When I attended the Inc. 500/5000 conference last month my favorite presenter was Guy Kawasaki, who (along with being incredibly witty) offered an informative session about cultivating and maintaining “enchantment” in your customers or clients (or in our case at Outskirts Press, authors). So over the next few weeks I will summarize each of the steps Guy discussed, along with how it is applicable to our self-publishing company, Outskirts Press, and perhaps it will also help you apply the information to your own entrepreneurial efforts (starting a business, running a company or yes, even marketing a published book). And, in the meantime, you should get Guy’s book, “Enchantment” for the total skinny.
Step 2 is to achieve trustworthiness.
People, by their general nature, tend to be initially leery of businesses and especially of “sales people.” People are so leery of “sales people,” in fact, that often those positions are the most difficult to fill from a recruiting stand-point. That’s right, you can’t even pay people to be sales people in some cases! Businesses have counteracted this fact by arriving upon a whole host of other words for sales people: consultant, adviser, waiter, advocate, specialist, etc. Guy’s point during the conference was that if salespeople made initial steps to achieve trustworthiness, their goals of “selling something” would be easier. His position is that one accomplishes this by finding common ground, finding something upon which both the sales person and the customer can agree. It does not even have to be related to the product or service. It can initially be about anything.
You also achieve trustworthiness by helping people without receiving anything in return. Social media is showing us that a common and effective method for achieving trustworthiness is to operate with transparency and give away valuable information for free. “Social media specialists” have even arrived upon formulas for success that suggest for every blog posting or status update in which you sell something, you should provide between 3 to 7 postings/updates containing free, valuable information or advice. At Outskirts Press, we try to maintain this balance on our Facebook page,and our blog, and while there are months where the balance is more even than others, I feel that we accomplish this step relatively successfully.