Connect with us

Business Marketing

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

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business Marketing

Accessibility to your website could make or break your brand

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Some companies are making sure their websites have more accessibility, and are creating design tools that help simplify the process for other designers.

Published

on

accessibility design

In August, The American Genius reported that Domino’s Pizza had petitioned the Supreme Court to hear a case it had lost in the Ninth Circuit Court, in which the court ruled that the pizza chain was required to improve the accessibility on their website to blind and visually impaired users.

Last month, SCOTUS declined to hear the case, maintaining the precedent that the standards set forth by the American Disabilities Act (ADA) apply not only to brick-and-mortar business locations, but also to websites.

The decision was a major win for disability rights advocates, who rightly pointed out that in the modern, internet-based age, being unable to access the same websites and apps that sighted people use would be a major impediment for people who are blind or visually impaired. Said Christopher Danielson of the National Federation of the Blind, “If businesses are allowed to say, ‘We do not have to make our websites accessible to blind people,’ that would be shutting blind people out of the economy in the 21st century.”

Although legislators have yet to set legal standards for website accessibility, the Domino’s case makes it clear that it’s time for businesses to start strategizing about making their websites accessible to all users.

Many companies worry that revamping websites for accessibility will be too costly, too difficult, or just too confusing given the lack of legal standards. However, some forward-thinking companies are going out of their way to not only make their websites more accessible, but to create design tools that could help simplify the process for other designers.

A great example is Stripe.

If you have an online business, you may already be using Stripe to receive payments. Designers Daryl Koopersmith and Wilson Miner take to the Stripe blog to detail their quest to find the perfect and most accessible color palette for Stripe products and sites.

Color plays into accessibility for visually impaired users because certain color contrasts are easier to see than others. But making Stripe more accessible wasn’t as simple as just picking paint swatches. Stripe wanted to increase accessibility while also staying true to the colors already associated with their brand.

Our perception of color is quite subjective; we often instinctively have strong opinions about which colors go well together and which clash. To make matters even more complicated, existing color models can be confusing because there is often a difference between how a computer mathematically categorizes a color and how our eyes perceive them.

Koopersmith and Miner give the example that if the human eye compares a blue and a yellow that have the same mathematical “lightness,” we will still perceive the yellow as the lighter color.

To achieve their goal, Koopersmith and Miner created new software that would adjust colors based on human perception and would generate “real-time feedback about accessibility.” In this way, the designers were able to adjust Stripe’s pre-existing brand colors to increase accessibility without losing the vibrancy and character of the original colors.

Not every company can afford to hire innovative designers like Koopersmith and Miner to create new tools every time there is an accessibility challenge. But Stripe’s project shows gives us reason to be optimistic that improving accessibility will become steadily more … well … accessible!

Disabilities rights advocates and designers can work synergistically to set standards for accessibility and create comprehensive tools to achieve those standards. In our highly visual age, it’s important to ensure that no one is left behind because of a visual impairment.

Continue Reading

Business Marketing

10 inspirational print brochure examples

We believe that print is nowhere near dead, it is just changing as things go digital, and only the best stand out.

Published

on

Below are 10 inspirational print brochure examples that show print is not only alive and kicking, but when infused with a bit of creativity, can make an enormous impression. Gone are the days of horrid clip art and walls of text that overwhelm. Clean typography and design are the name of the game, and added flair can go a long way. Here are some ideas to get you started, click any of the images below to see more photos of each campaign and to dig deeper:

Craft Beer Field Guide

With this fold up brochure guiding Madison’s Craft Beer Week attendees, a vintage vibe is created through color and typography choices, with an emphasis on function and ease of reading. The guide is so enchanting, it is likely that most attendees kept the brochures, a dream for any designer or marketing team!

Italian Loft Brochure

In this Italian Loft Brochure, a classic Tiffany & Co styled blue and chocolate brown highlight the features of this luxury loft community, and is presented in a beautiful, heavyweight cardstock cover that keeps all additional papers that come along with tours. It’s more than just the brochure’s design, it’s the presentation, simplicity, and choice of materials that is eye catching about this print brochure.

Campaign for Freedom

Expressing the dire situation in North Korea, this campaign brochure uses simple to digest infographics and keeps to four colors – black, white, red, and yellow. It is effective for sticking to the point and using bold graphics.

Gourmet Natural Foods

Retailers often go overboard either by offering too many walls of words and facts, or by trying to be clever. Instead, this company’s design focuses on the simple ingredients that goes along with their streamlined, organic-looking containers. This brochure makes you want to go start eating hippie food, even if you’re a cow eater, just because it’s so aesthetically pleasing!

Graphic Designer Portfolio

When a seasoned graphic designer shows off, you can be sure that their presentation will never be an aged headshot of them with bullet points of their accomplishments. No, graphic designers show instead of tell, as below:

Typefamily Brochure

When introducing a typefamily to the world, a designer can choose to slap up a website, or go the traditional, and more elegant route of printing a type booklet explaining the type and giving buyers of the typefamily (font) a closer look at what they are buying. Brilliant.

Yahoo! Brochure

Yahoo’s brochure is a reminder that simple design elements can go a long way – a folding tab, white space, ditching clip art, and keeping consistency between pages all work in harmony to create a quality print brochure.

Antique News Format

In a very clever move, this commercial and residential space is being sold in the form of a large, folding antique- looking newspaper, complete with appropriate fonts and an antique layout, with surprisingly sharp and never cheesy images.

Architect’s Timeline and Story

Promoting an architect’s impressive timeline and story, this print campaign shows the power of red, black and white, making a dramatic impression at a quick glance. Using high quality photography and traditional movie poster tricks, the campaign is stunning.

Our Favorite: Lennar’s Old School Fun

Lennar’s new “Spencer’s Crossing” community brochures got a touch of old school, making the brochure a game that anyone can play. It’s more than a gimmick, it is consistent with their collateral that appeals to the youthful nature of the product and area.

Continue Reading

Business Marketing

Use the ‘Blemish Effect’ to skyrocket your sales

(MARKETING) The Blemish Effect dictates that small, adjacent flaws in a product can make it that much more interesting—is perfection out?

Published

on

blemish effect

Presenting a product or service in its most immaculate, polished state has been the strategy for virtually all organizations, and overselling items with known flaws is a practice as old as time. According to marketing researchers, however, this approach may not be the only way to achieve optimal results due to something known as the “Blemish Effect.”

The Blemish Effect isn’t quite the inverse of the perfectionist product pitch; rather, it builds on the theory that small problems with a product or service can actually throw into relief its good qualities. For example, a small scratch on the back of an otherwise pristine iPhone might draw one’s eye to the glossy finish, while an objectively perfect housing might not be appreciated in the same way.

The same goes for mildly bad press or a customer’s pros and cons list. If someone has absolutely no complaints or desires for whatever you’re marketing, the end result can look flat and lacking in nuance. Having the slightest bit of longing associated with an aspect (or lack thereof) of your business means that you have room to grow, which can be tantalizing for the eager consumer.

A Stanford study indicates that small doses of mildly negative information may actually strengthen a consumer’s positive impression of a product or service. Interesting.

Another beneficial aspect of the Blemish Effect is that it helps consumers focus their negativity. “Too good to be true” often means exactly that, and we’re eager to criticize where possible; if your product or service has a noticeable flaw which doesn’t harm the item’s use, your audience might settle for lamenting the minor flaw and favoring the rest of the product rather than looking for problems which don’t exist.

This concept also applies to expectation management. Absent an obvious blemish, it can be all to easy for consumers to envision your product or service on an unattainable level.

When they’re invariably disappointed that their unrealistic expectations weren’t fulfilled, your reputation might take a hit, or consumers might lose interest after the initial wave.

The takeaway is that consumers trust transparency, so in describing your offering, tossing in a negative boosts the perception that you’re being honest and transparent, so a graphic artist could note that while their skills are superior and their pricing reasonable, they take their time with intricate projects. The time expectation is a potentially negative aspect of their service, but expressing anything negative improves sales as it builds trust.

It should be noted that the Blemish Effect applies to minor impairments in cosmetic or adjacent qualities, not in the product or service itself. Delivering an item which is inherently flawed won’t make anyone happy.

In an age where less truly is more, the Blemish Effect stands to dictate a new wave of honesty in marketing.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Great Partners

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!