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Selfish-Selling Is Zombie Dead. We Need A New Bike. Become Super-Choosable.

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We Need A New Bike.Selfish-Selling Is Self-Focused and Sucks.  We Need A New Bike.

It shouts how mighty, majestic and magnificent we think we are.  It’s heavy handed and pushy in pursuit of doing-the-deal.  It’s me before thee.  It crams square solutions into round problems. Selfish-Selling doesn’t work anymore.  It’s zombie dead. That means, it looks raggedy-ass, it smells putrid and it’s soulless.  But it doesn’t know it’s dead, it shambles around threatening to feed on innocent civilians.  You know what I’m talk’n about, right?  Selfish-Selling is zombie dead.

Thankfully, there’s a fresh approach.  Instead of the business of selfish-selling and feeding on the innocent, we can focus on…

The Intimate Business of Being Chosen.

I know.  It sounds weird, but don’t roll you eyes.  Close your eyes.  In your head, whisper the word, “intimate”.  What feelings rise behind your eyes?  Love?  Sharing?  Passion? Generosity and service? Commitment and trust?  Dedication and loyalty? What else?

Out-loud.  Say the word “choice”.  We like that word, don’t we?  Because it’s about us, not them.  It’s about what we want, not what they want.  It’s about us choosing what’s best for us. Choice is awesome.  We don’t want to be soldwe want to choose.

Like I said, “The Intimate Business of Being Chosen” sounds weird, but to our clients, it sounds, looks and feels fantastic, respectful and choosable.  Read on to see why.

Here’s what I believe.  We live in an anti-selling society.  Traditional selfish-selling tactics don’t work.  In fact it pisses people off.  Today and in the future, we need a new approach to shared success between our clients and us.  I propose this two pronged approach.

First, a belief-in and the practice-of intimacy in our approach to business is essential and non-negotiable.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t propose intimacy as inappropriately personal, overtly familiar or stalkishly creepy.  I advocate intimacy in our approach and attitude toward learning, creating, sharing, solving, serving and delivering ever-constant value to our clients and others. We should must infuse our services and solutions with the hottest elements of intimacy and the brightest business strategies.

We have to be careful though!  Balance is required.  Beam too intense in either direction, too intimate or too business like and you demagnetize your attractiveness, and devalue yourself and your offering.

Second, and this sounds so simple, it’s almost invisible.  If we flip our focus from selling me-centered and selfish, to focusing on them and being worthy of choice, we create attention and attraction.  We earn loyalty and repeat business.  Recommendation and referrals.  As a bonus, it also makes us feel proud of who we are, what we do and how we do it.  What could be better than deserved success, loyal clients and healthy self esteem?

Can you see yourself choosing to focus on listening, solving and sharing, instead of traditional, and zombie dead, selfish-selling?

Are you with me?  Let’s stop chasing, capturing, closing and the business of selfish-selling. Let’s begin to focus on the intimate business of listening, solving, sharing and being worthy of being chosen.

Here’s How To Be Chosen

Let’s begin by asking “Why me”?  Seriously, there are hundreds of people professing to do what we do, many of them, for less money. Why should or would anyone choose us?  What makes us choosable?

Let’s pause a moment.  This is the point where you might feel a bit frustrated.  You might feel like the task of going from rarely chosen, or not chosen often enough, to frequently chosen, referred and recommended, is futile, too difficult, or not in you.  Ignore the doubting whispers in your head!  Rise up and show up.

There are two keys to being supremely choosable.  If you will begin these two things, you’re on your way:

1. Embrace and practice intimacy in the approach, creation and delivery of your business products, services and solutions.

2. Doggedly, yes doggedly, pursue new knowledge, reinvention, renewal, tolerance with discomfort and a open soul for change.  This means splashing around with the new, the unfamiliar, the unproven and the uncertain. Do it daily.  Things you can effect and worth focusing on are:

  • your image.
  • your services.
  • your knowledge.
  • your approach.
  • your delivery.
  • your tools.
  • your follow through.
  • your attitude.
  • your listening.
  • your positioning.
  • your beliefs.
  • your ethics.
  • your empathy.
  • your communication.
  • your broadcast.
  • your commitment.

Here’s How To Get Started…

Where should you start?  It doesn’t matter.  It only matters that you start.

When should you start?  Now!  In fact, by reading this you’ve already started.  Keep moving.

This site is fizzy with bright ideas that can make you uber-choosable.  Read, think and act.

Get out and about.  Expand your exposure, meet new people and join new tribes. Go new places, see uncommon things, experience fresh adventure. Be Brave. Be Bold.

Take what you learn and use it to share, solve and serve.

Choose an intimate business approach, stop selfish-selling styles, take what you learn and use it to share, solve, serve and being worhty of being chosen.  Start today.  One step at a time.

Good luck.  Let me know how I can support you.

PS.  If you think I’m full of crap, or you have something to share, or if you simply want to show the world you were here, please know, all comments are graciously received and appreciated.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cheers and thanks for reading.

Photo Credit

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and BrandCandid.com. On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Matthew Hardy

    March 29, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Ken, you might be talking about the difference between retail-selling and direct selling. I don’t think the retail context has much to do with real estate sales.

    I think most of the “anti-selling” you refer to in society was invented by a) salespeople who are not good at *professional* (unselfish) selling and b), a social media industry that preaches “don’t be evil” as a setup to their own selling.

    “Selfish-selling” has always existed and still does (even in the completely reinvented world of the internet). Collaborative, mutually-beneficial selling has always existed too, even where the interaction and transaction was *started* by the salesperson.

    In consultative selling, the salesperson knows the questions to ask so that the prospective buyer focuses on their true needs and explains them succinctly. This forms the precursor to the important part of the interaction (and the reason the prospective buyer is spending time with the salesperson), that is, for the salesperson to offer advice, expertise and direction of a type and kind the buyer does not possess.

    • Ken Brand

      March 29, 2010 at 4:25 pm

      Agreed Matthew. The hair-ball is tangled and big. Mostly what I’m talking about is “direct selling”, getting hired to help someone buy or sell real estate. I think we or least me, I can improve my value by listening, sharing and solving, instead of selling me, me, me. As you’ve shared the opposite of selfish-selling is consultative selling or as I have proclaimed it, “the intimate business of being chosen”.

      You make a great point about the internet and it’s relationship or impact on my anti-selling reference. I think the internet has accelerated the distaste for “ad-speak” and braggadocios broadcast, people are less tolerant and frankly, they don’t want to be SOLD, they want candid, advice, facts, pros and cons and in the end, they want to make the choice that’s best for them, now what some lame salesman’s pitch, pitches, or how magnificent they are.

      When you boil it all down, there’s plenty of work to be done on making our clients the laser focus of our efforts. For me, it begins with self examination and awareness, brother, I’ve got lots of work do. That’s what I’m sharing.

      Cheers and thanks for the comment and your thoughts.

  2. Matthew Hardy

    March 29, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Thanks Ken, for your kind reply.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with ” I can improve my value by… solving”. Smart people don’t talk to salespeople unless they think a solution is in the works.

    Braggadocios and real estate?! What, are you kiddin’ me? 😉

    (I thought for a minute you were going to talk about glam shots and such. For the record: glam shots for Gwen Banta = good; glam shots for Jeff Brown = bad.)

    For all it’s tree-hugging goodness, I actually kinda like “the intimate business of being chosen”. If reminds me of how I think of it. I might call it “presence selling”. It’s not just a matter of presence of mind, but of being present in a way more like during a car wreck or a child’s birth. Let me ‘splain… I used to sing as a soloist and found a real awareness of the difference between being present (and connecting with an audience) or not (and not). Even in a recording studio, engineers seek to imbue a song with “presence”.

    The ideal of presence is that, while being great for the one being present, it is really all about the other person. They “get” the song, or, they get the solution they want.

    So, to be present during an engagement with a client or prospective client ensures that your preparation will offer it’s benefit, all nervousness and such will be gone and the client will feel comfortable enough to be honest with you. Solutions are easy to find in that context, don’t you agree?

    So what do you say to writing a book together. Here’s a proposed title: “Presence Selling – The Intimate Business of Being Chosen”

    Cheers to you too sir!

    • Ken Brand

      March 30, 2010 at 8:52 am

      Yep, you and I see eye to eye. Being present, conversational, educational and inquisitive beats the hell out of anxiously thinking about what you’re going to say next and how you’re going to convince someone. Amen Matthew.

  3. Joe Loomer

    March 29, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Aiming and missing the mark is almost as bad as targetting what you hope to hit and causign indiscriminate collateral damage. Your link to the “New Language of Effective Ads” is very relevant.

    Case in point: Driving by a competitors office just this past weekend, I see their sign, and beneath it, on a huge banner, is this “Headquarters of the Young Republicans.”

