Saturday, June 18, 2005

The key to selling is not to try to convince.

Xander Blakely is one of Apple's top salespeople. When asked why he's so successful, he calmly explains that he never tries to convince a would-be customer to buy something.

He just qualifies whether a person is inclined to buy; if not, he thanks him or her politely for the time and moves on as quickly as possible.

By focusing on just the people who are inclined to buy, and showing them products they might like, he maximizes his sales.

As the Greek poet Archilochus wrote,
The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.
Don't waste time trying to convince people they want or need what you have. Instead, find the ones with natural preference toward what you have.


Update, July 10, 2005. When I showed Xander this post, he said I was close, but would tweak it as follows:
Most people think sales is about changing people's minds, or getting them to want something they wouldn't have wanted without your intervention. Changing people's minds is one of the hardest things to do. And deception is not a sustainable business plan over the long haul. So, what is sales? It's getting people to tell you what they want. If you have something that meets that need/desire, do them a favor and tell them about it. If what you have is different from what they said they want, tell them anyway, just in case they misrepresented their desires.

Bottom line (and, of course, sales is all about the bottom line), you'll sell more if you spend your time searching for people who need what you have than by trying to con people who don't need what you have to buy it anyway. Pursuit is often more productive than persuasion.
I'm thankful for his clarification.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

If you build it, they will come.

There's a legend around the blogosphere that says that even the slightest mention of Robert Scoble (a/k/a Scobleizer) in a blogpost, will get him to notice that post.

The legend says this is true, no matter in what deep, dark, disconnected corner of the blogosphere that casual mention of Scoble might live.

Ok, I'm ready to test that legend. Let's see if he finds me here. Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice...