Peeling the layers
Any buyer will generally refuse to do any major business with someone they did not know well or have not had relationships with over a long period of time. This is mostly referred as the onion effect. If you look at an onion, it has many layers. At first when you meet with a potential lead, you're perhaps at the skin, just the first layer. Nobody trusts you, when they don't know who you are. What do you do, is learnt by observations, and over a long period of time or sometimes small deals, and transactions would potential leads, get to know you a little bit more. And, a little bit more. Now even if you get to this point, it doesn't mean they fully trust you. Doesn't mean they fully trust you. But once you've earned the trust, that's why it's a long sell cycle. But once you reach their inner circle, most clients trust you. They trust you 100%.
Here's a story of a friend of who's a realtor. It took her two years to establish the relationship with a buyer. Mostly didn't talk business, they just had dinners and stuff like that, they talked on the phone. Doesn't even feel like they're gonna do business. Bought one little house from her, not a lot. One little house. Approximately $600 or 700k, and she made a little commission, that's okay. Back and forth, the lady goes back and forth, here and there. Just within the two years, just keeping up the relationship. She's earning the trust.
Soon one day, she lands on a break. Here's the money, you pick 10 houses for me. You pick! Don't need to go through me. Here's the money, I'll put it in an escrow. Whatever you pick, you just buy on my behalf. That's the difference! They watch and they watch. They observe. Once they trust you, they fully trust you.
Because it is all done through word of mouth, you get into their inner circle you get to all their friends. Dealing with any client takes time. A lot of meetings. A lot of face-to-face. But you're investing your time and investing your effort in the future bank account. And when that comes to fruition, you make a big chunk of money. That makes up for all the time that you invested.
Invest first in your time. Just knowing, in your mind, you need to extend the time frame. You kind of see where yourself at. "Am I here or am I getting to the core?" And they won't tell you where you are, but just one day someone will say, "Yeah, you get all my business." "I trust you, fully trust you. Here's the money, go for it." Build relationships with prospects, not just sell to them.
When you're dealing with someone public, you need to show them your core beliefs and values, even if they don't care about you for long, because if they see that you actually care about them they begin to trust you more. Buyers shouldn’t be put in a position to have to disclose their network, connects & references. Honesty, integrity and openness are harder to find these days than treasure.
A couple important lessons – Never judge someone at face value. They may be evaluating you even before you are opening up. Play the long game by being of service and adding value and the right people will notice. Invest time and effort in the relationship for the future.
Stop Double Closing.
Ever experienced this? After a meeting, do clients completely back out, or drastically change their terms? It could mean either you are living with a limiting belief, assuming an agreement is ironclad where none exists. Most agree and say yes to the face, and a handshake, only because, it is rude to make someone lose face. Particularly in a social situation. Do not assume your deal is done until the money has arrived in your accounts.
Talking deals, and startups. know who you're dealing with most of the time, and the person may or may not be the decision-maker in most of the cases. They might sound big, tough, and this is very common. Make sure, the first thing you wanna do is you wanna deal with the decision-maker.
Contracts and agreements are often not perceived to be binding when it comes to dealing with small firms. Instead contracts are seen as guidelines, and financial discomforts. There's no advantage to this if either party wants to renogiatite and work on multiple iterations before signing the fine-print. Its obvious why clients won't be convinced of the value you’ll bring. No brainer why relationships matter.
Ask your client - Is it a question of value, or question of money? Prospects always have many limiting fears, and money is not an exception. How do you find out? If the prospect is not scrambling to find a way to afford your products, when you ask for payment plans, it’s usually a question of not seeing value.
And, there are obviously psychological triggers to sell your products and services, It's manufacturing scarcity. We're motivated by fear of loss instead of potential. Not prospect, potential of gain.
Let's take a pre-world war story. The whole thing about diamond, it's basically carbon. They are not rare at all. So, here's what happened in 1920s. Corporates in all of the diamond industry understood it was peak of recession, and nobody was buying diamonds! Thanks to the uprising, revolution and slavery. And an advertising agency came with the idea - Well, you know what? "How can we get people to buy it?" Their slogan - "Diamonds are forever".
How can we do it in a way that it's part of our culture? So, they came up with a traditional way claiming its a symbol for love. It's a symbol for marriage. But, that's not enough. Part of their evil tatics was creating an artificial pressure on the market. They restrict their supply by stock-piling diamonds in their warehouses, and underground high-security areas. They had high prices which increases demand. And, they did it through Hollywood, bribing every celebrity who loved to flaunt these shiny objects, burning a fortune on PR, advertising & marketing.
Capitalists manufactured this artificial scarcity. If you actually look at the rubies, emeralds they are much more rare than diamonds. The un-manipulated price of one karat diamond is merely four dollars. And, imagine the margins these capitalists have reaped over the decades? A conniving tradition continues even till today – bidding wars among the top actressess for an one-time opportunity to wear the crown-jewels at Oscars gala!
It's evil, but it's brilliant. A lot of social pressure for men, "Honey, I love you,". Buying something nobody wants for someone you must have to prove your love. Imagine the odds of converting your date to love without one. It's the law of supply and demand again. Weeding out elements like peer-pressure tatics and business ethics, how can you thread the thin-line of creating scarcity within your product/service business verticals? Can you restrict supply and create more demand without affecting others?
“We humans are more concerned with having than with being.” Lucy (2014) Dir. Luc Besson
If you are in the service business. You can specifically quote you can only work with N-number of clients. "Hey, you know what?" I'd love to work with you, but I only take on only 5 clients per week at a time. No more than five. Because I only have so many hours. If you are in the service business. You restrict the supply and pump up the demand.
Someone calls you and say, can you provide this service for me? "Man, I'm so busy, one month waiting list." Right? "I can't do it this week." And, it makes them feel oh, you busy. Can you imagine someone calls and says, I want you to write a blog for me. "When do you want it?" Man, I can get it done tonight. Tonight, pay me right now. I'll get it done tonight. No problem. You see the problem? You restrict, and create a scarcity, or keep getting behind these same buyers with arrears/dues.
The previous story followed few years post the world wars. Most popular artifacts were swiss watches, and coolers, and every war vetran, army soliders, sailors, air-craft pilots, cooks, janitors, despite the rank they held, returned back home with more than one of these duty-free expensive artifacts as a momento.
For now, let's forget diamonds, watches and focus on your time, and you'll be shocked how managing time can save you money. Work on what matters the most. Focus on a handful tasks per day. Do only a few things that make your life go forward. Obviously in a globalized world, no commodity is rarity except one. Time is the single most important resource that we have. Time is an irreversible, and non-renewable commodity. Every single minute we lose is never coming back. Think about it.
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Keep hustling folks.