For almost 21 years I sold ArchiCAD. When the time came to leave that behind, it was stressful and scary. What could I do that would leverage my strengths while pivoting in a new direction?
Training and consulting clearly was the way to go. I have always loved helping people, and I’m very good at doing this with ArchiCAD. I’m a guru and people appreciate my expertise. The question was – how could I do this in a still foundering economy with so many clients struggling?
Fortunately, I had been spending a lot of time learning about internet marketing, website development, and creative uses of video. The answer seemed obvious, yet somehow daring: develop a comprehensive online video training program that my clients (and others around the world) could afford, while delivering the highest quality instruction in how to make the most out of ArchiCAD.
I weighed my options and decided to put all my eggs in this new basket. I started fleshing out the concept and working out a marketing plan for The Best Practices Course. Here’s where I really had to reinvent myself and my approach.
I studied with internet luminary Jeff Walker and learned his Product Launch Formula, a strategy for building a connection with clients and potential clients. One part of the strategy is to give away some great training materials for free. Give the goodies first, before asking someone to buy. This builds credibility as people can see the quality of my work and gain some tangible benefits from what I teach them. At the same time, it creates a subtle feeling Jeff calls “reciprocity” – the inclination for people to want to give back because they’ve gotten something nice from me.
I learned that it works to be personal and share my story, rather than trying to hide behind a corporate veneer, attempting to be a company selling to other companies. Each one of us is a unique individual, and even when a company buys something there is still a real human person (or more than one) who makes that buying decision.
Although I was familiar with the difference between selling features and benefits, Jeff’s emphasis on connecting with a person’s desires, needs, fears and frustrations was an eye-opener. It means talking less about the product or service, and listening more to what people say, what they complain about, and what they ask for.
When I deeply understand what you want, I can then talk to you about how I can help you get what you want, and you’ll want to listen. If you feel understood, and I’ve developed enough credibility in your eyes, you’re more likely to look at my offer with interest, perhaps even eagerness.
Wow! What a concept! When marketing, be a real person and talk to each and every person – even through email and web pages – as an individual who wants to change something about their life. In this case, to use ArchiCAD better, faster, with less stress, to finish work and get home earlier to enjoy the rest of their life more. Can I help you with that? I believe I can, so that’s what I’m offering you.
My dear old friend David Freeman, one of the most creative people I know, says half-jokingly that he’s going to start a “Reinventors Club”, and that I’m going to the president. I’m certainly in the midst of reinventing a lot of what I do and how I do it. It’s exciting and stressful and exhausting and ultimately very satisfying.