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The Corporate Agent

Helping small business owners tap into the power and profits of the $8.3+ trillion corporate marketplace. 

Separation of Purse and Pain: The Little Known Sales Obstacle Sabotaging Your Big Opportunities

by: Angelique Rewers

Remember when you were a teenager and you wanted to buy that new pair of shoes?  Or that fancy new snowboard? If you had a part-time job and your own money, no problem. But what about those pricier purchases — like say, a car — that required you to go to your parents for the money? 

If your parents were tired of driving you around town, they might be more than happy to fund the purchase. On the other hand, if you had an older brother or sister who was chauffeuring you around town — and your parents weren’t the least bit inconvenienced by you not having your own form of transportation, they wouldn’t have a great sense of urgency in purchasing yet another vehicle for the household. In fact, they would be perfectly content leaving things the way they were. 

This is a perfect example of the separation of “purse and pain.” Your parents control the purse strings. And you, the 16-year-old driver without a car, is the one experiencing the pain of being reliant on someone else to get you where you want to go. No matter how much a used car salesman tries to sell you that bright yellow Jeep Wrangler, it doesn’t matter. He’s talking to the wrong person.  

This is the same trap that all-too-many experts fall into when they engage in conversations with professionals inside of companies who they “know they can help.”  

Let’s pretend that you’re an executive coach who finds him or herself in conversation with the senior director of a department who is facing a daily barrage of bickering among her team members. 

The senior director is elated to meet someone like you who can help her eliminate this daily frustration. The more she starts to imagine what daily life could look like if she worked with you, the more excited she gets — and the more excited you get thinking you have a red hot opportunity on your hands. (In the sales world, we call this “happy ears.”) 

Here’s the problem. While the senior director may have purchasing authority on lots of other things, when it comes to bringing in an executive coach, this senior director isn’t holding the purse strings. Human resources is holding the purse. 

So after a number of “really great conversations” with the senior director, you and she decide the next step is for her to speak with human resources to get your team coaching program approved. 

The senior director schedules the meeting and goes to speak with her colleague in HR. (You see where this is going, right?) Of course, human resources is NOT experiencing the pain that she’s experiencing on a daily basis. They don’t have any idea of the real impact it’s having on her projects or her budget. In fact, her colleague in HR is under the impression that this so-called “bickering” is just part of the normal course of the workplace — not to mention that it’s her job as “the boss” to deal with it.   

And because this senior director who has been so excited to work with you has absolutely ZERO sales training, the chances that she’ll be able to “convince” HR of anything, let alone hiring you to coach her team, is slim to none. 

In other words: Game over. 

What’s fascinating to me is that most small business owners who focus on selling to companies where there is often a separation of purse and pain run into this problem somewhat frequently — yet they almost always approach the situation with the same failed strategy over and over again. 

This is one of the key areas that we focus on when we work closely with our clients because it’s almost inevitable that they’ll run into this scenario on a regular basis. The solution is a lot more involved than can be captured in a single article, but here’s a big tip I can share with you here. 

And that is this: Never “hire” your prospective client as your sales person — which is exactly what you’re doing when you rely on them to go “sell” the idea to the person or department inside their company controlling the dollars. Nearly 100 percent of the time this is the approach they will suggest to you. And if you allow them to take this route, you might as well forget about the opportunity.

Stop Being So Boring! The Simple Client Prospecting Mistake You're Making & How to Fix It

By Angelique Rewers

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There's an interesting thing that happens when many small business owners expand their target market beyond other small business owners to also focus on selling their expertise to higher-paying companies: They suddenly lose all personality.

Actually, it's worse than that. They become a painful bore.

Or at least that's what you would believe if you read their marketing materials -- especially their emails and voicemails introducing themselves to potential clients.

Back when I was a corporate decision maker, I could have lined up the dozen or so incoming prospecting emails that I personally received each day and, if I took the name of the person off the signature line, you would be hard pressed to distinguish one expert from the next.

But why is that? Why do so many experts seem determined to blend into the background?

