Journey to Clarity, Creativity and an Entrepreneur Mindset
I have created a mental framework for selling and delivering results which exactly matches the way I want to do business. It may be something which may work for you too!
I came up with this completely out of my own thoughts over many months of iterative refinement and brainstorming. I don’t really read many business blogs as they seem like a distraction to what I’m working on.
The idea I was working on was to address a problem which I felt was affecting me and many other people in my life, which is:
What’s a highly effective and natural way to sell and open business conversations with people which does not conflict with my sense of values and makes total sense to me with respect to achieving the highest results with the least amount of effort and internal resistance?
Results Based Analysis
A couple of week ago I came up with a concept (for my own purposes) which I called “Results Based Analysis” and it helped me get what I felt was one step closer to understanding how to do business in a way which felt natural for me.
I felt that if I could identify what a person’s highest level desired result was, I could help them follow through and decide on a series of logically connected successive desired results which would end up and their best option to which product or detailed execution plan without having to question it.
Another benefit of the results based approach is that it can help someone know if the product or detailed plan they already chose really matches their highest level desired result.
Beginning of the “Buy-in” approach
After some time looking at the Results Based Analysis, I felt there was at least one more step between where I was and where I wanted to be. I was looking for a way to confidently and with full integrity be able to approach people with an idea and not have it be rejected because it was too pushy, irrelevant or insignificant to them or filled with hype.
By realizing that something may be irrelevant and insignificant to one person but not the other, I realized that the concept of a ‘buy-in’ suddenly makes a lot of sense to me.
By “buy-in”, I mean a mental acceptance or adoption of an idea, approach, company, product or technology (among other things). It does not have to mean they actually bought something with their money yet. It just means they have been “sold” on the idea to a point that it would take some work to convince them to switch to another approach, idea, company, product, technology etc.
The thought came to me that most people are either ‘bought-in’ to their current approach in life or they are in a status quo situation in which they don’t really question things too much and pretty much just go with the flow in their life. (There may be another that I haven’t thought of yet, but this works for now.)
What has someone already bought into?
By determining what kinds of ideas or approaches someone has already bought in to (if at all), then I can speak to them accordingly and help them put into perspective other approaches they may have either rejected in the past, knew about but did not act on, or simply did not know they existed.
Sometimes people do not even realize that they have ‘bought in’ to a particular approach and may have just started to gravitate to it via their emotions, general interest, modeling others or a referral, or even was guided to it by a slick sales presentation which may have even passed along some misinformation or omitted some important facts during the sales process.
By putting things into an objective light, it can help people understand that they may have either embraced a concept which was not completely right for them, rejected another approach based on emotional bias or misinformation, or even just have been doing nothing in particular and basically just go along in life rolling with the punches, unaware there is a better way to do things.
There are other reasons someone may stick with a particular approach. Besides being bought in emotionally or decision-wise, they may also may have started with one particular approach and are now financially dependent on that approach and do not know of a way to change their approach and/or find a better one. Another reason could be that they are entrenched to a particular approach due to regulations, being heavily invested in that approach or the choice of a different approach is simply out of their control.
Here is a quick summary of the types of “buy-in” someone may have:
- Buy in – interest, emotion or preference
- Buy in – financially dependent on it, not sure how to change it
- Buy in – entrenched and heavily invested in it
Initiating the conversation depending on what they have “bought in” to
Once you know which approach (if any) someone has bought into and why, then you can speak to them in a way which takes that information into account before you start speaking about another approach to following an opportunity, solving a problem or achieving a result.
If they are adamant, dependent or entrenched into using one particular approach, then you can present to them solutions to problems which would exist when using that particular approach.
An example is if they have already “bought in” to using Internet Marketing as a key approach, then they may be more open to hearing sub-approaches within that main approach such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization), PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising or Social Media.
If they aren’t already into using Internet Marketing as a primary means to get business, then you would need to get them to start taking steps to “Buy Into” that idea before you start talking about sub-approaches.
If they are not committed to using one particular approach, then you have a little more work to do to present a convincing case about why they should think about adopting a new approach.
Their resistance to adopting a new approach could depend on many factors. You may not be able to quickly adopt a new approach and it may require persistence and repeated attempts to get them to really consider the merits of an entirely new approach.
Some of these resistance factors could be:
- They never heard of it before
- They don’t know anyone who is using it
- It has not been mentioned in any media that they follow (websites, magazines, books)
- It has not been accepted yet into a mainstream awareness and adoption
- They need more proof (such as statistics and case studies) of it’s performance
Mindset and Education
Sometimes a new approach may be subtle or somewhat complex and requires more explanations and shifts in mindset before someone is able to properly consider a new approach.
In this case, it’s important to be persistent and regularly provide information which sheds some light onto what the new approach is about, its practical benefits and how it can be implemented.
You can regularly invite someone to take small steps in their mindset over time so they can eventually decide whether the approach is right for them or not.
Once they have decided to seriously consider or take steps to implement the new approach, you can them start speaking to them in terms of the specific results they can achieve within using that approach. (High level desired results analysis)
Different levels of “buying in” to something
When thinking about what kinds of things people “buy in” to, it’s helpful to break down the types of things and the levels at which people “buy in” to things. In many cases, these levels operate in a kind of hierarchy where some kinds of “buy-in” fall below others. Here is a list of some of these types of buy-ins in loosely a high level to low level order:
- Buying into an approach/methodology
- Buying into a person/leader/vision
- Buying into a technology or promise/potential of technology
- Buying into a vendor/manufacturer/service provider
- Buying into a product or service
This order is not exact and depends on several factors, but overall the approach or methodology could be considered as a top level buy-in, but it really depends on the situation.
Once someone buys-in at a higher level, they may need to buy-in at a lower level before any real work in gaining results begins. Once someone has bought in at these levels, then it may make sense to go on to the “Desired Results” assessment to start deciding on the exact steps that need to be executed to achieve those desired results.
It can be hard to get someone to commit to hard work with a particular approach until you have really sold them on all the potential paybacks of that approach to the point that they can get excited about it.
It’s that excitement which really helps with the sale.
If you try to get someone to buy into something in which there is no excitement at all then the work may seem to be too much to deal with, without any emotional drive to overcome it.
Turning a commodity product into an emotional excitement and high level desired result
Now that you know how this works, you may be able to take a commodity product or service (one that is commonly available from many vendors and subject to heavy price competition), and make it much more exciting to purchase.
You could do this by associating the product to a way of living or a lifestyle which your target customer could really identify with. Once they “buy-in” to that vision of a particular lifestyle or way of doing things, then it could be much easier for them to imagine using your product.
Knowing what’s “exciting” for someone
It’s important to consider what really gets someone really wanting something and even desiring it strongly. Usually there is something about it that is new, partly unknown, mysterious and hopeful. Technology is often held in this regard as well as recently uncovered or revealed systems of success or business which offer a lot of promise.
Many times the person making the evaluation does not have enough knowledge or experience to really make a thorough evaluation of what’s being offered, but they many times will “buy-in’ to the idea because it does offer some hope where there was not much before.
This is not always a great situation, especially if there is not really a long term overriding benefit, but it does allow for getting the initial sale or at least a conversation which can get the ball rolling to getting some sales.
The main idea is to sell them on the thing that they want and can get excited about, and then once they have “bought-in” to the whole concept, then you can take steps to sell them what they really need to achieve a result.
The items that they need may not really sound as exciting to them and may just sound like a lot of work, but since they bought in to the overriding concept, the following steps can occur at much less resistance than if you had just started out cold trying to sell the product from the beginning.
A common saying in business is:
Sell them what they want (first) and give them what they need (later).
Here is a partial list of what could be considered to be exciting and less exciting results:
Exciting (high level interest)
- Easy answers
- Simple blueprints
- Quick results
- High payback
- Turnkey Systems
- Symptom relief (unless urgent)
- Fixing something
Just remember that a need is not automatically a want and even a want can be put off if it probably involves a lot of work to make it happen.
