You may not identify yourself as a salesperson, but rest assured you’re doing some selling. Whether it’s selling tickets, selling downloads or selling your drummer on the idea that he needs to start taking showers - you are in the business of selling.
The approach that you take says a lot about how you view the world. What you believe about yourself, your product and the people who you are selling to, will determine your level of fulfillment and success.
I probably log a good two miles a day walking down Hollywood blvd. on my way to get food and coffee. For those of you not familiar with the neighborhood, this is right in the heart of Hollywood where the Walk of Fame is. I encounter more sales pitches in a week than most people do in a lifetime. Everywhere I look someone is trying to get someone to take a flyer, give them money, buy their cd, join their religion, take a tour, or any one of a number of other things.
I see a lot of people who are just going through the motions. People who are just trying to say the words, pass out the flyers and do the things that will allow them to convince themselves and anyone else that they’ve made an honest effort. The truth is that they don’t really believe in what they’re selling and they’re thinking more about getting money then they are about accepting compensation for giving value. Unconsciously they know this and that is why they don’t fully engage with people.
It doesn’t feel comfortable for most people to look someone else in the eye when they are asking more from them then what they want to give them. Most of the people who employ this approach can’t really see any other way to do it. The reason that they’re trapped at this level is because of the way that they view the world. They are coming from a “get” mentality. They’re looking to get or to take. This is the way that they view the whole world, so it will probably never occur to them how to break out of this approach and get more fulfillment from their work and their life.
I’ll never forget the time I was coming out of a convenience store one afternoon and I heard a voice say “Hey man. Let me ask you somethin’. What kind of music do you like?” Now those words are not much different then 1,000 other pitches that I’d heard on the street, but somehow this stopped me in my tracks and compelled me to give the man an honest answer. It wasn’t so much the words that he said, but the way that he said them. I felt like he actually wanted to talk to me.
He had a genuine enthusiasm for his music and wanted to share it with me. I wasn’t carrying any cash, so I couldn’t buy his cd. When I told him this he reached into his bag without blinking an eye and gave me a burned cd. This may not sound like much, but for someone who lives in my neighborhood, it stood out a mile. There was an energy exchange that left me feeling connected to him as a person. As a result, I took the time to listen to his music and check out his website. He was memorable because he engaged and connected. He earned my undivided attention and I would feel good about spending money with him now and in the future.
So what’s your style? Are you trying to “get money” or are you trying to initiate a mutually beneficial exchange and a long term relationship? The quality of the relationship that you have with the people that you sell to will mean a whole lot to the way that you feel at the end of the day.
Are you charging people $15 for a cd that you believe is worth $5? How successful do you think you can be with this approach? - and even if you find a way to make it work, then how are you going to feel? You need to first believe in what you’re selling. You will never be happy or truly successful until you do. Don’t try to get better at selling something you don’t believe in. It will never get you where you really want to be. When you believe in what you’ve got to offer then you can focus on connecting with people and exchanging value in a way that makes both parties feel good. That’s where it’s at.
For more about basic marketing strategy for musicians, check out my blog at IndependentRockstar.com.