There are two primary reasons...

Reason #1: Fear. Yeppers. Our good friend, Fear, has a leading role in this play. Because many solopreneurs fear saying the wrong thing — let alone elicit an unkind response from a prospect — they work and rework their emails and other marketing materials so many times that, by the time they are finished, the only words remaining are so watered down and sanitized that an android could be mistaken for the author. 

Hiding beneath the surface-level fear are two much deeper issues. First, the need to be liked by others. And second, a greater belief in lack versus a belief in abundance — meaning that they are so afraid of missing out on a potential sale because there is a finite number of opportunities available and thus, if one opportunity leaves the station they’ve actually experienced a “loss.”

This is where mindset work becomes so crucial to your business. When you move beyond both worrying about what others may or may not think about you, as well as being attached to the outcome of whether or not a company or individual buys from you, you’ll be able to step fully into just being YOU with ease and grace. When that happens, your beautiful personality — the very personality that your existing clients LOVE about you — will shine through. You’ll stand out. And you’ll close more new clients more quickly. 

Reason #2: Not understanding that your audience is other humans. Here’s the thing. Over the years, I've marketed to virtually every level of the totem pole inside of companies, from executive assistants all the way up to CEOs, across dozens of different industries. I've marketed to consumers. I've marketed to entrepreneurs. I've marketed to people in places like Algiers, Dubai and Cairo. I've marketed to men and women, young and old. Engineers and artists.  Financial consultants and wellness experts. And just about everything in between.

And here's what I can tell you with certainty: I have yet to meet a group of humans who WANT to be bored out of their minds! Nor have I met anyone who actually wants to—cravesreading something that’s a snore. Period. 

Think about this. The CEO of that company you would LOVE to have as a client — well, she probably was watching the Super Bowl on Sunday just like you were. And that head of human resources — he was probably at his daughter’s basketball game this weekend. Or maybe he was building something in his garage. Or perhaps he finally had a chance to catch Anchor Man 2 with his wife. 

People are people are people. And when you let your personality shine through when you reach out to people, you’ll connect with them on the human level. When that happens, you’re able to have more REAL, open, honest conversations with potential clients about what they really need right now.

Stop Being So Boring! The Simple Client Prospecting Mistake You’re Making & How to Fix It

There’s an interesting thing that happens when many small business owners expand their target market beyond other small business owners to also focus on selling their expertise to higher-paying companies: They suddenly lose all personality.  

Actually, it’s worse than that. They become a painful bore. 

Or at least that’s what you would believe if you read their marketing materials — especially their emails and voicemails introducing themselves to potential clients.

Back when I was a corporate decision maker, I could have lined up the dozen or so incoming prospecting emails that I personally received each day and, if I took the name of the person off the signature line, you would be hard pressed to distinguish one expert from the next.

But why is that? Why do so many experts seem determined to blend into the background?  

There are two primary reasons… 

Reason #1: Fear. Yeppers. Our good friend, Fear, has a leading role in this play. Because many solopreneurs fear saying the wrong thing — let alone elicit an unkind response from a prospect — they work and rework their emails and other marketing materials so many times that, by the time they are finished, the only words remaining are so watered down and sanitized that an android could be mistaken for the author.

Hiding beneath the surface-level fear are two much deeper issues. First, the need to be liked by others. And second, a greater belief in lack versus a belief in abundance — meaning that they are so afraid of missing out on a potential sale because there is a finite number of opportunities available and thus, if one opportunity leaves the station they’ve actually experienced a “loss.”

This is where mindset work becomes so crucial to your business. When you move beyond both worrying about what others may or may not think about you, as well as being attached to the outcome of whether or not a company or individual buys from you, you’ll be able to step fully into just being YOU with ease and grace. When that happens, your beautiful personality — the very personality that your existing clients LOVE about you — will shine through. You’ll stand out. And you’ll close more new clients more quickly.

