I want to sell you something
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Made with <3 in Norfolk, VA
I want to sell you something
This week, I've been working on a sales page for the community we're building at &yet (https://t.e2ma.net/click/p0vpv/19a5oh/dbkqge): a community of possibility for people who believe the world should be better and are determined to make it so.
That sales page has been through several frustrating revisions as I struggle with a hard fact: It is easy to sell people something that will make them money. It is hard to sell people something that will make them whole.
When I was a teenager, I remember making a cynical observation that the only reason people were motivated to do anything was to get money, status, or sex. That cynicism was the flipside of the coin I choose to hold onto: that loving people is the most valuable thing we can do with our time on this earth.
But when it comes to getting people to invest money in something, the ridiculously easy path is to focus on the money, the status, and/or the sex. Those things appeal to the most needy parts of ourselves...and they work on literally everyone, including me.
There's nothing wrong with those things, of course. We need them. They are good for us. But they are not always what is best for us.
So how do we sell love? How do we sell wholeness? How do we sell possibility and mystery and magic?
I shared this frustration with my mastermind group, and my friend Tara Gentile (https://t.e2ma.net/click/p0vpv/19a5oh/t3kqge) pointed me to a fantastic resource that reminded me that my cynical perspective was not seeing the whole picture.
In fact, there are at least 30 needs people value when they're making buying decisions (https://t.e2ma.net/click/p0vpv/19a5oh/9vlqge), and you can combine them in interesting ways to effectively communicate why your work matters.
The needs at the top are the ones I care the most about; they are also the hardest to sell, but have the deepest meaning for people. The things at the bottom are easier to sell, but they are also the most likely to fall into the easily replaceable "commodity" category.
So how do you sell meaning? I'm still trying to figure it out, but here are some things I'm noticing as I'm working through it:
We can't sell love. Love is always, always a gift. But love is extremely powerful, driving us to do crazy things and overcome the weakest parts of ourselves. We should never underestimate the power our own love has when we pour it into the service of others, even people we've never met.
Trust is everything. Sales puts the seller and the buyer at odds with each other, because the buyer assumes the seller has a conflict of interest; and usually, that is true. That's why sellers do a better job if they appeal to money, status, or sex—those desires are powerful enough to completely flatten our natural defenses. But when that is not what we want to sell, we have to change the relationship instead. We must genuinely be on the buyer's side and help them make decisions that are in service to them. And our intent must be clear and unmistakeable.
We have to believe in our own value. It is easy to discount ourselves and what we've made when it's not this money-making, status-giving, sexy thing. Especially if we've been indoctrinated with the idea that BUSINESS VALUE IS THE ONLY VALUE. Business value is not the only value. Business value—money—is easier to sell. But just because that is true doesn't mean we shouldn't make and sell things that have deeper value. And it doesn't mean we can't do that effectively.
I want to figure this out, because I strongly believe our world will be better if we can be confident in making what we know in our deepest hearts we need to make...that we can learn how to do that, creating sustainable organizations that serve people in their every need, not just the ones that are easiest to sell.
If you know anyone who does this really well, I would love to hear about them, and why the way they do it is interesting to you.
<3, Sarah (https://t.e2ma.net/click/p0vpv/19a5oh/pomqge)
Here, there, and everywhere | Norfolk, VA 23507 US
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