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No Obligation To Sell

Do you have no obligation to sell...or must you try to make a sale with every prospect who comes along?

This event occurred two years ago. Facebook Memories brought it back to my attention. I find it amusing.

I guess you could see it as alarming, too, but that's not the way I choose to view it.

A young person from Italy messaged my sales training page, Sales On Fire, demanding to know the price.

When I did not instantly respond, he escalated to swearing.

I do not put up with abuse (sales hint: how they treat you now is how they will treat you later), so messaged that I would not be working with him, and blocked him.

Google searches are easy to do and our young friend quickly looked up my SOF business phone number. I had it for a decade. I know because shortly thereafter I began to receive calls from a number I (also using google) traced back to Italy.

No doubt he wanted to give me a piece of his mind 😉 Good for him and his persistence. He will probably make something of himself.

no sale, zero obligation to sell, no obligation to sell, sales, salesperson, cash register, sales machine

Image by Rose McAvoy from Pixabay

 

As The Seller, You Have No Obligation To Sell

But here's the fact about being the seller:

** Until we have said Yes to the deal and accepted the money, we can say No.

Right up to that moment. **

We have no obligation to sell. We are under zero obligation to give information, do free consultations, provide our pricing or anything else.

Blocked and gone on that platform, too.

We have no idea what this person wants with information from us. Are they doing a price survey for positioning their own offer? Are they asking about price because they don't know what else to ask about or value? Another of a myriad of reasons, not all of which are friendly?

It is part of the role you play as a seller to qualify your prospects. Some you will want to turn away.

Just a reminder of the power you have as a seller, prompted by this funny memory. No one can make you do anything you don't want to do in sales. You're the one in control of the process. Not everyone should be a customer.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist who knows that people asking right up front, "So, what's your price?" probably aren't interested in working with you. To book a session with Jason and discuss your situation, click here (and yes, you're being qualified.) <<

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The Danger of the Two Sales

The Danger of the Two Sales is a straightforward but not well-known marketing and sales problem that kills many new businesses.

Here's what happens to produce it:

Someone has a brainwave and makes a new product or service.

You see this all the time in the Software-as-a-Service world...but you'll also see it in products, such as a condiment.

Then the creator goes out and tries to sell the thing, and discovers nobody wants it.

"Why don't they understand how great this is?" they shout. After all, it's clear as day to them why people need whatever it is.

But the public, the target market, other people... everyone else just doesn't get it.

The now-frustrated creator gives up.

the danger of the two sales, unable to sell, positioning problem, marketing problem

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Understanding What Causes The Danger Of The Two Sales

What happened here?

The new business owner, fired up with the enthusiasm for their innovative idea, has dangerously bypassed the first problem in sales and marketing...

...identifying a problem people admit they'll pay to have solved.

This is the first of The Two Sales. You must make this first sale, and it is best if that sale is implicitly understood by your prospective customer before you begin talking to them.

In other words, the first sale is that your prospect admits there is a serious problem to be solved: one that they will pay money to fix.

If you haven't achieved this, you run a great risk of having your "solution" sound unnecessary or, even worse, nonsense. You'll ever make a sale in this situation.

The second of The Two Sales is that YOU are the best provider of solutions for this problem.

Can you see how if you blindly try to rush past the first of The Two Sales, that your target market agrees there's an issue here worth solving in the first place, your prospect will blink at you in confusion when you try to show off "your baby"?

Making Use Of The Two Sales

You might be astonished how often this situation comes up. If you keep the Danger of the Two Sales in mind as you begin, though, you'll be able to make use of it.

As a for-instance, I pre-qualify prospective clients for people who already believe that a metrics-based approach is good. For them to already be demonstrating they value numbers because they're collecting their own data—and aren't afraid of math.

So many newbie business owners are afraid of a little math.

When I do talk to someone about our services, I know they're already on board with doing some math...that they speak the language of marketing and operations results. I do not have to risk falling into the situation of trying to sell someone who just isn't into numbers and probably never will be. What a frustrating experience that would be!

Do you see how this directs your marketing?

Your marketing is best deployed in filtering in those people who already believe as you do. Then you can talk to those who qualify—those you've made The First Sale to—further about the details of your amazing solution.

Of course there are situations where a new problem and a new solution are very real. But you'll still have to deal with The Two Sales: before you'll ever make a sale you'll have to educate and convince someone, or get them to agree, that there is a serious problem in this area. Then you can move on to you being the best solution provider.

Many, many businesses have died an early death because their founders did not understand The Danger of the Two Sales. I encourage you to not be one of those founders.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist and conversion expert. To book a session to speak with Jason, click here. <<

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Be Brave and Do Information Interviews

Information interviews are one of the true secrets of successfully entering a new market.

And fortunately for you, your contemporaries are just too darn afraid to ask for them.

Someone who's experienced in the field you want to get into will know things. They'll have an idea of what the pain points are.

Not every time—occasionally you'll run into a member of that target market who simply doesn't know how to articulate the common problems of the niche...

...but you'll still have a friendly conversation, and I'll bet they introduce you to one or two other people who do know.

What you're looking for are the key words and phrases that declare, "Yes! I am a member here! I know what you're struggling with."

For me, they stand out immediately. As soon as I've heard them, I recognize them.

And after 20+ years in the professional working world, even I have to go back to the drawing board and do some information interviews every few years or so.

I'm not exempt.

information interviews two women chatting discussion

Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

Information Interviews Help You Learn FAST

All that learning I did to this point means little in the context of the new target market.

I am not my customer.

What I believe is important is not what they believe is important.

You'll see people try to jumpstart this step by using an online survey.

I don't believe that's anywhere near as valuable as a one-on-one conversation. In person if you can, by video or a phone call if you can't. I've used Zoom, Whatsapp and the old fashioned phone.

If you can, record the conversation. Make sure you get the interviewee's permission first.

Now the key thing here is having the guts to ask.

It really does not take much.

Just ask if they'll meet with you for 20 minutes. You want to hear from them about their experience in the field.

I've had people offer to do this without me asking them.

Why?

Because some people enjoy sharing. Others like to show off what they know. Sometimes it's a combination.

Sure, you'll get an individual who's "too busy." I still get that today. But it's one person in a hundred I ask (no kidding.) It's a little shocking for a moment, but then I laugh and look at the 25 other people who've already agreed to meet with me.

You don't need 25.

Four or five would be a great start.

But imagine if you did meet 25 members of that target market. Imagine if you met with them over a week or two. How much would you pick up about that market?

And really, really fast.

So be brave. Have the guts to ask. You only need to be brave for a minute.

The payoff is amazing.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist. To book a consultation with Jason, click here. <<