Reason #2: Not understanding that your audience is other humans. Here’s the thing. Over the years, I’ve marketed to virtually every level of the totem pole inside of companies, from executive assistants all the way up to CEOs, across dozens of different industries. I’ve marketed to consumers. I’ve marketed to entrepreneurs. I’ve marketed to people in places like Algiers, Dubai and Cairo. I’ve marketed to men and women, young and old. Engineers and artists.  Financial consultants and wellness experts. And just about everything in between.

And here’s what I can tell you with certainty: I have yet to meet a group of humans who WANT to be bored out of their minds! Nor have I met anyone who actually wants to—craves — reading something that’s a snore. Period.

Think about this. The CEO of that company you would LOVE to have as a client — well, she probably was watching the Super Bowl on Sunday just like you were. And that head of human resources — he was probably at his daughter’s basketball game this weekend. Or maybe he was building something in his garage. Or perhaps he finally had a chance to catch Anchor Man 2 with his wife. 

People are people are people. And when you let your personality shine through when you reach out to people, you’ll connect with them on the human level. When that happens, you’re able to have more REAL, open, honest conversations with potential clients about what they really need right now.

7 Signs Your Deal is Stuck (And 3 Things You Can Do About It)

There’s nothing worse than thinking you have a new client opportunity practically in the bag, only to see it slip through your fingers.

While you certainly aren’t going to “win them all,” there are things you can do to keep otherwise lucrative opportunities from going up in smoke.

For starters, you need to recognize when a potential opportunity is in jeopardy. Here are seven red flags to watch out for.

  1. It’s taking longer than 2 days to hear back from your prospective client in response to your emails and/or your voicemails. 
  2. When you do hear back from your potential client, it’s always by email (not phone) and the responses are almost cryptic. Not only that, but you’ve noticed a change in their tone and style.  
  3. The client has pushed back the timeline two or more times in terms of getting you something that they’ve promised — whether that be scheduling a follow-up meeting, giving you an answer, or sending over a signed agreement to move forward. 
  4. Although you thought the client was ready to go, now they have more questions and are asking for you to provide additional information and details. 
  5. You suddenly find yourself dealing with a different decision maker in the process than the person who originally said they wanted to hire you and your company. 
  6. The client has gone completely radio silent. 
  7. You have a strong “gut feeling” that something is going on that your prospective client isn’t telling you.

(That seventh red flag is especially key. Most humans are quite good at picking up on the subtleties of body language, tone of voice, and human behaviour — and in sales, it’s absolutely essential that you listen to your instincts. Usually they’re right!) 

If you do find yourself facing any of these red flags, what then?

First, do a little self-assessment of the needs discovery process. (This is a process I explain in detail in my “Get Your First Corporate Client Blueprint” program.) Over 90 percent of the time, a deal gets stuck because the outside expert or small business owner (that would be YOU!) gives up control of the sales process — and/or he or she doesn’t ask every single question that must be asked in the initial conversation.

Once you recognize where the train went off the rails, the second step is to re-engage the client into a scheduled conversation as soon as possible. You can use this meeting to take the client back through a complete needs discovery process to see what you missed the first time through. But here’s the thing. Scheduling this new conversation will be tricky because the client will resist agreeing to a meeting for a number of possible reasons. 

The client might be in limbo him or herself if they are waiting for other decision makers (like their boss) to make a decision. If they feel they are in the dark as well, they won’t want to meet with you. Likewise, they won’t want to meet with you if they have “bad news” to deliver to you or if they feel you will approach the conversation as a pushy sales person. However, scheduling this meeting is almost the only way to get the opportunity back on track.

In my experience, you essentially have two options. You can be direct and let them know that you have enough experience to recognize when a project is stalled. You’d like to strategize with them to see if (a.) the program or services are no longer a fit, (b.) if the program or services needs to be tweaked, or (c.) if the goal of the program is still a priority, how you can get the effort back on track. (By the way, this direct approach is the one I personally take.)

Alternatively, you can approach the potential client with the promise of sharing some additional insights or best practices that are relevant to the effort — and then turn the conversation back to how these additional insights might affect the project that is now on the back burner. In other words: a red herring.

