By Lloyd Lofton
Every day I see emails, posts or banner ads proclaiming “The New Way Of Selling” or “The Old Way Is Dead!”
What I’m told - in fact, what they want us to believe - is that there is some magical new way of selling.
We’re told we’re not smart enough to understand that the way we’ve been doing it all these years is no longer effective.
In fact, because we have been doing the “old” way and as a result of doing it the “old-fashioned” way our business stinks, and that’s why we aren’t experiencing any growth.
It’s easy to fall into the trap. Facebook Ads, Instagram, Google Ad Words, podcasts, webinars, Linkedin, email - there are so many “new” ways of selling, they tell us.
It may seem true. I mean, emails deliver discount codes for our favorite stores all the time. So we are just behind the times or we can’t let go of the past.
Don’t believe it! That’s ridiculous!
You say, “Lloyd, you just don’t get it.”
I hear you, friend.
There’s no doubt that online marketing has taken the world by storm.
Online video consumption is dominating TV viewership.
Facebook will deny an ad that is too heavy in copy over image. They have tons of tools to hone your ad for the best response, from audience insight to multiple choices of image placement, video stories to buttons that engage the consumer.
LinkedIn is the new way to recruit. They have beefed up their tools to include videos, attachments, messaging and insights.
See, I get it!
Here’s the thing, though.
No, there isn’t a new way of selling in 2020 – sorry! All the things I mentioned earlier are new ways of marketing, not selling.
It’s easy to get pulled in. We want to succeed, grow our business and stay ahead of the curve. Who wants to be viewed as behind the times or labeled “antiquated” for their way of doing business? No one!
However, selling isn’t about how you get in front of your prospect, selling isn’t about how you reach your prospect and selling isn’t about the way prospects learn about you – that’s marketing.
When we click on a button, open the email or sign up for that webinar that promotes the “new and improved” way of selling, what we find at the end is a pitch for someone’s product, course, training or strategy to - wait for it – market!
And the reason we clicked on the button, opened the email or signed up for the webinar was because the message spoke to us.
Our interest was piqued because it addressed a problem, issue or pain we wanted to solve.
They all start by making us care; they describe a relatable example or an intriguing twist to an old problem.
They pull us in with something we care about. By invoking something we think about a lot and then relate that concept to their solution - we click, open the email or sign up for more information.
Really successful marketing campaigns ask, “How do we want our prospect to feel?” They understand the answer to this question and their messaging takes on a different form.
If you want your prospect to feel compassionate, then you tell a story that evokes compassion. If you want your prospect to feel a sense of urgency, then you deliver a message that keeps them on the edge of their seat.
Your message must have “the one big thing;” you must give them a promise, then fulfill that promise.
How do you do this? By providing a ruler to measure success. If you don’t give them a measure, they make up their own way to judge success doing business with you.
That’s why Target has a one-year return policy on their branded products when similar stores have a 30-day return policy. And people love their Target, don’t they!
You see, nothing has changed. Selling is exactly the same way it has always been and will always be - you sell the problem people have then tell them about your solution.
Everything else is marketing - and yes, that has changed, is changing and will continue to change.
No argument from me on that.
So how can you make sure your marketing message talks to the problem your prospects have in 2020?
Try thinking about your messaging in this way:
- An issue reveals a problem, while an idea discloses a solution.
- While an issue asks, “Isn’t this horrible?” an idea asks, “Isn’t this fascinating?”
- Issue-based selling leads with good and bad, where idea-based selling leads with curiosity about the prospect and their problem.
Aim for their heart, not their head. Seventy percent of people make a buying decision to solve a problem; 30% make a buying decision to gain something.
Which is a bigger market for you in 2020?
Lloyd Lofton, LUTCF, is CEO of Power Behind the Sales, and is a sales speaker and coach. Lloyd may be contacted at [email protected].
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