How To Sell VR If You Don’t Like Selling
In today's episode, I want to talk about selling VR when you don't like selling. Are you the kind of person that really wants to work for yourself, but you just hate the idea of having to ask someone else for money for what you do? Are you the kind of person that is really confident in your ability to make really awesome VR and 360 in virtual tours, but you just can't stand the idea of picking up the phone and trying to sell yourself or sell your services? If so, I believe that this episode is for you. So hang tight, because I'm going to give you all of my candid advice around the topic as someone who admittedly has gone through different stages in my life of loving sales and hating it, and then back to loving it.
Read on for the full transcription or listen to the podcast episode here
So I want to tell you a story and I believe that I've referenced this story before in a previous podcast about sales but I feel like it's really powerful. A couple of years ago, I think I went to lunch with a friend and she had just set up her own company, and totally nothing to do with technology. In fact, it was in recruitment and she had always known that she'd wanted to be an entrepreneur, she's always been involved in entrepreneur society, she had little side hustles throughout her whole life, and but she really wanted to start her own thing. And when she did, she really enjoyed it but she kind of said to me over lunch - Alex, I just I love working for myself, but I just really hate selling, I don't know how you do it, I just don't love it at all. And I was like - well, that's funny, let's unpack that, shall we? Why? Why don't you like it? She’s like - oh, I just feel awkward about, calling people or emailing people, you know, I don't know, I just don't, I just don't really like it. And I was like - well, do you believe in the service that you're providing? She kind of pauses and said - well, yeah, of course I do, I think that what I'm doing is really going to change the game in this specific niche in recruitment. I was like - great, so you believe that when you go int a company to pitch your services, you genuinely believe that what you're offering is better than any competitor? Right? She's like - yeah, yeah, yeah and I say - okay, cool. And so at the moment, when you go into these companies, and you're trying to sell your services, what are you saying? She's like - well, go in there and you know, I try, and I tell them about a lot about what I'm doing and the company and my prices, and that kind of thing. I was like - okay (this is classic to me anyway and this is just a one woman's opinion, of course) this is the classic downfall of people who get into business for themselves, or they've never done sales before and so they think that - I need to go out and get work. So how do you get work? You go out and you start talking about yourself, you have to beat yourself up, you have to make yourself look like you're the biggest and the best and, you know, all of this stuff. The truth is, maybe that works at some point but I feel like you're going to have to be a particular kind of dickhead to like, enjoy that. If you were having to go into every single potential client, and pitch yourself every single time and go in there and like, you know, big yourself up and have to like, list off all your achievements, try and convince them to do work with you, of course, you're not going to like sales, that would suck. I 100% would not like sales, if that's what it was. But this is the thing, about sales and don't get me wrong, there are sales people that do that and if you're like me, you find it very annoying. So no wonder you don't like sales, if that's how you're going about it but that's not really what sales is. Sales, in essence, is about figuring out whether or not you can solve someone's problem. That's all sales is sales is. Do I have the solution for your problem? Can they trust me enough? Is this the right time? Is this the right price point? Is this valuable enough to you, to want to solve that problem with me? That's what sales is, ultimately, sales is about building a rapport with a company or a client, understanding what that business needs, and how you can solve that problem. So if you went into, let’s replay that scenario but rather than recruitment, because obviously very different, let's say you go into a business and you're pitching your immersive services. The last thing you want to do is go in there and start talking like - oh, I've made these virtual tours or I've done these 360 videos and check out my portfolio etc…that isn't what you should be doing in the first instance. Obviously, the first instance won't be in person anyway, you shouldn't really be in person because I don't really believe in cold calling or cold showing up at businesses. I just think that's the equivalent of someone trying to call you while you're having dinner or showing up at your door whilst trying to have dinner. Who in this day and age is doing stuff like that? When does that work? That's just really annoying. How are you going to get me, from yo inconveniencing me, to give you 3000 pounds. It's not likely to happen. So although sometimes, especially if you're building portfolios, sometimes yes, you can go into businesses, but I really would recommend that you go down the route of emailing first to be honest, or, you know, reaching out on LinkedIn or something like that. But anyway, coming back to the metaphor, so you metaphorically go into this company, or this business and, and instead of going in there and being like, me, me, me, look at me, me, me look at all my stuff, and all my achievements, look how good I am, and don't you want to work with me? No. The first thing you should be doing is going in there and understanding them. You want to find out about their business, you want to find out about their problems, you want to find out about why is it that they're even interested in 360? Or virtual tours or VR? What is it, that is making them interested in the workplace?
