Do you really want to “market and sell” what you do?
I know you may need the money (or want the results), but is that really what fills you up and excites you?
This morning, I awoke thinking about how to promote our next Workshop on “sales and marketing.” Pulling out my journal, I wrote down some ideas like Facebook, LinkedIn, a couple of networks I’m part of, some people I know, and a flyer to get the word out.
Feeling done, I got out of bed to have a shower. But as I was getting ready to step in, I felt strangely conflicted about what I’d been writing. So I said to myself, “What’s wrong? You like marketing and sales.” And another part of me said, “Well, not really...”
“What do you mean?!” the first voice shot back. “You’ve taught this before. You’ve done it for nearly 40 years in your work. Don’t bail on me now! We’ve got this workshop to do!”
What I heard myself say next was a surprise: “I don’t really like ‘marketing & sales.’ It’s still about getting people to do something. And that’s the way I feel about ‘marketing’ this workshop. It still feels like I’m trying to get people to come. And I don’t want to do that.” (I’m not the only one who talks to myself, am I?)
“So what do I enjoy?” I asked. And quickly the words came: Expressing what matters to me. Helping people get what they need. Serving them with caring, and quality. And giving the best I can do. What I then write, say or do in ‘marketing’ is about communicating this. I don’t want to ‘sell’ people. I just want to help them make the best decision for themselves.
I began thinking about all the projects, events, products & services I’d promoted over the years: An international peace event at a World’s Fair. Consulting and speaking in Australia. Recycling programs. Books. Services to help people with addictions. My wife’s word processing business... In all of these, I told people what I cared about & valued. Described why each one might be useful to others. And invited people to ‘buy’ (or participate) if it truly met their needs and values.
That’s when a new title came to mind for our workshop: Be Real, Relate and Deliver. (We had called it “Marketing and Selling with Heart and Soul – but that felt a bit wishy washy.)
The day before, my coaching partner, David, had sent me a new description for teaching “sales.” Instead of the traditional sales process, he talked about creating great relationships. How to find out what customers really want and serve those needs. And it came to me: “I don’t really want people to ‘sell’ or ‘market.’ I want to help them be real, find out what matters to others, and deliver quality services!
As I stepped into the shower, I felt relieved – as though a burden had come off my shoulders. I felt clear, and energized, even excited about being able to help people do THAT.
So here’s the bottom line: I don’t want you to market to or sell other people (at least in traditional ways). That’s just a way of getting them to do what you want. I want to help you connect with what you love/value. Deliver excellence and quality. Communicate it effectively, with good solid information, and have fun doing it. Listen deeply to others. Find out if what you do is what they need. And help people buy, if it’s right for them.
Think about it: Do you really want to “market and sell” what you have? Or do you want to make people so happy they’ll want tell others about what you do? And do you really want people marketing and selling to you? Or would you like them to listen for your real wants & needs and help you fulfill these, whether you “buy” from them or not? Sure, there can still be an exchange of money in the process. But it's in service of something larger - like having a life, and treating each other like human beings.
That’s what we'll be teaching in our next workshop.
Psst... I know we might have to call it “marketing and selling” at times, so we both know what we’re talking about, or you can justify it for your business or your boss. But those are just code words. You’ll know what I really mean, right?
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Centre for Spirituality at Work