Anthony Robbins teaches that selling is about changing someone's emotional state. I agree and add that selling is first and foremost about the transference of belief. Another sales legend, Zig Zigar, passed away in 2012 and he taught me that logic and facts makes people think but emotion is what makes them act.
Professional selling can be compared with being a musician... endless personal rejection requiring a deep well of determination and you have to give your all to be successful... no holding back! At the heart of success is an authentic passion for making a positive difference in how we communicate and make a positive difference in the lives of our customers.
Passionate belief is the foundation on which success is built for entrepreneurs, sales people and those in the performing arts
We've all seen it on American Idol or Australia's Got Talent or The Voice – Keith Urban telling the contestant that they "didn't really sell it" or Simon Cowell on X Factor saying: "I didn't believe you." The greatest songs take us somewhere emotionally because they tell a story of love, tragedy, redemption... they reach in and tear our hearts out or lift us to heaven with happiness.
Johnny Cash is an amazing example of being authentic and he learned his lesson about being authentic during his first and only record company audition. He was performing gospel music but didn't really believe in the lyrics he was singing. It was disingenuous and the record company executive challenged him to sing about what he really believed. The darkness that tempered his belief in God was one the reasons that Johnny Cash dressed in black. This scene starring Joaquin Phoenix portrays exactly what happened. Watch the transformation...
We don't need to be all 'sunshine and light' to cause people to act. Numbers and facts are important for supporting a decision and building a business case but too much information simply causes the person say 'let me think about it'. The music video below has had >65,000,000 views and presents important facts in a way that evokes emotion. Watch this and shed a tear... another performance will lift your spirits at the end of this post.
Emotion has far more impact than 'production values' in any performance. Passion takes you further than mere professionalism. Yes, you've got to be able entertain and sing pitch-perfect... but that's just the ticket to the dance concert. It's ability to tell powerful true stories and transfer emotion that creates Grammy winners and sales legends.
You've got to believe in yourself, especially when others don't. Don't let the song inside you go unsung or as Wayne Dyer profoundly puts it: "Don't die with your music still inside of you." Stop telling and start selling what you passionately believe. Show it and dare to wear your heart on your sleeve!
As you put emotion into your message be sure to lead with why your audience should care. Have purpose in what you do by Leading with insight, building relationships of trust and creating real value
We must stop leading with who we are, what we do and how we do it and instead "lead with why". Simon Sinek masterfully communicates the importance of this, even with bad sound equipment.
Why should someone meet with you? What do you believe and why should it be important to them? What's the difference you you can make in their life or business?
Pharrell is another performer who gets the concept of building in a unique differentiator and it won him a Grammy in 2015. His productions with N.E.R.D. cemented his prowess as a producer blending rock, funk and hip hop. He didn't sound like anybody else that came before: the hybrid synergy created an 'original' sound. Differentiating your product and service in sales is paramount. You can differentiate your own selling style by pulling from old school and new school approaches.
Pharrell understands the Ogilvy "one-word" brand equity. Just check out his signature hat by Los Angeles hat designer Nick Fouquet. The hat has become an icon as has his sound. Some sales people I know wear a pocket square or rock a theme color for their company. I'm not suggesting a gimmick but if it's an authentic point of flair it may make sense. In no case am I the arbiter of business fashion but I can equate his hat to something that makes you say: 'wow, how cool'! What part of your solution, product or service stands out from the crowd? How can you work to uniquely differentiate yourself in the marketplace?
The last piece that makes Pharrell a master salesperson and performer is his ability to be a super networker. He is one of the most connected men in the entire music industry. His productions were in such hot demand because he helped pioneer a new technology called Reason by PropellerHead software that made tapestries of sound against canvases and mash-ups all digitally emulating analogue capabilities. He pushed the software to the limit and everyone wanted one of his tracks as a backdrop. You need to become a super networker in your industry, test out cutting edge software for B2B lead generation, trigger event tracking, drip campaigns and marketing automation and push the envelope as a B2B content marketer with LinkedIn Publisher. Think to yourself: What would Pharrell do here? How might he innovate?
Now it's your turn: What's your song inside? What metaphorical music is dying to get out? What other parallels do you see between music and selling? How do you embrace positive emotion to cause others to act?
If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website: www.TonyHughes.com.au.
Main Image Photo by Flickr: Dima Doskoch - Souls reflection (Autoportrait)