One of the things that happens, simply by virtue of spending your entire adult life in the communications industry, is you learn a hell of a lot about the mechanics of communication and the psychology of having the communications you create reach people effectively.
Along with all this good learning comes a simple fact that you always have to keep in mind and that is that moving people into a positive predisposition to buy whatever you are selling takes time, and a concerted effort during that time get them to like and trust you and believe that your product or service will deliver on the benefits you are offering .
Embracing this reality is made difficult by the fact that many business people have become conditioned to the idea that everything in life has an instant gratification element to it. We see it all time on TV where complex emotional issues are resolved within a 44-minute show, where product marketers demonstrate, in a frenzied fashion, how fast you can receive the results you are looking for in anything from a vegetable chopper to a workout machine.
But in reality, which is the world we actually live in, these results do not come instantly. They come through trial and error and they come from concerted effort over an extended period of time.
Every success story you hear about from Apple to Amazon to Tesla are all the result of this trial and error process over time.
And you can have the greatest idea in the world, the best service, the hottest gizmo, the most ingenious process…it doesn’t matter. The same rules still apply. Because people don’t buy products or services. They buy into the people who make them.
And the most important step to getting there is making sure that you are seen as an expert in whatever your chosen field happens to be.
Developing Expertise Cannot Be Overrated.
The difference between getting a client or making a sale or not hangs on a very thin thread. That thread is usually an answer to a question, or more specifically a question that you can’t answer.
As much as people are looking to buy from you, they are also looking for any chinks in your armour that they perceive might cause them trouble down the line somewhere.
Buyers are all about “What’s In It For Me?” and the key component to telling them and then delivering on that lies in your expertise. And the key to demonstrating your expertise in a way that they will appreciate and trust is in the combination of your skills, knowledge and self-confidence.
Your skills come from your in-depth knowledge of your product or service and your ability to make their benefits meaningful to your prospects. Your self-confidence comes from the faith you have that your product or service will deliver for your prospects.
Learning to sell like this, developing the skills, knowledge, insight and self-confidence you need to walk into a selling situation and walk out with a sale is not something that happens overnight.
It is not something that you can rely on marketing or technology to make happen for you. They are just tools. What you are always, always selling….is yourself.
Think about the amount of time it took you to learn how to walk. Think about the amount of time it took you to learn how to talk. Think about the time it took you to master your language or basic math or science.
All this stuff takes time. And more importantly, it takes diligence and patience to embrace that fact.
There’s a very strong argument that can be made that the high rate of failure among small businesses has a lot to do with exactly what I am talking about in this post.
How To Overcome The Fallacy Of Instant Results
- Acknowledge to yourself that it takes a great deal of time and effort to become an expert. And you need to be an expert in order to sell effectively.
- Understand that one of the best ways to become an expert is to pick the brains of other experts who have been there and done that in your field.
- Understand there is a Pareto Principle involved in selling and that you will fail more often than you succeed.
- Know that you will always learn more from your failures than your successes.
- Understand that it would be foolish to rely on processes and technology alone to get you where you want to go.
- Know that when people buy from you, they are buying into you as much as they are into your product or service.
- Do not be afraid to find the allies you need to mentor you or help you develop your expertise. Lifelong learning is the new norm.
- Embrace the two-pronged reality of business. Prong 1 People prefer to do business with people they like and trust. Prong 2. People expect and respect true expertise.
There is no hard and fast formula for success when it comes to establishing and growing a business. Everybody’s approach is going to be a little different. All I can do from my ‘been there, done that’ park bench is make suggestions and offer insights based on my experience.
So equipped with all this, go forth and multiply your business, build your brand, and realize that nothing good happens fast in life or in business. Should you want some help with that, you know who you can depend on.