The hard sell is so old school. Your customers and employees have become conditioned to respond to any hard sell with a Google search to find out if what you’re saying is too good to be true. The minute the Google-search has begun, you’ve missed the opportunity to build trust and connection and outsourced your brand positioning to the vortex. Not to mention giving them a chance to take a second look at your competition.
And yet, the world continues to be filled with executives over-selling their vision, recruiters over-selling unrealistic lifestyles, and salespeople with a hard sell of features and benefits. More than ever, telling the whole truth has become a competitive advantage.
Outsmart the competition by being an explainer.
3 Ways to Outsmart the Competition by Being an Explainer
If you want to outsmart the competition, don’t sell, explain. If you want to engage your employees with your vision and aligned with your brand, be sure they can see themselves in the bigger picture.. They take time to explain your ideas, perspective, and values. Welcome the tough questions and be willing to risk a few slippery slopes. Embrace the tough conversations.
1. In Marketing: Teach Before Selling
So many people ask me why I give away so much content. I’ve been told “I don’t understand your model” more than once. But the companies who work with me get it.
My mission to grow leaders is vital. If you really can’t pay, you still need our Winning Well tools and techniques, and I will share for free. I also know that the best work I do is face-to-face, helping you and your team go deeper. The deeper magic happens when we explore your world together.
I encourage you to adopt a similar approach. No matter what your mission, be a teacher. Help people understand the industry and the competition. Give boldly. Important work will follow. If it doesn’t, improve your message.
2. In Recruiting: Give a Realistic Perspective
I was shocked to hear one of my MBA students come back disillusioned from a recent sales pitch of one of the big consulting firms. It was the exact same pitch I rejected 20 years ago. The story was “work-life balance.” The label I heard back then was “more nights home than away” (which I soon found out counted weekends, vacation, and holiday… essentially 4 nights of every workweek away.) Today, all it took was a few quick searches to hear the real message “We make it easy for you to hire people to raise your children, clean your house, say your prayers and do your gardening. You won’t have time.”
If you want to recruit the best talent away from your competition, work to be an attractive place to work.
3. In Engaging Commitment: Tell The Truth
For God’s sake (and everyone else’s), don’t BS. If you are in a conference room trying to spin an uncomfortable message and your heart is sagging, listen to the voice. Your team will see right through any spin you are weaving. Do your best o tell the truth with the best words you can muster. If there’s still stuff you can’t share, whatever you do don’t lie about the future. You will win hearts, minds, and engaged arms and legs by telling the truth at every juncture. I’ve made a career of telling bad news well. Nothing opens the door for true engagement better than that.