“I hope somebody tries to sell me something today.” Said nobody, ever.
Think about how you react when you feel like you’re being sold to. If you’re like most people, you turn off the second you feel like you’re being sold to. Your defense goes up, and your desire to buy goes down.
If you’re getting sold to by someone in-person, you can hear the selling in their voice. It’s that distinct sound of desperation mixed with pressure and a side of hunting. As in, they’re hunting for a release from the pressure and desperation… and you’re the prey. You can feel it the second you hear it.
In the same way, think about some of the email campaigns that hit your inbox. You don’t have to be in front of someone to pick up on when you’re being sold to. Even in a digital format, you can feel it when someone cares more about the sale than they do about you as the customer.
Here’s the reality… If you’re not leading by adding value, you haven’t earned the right to sell. That’s the truth we all need to grapple with. Selling your products and services to the world is a right we earn. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” He was correct.
Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk nailed this in his book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.
“For those who may not be familiar, my entire business philosophy pretty much revolves around the jab jab jab right hook method. Jabs are the value you provide your customers with: the content you put out, the good things you do to convey your appreciation. And the right hook is the ask: it’s when you go in for the sale, ask for a subscribe, ask for a donation.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Unfortunately, most brands are only good at delivering right hooks. All they do is sell – without having done anything on the front end to build trust, engagement, and awareness. The result is easy to see. No one buys because every time they hear from you, they feel like they’re being sold to. Instead of being magnetic to customers, it’s repellent.
Based on the gospel of Gary Vee, there’s a better way. Using your email campaigns, your social media, and the rest of your content, look for ways to jab and add value. Find ways to share insights, educate and entertain, and build a layer of trust with your audience. When you play the long game and jab patiently over time, you’re positioning yourself to gain permission to sell.
Gain permission, then throw your right hook. It all begins with adding value.
Too often, brands get impatient. They haven’t played the long game and invested in their jab, jab, jab strategy. They come out swinging with right hooks, looking for quick hits, and they sell hard. The problem? No one knows who they are, or worse, their audience is making assumptions about who they are. By not adding value first, they’re negatively impacting their ability to sell.
Why share this? More and more, we’re having conversations with clients about playing the long game and investing in their jabs. We’re talking about all the ways they can add value before and after the sale, earning that permission to throw the occasional right hook.
Add value over and over again. Then, when it’s time to sell, you’ll start getting the results you’re looking for.
Grab your team and brainstorm five ways you can jab. Then, starting jabbing. Quit selling so hard, double down on adding value, and see what happens.