Years ago, I received a simple piece of career advice:“Go where you’re respected.” — eco-entrepreneur Paul Hawken
These 4 words have defined my career since.
It applies to marketing too — aim to only sell to prospective clients who are already eager to work with you. Then there’s no feeling of “selling.” There’s only connecting from the heart, helping them genuinely, and answering their questions.
Imagine never having to overcome objections… do multiple follow-ups… use compelling incentives to persuade others to “invest in themselves.”
Authentic salesmanship is where selling has transformed into service.
The more you feel like you have to “sell”, the less pleasant it is for everyone:
- You don’t enjoy the feeling that you’re pitching.
- Your audience doesn’t enjoy being pitched to.
With authentic marketing, we work towards never again having to feel like we are selling.
The 4 Steps of Authentic Marketing:
- Be your authentic and helpful self by creating consistent content. Do this as a lifelong personal growth project, and also as an ongoing ministry to your audience.
- Grow your ideal audience with effective content distribution, such as using collaborations, and Facebook Ads, to distribute your content to new segments of people who are likely to resonate with you.
- Connect personally with your biggest fans, and develop compassion for what they’re wanting, and an increasingly better understanding of whom you can truly help.
- Offer them services or products that intersect your passion and what they want. Occasionally (yet consistently) announce your offerings as a courtesy reminder to your audience. Since everyone is thinking about their own life, they’ll only pay attention to your offering when you announce it.
With these steps, you’ll grow an audience who is eager to connect with you. They sense your caring and trust your authenticity.
Your authentic offerings (products and services) become a natural arising from your passion and compassion. It is neither forced nor artificial, but in a spirit of service that is resonant with your audience.
You no longer feel like you are selling, and yet, your fans are buying your stuff because they are are buying what they want, from someone who cares about them.
As a result, “selling” becomes unnecessary, yet you have a thriving business.
Your intention is the foundation.Make a commitment to return daily to a deep intention of service. Whether in a client session, or talking with a prospective client, or posting on social media, always ask:
“How can I connect and uplift?”
By diligently following the 4 steps above, while serving from the heart, you’ll no longer feel like you are selling… yet you’ll have plenty of clients.
Something interesting I’ve noticed is that at this relatively mature stage in my business, I find myself to be the worst salesperson I’ve ever been.
In exploratory conversations with prospective clients, I find myself neither polished nor scripted. I’m just trying to help them as much as I can in that short conversation, which is what you’re “not supposed” to do.
I haven’t prepared to “overcome their objections” or “remind them of their pain and the value of my service.” I even stumble when I answer questions about my pricing and how I work with clients.
Yet, I have a full roster of clients, and a waiting list. Never has it been this easy for my business when it comes to client enrollment.
Only 1 technique.
There’s only one “technique” I use, which is that a few minutes before the end of the call, I simply say “Looks like our time is almost up… do you have any questions about how I work with clients?” and then I answer their questions.
If they are a good fit (which they usually are because they’ve enjoyed my free content) then there’s a mutual feeling of excitement to work together.
All of this works because I consistently do the 4 steps above. It’s not a chore, because it’s a heartfelt feeling of service and connection. This leads to a natural engagement with people I can most help.
Now it’s your turn: Which of the 4 steps above might you need to work on?
This post was previously published on George Kao and is republished here with permission from the author.
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Photo credit: George Kao