This past Sunday I participated in a “Go See” Cub Scout requirement with my son and god son. The event was the local university’s women’s basketball game – the idea being that watching/learning/understanding an ‘organized’ sport is useful or has merit – somehow.
As we sat there amidst all the ‘team-spirit’ pre-game hype, I consoled myself and accepted the fact that I was stuck there for the duration. Next to me, two seven year olds played relentlessly with their arm chair and begged for popcorn. It was going to be a long two hours.The national anthem sung, popcorn in hand, the game clock set to that ‘big lie’ 20 minutes, and we were off. I am not sure we made it to 19 minutes on that clock when the first; “Can we go?” hit me from the right.
Fighting my own personal desire to stand-up and run out of the building; I began a feeble attempt to sell a ‘brand’ I didn’t believe in. You can just imagine how well that worked for me and for my trapped customers who could smell my lack of sincerity and knowledge, for that matter. We ended up playing ‘watch the game clock and see it go to zero’ – with loud protests every time it stopped and a non-stop barrage of questions as to why and when it would start again. We made it through the first half.
What is important here?
Selling is a process by which we transfer beliefs – getting others to believe the way you do about the product or service. (While I failed to ‘sell-in’ the basketball game; I sure succeeded in this transfer.) How well we transfer those beliefs boils down to how well we do the following two things:
A confident approach is a critical key to success. How many of us check out online reviews of products or services to see just ‘how confident’ the raves are before we commit to being a consumer?
Knowledge is useful too. Maybe if I had known more about the game I could have captured more of their mindshare – away from the moving arm rest and popcorn. No such luck.
And beware, when you try to sell something you don’t believe in, you risk your reputation. Afterwards, I had to confess to my son that I too found the game boring for fear that I would lose credibility with him and my ability to convince him to “buy” future products from me.