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  • Once upon a time, there was a woman with a strong entrepreneurial spirit who was ready

  • to transform her side hustle into a magnificent full-time business.

  • She identified a problem and crafted a solution, and now she needs to make her voice heard

  • by the people.

  • But how?

  • This story might sound familiar.

  • Any entrepreneur's path is full of critical sales, elevator pitches, and persuasion.

  • We want people to buy our product or service, but we also want them to believe in our ideas

  • and seek our expertise.

  • It can be hard to strike the right tone or know what's going to appeal to someone,

  • but there are tricks.

  • We can craft a narrative and use well-placed emotional appeals to tell customers a story.

  • Maybe it doesn't start withonce upon a time…” but you get the idea.

  • Even if you don't consider yourself a persuasive person, you don't need a +5 charisma modifier

  • to succeed at this crucial stage of entrepreneurship.

  • Today, I'll be your fairy godmother of sales and together, we're going to learn how to

  • sell ANYTHING!

  • I'm Anna Akana, and this is Crash Course Business: Entrepreneurship.

  • [Theme Music Plays]

  • For some of us, sales might be the scariest part of starting a business, while others

  • might be like

  • HECK YEAH WORLD COME BASK IN MY AWESOMENESS!

  • For me, putting my art online was intimidating but exciting!

  • I loved wearing catstronaut merchandise, what better way to use my entrepreneurial skills

  • than to turn my passion into a profitable business?

  • If we did our job in the validation stage of entrepreneurship -- talking with prospective

  • customers and making adjustments based on their feedback --

  • we should have developed some relationships that can turn (or have already turned!) into

  • a customer purchase.

  • And despite all the stereotypes, you don't have to turn into the worst version of a used

  • car salesman to sell something.

  • Turn off the smarm.

  • The key to selling is developing relationships and telling a meaningful story to prospective

  • customers.

  • Now there's a lot of research on how to sell things, and everyone has their own 7-to-50

  • step process.

  • But all those strategies boil down to two key points: persuasive people ask questions

  • and make emotional appeals.

  • Asking open-ended questions to learn more about a customer's life can help us make

  • a sale.

  • Don't just ask one question then jump into a pitch.

  • It's clear to the customer you're not listening and that you're only focused on

  • selling them something, and that's no way to build a relationship.

  • You believe your business can help these people.

  • So just like giving advice to a friend or anyone you care about, have a meaningful conversation

  • where you're asking a lot of questions to understand their needs.

  • Or, convey that authenticity and empathy online if you're selling there.

  • Remember some entrepreneurs recommend askingwhy?”

  • five times, to get to the heart of an issue and learn where a customer is coming from.

  • What do they really need?

  • How can you connect with them?

  • What does their time frame look like?

  • What obstacles are they facing?

  • Really hear what the person is saying.

  • If they mention the need or problem that inspired you to become an entrepreneur, it's totally

  • fine to say “I had a hard time with that too.”

  • And then, once you have a connection, offer suggestions or bring up your business.

  • Gut instinctalso plays a huge role in making purchases.

  • Even the most logical person can't totally separate themselves from their emotions, which

  • is why emotional appeals can be persuasive too.

  • Marketing experts like Geoffrey James at Inc magazine say customer decisions come down

  • to a mixture of six emotions:

  • greed, fear, envy, pride, shame, and altruism.

  • Depending on the situation, we can target different ones.

  • With greed, entrepreneurs want the customer to thinkbuying now means I'll be rewarded.”

  • You can use words likeexclusive,” “profitable,” ordistinguished,” and emphasize all

  • the great benefits you can provide.

  • Even toss in a few testimonials from satisfied customers.

  • Think about fast food commercials.

  • Sure, you know those crisp french fries go straight to your arteries, but those ads make

  • them look like salty heaven that will instantly reward your tastebuds.

  • Fear can also spur immediate action.

  • Don't leap out at people wearing a ski mask, but you want customers to think “I have

  • to buy now or I'll lose out!”

  • You can use words likeconsequence,” “cost,” orharm,” or an argument

  • focused onmissing out,” to make a fear-based appeal.

  • Pharmaceutical companies notoriously play on fear.

  • They list off a whole textbook of symptoms you may be feeling and how they might lead

  • to your untimely demise unless you buy this one miracle product.

  • Envy can lead customers to thinkmy life looks nothing like this, but if I buy this

  • product, maybe it could!”

  • When using this strategy, name drop -- who are your current customers and what awesome

  • things did you do for them?

  • Instagram, with its well-framed and well-lit photos, is a hotbed of envy.

  • We all see filtered views of people's lives that make us yearn for something we don't

  • have -- the perfect dinner, drink, or yoga pose on a cliff overlooking the ocean.

  • Or we can appeal to someone's sense of pride and get them thinking “I'm so smart for

  • making this purchaseby using words likereputation,” “influence,” orpowerful

  • to make the value all about their image or status.

  • Show off awards you and your customers have won!

  • Fair Trade labels do this implicitly.

  • Theo Chocolate is a Fair Trade company that jumped through significant hoops to build

  • a mission-driven business and get that certification, partly so customers can feel like they're

  • spending money wisely.

  • On the flipside, shame can get people thinking “I better listen or bad things will happen.”

  • Drop hints about how dark the future could be with words likemistake,” “disappointment”,

  • or evenfailure.”

  • Seventh Generation doesn't hide the fact that they're an eco-friendly business.

  • The environment is a key part of their sales strategies and they can make people regret

  • wasteful past purchases.

