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Switch From Evidence To Social For Growth
I had the honor of being a mentor on a mastermind call for Robert Riopel. At the end, I said, “I’ve got enough time to go through four or five ‘What would I do if I had your challenge’ campfire episodes.” Robert sat through my campfire episodes for years. He said, “That’d be fantastic. Let’s do it.” I went to the very first person on the screen that I could see on the Skype call or Zoom call. I said, “Do me a favor for everybody on this call. What industry are you in and what is your major business challenge?” He explained the industry that he’s in. It’s a version of life coaching, not exactly a traditional life coach, but a very specific type of coach that can get a third of businesses that are stuck in something mentally and psychologically in a growth phase or a hiring phase that just can’t break through. He has very specific expertise from something that he lived through and broke through himself. That does make him an expert. He wrote a great book.
I said, “It sounds like everything’s awesome. What’s your biggest challenge?” He goes, “For the life of me, I just can’t get anybody to pull the trigger. I know my price point’s right. I know I’m better than some of the coaches out there.” I said, “This one’s really easy.” You should have seen his face when I’m saying this. He just grabbed a pen and a paper, he was so excited. I said, “I do think you’re a stud. I have no doubt, based on what I heard you say, that you could coach someone through,” and I named a number of challenges business people have. He goes, “That’s exactly what I do.” I said, “I have no doubt if I got stuck in one of these areas, you could walk me through it. Let me explain why people buy things and why nobody’s ever going to buy from you unless you make some changes.”
I could literally see him getting out his notebook and his pen. I said, “Here’s the deal, you have to switch from evidence-selling to social proof-selling.” Of course, I got the “who farted” look which is a face that goes, “Who farted?” “What are you saying?” I said, “Correct me if I’m wrong, but for everybody on this call,” and I’m going to call this guy Bob, “Bob, when you get a potential person on a call, do you or do you not launch immediately into your story of how you got yourself through what you read and who you met, this and that, through the challenge you just told everybody on this call?” He goes, “Every time. Enthusiasm sells.” I said, “That’s great, but nobody buys from the lead salesperson.” He’s like, “What are you talking about?” I said, “You are the company. It’s You, Inc. You’re the salesperson and the leader of the company. By default, people only believe 50% of what you say because they know you have to sell to keep your company alive.”
He was getting more confused by the second. I said, “Here’s the deal. Have you ever heard of TOMS Shoes? TOMS Shoes is today the fastest growing shoe company in world history. Bain Capital just gave them $730 million for 35%. What’s amazing is you actually can’t even find any shoes on the homepage of TOMS.” This was the year 2015. For a whole year, you couldn’t find any shoes. How did they sell shoes when you can’t really see the shoes in photograph form on the website home page? The bottom line is, what you saw on the homepage of TOMS Shoes was a picture of the founder on a mountain. Underneath it, it said “One for one. If you buy a pair of shoes from us, we’ll put a brand new pair of shoes on a kid that’s never worn shoes before.” That was the phrase, and then underneath it were hundreds of magazines, major companies, and news agencies making a quote or a statement of how amazing TOMS Shoes is changing the game in the arena of shoes.
People buy what the masses say should be bought, not what a salesperson says should be bought. Click To Tweet
He still wasn’t getting it. I said, “When somebody else says you’re amazing, that’s called social proof. When you say you’re amazing, that’s a salesperson talking. That’s evidence speak. People don’t buy evidence-based anything. You’ve heard the phrase ‘features and benefits.’ Evidence is features. People buy benefits. They buy what’s in it for them, but people buy what the masses say should be bought, not what a salesperson says should be bought.” He goes, “I’ve heard enough. How do I do this? I can’t have social proof until I have multiple customers bragging about me with testimonials. Correct?” I said, “Correct.” He says, “How do I do this?”
I said, “You got to do what I did in 1992. You have to do what probably everybody on this call did. You’ve got to give away some of your services.” He goes, “I’ve been doing that.” I said, “That’s fine. You have to give away a number of services but get in writing before you deliver your service and your coaching that in exchange for what you’re going to deliver and the transformation you’re going to create for them, they have to do the following. They have to give you a written testimonial, a video testimonial, a Facebook and a Twitter testimonial. They got to give you four different testimonials for all platforms in exchange for what you’re about to do for them. Once you get four of these, you then build a website.”
I told him to go to my podcast and look up the podcast called The Right to Succeed. It might be in the Today’s Growth Classics podcast or it could be in this one. “Conceptually you’re going to build a website where they’re going to see person after person saying how great Bob is because Bob can’t pat himself on the back. It looks braggadocios and it makes people uncomfortable.” I said, “Bob, are you understanding what I’m saying?” He goes, “I totally get it. I totally see why it’s so uncomfortable and nobody wants to buy from me.” I said, “The truth is, psychologically, nobody’s willing to go first. Nobody is willing to be your first customer.” If anybody reading this blog has a website and there’s evidence that if I go to your site, I might be your first customer, you’ll never get your first customer in my opinion. You need to give services away in direct exchange for endorsements and testimonials and blow the world away with how much other people love you. I hope this helps. Take care.