“The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.” – Steve Jobs
This is my first post for the life skills section of the blog. And the topic really deserves the lead position. I believe that one of the most important life skills to develop is how to sell a product, yourself or an idea. In this post, I will share some of my own experiences and learnings in this regards.
As a digital communications guy and storyteller, I mainly helped SMEs in the health sector crafting stories and to build an authentic brand.
Learning how to communicate to get what you need and want
Marketing is a really fascinating topic for me.
I believe that the skill of marketing and sales is one of the most valuable skillets one can learn in life.
Nobody in the 21st century really wants a cold phone call or cheese sales pitch anymore.
Marketing is all about communicating a valuable message in the written or spoken word, as an image, or as video. The message must match the target audience, and has to come from the right channel.
I have been involved in digital marketing since 2008 and enjoy deep diving into these topics regularly.
So, the better you can market and sell, the better your quality of life will be. Period. But you better do it skillfully.
How to become a top salesman in 6 months
After graduating from University in 2007 the first job I took on was a salesperson for an American sports and supplements retail chain in Canberra called GNC.
In truth, I had real reservations to sell.
The training I received was based on an “upsell, cross-sell, and again, just upsell” methodology. I was not comfortable with it. I needed to find another way how to make my mark in the company.
Personally I opted for the approach of “sellucation“.
In this approach to selling you first ask your potential buyers what their challenges are and then you listen deeply and empathically. Then, after you heard them out, you might follow up again to ask even more questions.
Only after that educate them on the solution you offer and offer them a fitting service or product.
Luckily, I had a University education in the health and wellness sector.
It was easy for me to get into a casual conversation, ask the shop visitors questions, and then confidently share the science behind solutions.
After 6 months I was the top performing salesperson on the floor and the best part was that not only my manager was happy, but the customers trusted me and recommended me on to their family and friends.
Learning the art of lead generation
I opened the doors to my first integrative Chinese medicine clinic in 2008 and I needed to get clients fast. So I set up a blog, wrote some articles and tweaked the SEO of my site to get traffic.
It was a steep learning curve I can tell you…
Back then I had a great domain with acupuncturecanberra.com and it was easy to rank it on the first page. I successfully got targeted traffic and offered them a free consultation via an opt-in form.
This method alone got me new patients walking through my clinic door on a daily level. And the best part was that I had an automated intake system that sent all forms to be filled upfront.
This hack alone saved me a lot of time, so I could see more clients.
My business was going well, unfortunately, I got overworked and needed to take more time for myself to recover.
Moving from healthcare to digital marketing
Right then and there I decided to learn more about digital products, online courses, and e-Books. I studied everything I could get my hands on from Eben Pagan, John Carlton, and Jay Abraham.
Learning from these brilliant marketers inspired me to the core.
During this time I decided to work for a friend as a digital marketing consultant. He sold service packages for small businesses for lead generation, landing pages and Pay per click campaigns.
Spending time with him added depth to my understanding of lead generation, funnel design and conversion optimization. My ability to listen, which I learned from my clinic work, became very valuable.
I learned that the more I listened to my prospects problems, followed up by the right questions to deepen my understanding of their challenges, laid the foundation for offering them the right solution.
Here’s the great takeaway, because I offered them true help based on empathy, selling them a solution that was useful to them was easy.
Affiliate marketing and jumping on the startup train with 7write.com
In 2013 my wife was approached by a friend of mine to join him in a technology startup in the e-book publishing space as a co-founder.
A few weeks later they were on a flight to Amsterdam to pitch to an accelerator program.
I sensed that they were off to an incredible adventure…
Because of my passion for digital marketing and e-publishing, I joined my wife after they were accepted at Startup Bootcamp Amsterdam as a “writer in residence” for 7write.
Later on, I helped them to get a flood of book writing clients for their startup via affiliate marketing. We identified strategic partners, invited their customers on a webinar, and then sold them our solution.
It was incredible how much leverage partner webinars gave us to scale the business.
Making contact with 1 right person who was a good fit for our business, led to over 197 customers signing up on the spot to our book digitalization program.
This was the power of partnership marketing.
To deliver the service we had to get all hands on deck, and we even had to hire more staff to convert the rough book drafts into digital format.