Third, and finally, you’ll need to make a decision as to how much effort and energy you will continue to invest in what is likely a slowly dying fire. It can be hard to walk away from an opportunity that you have become emotionally attached to. But every minute you spend focusing on what is now a “bad prospect,” you miss out on other opportunities that can turn into big revenue streams for your business

5 (Authentic) Ways to Get Past the Gatekeeper

Receptionists. Executive Assistants. Junior staff members.

They are all gatekeepers to the decision makers you have to reach in order to win lucrative corporate clients.

Not only do these gatekeepers take great pride in protecting their bosses from unwanted interruptions (especially from people trying to sell them something) — but they also fear getting in trouble should they accidentally let the “wrong” person through.

So how then can you “get around” these gatekeepers?

Unfortunately, a lot of the strategies you’ll find in books and online articles are old-school phone prospecting techniques — approaches that would leave most small business owners feeling like a sleazy sales person.

For example, one approach professional sales people will tell you to use is a directive statement + the word “please” many times over. Like this:

Assistant: “May I ask who’s calling?”

Sales person: “Yes, please. Please tell Mr. Smith that John Doe is calling please. I’ll hold please.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. Believe it or not, that strategy actually does work. But most small business owners who try those old-school telephone sales techniques do so with a knot in the pit of the stomach and require a long shower afterward.

Having been one of those gatekeepers…. Having had my own gatekeepers when I was a decision maker in corporate… and now being on this side of the table as a small business owner… I’d like to offer five different — and much more authentic — strategies.

1. Don’t treat a gatekeeper like a gatekeeper. Treat them like the decision maker that they are.

The funny thing about “gatekeepers” is that a lot of them (namely executive and administrative assistants, as well as entry-level employees) actually know a hell of lot more about what’s going on in the day-to-day activities of their company, their department, or their team than their bosses do.

In fact, it’s the assistants and bottom-rung employees that are where the “rubber meets the road.” So if you want to find out what’s going on in a department or company, as well as find out what their biggest priority is this minute, the very best way to do that is not to try to get “past” the gatekeeper at all. Rather — you want to try and “sell” the gatekeeper the exact way you’re eventually going to approach their boss. Show you’ve done your research. Pique their interest with an irresistible outcome. Ask a question to get them talking.

And remember… they are a decision maker. They are deciding whether or not they are going to let you through to talk to the right decision maker. They are deciding whether or not to help you. Win them over, and you’re halfway in the door.

2. Call after hours. Before hours. Or at other “odd” times.

I once called a Chief Marketing Officer of a $100 million company on a Friday evening around 7pm. To be honest, I was fully expecting to get his voicemail. But sure enough, Jason answered the phone. Not only that, he was in a very talkative mood (one of the benefits of calling outside the hustle and bustle of normal business hours) and the conversation led to an opportunity that was not only much bigger than what I had anticipated, but also one that I wouldn’t have even known existed had I not been able to engage him in conversation.

Bottom line: While receptionists and many assistants will exit the office at the more regularly scheduled quitting times, you can find decision makers at the office at all hours of the day.

3. Attend and speak at events.

One of my favorite ways to avoid gatekeepers is to take them out of the equation altogether. When you meet a decision maker at a live event, suddenly you’re not a ‘salesperson’ trying to get through; you’re YOU! In other words, now they see you as Lisa, Cindy, Mike, David, Carol… not a “dialing for dollars” sales guy or gal who is easily hung up on.

Did you know there are more than 5,000 live events every single day in the United States alone? There is literally an association or a conference for every topic, industry, expertise and niche imaginable. Just a few weeks ago, one of our private clients attended a luncheon within 15 miles of her office. Seated on one side of her was a top executive from a major retailer. On the other side of her was a top executive from a major e-commerce company — a name we all know too well. Guess who not only has their business cards, but appointments to speak with them further?

If you really want to get to the top people who can say “yes” to hiring your company in one conversation, it’s an absolute must to get out from your office and meet people in person. In fact, you don’t have the time not to do so.