    Why not just roll out a full page ad and run it for three weeks straight stating “we are exclusive, if you do not espouse politics like ours, we do not want to do business with you!”

    In some sense, that in itself was intimate – it hit home. It told me in no uncertain terms that this business was exclusive, that they did not want clients of any other political leaning (including independents and undecideds). A real estate company did this. In a down market. In a slow market. Never underestimate your competitions’ ability to make a bad decision. Pay attention – get out there – do what Ken says – be the ear-on-the-rail sojourner – see what’s coming. Great post Mr. Brand.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

    • Ken Brand

      March 30, 2010 at 8:53 am

      Thanks for the endorsement Joe. I don’t always see whats coming, until it smacks me upside the head, but when it does, at least my eyes are open. Cheers Joe.

  4. BawldGuy

    March 30, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Before beginning, I’d like to offer Matthew a chance to read the two words uppermost in my mind as I read his observation on glam shots. 🙂

    The book you guys speak of has already been written, and has been required reading, along with seminar attendance with the authors present, by Fortune 100 companies. The New Conceptual Selling has been my ‘Bible’ for several years now, and has proven to be pure gold.

    I recommend it to anyone serious about a sales career.

    • Ken Brand

      March 30, 2010 at 4:05 pm

      Thanks for the share, I just ordered it on Amazon. What’cha think about a book called, New-New, Really New Conceptual selling? Maybe we could write that book? Nah, never mind. Cheers JB

  5. Kristy Casey

    April 2, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Hi Ken!
    Great article!
    Hey what’s wrong with Glam Shots – they have their place! 😀

    This concept is so easy – it’s all about them! There was once an acting class I took that we had to think me me me or you you you throughout it! When in a position of selling it is all you you you! I think it was Jim Rohn that said it best By helping others get what they want, you get what you want in return. Something like that! 😀
    Love, Joy & Peace,
    Kristy

  6. amasters

    April 7, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Someone once said, “Strangers are just the friends you haven’t met yet”. Is this is the attitude to take when prospecting for clients? I don’t know. One thing for sure is that all relationships have a starting point before which nothing is known about the other person. For someone brand new to the business, with no referral base, standing out from the white noise of all the other advertisements and solicitations can be a challenge.

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Business Marketing

Spruce up your product images with Glorify (just in time for Black Friday!)

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Want professional, customizable product images for your company? Consider Glorify’s hot Black Friday deal.

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Glorify app lets you create beautiful designs for your products.

Glorify, the app that creates high converting, customizable product images for your business, is offering a lifetime deal for $97 this Black Friday. In just a few clicks, you can transform one of Glorify’s sleek templates into personalized, professional-looking content – and now, you don’t have to pay that monthly fee.

Whether your business is in electronics, beauty, or food & drink, Glorify offers a range of looks that will instantly bring your product images to the next level. With countless font styles and the ability to alter icon styles, shadows and other elements, you can access all the perks of having your own designer without the steep price.

In 2019, Glorify was launched – the app was soon voted #2 Product of the Day and nominated for Best Design Tool by Product Hunt. Since then, they have cultivated a 20k+ user base!

Glorify 2.0, which was launched last week, upgrades the experience. The new and improved version of the app is complete overhaul of intuitive UI improvements and extra features, such as:

  • background remover tool
  • templates based on popular product niches and themes
  • design bundles for your website/store, social media
  • annotation tool
  • upload your brand kits and organize your projects under different brands
  • 1 click brand application
  • & much more!

“But the most important aspect of Glorify 2.0, is that it comes with a UI that sets us up for future scalability for all our roadmap features”, said CEO of Glorify Omar Farook, who himself was a professional graphic designer.

Farook’s dream was to provide a low-cost design service for the smaller businesses that couldn’t otherwise afford design services. Looking through reviews of the app, it’s evident that Glorify does just that – it saves the user time and money while helping them to produce top-notch product images for their brand on their own.

Glorify is one of the many new design-based apps that make producing content a breeze for entrepreneurs, such as Canva. As someone who loves design but doesn’t have the patience for Creative Cloud, I personally love this technology. However, Glorify is unique in that it is the only product-driven design app. All you have to do is upload your photo!

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Business Marketing

This new Chipotle location will be fully digital

(BUSINESS NEWS) In the wake of the pandemic and popularity of online delivery, Chipotle is joining the jump to online-only locations, at least to test drive.

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Chipotle exterior, possibly moving to a fully digital restaurant space soon.

A lot of industries have switched to an online-only model in the wake of the pandemic. Most of them have made sense; between abundant delivery options and increased restrictions on workers, moving away from the traditional storefront paradigm isn’t exactly a radical choice. Chipotle making that same decision, however, is a plot twist of a different kind—yet that’s exactly what they’re doing with their first online store.

To be clear, the chain isn’t doing away with their existing locations; they’re just test-driving a “digital” location for the time being. That said, the move to an online platform raises interesting questions about the future of the restaurant industry—if not just Chipotle itself.

The move to an online platform actually makes a lot of sense for businesses like Chipotle. Since the classic Chipotle experience is much less centered on the “dining” aspect than it is on the customizability of food options, putting those same options online and giving folks some room to deliver both decreases Chipotle’s physical footprint and, ostensibly, opens up their services to more people.

It’s also a timely move given the sheer number of people who are sheltering in place. A hands-on burrito assembly line is not the optimal place to be in a pandemic, but there’s no denying the utilitarian appeal of Chipotle’s products. To that end, having another restaurant wherein you have the option to order a hearty meal with everything you like—which is also tailored to your dietary needs—is a crucial step for consumers.

Chipotle’s CTO, Curt Garner, says he is hoping this online alternative will offer a “frictionless” experience for diners.

As a part of that frictionless experience, consumers will be able to order in several different mediums. Chipotle’s website and their mobile app are the preferred choices, while services like GrubHub will also be available should you choose to order through a third-party. The idea is simple: To bring Chipotle to you with as little fuss as possible.

For now, Chipotle is committing to the single digital location to see how consumer demand pans out. Should the model prove successful, they plan to move forward with implementing additional digital locations nationwide.

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Business Marketing

Your business’ Yelp listing may be costing you more than you think

(BUSINESS MARKETING) The pay per click system Yelp uses sounds good in theory, but it may be hurting small businesses more than helping.

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Man browsing Yelp for his business listing in open office environment.

We all know Yelp – we’ve probably all used Yelp’s comment section to decide whether or not that business is worth giving our money to. What you might not know is how they are extorting the small businesses they partner with.

For starters, it’s helpful to understand that Yelp generates revenue through a pay per click (PPC) search model. This means whenever a user clicks on your advertisement, you pay Yelp a small fee. You never pay Yelp a cent if no one clicks on your ad.

In theory, this sounds great – if someone is seeking out your product or service and clicks on your ad, chances are you’re going to see some of that return. This is what makes paying $15, $50, or even $100 a click worth it.

In practice, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. When setting up your Yelp account, you are able to plug in keywords that correspond with your business. For example, owner of San Francisco-based Headshots Inc. Dan St. Louis – former Yelp advertiser turned anti-Yelp advocate – plugged in keywords for his business, such as “corporate photographer” and “professional headshots”. When someone in the Bay Area searches one of those terms, they are likely to see Headshots Inc.’s Yelp ad.

You are also able to plug in keyword searches in which your ad will not appear. That sounds great too – no need to pay for ad clicks that will ultimately not bring in revenue for your business. In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan plugged in terms such as “affordable baby photography” and “affordable studio photography”, as his studio is quite high-end and would very likely turn off a user who is using the word “affordable” in their search.

How Yelp really cheats its small business partners is that it finds loopholes in your keyword input to place your ad in as many non-relevant searches as possible. This ensures that your ad is clicked more and, as a result, you have to pay them more without reaping any of the monetary benefits for your business.

If you plugged in “cheap photography” to your list of searches in which your ad will not appear, Yelp might still feature your ad for the “cheap photos” search. As if a small business owner has the time to enter in every single possible keyword someone might search!

In the case of Headshots Inc., Dan ended up paying $10k in total ad spend to Yelp with very little return. Needless to say, he is pissed.

So what does this mean for you if you use Yelp for your business? If you don’t want to completely opt out of Yelp’s shenanigans, try these 3 tips from Dan:

  1. Try searching some potential irrelevant keywords – are your ads showing up in these searches?
  2. Do your best to block the irrelevant keywords. It’s impossible to get them all, but the more you do the more money you will ultimately save.
  3. Keep an eye on the conversation rate on your profile – does more clicks mean more client inquiries? Make sure Yelp isn’t sending low-quality traffic to your profile.

Ultimately, it’s about protecting your small business. Yelp is the latest in big tech to be outted for manipulating individuals and small businesses to up their margins – a truly despicable act, if you ask me. If you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars for ad spend, then either boycott Yelp or try these tips – your company may depend on it.

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