  • But our darker emotions aren't the only decision-makers.

  • Altruism can get customers thinkingmy purchase will help people.”

  • When talking with customers, emphasize the benefits to them, to employees, to partners,

  • or to the world.

  • Talk in terms of collaboration, and use vocab likegive,” “help,” orimprove

  • to drive your narrative home.

  • Any time you've bought something where theproceeds go to charity,” that's an

  • altruistic plea.

  • Sarah McLachlan's partnership with the SPCA is a prime example of this, making soulful

  • appeals to raise money for animals.

  • In the aaarrrms of the angellllls...

  • To see how a new entrepreneur might combine asking questions and making emotional appeals

  • to be persuasive, let's go to the Thought Bubble.

  • Andrea is a whiz at Excel with some statistics training, and she wants to start working with

  • small firms and nonprofits to do some basic data analysis and make visualizations for

  • them.

  • She knows her skills are top-notch, and she even has a few examples of her work from personal

  • projects.

  • But to survive in the freelance world, she needs to find new projects and customers.

  • So Andrea starts with her network.

  • She meets with a few people and businesses who know someone who knows the manager of

  • her neighborhood grilled cheese-erie.

  • And she starts by asking those people questions to figure out what a restaurant might want

  • to know, like if there's a difference in the number of appetizers they sell on Fridays

  • versus Wednesdays.

  • From there, Andrea can make informed suggestions when she's talking with the manager.

  • She could say, “That's an interesting problem.

  • Might I suggest creating a sales dashboard that shows sales by category, and also what

  • your current top-selling dish is?”

  • If they're still on the fence about working with her, maybe she'll add an emotional

  • appeal.

  • Fear would be a realistic starting point.

  • She might say, “Data analysis is complicated, but without it, your business could suffer

  • in the future.

  • If you want to compete with big chain restaurants, you'll need an edge.

  • I can help you create that.”

  • Pride might work too.

  • Do they want to make the best decisions possible and look like a business master?

  • She might say, “Your brand, You Cheddar Believe It, is something that people want

  • to wear on a T-shirt.

  • If you wanted to create merchandise, I could help you analyze what sells best.”

  • They still might say no, but Andrea will have a much better idea of what to say (or not!)

  • with her next potential customer.

  • Thanks, Thought Bubble!

  • Even when using emotional appeals, the goal shouldn't be to trick a potential customer

  • into buying something.

  • By researching their pains and gains and asking questions, we can know that a product or service

  • will authentically help them in some way.

  • We're all on the same team.

  • If you're still at a loss for how to get started, or even if you're well-prepared,

  • the internet is the place to be!

  • Developing a strong customer-base online can make it easier to successfully start up a

  • physical store or network with bigger retailers down the road.

  • Using tools like SquareSpace, Weebly, Wordpress, or Wix, even the least tech-savvy person can

  • have a professional-looking site up and running in no time.

  • But it shouldn't just look good.

  • Websites are also important channels to communicate with customers.

  • So a value proposition -- or at least a simplified version of it -- should be on display.

  • Square, the point of sale system used by lots of small businesses, says theyhelp you

  • save time and grow fasteron nearly every page.

  • Then, you want to show off the site on social media platforms -- as long as that's where

  • your target market is.

  • If you're trying to sell to the 60+ retirement crew, maybe SnapChat isn't where you want

  • to spend energy.

  • Now, the tasteful color scheme of your website, your eye-catching tweets, or your value proposition

  • might be enough for some people to make a purchase.

  • But entrepreneurs also want to generate leads -- or lead gen in business slang -- and give

  • people lots of opportunities toopt inbesides making a purchase.

  • Email addresses are like gold in the marketing world because we're given more chances to

  • connect with the person.

  • We can use automated systems to follow-up with an emotional appeal or attractive coupon

  • offer, and turn that lead into a real customer.

  • Systems like HubSpot or MailChimp help with everything from formatting to mass-sending

  • email campaigns to thousands of people.

  • And many of these systems even have free versions for startups.

  • Of course, not every visitor to your website will become a lead, and not all leads will

  • actually become customers.

  • Here's an analogy:

  • Traditionally, the marketing world has relied on a visual called the sales funnel.

  • Once people are aware of a product, a fraction of those leads will be interested in learning

  • more, and a fraction of that fraction will decide to make a purchase.

  • That fraction of a fraction is where we can put in the work with these sales strategies.

  • But there's also a new visual popping up: the flywheel.

  • Instead of constantly starting over and pouring new potential customers through the funnel,

  • the sales flywheel captures the fact that happy customers talk, and word-of-mouth can

  • lead to even more customers.

  • Whichever metaphor speaks to you, remember it's all about developing a relationship

  • with a person that eventually turns them into a loyal customer.

  • The bottom line is, anyone can sell.

  • Listen, ask follow-up questions, and use all your available information to tell a story,

  • develop a relationship, and make it easy to make a purchase.

  • Next time, we'll talk about revenue streams, AKA all the ways your business is actually

  • bringing in the money.

  • Thanks for watching Crash Course Business, which is sponsored by Google!

  • And thanks to Thought Cafe for these beautiful graphics.

  • If you want to help keep Crash Course free for everybody, forever, you can join our community

  • on Patreon.

  • And if you want to learn a lot more about advertising and persuasion, check out Crash

  • Course Media Literacy:

Once upon a time, there was a woman with a strong entrepreneurial spirit who was ready

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How to Sell Anything: Crash Course Entrepreneurship #12

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/30
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