4. Leverage LinkedIn.

I have a hard time remembering what the world was like before we had email, cell phones and social media. How did anything ever get done!?

LinkedIn truly is a blessing for those of us who want to get our foot in the door with companies. The mistake a lot of people make, however, is going straight to the decision makers themselves — which defeats the beauty and brilliance of LinkedIn.

The real power of LinkedIn is the introduction. When you find someone that you want to speak with in order to discover how you might be able to help their company, the best way to approach them is by getting an introduction from someone else in your LinkedIN network who also shares a connection with that person. This warm introduction once again allows you to be seen as a real person… a friend of so-and-so’s… an expert who can help them… not a door-to-door salesman.

5. Send a well-timed, incredibly valuable resource.

Imagine this. You’re a director at a mid-size company who has just announced a new program for your employees. A few days later you receive a package (via FedEx or UPS that requires signature) that includes a copy of a special report, e-book, insights paper, DVD, CD, book, or other incredibly helpful resource that is relevant to that very type of initiative or program. Along with the item is a handwritten note from an expert who says… “I saw the recent news coverage about your new employee program. I help companies to measure and maximize their results in this area and, based on what little bit I know so far about your efforts, I thought this resource might be helpful to you. Enjoy! – Jane”

Do you think Jane may have caught the eye of that director? Do you think that that director might swing his chair to face his computer and type Jane’s website address into his browser to see who this Jane is? Do you think when Jane calls in a few days to make sure he got the package and to ask if it was helpful that there is a greater chance that this director might take her call? (I do.)

These are five authentic strategies that have worked for me, as well as for my private coaching clients. But I would love to hear what has worked for you. Share in the comments section below your favorite ways for getting to the decision makers.

Just Help Them Put the Milk Away: How Small Projects Quickly Lead to Big Clients

Have you ever been putting groceries away one minute and then the next minute you find yourself cleaning out the entire refrigerator?

I mean like… you’re pulling things out of the depths of the abyss… things that you don’t even know what the heck they were when they first went in. You’ve got the drawers pulled out… the scrub brush in your hands and you’re on a mission!

Before long, your five-minute chore of putting the groceries away has turned into a two-hour-long excavation.

Fridges aren’t the only culprits. Closets are the same way. One minute you’re hanging up your coat. The next minute you have a full-blown spring-cleaning project on your hands — with everything strewn out all across the living room floor. And now there’s no turning back, baby!

Do you know what else is like that?

Corporate client projects.

Yep.

About a year ago, I had someone write me a question on a webinar asking, “Isn’t it a bad idea to go for small projects first? What if you miss out on a big opportunity?”

Let me tell you. There are a lot of things you need to worry about in your business. This ain’t one of them.

The bigger the corporate client project, the harder everything becomes.

More people need to be involved in the decision-making and approval process.

More moving parts come into play with the project — which means the client has a lot more “to figure out” before they can move forward.

Bigger time commitments are needed from the client — so suddenly they can feel like it’s “too much to take on right now.”

Plus, the risk for the client — both financially and from a success perspective — gets a lot bigger, too.

Don’t get me wrong. Big projects can be great. But when you’re just getting to know a new client — or, more precisely, when they are just getting to know you — it’s a lot easier for them to start with something small…

Something that they can wrap their head around.

Something that doesn’t feel too overwhelming or too risky.

And something that isn’t going to require a lot of their time and effort on their part, given that they already have a lot on their plate.

But here’s the thing. Once they start working with you, it’s soooo easy for one thing to lead right into another. One minute they’re putting groceries away (small project), the next minute they’re buying a whole new refrigerator (big project).

They key to finding the “fast money” inside of companies is to identify that project that’s just going to help them put the milk away before it spoils. It has a clear scope. It’s urgent. It’s simple. They can start now.

Get that project — AND do a great job with it — and the bigger ones will fall into place before you know it.

Oompa Loompas are expensive (and eat a lot)

Owning your own business can be incredibly rewarding.

Or… it can be an exercise in frustration, disappointment, and futility

And right now, there are way, WAY too many entrepreneurs who are in the second category. 

A big reason why is because of a simple math problem

Let’s say you want to earn $500,000 a year. That’s about $41,666 per month. 

Now, there are infinite ways you could get to that $41k/month. But let’s just look at three

Door A. You could sell a home study course for $797. That means you need 52 customers. (And with today’s average conversion rates, you’ll need about 1,000 people to actually show up to your webinar.) 

Or, Door B, you could sell private coaching for $2,000 per month, and you’ll need to close just over 20 clients.

OR, Door C… you could do what one of my clients recently did – and close ONE client for $45,000

Done. Just. Like. That. 

Call me crazy. 

But if I were in a place where I wanted (and needed) to get REAL, actual DOLLARS coming in the door… And I didn’t want to invest in building the “Willy Wonka Mobile” of 24/7 online marketing — a machine that takes an armyof Oompa Loompas just to keep it running at a whopping 2 miles per hour…

Then, Door C, would be looking pretty damn good to me.

(And listen, Oompa Loompas eat A LOT of chocolate… And that can get really expensive really fast.)

Bottom line: It’s a simple math problem.

Join me. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014
@ 1PM ET 

And I’ll teach YOU how to get those $45,000-in-one-pop opportunities

Sound good? Good! 

Get all the deets and grab your seat here.

To YOUR success,

Angelique

Doctor. Or Pizza Delivery Dude. Which Are You?

When it comes to working with new or existing clients, which are you:

(A.) The doctor; or

(B.) The pizza delivery dude?

Here’s what I mean.

It’s Sunday afternoon. You’re watching the NFL playoffs with your family and everyone is hungry. So, you pick up the phone and call your favorite local pizza delivery place. You order two large pizzas: one with anchovies and pineapple and the other with ham and mushrooms.

The young man taking your order asks for your address, calculates your total, and gets your credit card number. Forty minutes later, your two pizzas arrive at your front door. Hot. Fast. Cheap.

What the pizza guy probably didn’t do during your phone call is question your order. You’re the customer, so you call the shots. And hey, if you want to eat pineapple and anchovies on your pizza, that’s your business!

Now, let’s contrast that with seeing the doctor. You’ve been suffering with a sore throat for three straight days. It’s excruciating to swallow, and you have a fever. So you make an appointment and see your family physician.

Before she can barely get in a “hello,” you start talking. You tell her all about your symptoms and then inform her you would like an appendectomy as quickly as possible. You ask her how soon she can get your appendix out and how much it’s going to cost, and if she can put that into a proposal and email that over to you by the end of the day, that would be great.

You then hop down off the table and start to head out the door.

At this point, your doctor is looking rather perplexed. But she’s nice about it, and simply chalks it up to your high fever.

She grabs your arm, and gently guides you back up onto the exam table.

“Well, hold on. Now, let’s slow down here just a minute,” she says. “Let me ask you a few questions and get some vitals before jumping right into the idea of taking out that appendix of yours to treat your sore throat, shall we?”

And sure enough — after a thorough evaluation, she decides that it would probably be better to take out your tonsils in this case versus something anywhere near your abdomen.

Now, let’s think about which approach YOU take when a new or existing client tells you they want to hire you to do X, Y or Z for them.

Do you react more like the pizza delivery guy? Do you take their order, whip out your calculator, give the client an estimate when they ask for it and, assuming they say “yes,” hop in the kitchen and bake up a pineapple and anchovies pizza…. because that’s what they asked for?

OR… do you ask the client lots (and lots) of questions (and verifying questions) about their challenges and goals? Do you ask them to share data or share real-life examples to make sure what they are telling you actually makes sense? Do you make recommendations based on all your years of experience and professional training?

Do you even go so far as refusing to figuratively take out a client’s appendix if they have a sore throat?

In working with small business owners for the last seven years, the truth is, I see a lot more pizza delivery guys than I see doctors.

