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Awake to the marketplace
Never underestimate the competition
Respecting their strengths
Yet keen to their weaknesses
Discovering opportunities
Ever watchful of impending threats.

Underestimating your competition
means thinking that they are evil
You destroy the three greatest things
of Patience, Simplicity, Collaboration
and become an enemy to yourself.

Awareness is the fundamental task of marketing; to take a solution or product that you’ve polished and honed and generate a conversation about something that hasn’t existed before. By awaking the market place, the task is to have buyers consider “This might work for me!”

When there is no conversation, there is no awareness. In the dark, your solution will fall like so many before it, into the rubbish heap of “good ideas”. Persistence and tenacity are the keys to success.

Consider following:
1. What is your competition, their pros and cons?
2. Distinguish the niche market, your solution can help.
3. Define your marketing tactics, delineate market channels your niche reside.
4. Create a marketing message that speaks emotionally to your audience.
5. Trial your message in one campaign and test if it speaks to the buyer.
6. Polish and tune the message as you roll out, channel by channel.
7. Measure ROI on each campaign.

Have you taken the time to awake the market place? Are you clear on how you position your products? Does the message you share speak to the needs of buyer?

Are you making the unknown, known?

At first a secret 
a new product’s value is questioned 
The market unaware 
Remains wary and skeptical.

Like rushing water 
Wearing away granite
Persistent ads bring awareness 
Messaging that speaks to the buyer
That this can help
This can make a difference.

Knowing the audience 
The Master Seller makes the unknown known.

imageBrief in words
Yet long in substance
Tuned for the ear of the listener
The Master Seller makes their pitch.

Both concise and precise
Asking questions that elicit response
in search of a gap
to be filled.

They Listen and Listen.

Selling starts the minute you enter the doorway and  prospects judge the seller both swiftly and harshly. In sales  there are few mulligans and the first handshake is a bell that can’t be unrung.  If the buyer doesn’t like you, the quality of your product or service matters little.  

Next under the microscope is your company, demanding faith it is solid, trustworthy and viable. The prospect may genuinely like you, but if your company is the least bit green or sketchy, the sale is in peril.  

Lastly, the thing you are selling must fit their needs. Listening,empathizing, and flashy presentations may not be adequate. What needs to be answered are the questions “Does  this product or service make my life easier, does it take me to where I want to go?”

Without credibility, these questions never get asked.  

Considered a stranger 
The buyer is quick to judge the seller.
From dress, to speech, 
from handshake to eye contact
Credibility starts.

Considered an unknown 
The buyer measures the company.
From experience, to brochures,
From references , to network
Credibility proceeds.

Considered a possible solution 
The buyer vets the product.
From ease of use, to flexibility,
From  meeting specs,  to cost 
Credibility is cemented. 

Seller, company and product,
This is the path to credibility. 

Belief in you 
The Lead  wants to buy from friends 
Belief in your company
The prospect can defend their choice 
Belief in your products 
The buyer can sleep at night.

You are a reflection
Of the  power, quality 
and capability to elicit belief. 
This  is called credibility. 

Have you ever given a presentation, excited, engaged and in the moment? And then the time comes when you pause to catch your breath and like the good Master Seller ask if they have any questions? And then you look up and all you hear is the sound of crickets as your audience naps the afternoon away?

You could have a long list of features and benefits that far out weigh anything your competition can offer. But there are limits to what words can say, and you can rarely fully describe to complete precision what you’re selling with dry lists and specifications.  But a quick anecdote, a little story, an example that draws upon a metaphor or common experience can make all the difference. 

In the hubbub world of today, prospects quickly tire and get glassy-eyed.  A great tactic is to frame a benefit in a real-life story.   Start with “Have you ever been in the situation where …….”   And the story ends with some frustration of life.  You then proceed “Consider instead this ending…..” explaining  how your solution makes everything right in the end.  

Listen to what people say. Describe what you do with their stories. Make sure they fully believe you, and if they choose wisely,  they will live happily ever after. 

Once upon a time a salesman worked for a dairy  products company that provided milking equipment  for farms.  One morning he was trying out his new Taoist sales techniques and he asked an open-ended question to a prospective client “How long cows should be milked?”  The farmer paused and scratched his head for a moment and  answered “Well………. I guess the same amount of time as the short ones.” 

Were you intrigued by this story when it started “once upon a time”?   Did it perk your interest?  Stories intrigue buyers.  Sharing an anecdote  allows them to viscerally embrace what your selling.  Consider common stories you’ve heard from other buyers.

What are your stories? What are your anecdotes? Do you know how long cows should be milked? 

Story Books
The nature of the world is beyond description
Yet stories are your greatest tools.

With the art of narrative,
the buyer identifies with your characters.
Compelling in action,
they see the struggle in their lives.
Clear in thought, 
they embrace the moral of your story.
Obvious  in solution,
they are drawn to your products and services.

By shedding light 
on what was once nothing,
The Master Seller becomes storyteller,
Creating possibility in the buyers’ mind.

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International Business Consultant

What is the Tao Te Ching of Sales?

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