The secret to selling anything is not having a great product, according to best-selling NYT author Harry Browne – although that helps. In fact, it’s not any of the following that people often associate with stereotypes of the successful salesman:
- Working tirelessly for long hours
- The ability to motivate your customer
- Being pushy or aggressive
- Having nerves of steel
- Focus on selling
- Being an extrovert
- Being a glib talker – a smooth speaker
Harry Browne should know. He was a top marketer, speaker, educator, and two-time presidential candidate. And although Browne wrote the words for The Secret of Selling Anything based on sales practices in the 1960’s – before the explosion of commerce in the World Wide Web – his principles hold fast. Human nature has not changed, although how we do things has.
So, what’s the magic ingredient you need for selling anything?
I’ll give it to you up front: KNOWLEDGE. You need to know what ALREADY motivates your prospect.
You need to go deeper than just finding out WHAT he wants … you need to find out WHY he wants it.
Because he’s already motivated to buy. Once you discover that motivation, you can present your product in a way that satisfies his reasons for wanting it as well as his standards for the product.
If your product doesn’t help him get what he really wants, you can spend your time helping an ideal prospect or redirecting this one in a way that will inspire trust and loyalty.
- You spend your time where it makes the most money.
- Your prospect is happy and grateful.
- He may come back to you later or pass along referrals.
- You are developing a relationship of trust – not positioning yourselves in combat against each other for the greatest possible individual gain. You both benefit.
Now if you are ready to find out your customer’s motivation for buying, here’s how to do it, according to Browne:
First, find out what is important to him.
Talk to him only about the things that are meaningful to him. Listen.
As an internet marketer, that means research. Go on the forums … talk to prospects … start a dialogue … read product reviews.
Second, summarize what he says as you talk.
Put it in your own words. Then check to see if you got it right.
This could happen in an email sequence or it could take place in live webinars – wherever you can share ideas and get feedback. What Browne did one-one-one with clients, you can accomplish through everything from old-fashioned one-on-one sales calls to the newest crowdsourcing techniques.
Third, make a list of all the ways your product can help your prospect get what’s important to him.
There’s no need to waste your time on what he doesn’t care about. His mind will start wandering to the grocery list or cleaning out the garage, or that new set of golf clubs he really wants to buy.
In your sales copy, his main motivation is the key to content that keeps his eye moving down the page. Every part of your sales copy needs to come back to this – to keep him on track through your subheads to the CTA.
Fourth, answer his questions.
Listen to his concerns and agree with his points.
Make a suggestion that honors his point of view while giving a new perspective that sheds light on new benefits for him. Show him how he can have an advantage.
Fifth, last, and very important – close the sale.
Encourage him to do what he already wants to do.
If you have done the first four steps right, you shouldn’t have to sell him a thing. He’ll be eager to click, sign, order, pay … but you will have to tell him what action to take. Give him clear directions and get something in writing (print or electronic) to seal the deal.
Do you already have a tribe? A community? Find ways to get input. Don’t stop at finding out what they want. Discover the motivation behind it, and you will discover greater success according to this master of marketing.
Need help applying Harry Browne’s Secret of Selling Anything to your copy?