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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

Bite-sized retail: Macy’s plans to move out of malls

(BUSINESS MARKETING) While Macy’s shares have recently climbed, the department store chain is making a change in regards to big retail shopping malls.

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Macy's retail storefront, which may look different as they scale to smaller stores.

I was recently listening to a podcast on Barstool Sports, and was surprised to hear that their presenting sponsor was Macy’s. This struck me as odd considering the demographic for the show is women in their twenties to thirties, and Macy’s typically doesn’t cater to that crowd. Furthermore, department retail stores are becoming a bit antiquated as is.

The sponsorship made more sense once I learned that Macy’s is restructuring their operation, and now allowing their brand to go the way of the ghost. They feel that while malls will remain in operation, only the best (AKA the malls with the most foot traffic) will stand the test of changes in the shopping experience.

As we’ve seen a gigantic rise this year in online shopping, stores like Macy’s and JC Penney are working hard to keep themselves afloat. There is so much changing in brick and mortar retail that major shifts need to be made.

So, what is Macy’s proposing to do?

The upscale department store chain is going to be testing smaller stores in locations outside of major shopping malls. Bloomingdale’s stores will be doing the same. “We continue to believe that the best malls in the country will thrive,” CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC analysts. “However, we also know that Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have high potential [off]-mall and in smaller formats.”

While the pandemic assuredly plays a role in this, the need for change came even before the hit in March. Macy’s had announced in February their plans to close 125 stores in the next three years. This is in conjunction with Macy’s expansion of Macy’s Backstage, which offers more affordable options.

Gennette also stated that while those original plans are still in place, Macy’s has been closely monitoring the competition in the event that they need to adjust the store closure timeline. At the end of the second quarter, Macy’s had 771 stores, including Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury.

Last week, Macy’s shares climbed 3 percent, after the retailer reported a more narrow loss than originally expected, along with stronger sales due to an uptick in their online business. So they’re already doing well in that regard. But will smaller stores be the change they need to survive?

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Business Marketing

Why you must nix MLM experience from your resume

(BUSINESS MARKETING) MLMs prey on people without much choice, but once you try to switch to something more stable, don’t use the MLM as experience.

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Discussing including MLM experience on a resume.

MLM experience… Is it worth keeping on your resume?

Are you or someone you know looking for a job after a stint in an MLM? Well, first off, congratulations for pursuing a real job that will provide a steady salary! But I also know that transition can be hard. The job market is already tight and if you don’t have much other work experience on your resume, is it worth trying to leverage your MLM experience?

The short answer? Heck no.

As Ask the Manager puts it, there’s a “strong stigma against [MLMs],” meaning your work experience might very well put a bad taste in the mouth of anyone looking through resumes. And looking past the sketchy products many offer, when nearly half of people in MLMs lose money and another quarter barely break even, it sure doesn’t paint you in a good light to be involved.

(Not to mention, many who do turn a profit only do so by recruiting more people, not actually by selling many products.)

“But I wouldn’t say I worked for an MLM,” you or your friend might say, “I was a small business owner!”

It’s a common selling point for MLMs, that often throw around pseudo-feminist feel good slang like “Boss Babe” or a “Momtrepreneur,” to tell women joining that they’re now business women! Except, as you might have guessed, that’s not actually the case, unless by “Boss Babe” you mean “Babe Who Goes Bankrupt or Tries to Bankrupt Her Friends.”

A more accurate title for the job you did at an MLM would be Sales Rep, because you have no stake in the creation of the product, or setting the prices, or any of the myriad of tasks that a real entrepreneur has to face.

Okay, that doesn’t sound nearly as impressive as “small business owner.” And I know it’s tempting to talk up your experience on a resume, but that can fall apart pretty quickly if you can’t actually speak to actual entrepreneur experience. It makes you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about…which is also not a good look for the job hunt.

That said… Depending on your situation, it might be difficult to leave any potential work experience off your resume. I get it. MLMs often target people who don’t have options for other work opportunities – and it’s possible you’re one of the unlucky ones who doesn’t have much else to put on paper.

In this case, you’ll want to do it carefully. Use the sales representative title (or something similar) and, if you’re like the roughly 50% of people who lose money from MLMs, highlight your soft skills. Did you do cold calls? Tailor events to the people who would be attending? Get creative, just make sure to do it within reason.

It’s not ideal to use your MLM experience on a resume, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. Still, congratulations to you, or anyone you know, who has decided to pursue something that will actually help pay the bills.

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Business Marketing

This smart card manages employee spending with ease

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Clever credit cards make it easier for companies to set spending policies and help alleviate expense problems for both them and their employees.

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Spendesk showing off its company credit cards.

Company credit cards are a wonderful solution to managing business expenses. They work almost exactly like debit cards, which we all know how to use, am I right? It is the twenty-first century after all. Simply swipe, dip, or tap, and a transaction is complete.

However, keeping up with invoices and receipts is a nightmare. I know I’ve had my fair share of hunting down wrinkled pieces of paper after organizing work events. Filling out endless expense reports is tedious. Plus, the back and forth communication with the finance team to justify purchases can cause a headache on both ends.

Company credit cards make it easier for companies to keep track of who’s spending money and how much. However, they aren’t able to see final numbers until expense reports are submitted. This makes monitoring spending a challenge. Also, reviewing all the paperwork to reimburse employees is time-consuming.

But Spendesk is here to combat those downsides! This all-in-one corporate expense and spend management service provides a promising alternative to internal management. The French startup “combines spend approvals, company cards, and automated accounting into one refreshingly easy spend management solution.”

Their clever company cards are what companies and employees have all been waiting for! With increasing remote workforces, this new form of payment comes at just the right moment to help companies simplify their expenditures.

These smart cards remove limitations regular company cards have today. Spendesk’s employee debit cards offer companies options to monitor budgets, customize settings, and set specific authorizations. For instance, companies can set predefined budgets and spending category limitations on flights, hotels, restaurants, etc. Then they don’t have to worry about an employee taking advantage of their card by booking a first-class flight or eating at a high-end steakhouse.

All transactions are tracked in real time so finance and accounting can see purchases right as they happen. Increasing visibility is important, especially when your employee is working remotely.

And for employees, this new form of payment is more convenient and easier on the pocket. “These are smart employee company cards with built-in spending policies. Employees can pay for business expenses when they need to without ever having to spend their own money,” the company demonstrated in a company video.

Not having to dip into your checking account is a plus in my book! And for remote employees who just need to make a single purchase, Spendesk has single-use virtual debit cards, too.

Now, that’s a smart card!

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