Communication is sometimes not my strong point. I often fail at what might seem simple communications, and end up feeling broken, discouraged, and yes… At times, even hopeless.
I do mean, simple communications…
Buyer decisions are made within 8 to 10 seconds of starting the conversation. I’ve learned that pursuing a conversation beyond that point, that includes any kind of ‘sales pitch’ or ‘marketing’ is really just superfluous and non-beneficial, because if they didn’t become a client in that first 8 seconds, nothing is going to change, and quite honestly being gored by a bull might be less painful than continuing the sales pitch.
“8 seconds to ride and prove your stuff, or jump off and get the hell out of the arena.” ~Reese Cates
I’m usually pretty good at making the sale, if the buyer is going to buy anything. But here’s the clincher that really sucks in my world.
I get a lot of lookie-lous who aren’t going to buy anything at all, they just want information. So, they’ll visit my site and then start asking questions about how something is done. I have products or services that do what they want, and they’re available on my site, in fact… Most of the time, the services they want include conversations with me – explaining how things work – which is part of the process. That’s how I train and offer service. I still like the one on one conversations, either via phone, or text/messenger.
I know when I’m on the phone with someone who is asking me about product, that they’ll either buy it, or not, before they start asking questions about how it works. So, often… I answer the questions they ask, with that sinking feeling of knowing that not a single thing I say makes any difference, and I’m giving away time.
I’m giving away time.
Time for closing is coming, and I’m going to ask for the sale. I’m going to invite this person to go ahead and purchase the package, but he wants to just ask me another question.
Almost without exception, the same information that we discuss on the phone is available on my websites. Even after the crash, I’ve added back the pertinent information, and so much more… So, I could just refer those who want to ask questions to my website and various links. But I usually don’t.
I give away my time.
Most clients are also friends. And more often than not the clients who call me and ask questions instead of purchasing a product or service, are also friends.
Where is the line?
At what point is my profitable knowledge and information no longer available to friends who call to ‘ask a question’, and when is it fair – on my part and on theirs – to say, “I’ll be happy to continue this conversation on the clock, please hit the buy now button and post a retainer?”
There are professions, where the professional cannot legally answer questions if they are not on the clock, either pro-bono, or paid. At what point does my profession deserve to be paid?
At what point does YOUR profession deserve to be paid?
Several years ago, I posted a meme with a message, “Not only do you have a right and an obligation to get your content out there, you have a right and an obligation to profit from your content and profit well. When you are creating your content, you are also creating your products, resources and services.” Jeff Herring states in his article Unleash Your Content that you have an obligation to profit from the content and information that you send out, because if you don’t make a profit, you can’t continue to share your message.
Knowing that I have an obligation to make a profit from my message, I realize that I’m not afforded the option of feeling hopeless, discouraged, broken, or even hurting when I’m bad at communicating. Those are feelings that come with failure, and if I fail… I don’t get my message to the world. And I do have a message that offers value, import, and consequence for a multitude of readers and listeners.
My message has value.
As a bull rider, once you ride the 8 seconds, the whistle blows, you’ll be paid to ride, and you have more actions you can take. You don’t have to just hang on with the one gloved hand, and balance with your knees. You can reach around with your other hand, loosen the buck-straps and when the cowboys arrive, you’re free to grab their saddle and help yourself off the bull to safety.
Bull riders ride for the money.
Once the money is earned, the rest of the ride is up to the cowboy. How much he gives the audience is from his heart, he’s been paid, he can relax and ride, or loosen the buck-straps, or take the first ride off the bull. The choice is his. But he’s been paid. He’s earned his money.
Let’s get started –
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