“Selling is not convincing people, it’s helping them.”
When I first heard that statement from Shawn back in 2016 at a BDC sales workshop, I thought my brain glitched. The last time I was “sold”, I went into a Motorcycle store just to look around and ended up riding off in a brand new Suzuki GSXR! That meant another monthly installment, increased insurance payment, and dealing with the fears of riding, not only from myself but those of my family as well. How was this helping me?
The motorcycle was definitely not something I “needed,” so of course I put all the blame on the salesperson for pushing me through that process, running a credit check and convincing me of how convenient a motorbike was compared to driving when it came to traffic. Traffic was hardly an issue because the farthest I usually drove was about 15 miles, but his description of how the bike would allow me to avoid slow downs seemed so convincing, I had to have it.
Eventually I owned up to the purchase and accepted that I made the decision to buy the bike, however that experience left a sour taste in my mouth. I got “sold” and it sure didn’t seem to help me. At this point, my mind was racing and we were barely 5 minutes into the workshop and I started to regret being there.
“How am I going to be able to sit through and learn how to put someone else into the same situation I was in, regretting a buying decision because it didn’t help me solve a problem, because I didn’t even have a problem to solve!”
But what he said right after changed the entire ballgame:
“As long as you’re doing it with integrity and have your prospects best intention in mind.”
This was the key that I had been missing when it came to the mindset of the salesperson. I always knew I wanted to help people with the service I provide as a chiropractor, however my mindset around sales was one of negativity and regret. The workshop continued on with tons of other valuable gems and advice but that key phrase in the beginning literally changed my life.
At that point in my career, my business was struggling and what was even more disheartening was that I wasn’t helping anywhere near as many people as I could. So I decided to take Shawn’s advice and make a shift in my mindset around sales to one of helping with integrity and then it happened: my business began to take off. I was determined to make sure the sales process for my future patients was one that would help them feel comfortable and confident in their decision to move forward and less likely to feel regret and question their buying decision.
I began by implementing a thorough pre-qualification phone consultation where we discuss everything from what they’ve tried to what they can expect regarding their financial and time commitments before they ever set foot in the office. This made the entire process a breeze because when people walked into the office, there were no surprises! Not only did this build a HUGE trust and credibility factor with my patients, it made follow-up conversations regarding referrals (my next big implementation factor) that much easier. I literally increased my business 5-fold within just 2 months and I’ve been steadily growing ever since.
My business is now thriving, even in these strange times, and what’s so exciting and motivating is that I get the chance to continue to help more people. I don’t think I’d be able to serve people through my business had I not made that switch in mindset. I actually have these phrases hanging in my office for the last 4 years as a reminder that mindset is key to growth and success. Every time I start a new blog, email, or enter into a sales conversation, I look up to remind myself.
Local businesses – be it restaurants, nail salons, or studios – are suffering, and they need help.
If you know how to do a few simple things like help these businesses collect reviews from their customers – which helps them rank in Google – you can help them. If you understand how to navigate Yelp, you can help them. Many don’t understand how these platforms work.
That is the biggest market out there. In fact, the local market is bigger than Google, Amazon, and Facebook. These giants make up less than 10% of the economy. Most of the dollars in our economy go to local businesses. They go to the dry cleaner, the grocery store, the chiropractor, the real estate agent, and the car dealership.
These small businesses seem to have problems, but if you’re a real marketer, there are never any problems. An expert marketer knows how to recast problems as opportunities.
This ability to turn what would be a problem for most into an opportunity is going to be some of the best value you can provide to the market.
Those that have problems and are struggling are actually the best people to help, because if everything’s fine and dandy, they likely don’t actually need your help. It’s easier to sell when someone’s in need than when they’re hot.
Imagine you’re a doctor and you went through some basic training on how to do some kind of medical procedure – for example, LASIK, or you know how to do a cast on someone’s broken arm.
All of a sudden, there’s all these people coming into the emergency room because they went skiing and they broke their collarbone, or they tripped on the curb while they’re skateboarding. There’s people coming into your hospital, and you’re trained to be able to do the very thing they need.
You’re helping, so now there’s way more people coming into the hospital.
Do any of the surgeons in the emergency room need to convince the people that come in when they have a gunshot wound or were in a car accident or other crisis? Do they ever need to sell them on the medical procedures? No.
That’s how you should be thinking about entrepreneurship. If you’re really good at what you’re doing, then you are like a doctor of your specialization.
If you have customers that you are uplifting and you’re sharing what you know with the world, then you don’t need to sell.
Don’t listen to those gurus out there who are trying to sell you courses. Look at what they’re actually doing, and look at if they’ve documented what they’re doing.
The reason I put content out there is to document what I’m doing. It’s not a secret.
A doctor would never say, “Sorry, that surgical procedure is really secret. I can’t tell you about that.”
When someone tells you something is a secret, run. Whether you believe in reciprocity or karma or otherwise, one thing is true: when you put your knowledge and expertise out there, it will come back to you.
People sometimes say to me, “I don’t want to put it out there, because they’re not going to hire us; they’re going to then do it themselves.” They’re wrong.
Whatever you want to get for yourself, you need to create 10 times or a hundred times that value for your community. You can’t do that if you aren’t creating anything.
If you’re doing it right, then you’ll never need to go out there and explain to people what you do. You’ll be a surgeon in the emergency room. You will be a creator, not a consumer.
That’s the abundance mindset we all need to have.
The best way to create valuable content that fosters connections and business is to listen to what others have to say.
I’ll go to Twitter or Facebook, and I’ll interact with people and content that I think are important to what I’m looking for.
I’ll scroll through several posts I don’t want to touch, then I see another post about Colin Wayne Erwin, who built his business in the last few years from nothing to $30 million. He’s an entrepreneur, and he runs Redline Steel. He wakes up in the morning at three or four o’clock, and he goes to work. He’s a busy man.
I could comment or like, but here’s what I’m going to do instead: I’m going to create a video reply.
I make a hundred of these every day. It only takes about an hour, but it will create more social engagement and content than pretty much anything else you can do in that hour.
It’s the algorithm that determines what shows up on people’s feeds. If you understand what feeds the algorithm, then you can win. It’s not black magic, and it’s not about software.
It’s about creating.
When you create 15-second videos, create shout-outs, and give gratitude, that’s when people feel like connecting with you. It’s human.
You know what an ad looks like. You can smell an ad, see an ad, and taste an ad. If you can create something that doesn’t look like an ad, then that’s what the algorithm is looking for. That’s what us as humans are looking for.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but that’s how you can succeed.
On why companies fail hard on social branding campaigns and how “crowdculture” messaging solves this.
My take, if you don’t have 17 minutes to read this: consumers are allergic to force-fed content, but love personal stories. So your company’s “marketing” should be the sum of your personal branding efforts– to teach your values, not sling your product.