Business context – types of things people “buy into”
I put together a list of some things which I think would be some kinds of preexisting “buy-ins” which I would run into in my own situation.
This list is not complete and is only an example to get you started when considering where someone is currently at or where you want to take them
It may not be worth talking to someone about these things unless they have bought into the topic.
To get them to buy into the topic, there has to be an exciting reward promise/potential for them to want to work through all the efforts of obtaining it.
Typical Pre-existing Buy-ins
- You can change the world (entrepreneurs/startups)
- Your ideas make a difference
- Your ideas can make you rich
- Computer technology is a hot problem solver
- Social internet phenomena can bring big opportunities
- Internet Marketing is a great way to make money
- You can succeed with a blog
- Buying traffic is the big solution
- Building an email list is big solution
- Building a business is the way to success
- Learning Marketing is crucial to business success
- Learning copywriting or evaluating copy well is crucial to marketing success
- Learning advanced business strategies is a way to ensure business success
- Working in a job is good enough
- Keeping a job is easier/better than building a business
- Doing nothing is easier/better than making a big change
This list is not intended to be suggestions for anyone. It is designed to give examples of what people may be previously “bought in” to in their mindset and beliefs.
In some cases it is good for your business or situation, in others you may want to move on to someone else, or just try to remain persistent and repeatedly invite them to make small shifts to a new kind of “buy-in” that you want to recommend.
By realizing that you have to address the upper level (approach, methodology, or technology) buy-in, you can save a lot of time, money and energy by not trying to introduce a product which is only designed to be sold to someone who has already bought in to a different approach, methodology or technology.
An example is trying to sell Search Engine Optimization services to someone who has not really “bought into” needing the Internet to really succeed in their business.
So how does all this help to increase sales?
I have not fully tested all these ideas but for me, I have “bought in” to using this approach for my selling processes because I can easily ask people where they currently are in terms of a high level buy-in, perhaps via a survey or questionnaire.
Ex example would be to determine where some people in your network are currently focused in their life.
If you wanted to know where their current focus is in trying to get the most out of life, you could offer some options like these perhaps. (This is just an example)
- No particular focus, haven’t thought about it much. I haven’t thought about it much. I just went along with the program, trying to get by. (The status quo)
- Invested in a college education and professional career. I’ve bought into the idea of trying to succeed and get promoted within my company or industry.
- Have a job and not complaining. I am supporting my family and this job gives me time to enjoy time with my family. I am not succeeding greatly, but am not wanting for much.
- I am determined to become a successful entrepreneur. I have a vision and belief that I can get an advantage in the market. I am willing to fail a few times before I succeed.
- I think Internet Marketing is my best bet to break free of my job. I don’t like everything about Internet Marketing, but it does give me more flexibility with my time and there is quite a bit of potential as long as I find the right combination of things (and perhaps the right coach) to let my business take off.
- I want a small business in which I can provide a service which I enjoy doing. The business is not so scalable and does not have a huge profit potential, but I like people and can choose who I want to work with. It will provide for my expenses over the long run.
So with these examples of pre-existing “buy-ins”, commitments and mindsets, you can then decide what someone in that particular area could become excited about within their situation or previous “buy-in”. This excitement and hope for a change could open the door to a conversation much quicker than if you just randomly offered a product or service without considering the situation they “bought in” to previously.
All you really need to do is to present the idea which would provide the most excitement as your ‘opener’ and then use that opening to sell them the things that they need but would not actively search for. This would also require a new ‘buy in’ from you before they start agreeing to work through all the solutions you want to provide to them.
As I mentioned before, they may not view “more business” as the ideal situation if they don’t want more work. You could offer them more profits with the same amount of work which might be a better proposition.
This report is not designed to answer all the questions, but is instead designed to provide a framework to allow for easier and more natural sales.
I may need to elaborate on more points and show more examples.
If anything is unclear, feel free to post comments or send me a question through the contact page.