Every organization, at its core, must accomplish one thing—it must sell something. That’s right—if you are reading this, you are in sales. It may not be your principal role and, in fact, you may take offense at the idea that you are in sales. Most of us think of sales as a negative thing. Used-car sales, crass commercial appeals from a sales clerk in a retail store working on commission—we all have our own perception of what it means to sell and to be sold. The irony is that we all like to buy, and we all like when our needs are met.
Would any organization be successful if they didn’t sell something? Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Ginni Rometty, Richard Branson, Meg Whitman, Howard Schultz and Elon Musk are all geniuses in their own right, and each is the consummate salesperson. Has there ever been a successful presidential candidate that wasn’t a superb salesperson? Aren’t lawyers, lobbyists, pop stars, doctors, nonprofit executive directors, CEOs, restaurant entrepreneurs and every nine year old selling lemonade in sales? They all must persuade their audience to buy something.
Every organization must either influence its constituents to remain loyal, or convince those they want to attract to be a customer or a member. Every one of us that lives in our wonderful, capitalistic, democratic republic must sell our ideas, visions and missions.
The best sales people don’t change your mind; they give you the information you need to change your own mind.
Now, if we are all at some level in sales, what is the best way to sell something? Sales, at its core, is a process of persuasion and influence. So what is the best way to persuade, influence and sell? A key question in the sales process is, “How will we reach our desired audience?”
The best way to sell almost anything is live, face to face, in the presence of another human being. Live sales is NOT the least expensive medium, but it is the most powerful. Live media is more effective than any other media—print, digital, broadcast—period.
Live media is authentic, personal, interactive, tangible, transparent, and often unpredictable. It provides for stimulation of all five senses and is flat out more fun. There is a renaissance in live media—just look around. Live music concerts are bigger than ever, mega churches are booming, tech user conferences are outgrowing their venues, maker fairs are popping up everywhere, and successful associations and professional societies are seeing a resurgence in live event attendance.
If you want to inspire, influence, teach, conduct business, convince a community to advance a cause, activate a movement, raise money, ask for a vote or just sell something, think about turning your event into a live branded media experience. It’s more than just a different way to describe what you’ve been doing for years, it’s a new mindset that can help you have a greater impact on how you influence your audience and embrace the idea that we are all in sales.