This is How You Sell Anything
What do all of these have in common?
They’re all examples of seeding in traditional marketing. Seeding is hugely successful because it’s flexible across marketing media and a powerful way to raise visibility for your products and services.
The Science of Seeding
There are different types of seeding in internet and viral marketing. For instance, a company can research to find the biggest online influencers in their market.
They can then reach out and provide free product to the influencer in exchange for product reviews and testing.
The influencer will then review and report back to their audience about the product in the hopes of ‘seeding’ the product to their followers. This way the marketers hope to saturate their market with word-of-mouth influence.
We see examples of this all over YouTube and Instagram.
In their 2006 book Connected Marketing: The Viral, Buzz and Word of Mouth Revolution, Paul Marsden and Justin Kirby argue that viral marketing and seeding work because of the Hawthorne Effect.
The Hawthorne Effect was first studied as a phenomenon in medical trial studies. It’s how people change their behavior in response to being and feeling observed.
This phenomenon can have detrimental effects in clinical studies like confirmation bias in the researcher as well as the reactivity of the test subjects.
But in marketing the Hawthorne Effect can have positive results for a product or company.
When a company gives an influencer a bunch of product to review and share with their audience the influencer may modify their behavior to have a positive stance toward the product and company.
Companies take advantage of this effect all the time with great success mostly.
Seeding At the Point of Sale
Entrepreneurs and startups can and do use all the above examples of seeding. And it’s a highly successful approach for new products to get introduced to the market.
But there is another form of seeding that is more targeted and equally successful when you learn how to use it.
If you can learn this skill you can accelerate the growth of your lists and your sales quite significantly.
I use this other type of seeding all the time in my business.
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In sales, seeding is a way to subtly promote your product or service over time. The key words here are ‘over time’.
Seeding is quite literally planting seeds of thought about your product or service so that by the time you ask someone to make a decision to buy she has been instilled with a positive impression of your product or service.
It’s a way to gently, almost subconsciously, coax someone into thinking positively about what you have to offer.
In fact, Robert Cialdini, in his book Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade, puts the importance of selling on seeding. He calls seeding the ‘privileged moment for change’ during a sale or presentation.
It’s not enough to change a person’s mind. You must change his state of mind in order to persuade.
The most important element of seeding is its subtlety. Seeding is an unobtrusive way to quietly introduce your product or service and let it marinate in the minds of your audience or potential customers.
Seeding is Pre-Suasion
Seeding is like foreshadowing in a movie or novel. Your attention is momentarily grabbed by something that doesn’t seem relevant, maybe even out of place. Or maybe you’re asked a question that your mind then begins to try to answer. Then you’re quickly taken back to the action at hand.
But something has happened in that moment. As your attention was drawn away and your mind fixated elsewhere for a moment, an imprint was made.
Your brain won’t allow you to forget but it won’t make a big deal out of it either. Your brain will neatly tuck the new information away until it’s relevant again. Or your subconscious will be working on the answer to the question in the background.
What does this do?
Well, in the time between subtle introduction and outright visibility your brain marinated on the new information or question. Tried to make sense of it subconsciously.
So when the product or service (the pitch) was revisited your brain was ‘primed’ with the new information and received it like an old friend, “oh there’s that bit of info I saw earlier!” or “I know the answer now!”
But it also offers a different way to ‘sell’ your product or service. Through seeding you can talk about your product and its benefits without beating someone over the head. In other words, seeding takes the ‘hard sell’ out of selling.
So how do you use this approach in sales? 3 strategies.
Where Does it Work?
You can use different seeding techniques in different environments.
Seeding isn’t just giving an influencer your product or a trial of your service.
You can use seeding in your copywriting, your on-stage presentations and one-on-one when you’re qualifying a candidate.
Let’s look at all three environments.
How do you seed with your copywriting?
The perfect environment for seeding in your copywriting is with social media posts. Longer format posting platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook are fantastic venues for seeding.
