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How to Share your Promise

This is the third part in Kirsten Gibbs’ series of articles inviting you to rethink your business model.

August 2020

What sends people out to buy?

Desire.  For something that will enhance:

  • Autonomy 
  • Agency
  • Mastery 
  • Purpose
  • Community and a sense of place within that community. 

We formulate that desire into a category of product or service, based on our personal beliefs about the available solutions.   People rarely search for ‘community’ or ‘purpose’, they do search for ‘bridge club near me’, or ‘local charity recruiting volunteers’.

Unless we’re buying to satisfy an urgent requirement, we want the buying process to meet our needs too. We want to be in control. We want to research possibilities, weigh up alternatives and make a considered selection: 

Kirsten Gibbs - the buying process

Above all,  throughout the process, we want to be seen as a human being.   To feel connected to the business we are buying from.  To have an opportunity to bond.

Sharing your Promise effectively means building a process that delivers this: 

Kirsten Gibbs - sharing a promise

That means showing that you empathise with your prospects, understand their desires and recognise the beliefs that are driving them.  It also means showing that you are able to give them the transformation they really seek.

You can’t help if they don’t know you exist

So the first thing is Show Up where they are.

That doesn’t mean broadcasting.   Hitting eyeballs is not the same as reaching people.  

It means being there, demonstrating in every action and interaction that you understand and empathise with people like them.

This sort of showing up is easier and cheaper than it used to be:

  • Write a blog, 
  • Create a podcast or videos. 
  • Attend their exhibitions
  • Join their networks
  • Even better set up your own, just for them.
  • Or, since you’re absolutely clear who you’re targeting, approach directly: call, email, send a letter or visit. 

Showing up is not selling.   You’re laying a groundwork of trust, so your prospects know you are there, ready, willing and able to help when they need it.

It isn’t enough to be found

Prospects need to be sure that your Promise is the right one for them, and that you’ll keep it.   They’ll Qualify you before going further.

The good news is that the first stage of qualification is simply ‘Do I like you?‘. 

That means you can share much more of your own personality, values, and beliefs than you imagine.  You want to put off the people you aren’t right for.

The next stage is ‘Can you give me what I need?‘.

That means providing clear evidence they can research for themselves via your website, podcasts, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, third-party ratings, official records.

You also need to be sure they’re right for you. That they’ll properly value what you do, and help you to help them.

That means framing 2 or 3 critical questions that will tell you what you need to know, and asking them as early as possible.

Start small.

The first purchase is a journey into the unknown for both of you.   It’s a big commitment, that makes you both hesitate.

A good way to overcome the hesitation is to take a test drive together. Show how you will look after them on the journey, Demonstrate the Value you will deliver, let them feel what it’s like to travel with you beside them. 

If you can take them a little nearer to their goal, there’s a good chance they’ll ask you to complete the journey with them. If not, at least you’ll know now that you aren’t the right travelling companion for them.

Don’t Sell, Enrol

Unlike a sale, enrollment explicitly offers the possibility of duration, of being the start of a relationship, of creating a bond that lasts longer than each piece of work you do together.

Your job in this step is to make absolutely sure that you understand what your prospect wants and needs, to show how travelling with you will get them there; how you mitigate the risk for them, and how that is worth the investment you’re asking them to make.

And if you’ve been able to do that, to make the sign-up process as smooth as possible.

Then the hard part starts. Keeping your Promise.

Kirsten Gibbs is Owner and Director of Gibbs & Partners. This is the third installment in Kirsten Gibbs' series. To read the first two articles, see below: