Selling To Busy People

Interrupting busy people can lead to resentment and irrelevance. Don’t be ignored.

If you are like me, you have a lot going on in your business and life that pulls at your attention. The amount of information we have to deal with is far more than we had a decade ago. Not only are the demands higher, but there are a lot more places to check now. Email, instant messages, and social media feeds are constantly filling up. When a medium becomes noisy, the natural response is to ignore it.

The people you are trying to sell to don’t want to be sold. In fact, it’s the last thing they would like to encounter. They are busy and their mind is on what they want, not what you want.

However, if your prospective customers would pay attention and focus, you could likely help them in a substantial way. The issue may not be your value proposition, but more about piercing the busy spell which they are caught in. Here is how to sell to busy people without being annoying:

  • Customize your communications. If you blast everyone, then you will surely be ignored. How about picking a small set of ideal customers and study how each of them likes to be approached. Some industries use text messaging far more than their email. Others are more responsive if you engage in a social media thread. We treat mediums differently based on a number of factors. Don’t assume the way you like to approach people is the preferred way.
  • Create attraction. Helping someone decide what they want for themselves is far more powerful than trying to convince them. Have valuable resources that can help a person want to engage and ask for more. Your value needs to make a connection and help frame the questions that should be asked.
  • Be known for trust. Most people’s guards are up because they have been burned. They have been sold before and had both unmet expectations or blatant failings from doing business. Your reputation is everything and it needs to be positioned with the right design and mix of communications.
  • Get referred. Referrals are powerful because someone is transferring trust. Their social collateral has been introduced into the business discussion. A friend of a friend will meet with you if not for anything else but because of the mutual relationship you both enjoy. Being referable requires the ability to continue to build relationships, do solid work and be trustworthy.

Marketing and sales professionals try to artificially reproduce these principles, but it’s risky. Buyers do not like to be manipulated. They do want value and help to make more money, run their businesses more efficiently and have more peace of mind.

Ultimately, any busy person will engage if you can approach them and provide high value for their pain and pursuits.

What has been your approach to busy people?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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