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Are you spending a lot of hours pitching to people who, in reality, are never going to buy your services? If so, the answer to this problem is simple, make it easy for people to buy from you. But how the hell do you do that?

Recently Hung Lee, founder of WorkShape.io, joined me on my podcast to discuss the real currency of business: relationships. Hung and I also had an honest chat about what it takes to actually make a sale.  And guess what? It’s really hard to sell stuff. Today I wanted to touch on something eye-opening that Hung shared with me and it will help you to sell with more ease.

First, there are two main problems that come up as it relates to customer acquisition: familiarity bias and business credibility. Hung says, “Customers need to discover you very easily.” One part of the customer acquisition discovery process is that buyer and seller simply don’t know each other. The customer isn’t familiar with you or your work.  You may be using mailing lists or doing outbound calls to try to make connections. But your success rate at converting these potential leads using outbound strategies is close to zero: zip, zilch, nada.  

Furthermore, if you have no credibility (aka social proof) that you are a reputable company (because you are a new business), you’re out. A customer won’t give you the time of day. So when new businesses use the outbound approach, they can’t overcome those first two problems, familiarity bias and social proof.

To circumvent these problems, “You have to reverse the flow of information,” says Hung.  He put it like this, think about where your energy is going when you do an outbound call; you are pushing information out. You need to be pulling customers towards you instead.

So how do you draw potential customers to you?

Hung says by using inbound marketing, you can create spaces, either physical or digital, where your audience can actually come to you, unexplored and on their own.

When crafting your inbound marketing content, use topics that are interesting or important to your target market. You can answer some of their frequently asked questions or provide information that is useful to them in some way. Some examples of inbound marketing content can include: blog posts, podcast episodes, articles or downloadable content (reports, infographics or checklists).  

Bottom line: If you can encounter a potential customer in a neutral space, that’s when you can start building a relationship. More importantly, that’s when you can give yourself an opportunity to have a future conversation that will lead to business.

“In a connected world, people need to be very conscious of where the flow of information is and if you’re a businessperson or an entrepreneur, you need to be standing at the confluence where that information flows for your particular market or industry.  You know you can have flaws in every single thing you’re doing. But if you stand in the right place, you’re going to be alright.” ~ Hung Lee

Whether you’re an entrepreneur just starting out or a seasoned careerist who is looking for strategies to sell your products or services with ease, listen to this episode of Let’s Fix Work.