How to Sell – Serve vs Sell

[ New Distinctions for Entrepreneurs – Part 3 of 12 ]

Convincing someone to pay you so that you can serve them has always seemed ass-backwards to me.

Asking other people to ‘go first’ in the trust building ritual of reciprocity is, in itself, counter-productive in building trust.

What if instead of ‘sales’ being about convincing people to pay you so you can serve them, ‘sales’ was another name for ‘free service’?

What if instead of trying to ‘convince’ people to buy what you have, you simply gave it to people?

Or if in your business, if the cost of giving what you’re selling away is too high to make this work, what if you found other ways to serve people for free instead of trying to convince them?

If sales is about building trust, then a ‘convincing’ orientation is like kryptonite. A convincer needs to come up with all sorts of clever brain wrangling persuasion techniques to overcome the innate human sense of distrust. It’s a lot of unnecessary effort. (Not to mention the indirect cost of living in the world as someone who constantly sacrifices the quality of the means for the quantity of the ends.)

What if you stopped trying to ‘sell’ to people (as in convince them) and focused instead completely on ‘serving’ people?

I hear your fears about giving it all away and not getting anything back.

First of all, when it comes to resources like time and money, be careful not to spend a lot serving a few. Instead, spent a bit serving many.

Second, you drawing the line in the sand as to what is free (sales-service) and what is paid (service-service) is key. Be bold in your giving and bold in drawing and standing for your line.

Finally, you asking for the money in your marketing or sales conversations is key.

“_________ and you shall receive.”

Most people mistake the blank for ‘give’. It’s not ‘give’, it’s ‘ask.

“Ask and you shall receive.”

As Gary Vaynerchuk once wrote: Give, give, give, ask.