If you've reached out and put yourself out there to try and make people aware of you, your business, your services, getting people to become aware of you, now it's that kind of little dance of working out whether it's a good fit or not. Whether the product a good fit? Are you a good fit? Is the price a good fit for that sale?
So when I'm talking about selling, I'm talking about the fact you’ve already reached out to a business or a company or whatever, and they've engaged back with you, showing some kind of interest, right? So sales is just about finding out all about that person's business, so that you can then best position your services back. And the truth is, sometimes you will have those conversations, and you won't want to sell to that company. Because the truth is, that if a company doesn't have the infrastructure to support a virtual tour, or 360, video, if they are not going to be able to afford to invest in a headset, so that they can actually showcase the video that you've made for a headset to their customers, then realistically, it'll be kind of unethical to sell to that person, right? This is the thing with sales, you don't have to sell to everyone, right? You want to find people that will actually get value from your services. That's where you want to focus your energy. So if you go in, if you are talking to a company, and it's very obvious very quickly, that actually for the amount of money they would have to spend with you, they aren't actually going to get much value back from you. For example, if a new company was like - yeah, we were interested in your virtual tours, this sounds really interesting but they don't have a website to host it on because it'd be absolutely pointless in them spending, you know, $1000/5000/10,000 investing in a virtual tour if then they didn't know what they're gonna do with it, right? So the reason coming back to this whole thing of, how do you sell immersive services, if you don't like selling, the truth is that you want to get to a point where you are so sure that what you're delivering will give that person, that business, that company value, that it doesn't really feel like selling anymore, it just feels like you're problem solving, which is a really lovely feeling. You know, when a friend's really upset, and you're the shoulder that they cry on, and you offer them a piece of advice and it cheers them up and you've solved my problem, like that feels great, doesn't it? It feels great to be that person in someone's life to solve their problem. That's all you're doing. So don't think of sales as this kind of icky uncomfortable thing where you need to go out and brag about yourself because actually if you're doing that, you're doing sales wrong. You're doing sales like the madman way, although I know madman was more about marketing, but you get my point, you're doing it like the the Classic 1980s stereotypical car salesman way and that is not what we want. Especially not in 2020. Especially not when you're selling new technology that people don't necessarily understand. That’s your job to kind of, to understand their business and to make sure that this new tech and this new way of showcasing a business is suitable, is valuable. Then it makes sales so much easier, doesn't it? Because if you were so sure that if someone gave you $1,000, you're pretty confident that they would get $10,000/20,000 back, that's a no brainer, isn't it? So really educate yourself on what the value actually is of your service. Of course, you go into business for yourself, because you want to, you want to live life on your own terms, and you want to be able to have no ceiling to your potential earning earnings, but also educate yourself about if you're going in and selling virtual tours, then look up some statistics about what virtual tours actually offer, look up some research around the benefits of companies that have implemented virtual tours. And it's really easy to do that. Because generally speaking, the platforms that are selling you virtual tour software, for example, like something like Matterport, or 3D Vista, or Cube X, all of these companies, obviously, this is very specific to virtual tours, but all of those companies will have blogs on their website, because they're trying to help you sell virtual tools so that you will buy their platform. So usually those blogs have some really good insight into what the benefits of virtual tours are, but also, we're living in the day and age now where you can literally go and look at anyone's marketing because everyone's marketing is online. So when I did an episode a few episodes back about the statistics that will sell VR for you, and the one of the main ones that I was pulling statistics from was, in fact, a 360, and virtual tour provider in America. They just had phenomenal reports and statistics on their website, so I was pulling from that. But if that's the case, for one company that's most likely going to apply across the board. So educate yourself, educate yourself in how your services will actually bring value. And be confident in that. Because that's the key to good sales, is actually believing in your product, in believing that you can solve someone's problem. So I hope that's helpful. This is just kind of scratching the surface of this, but people keep coming to me and generally speaking, people are pretty confident in the actual practical production side of things, even if they're getting their feet wet. You know, you guys are really good at clearly like up-skilling and teaching yourself how to make your product as good as it can be in terms of photography, quality, and edit and coding, like you're all brilliant at that but it seems to be that most of you are struggling with this idea of becoming a sales person, which is essentially what you are when you work for yourself, or you run a business and until you can afford to bring someone else in, to help with that sort of thing.
So anyway, I hope this helps for all of you who are struggling with that and if there's any other specific questions that you have around sales, or marketing or the differences or anything, I'm an open book, I'm here for you. I want to impart my love of sales and love of business on to all of you.
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