When selling anything, consulting, software, a new business idea, it helps to feel confident saying, “The best thing for you would be me!”
Not that I’m suggesting you actually say it, word for word, but rather, truly believe it.
This issue came up while working with a member of my Alliance Mentoring Program. I was asked, “What should I do to sell a book proposal to a big publishing house when I don’t yet have a big platform.”
In this case, the question was about a book proposal, but could have been about pitching/selling anything to anyone when you don’t yet have case studies to prove your worth or statistics to back up your promises. That’s what concerned my client; she felt she had not yet done enough to get the opportunity she was seeking. So, what’s to be done?
Sell yourself and sell the future.
When people — you, me, anyone — buy, invest, choose one thing over another, we weigh the odds of success. Almost every purchase is a gamble. We simply try to get the best odds possible. When we feel that we have better odds of winning with one choice over another, we’ll take that choice; we’ll put our money down and we’ll roll the dice.
Ask an editor or publisher why he chose to buy a book from one particular first-time author over another and he’ll tell you that he bought the author as much, if not more, than the book idea. He felt the author behind the book concept stacked the deck in his favor.
Ask a Venture Capitalist why she chose to invest in one particular start-up company over another and she’ll tell you that she bought the entrepreneur as much, if not more, than the particular business. She felt the person behind the idea stacked the deck in her favor.
It starts with believe in yourself. If you don’t believe that you will succeed, why should anyone else? It succeeds when you paint a picture of the future that makes the buyer believe in you and the thing you’re pitching. Your story confirms:
- Why it’s going to work.
- That it’s worth their resources (time, money, etc.).
- That you are able to make the thing happen.
All of these critical selling points are about what WILL happen. Of course, past performance is one of the best indicators of future performance so use anything you’ve got that will strengthen your case. But in the absence of platform or experience, sell yourself and sell the future. Every success story started with a story of success that someone bought into.
How will you tell the story of success that compels the buyer to say, “The best thing for me would be you!”