Why? Because many small business owners are afraid to lose out on an opportunity if they put on that white lab coat, take control of the conversation and LEAD the client to the right solution based on their symptoms.

Many others simply get comfortable with their existing clients — or they get caught off guard — and without realizing it, they take off the lab coat and put they pizza delivery uniform on. (I caught myself in this trap just a couple of months ago.)

But here’s the thing. It’s the “doctor” who ultimately becomes the client’s trusted, indispensible, high-paid expert, not the pizza guy.

Some food for thought.  Now,… pass me a slice of that anchovies and pineapple pizza!

Stop Selling the Bridge. Sell San Francisco

There’s just something about San Francisco. It holds a certain magic. An allure. A romanticism. Even if you’ve never been there, the  mere  mention of San Francisco.

(One of my favs of course is Train’s “Save Me San Francisco.” And if you want a little “mood music” while reading this article you can listen to the song on YouTube.)o probably sparks an emotion or two simply based on the stories, the photos, the movies and… yes, even the songs.

I like to use San Francisco as a metaphor when I’m mentoring my small business clients in how to speak to their potential clients about what they do.

Two things I’m often asked are: “Angelique, how do I explain clearly what I do? I’m really struggling to find the words or know what to call myself.” And “How do I convince clients that they want or need what I have to offer — or convince them that my services / programs / etc. are better than my competitor’s?”

Well, here’s the deal. For the most part… You don’t.

Why? Because that would be like trying to sell people who want to go to San Francisco the Golden Gate Bridge.

Imagine it. Say a young married couple is feeling like they need a weekend getaway. So they start looking around at options and they identify a few destinations to consider: Seattle, Portland and San Francisco.

But when they go to the website for San Francisco, about 90 percent of the content and information is all focused on the Golden Gate Bridge. In fact, the website goes into great detail about HOW the bridge gets you to San Francisco.

It not only lays out EVERY last step of the process of how it gets you from one side of the bridge to the other side of the bridge (and its proprietary system for doing so!), but it also explains WHY the Golden Gate Bridge is qualified to get you there AND what makes it a better bridge than all the other bridges out there, including facts like:

  • Until 1964, the Golden Gate Bridge had the longest suspension bridge main span in the world, at 4,200 feet. But today it has the second longest main span in the United States, after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City. (Uh-oh, maybe it’s not the best bridge after all!)
  • The total length of the Golden Gate Bridge from abutment to abutment is 8,981 feet.
  • The Golden Gate Bridge’s clearance above high water averages 220 feet while its towers are 746 feet above the water.
  • The weight of the roadway is hung from two cables that pass through the two main towers and are fixed in concrete at each end. Each cable is made of 27,572 strands of wire. There are 80,000 miles of wire in the main cables.
  • The bridge has approximately 1,200,000 total rivets. 


You get the picture.

So here’s the question: Would anyone in their right mind who wants to go to San Francisco for the weekend (well, short of industrial engineers or bridge enthusiasts!), want or even need to know all of this detail about the bridge and how the bridge does it’s job, just so they can decide to drive on it to get them from one side of the bay to the other?

(Even more to the point, if they are not an industrial engineer or a bridge enthusiast, even with this information are they really qualified to know if what you’re telling them about the bridge is good or bad?)

Wouldn’t they in fact be a lot more excited about hearing all about what it’s like to be in San Francisco? What will they experience? What will they see? How will they feel?

Yes. I’m taking this analogy to the absurd. But it’s simply to illustrate the point as clearly as possible because despite the fact that most entrepreneurs “know” on an intellectual level that they should be selling San Francisco and not the bridge — their websites (and sales conversations, and marketing materials, and pitch emails, and LinkedIn profiles, etc., etc.) are STILL selling the Golden Gate Bridge! And until you put it into action, you don’t really know it.

My challenge to you this week is to take a look at your own marketing materials and even your sales conversations and pitch emails and ask yourself: Am I selling the bridge? Or am I selling San Francisco?

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