Frank Rumbauskas, author of Never Cold Call Again!, says, “One of the greatest challenges facing independent professionals today is how to generate new business. Professionals are not salespeople, nor do they want to be; in addition, actively attempting to sell oneself can easily tarnish one’s professional image. How, then, to attract new clients, without the sales pitch? Establish yourself as the recognized expert and authority figure in your field. By doing so, you gain the immediate respect and trust of your prospects.”