I want to teach you how to sell so well that people will literally pull out their wallets and say, “take my money.” But before I give you that method, you must make one promise to me — that you will only use this knowledge for good. I will not teach you unless you can promise that (for example) that you’re not a sociopath. If you are, do not continue reading the article.
I’m willing to bet that — at some point in your life — you’ve had to sell something. Maybe that was a physical product. Maybe it was yourself during a job interview. Maybe you had to employ persuasive speaking to sell your ideas. What would it look like if you had a formula — a sort of a master key in your back pocket that you could pull out, put in the lock, and it would work every time? Well, I am going to teach you a simple four-part formula that is going to work for you the next time you have a sales pitch or an interview. In fact, what you’ve been reading until now has been the very formula that I’m going to teach you; if you’re still reading, and I have your attention, that proves that works.
Alright Now, let’s jump into these 4 Ps on how to convince anyone to buy what you sell. The first one is Promise. Advertisers who spend millions of dollars on a simple 60-second commercial say that if they can’t hook someone within the first five seconds they might as well not even film the rest of the ad. Likewise, with movies, directors stress about the opening scene for months on end — working hard to make sure they get it right — because they know it sets the tone for everything else they’re about to do. With you, it’s the same for whatever you’re selling — job interview, physical product, ideas; you need to set the tone with the first sentence. That is called The Promise.
It’s a short, punchy little one liner — like my example in this article (TODAY I’M GOING TO TEACH YOU HOW TO SELL SOMETHING SO WELL THAT PEOPLE WILL PULL OUT THEIR WALLET AND SAY, “TAKE MY MONEY) — that sets the tone for what’s about to come… what we’re about to sell.
What this article is about is this: Once you do that, you move onto the next P. The next P is to Picture. Consider Mike Row, the guy from Dirty Jobs. He told a great story about how he got into television. He went on a bet with his friend to an audition to sell for QVC, the home shopping channel that tries to get you to buy jewelry that you don’t need and won’t actually wear. He was that guy selling at 2 or 3 in the morning. So, he walks into this job interview, again, on a bet; his friend said, “If you do it, I’ll do it.” QVC didn’t ask him about his background or experience. They just held up a pen and said, “Sell this to me.” What Mike did in that moment got him the job. He didn’t talk about the pen and say, “Well, it’s got to fine ball tip to it. It doesn’t smudge when you write.” He went after the emotions. He said “I want you to imagine you just closed a business deal. Everything went as planned. It took you two months. You’re ready to sign. You reach in your pocket…
…And you pull out a ball tip pen that’s been chewed on and cost you four cents. What impression does that leave on the person you’re dealing with? What does that say about who you are? What does that convey about your future business deals? Now I want you to picture the other hand. You have this pen that’s perfectly designed, German-engineered, and writes like a feather. You give that to them to seal the deal.”
See what Mike did that got him the job on QVC? He didn’t go after the features of the pen. He went after the emotional side. He put a picture in their mind of them using that pen, and that’s how it sold them — leading him to get the job on QVC. You might be asking, “Isn’t selling logical? When you want to convince someone of the reasons they should buy your product, tell them how it’s a better deal than the competitors.” Know that you don’t want to do that. As human beings, we actually buy with our emotions and then we justify with logic. So if you really want to convince someone, go after their emotional side.
Think of the example in this article. I wrote, “Look, if you’re reading this article I’m willing to bet you’ve had to [fill in the blank],” and then I gave a list of common real-world scenarios: a job interview, selling something, and convincing people of your ideas. Okay. So you see I’m planting the picture in your mind of a time where you had to actually sell something to relate to your emotional side to make you want this more.
The next P is Proof. Have a great story. I think it was Andrew Stone from Pixar, who was giving a Ted Talk, who told a story about a graphic arts teacher early on in his college career. On the first day of class, the teacher stormed in, wrote “apple” on the board and then drew a picture of an apple. He said this was the number one rule of graphic design. Don’t do this. And he had the two assistants sitting there, and they took a piece of paper and he covered the apple. He said do this, but don’t do this both together — in other words, he said, “Look, show me… don’t tell me.”
We can get up and talk about how great our company is, or how great we are as entrepreneurs, or how great we are in a job interview. We can “tell” all we want. But people really want the specific examples; the heart of the story is the emotional side. Think of times when you’ve made that happen and show them, don’t tell them.
The last P is your Pitch. This is where the majority of people who get that mindset that “Okay, I’m going to sell something,” they focus 90% of their time on this component and they miss those first three Ps.
What’s the problem? If you don’t master those first three Ps, this doesn’t even matter. If you have a video where you lose people, it’ll be in the first five seconds like with TV commercials. We spoke about why even with films this is crucially important. I’m not going to spend time here going over the seven psychological triggers of why we buy: scarcity, social proof, credibility, all those things that we generally hear about when we’re selling something. You can research those, and you probably know a lot of them already. The biggest tip is the notorious Jam study where they had jams in supermarkets and they presented people with 34 jams. What they noticed was that more people stopped, but less people bit. When they only had a display of four or eight jams, the conversions went through the roof. In other words, when we’re overwhelmed with choices we don’t do anything.
What I have found most effective is a single call to action. When you do a pitch, don’t give them 20 things to act on. Don’t give them five things to act on. Give them one thing you want them to do at the end of your video, at the end of your article, or in your social media post. Have one call to action… maybe two, but that’s pushing it.
So, here’s my pitch to you. If you like this article — if you learned one thing that’s new — follow “THE NEGOTIUM”. That’s the only call to action.