How do you react when someone blatantly promotes themselves? Talks about how great they are and all the wonderful things they’ve done?
Unless you’re in the USA where such things are normal, probably not very well. More than likely we’ll turn our noses up and think, “How crass”.
But what if the person standing next to them, a perfect stranger mind you, pointed to them and said exactly the same things?
Most of us would be intrigued and impressed. Would want to know more.
So what’s the difference?
It’s the matter of who’s edifying whom.
It the principle of the third party rule. We can edify anyone but ourselves.
So why is this useful and where could you use it?
I first learned the technique in the real school of hard knocks selling, network marketing.
You’d turn up to a stranger’s door. You might only have met them recently so they really didn’t know you from Adam. Now you had to convince them you were the real deal without spruiking yourself.
Here’s how it played out.
You’d come with a partner. You’d make him/her look important. You’d carry in any props and his/her briefcase.
You’d then edify this person saying how experienced they were and why they should be listened to.
In short you’re transferring trust onto a total stranger. And people believed this person was an expert and should be listened to with respect.
Let’s look at the principles here and the application in improving your conversion rate.
You’re buying a car. Given our natural scepticism with salespeople, who would you rather believe, the salesperson or the unassuming mechanic who walks out and says, “you should buy this one”.
Most of us would naturally say the latter.
Which is how the IT industry has used this technique successfully for decades.
The salesperson goes in and opens up the account. But brings in the pre-sales technical experts who often just sit quietly until the prospect asks how something works.
Having been edified by the salesperson, the expert quietly gives an opinion as to the best course of action.
And because they’re accepted to be an expert who isn’t trying to make a sale, their opinion is given far more weight. In short, they’re believable.
All this begs the question. What if you don’t have your own out of town expert you can wheel in?
You can build up credibility through material you’ve published. Be it a book, articles, video or podcasts. Or you’ve been a guest speaker at events your prospects recognise and respect.
And of course, the more case studies and testimonials the better. They all contribute to third party proof.
Building up a bank of third party material which you send to a prospect BEFORE meeting them will position you as the expert making it significantly easier to sell yourself and your products or services.
If you’re unsure about how to go about positioning yourself, give me a call on 0414 913 334.