Click Here for examples of seeding on my Facebook posts.
Longer format posts are wonderful vehicles for telling stories. And telling stories are wonderful opportunities for seeding.
Storytelling lends itself to seeding. You can use a testimonial, a case study, a customer review or another kind of experience to promote your product while seeding throughout the post.
Do you want to see more examples of seeding sentences? 😉
Can you see the benefits of using a technique like this in your business yet?
Listen to learn a unique approach using seeding through storytelling:
Public speaking is a fantastic way to seed your products, services and content. I discovered this way to sell because I sell from the stage all over the world. I’ve been selling from the stage for over 10 years.
It’s incredibly lucrative but it’s also theatre. And like any theatre experience the audience knows right away what you’re doing. You can’t hide when you’re onstage.
You’re naked. You’re transparent.
So the minute you start hard-selling people smell it, see it, and taste it. And they turn off.
I’m always reminded of what my good friend Jeffrey Gitomer has said, “people hate to be sold, but they love to buy.” Whenever I’m onstage I hear him say that in my head. So I started following that principle. I stopped selling and started seeding.
I usually spend a week with an audience. It’s a conference I do several times a year for entrepreneurs and startups, called Guerrilla Business Intensive. My team and I teach this conference all over the world.
GBI is a week-long intensive that gives you all the basic information you need to start and run a successful business out of your apartment, your office, your closet. Wherever you are in your business, that’s where we start.
We usually start on a Monday and go to Friday. And all week long I’m seeding them. Whenever I’m on stage I’m giving little bits of information about what’s to come and what they can expect at the end.
Because at the end, of course, is another product to buy or upgrade to if they’re interested. Here’s the thing, I don’t sell. I seed all week long.
And based on the quality of content they’re learning throughout the week they use their confirmation bias and most attendees sign up for the next course.
So what do I say all week long to seed the next product? I’d love to show you that, but first let me ask you, can you see the possibilities of what I’m talking about?
One-on-one selling seems like a quaint, 20th century idea. It conjures up images of vacuum salesmen going door-to-door, doesn’t it?
I argue that we need one-on-one sales skills now more than ever. Why?
We’re move into a ‘gig’ economy and more and more people will be left with fewer opportunities to ‘get a job’ that is long-term, provides healthcare, etc. Those jobs are still out there but they are becoming rarer and rarer.
Selling is an important skill whether you’re going on job interview after job interview or you’ve decided to follow a dream and start your own business.
Kids have to sell their parents on shit all the time. Husbands have to sell their wives on crazy ideas and vice versa.
Selling is just a part of life whether it includes a cash transaction or not.
Seeding is the next iteration of selling. It’s the better, more effective version of selling.
And becoming better at one-on-one selling while holding down your job at Sephora is an honorable and noble undertaking. I applaud you.
So how do you seed while a customer is figuring out which lightening serum to buy? Wouldn’t you like to know.
Do you see the simplicity of this process yet?
The Wrap Up
There are different types of seeding in the new media marketplace: content seeding, viral marketing, influencer seeding. These are all important and vital to businesses large and small.
But the subtle promotion of your product or service in speech, whether it’s the written word, spoken from the stage or one-on-one is just as important.
The difference between this type of seeding and the marketing campaigns mentioned above is that this takes learning an invaluable skill as an individual entrepreneur.
So take it seriously because if you learn this skill you’ll watch your ability to sell anything increase with very little rejection.
What did I leave out here?
This month we’re going to learn this skill together. We’re going to learn –
- How to seed with different sales techniques
- The mistakes to avoid when you’re seeding
- You’re going to get a cheat sheet post to keep handy
Okay great. But I want to know now! Click Here to get clear examples of seeding and how to do it. You’ll get a list of seeding sentences you can use in your copywriting, on stage, and one-on-one.
These are clear examples that you can start using immediately with great success.
Do you seed in your business already?
What techniques do you use?
How successful are you at seeding?