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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

The Body Shop’s new policy is first come, first employed

(BUSINESS MARKETING) An issue that has been on a lot of peoples minds recently is fair hiring standards, be from sex, race, or age discrimination to former prisoners.

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The body shop hires prisoners

Anyone who has tried to get a job in the last decade can tell you that hiring is getting near dystopian. Everyone has heard jokes about needing 5 years of experience for an entry level job or the combined skillset of 3 positions to get one job. Things have gotten to the point where even some large companies are wondering if maybe hiring (and getting hired) shouldn’t be so complicated?

The Body Shop is making a radical change in the way they hire their retail employees this summer. They will be hiring on a first-come first-serve basis. Employees must meet three criteria to apply, but beyond that it’s open season – or “open hiring” as they are calling it.

1. Must be authorized to work in the U.S.
2. Can lift over 50lbs
3. Can stand for 8 hours

The company will not be performing drug tests or background checks for this “open hiring” round. The goal is to remove some of the barriers to entry for people seeking employment. This move will be hugely beneficial to the formerly incarcerated and people who have minor offenses on their record.

The Body Shop’s U.S. GM, Andrea Blieden, said, “When you give people access to something that they’re struggling to find, they’re very committed to working hard and keeping it.”

This isn’t the first time The Body Shop has tested out this hiring strategy. In December 2019, the company ran a pilot program at their distribution center. According to them, their employee turnover rate dropped from 43% to 16% and productivity improved.

This change could be equally beneficial to both employers and employees. According to PrisonPolicy.org, formerly incarcerated people are unemployed at a rate of 27%. To put that in perspective, that is higher than the overall national average during the Great Depression.

When established brands make big moves, people pay attention. If they continue to report success, The Body Shop’s hiring practices could be used as a case study for other businesses looking to shake up their hiring process. Perhaps in a few years, this type of hiring could become more common place among retailers.

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Business Marketing

Stay ahead by decluttering your Instagram accounts with this new feature

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Get a head start on your spring cleaning with Instagram’s newest feature. It may become your favorite way to views others accounts.

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instagram accounts

In a plot twist you weren’t expecting this week, Instagram is looking to make your life a little easier. Their newest app update includes a feature that groups accounts you follow into curated lists such as most and least interacted with or earliest followed to latest.

If you’ve ever looked at the number of people you follow on Instagram and wondered, “who the heck are these people?” then this update will make your heart sing. Instagram has been around for 10 years now, so it’s understandable that some of our follower lists have gotten a little out of control. Your friends and interests shift over time and it can be difficult to find time to actively curate your social media accounts.

Working with this new feature is simple. To access it just head on over to your Instagram profile and click “Following.” You should see a couple of categories above the list of accounts you follow. As an added bonus, you can also change the sort feature on your follower list. It can be set to show oldest accounts followed first or latest accounts firsts.

instagram accounts

For entrepreneurs and freelancers who don’t have the luxury of a full social media team (or any team at all) small features like this can be a game changer. If this feature sparks you to finally clean up your Instagram, here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide who to keep and who to unfollow.

Why did you originally follow this account?

Does this account still serve your business interests?

What was your main purpose behind following this account? As a business owner you might follow an account on Instagram for any number of strategic reasons. Perhaps this account is a fellow business owner in your area, but they’ve since closed their doors. Chances are you’ll find more than one of these cases in your least interacted with group.

Were you looking for business advice or inspiration? When you’re just starting out with your business, you might have followed a few accounts that aimed to give advice to new business owners. Well, if you’ve been doing this for a few years, you probably already know the basic advice these types of accounts are pushing. It’s time to move on.

Do you know this account IRL? Maybe your business has moved locations or changed niche in the last few years. You might have made some great connections with fellow business owners back in the day, but you may no longer run in the same circles. If you know the person who runs the account IRL and you still want to stay connected there are two options. You can either go follow them on your personal account or you can continue following, but mute the account so it doesn’t clog up your Instagram feed.

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Business Marketing

2020 marketing calendar – plan this year’s marketing strategy

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Have you ever wondered when is the best time for your ad campaign, well look no further. This marketing calendar has every event listed, even weird ones.

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When you work for a small business or non-profit, marketing is one of those essential tools that can make a difference in your monthly bottom line or fundraising take. And yet it’s often a challenge for busy owners and employees to find — and take advantage of — fresh promotion opportunities.

Add this to your toolkit… a 2020 Marketing Calendar from the team at Liramail, making note of big events and days that you can use online and IRL to engage customers and donors.

February marketing calendar

Some dates are obvious… major holidays, for instance, particularly the gift-giving ones. But you can find success around other events as well. The Central Texas Food Bank uses the Super Bowl as a driver for one of their most visible annual events, the “Souper Bowl of Caring.” On a smaller scale this year, restaurants and shops around the Austin area and all over the country used January 25, Australia Day, to raise funds for bushfire relief—drawing customers into their businesses, creating community ties and doing good all at once.

This marketing calendar compiles dates both big and small, providing plenty of opportunities for tie-ins and promotions. Running a clothing boutique? Play with Fashion Week. Looking for a good cause to support? World Wildlife Day and International Women’s Day are just a few weeks away. Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day… and that’s all just in the next six weeks.

The calendar is as useful for engaging your social media audience as it is promoting IRL events. You don’t have to own a pizza place to make a post with your team celebrating International Pizza Day and quizzing your followers on their favorite topping. You don’t have to be a veterinarian to turn Love Your Pet Day into a way to engage people by encouraging them to share photos of their pets.

And if you do have a direct tie? Absolutely use it. Each March, for instance, the small Austin well-building non-profit Water to Thrive observes World Water Day with a quick Facebook fundraiser. One of the Austin-area businesses that participated in Australia Day, Bee Cave coffeehouse/boutique Runaway Luna Lifestyle, did so because of family ties there, raising several thousand dollars with an in-store event and social media promotion of a GoFundMe fundraiser.

So page through the marketing calendar, making notes of days that you can take advantage of. And don’t forget, if you’re inspired to create an in-store event or other promotion, be ready for it. Get the initial date on the calendar, and then work backwards to create a long-range plan to support your event. Check your inventory, possibly looking for related items to feature. Book your advertising, draft your newsletter, schedule your social posts. Let your audience know that something special is coming up.

Have fun with it. Add your own dates. Whether you zero in on Talk Like a Pirate Day or Make a Difference Day, you can create new opportunities for your business or non-profit and for your customers as well.

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