Time Out - 4. How to Sell Peace Building? Part 1 of 2

It has been my observation that most Peace Building groups and organizations are poor at selling their ideas. 

First, some responses to my third Time Out message:

Barbara Wolf pleeds, 'Please, I would like to stay on the PeaceBuilders list, but if I receive frivolous messages I cannot stay on it. My email box bursts with messages.'

One member who wrote privately suggested, 'Robert, I feel that in addition to the "nettiquette rules" you suggested on april 18 you will have to imagine some rules for "selection of members" or perhaps start a new list.'

Here is a comment from someone on another Listserver, 'It is terribly important that we get the word on peace alternatives out to the general community and not simply exchange views among ourselves.'  I think this points out that many of these problems occur to all peace organizations.

Geoffrey Little asks, 'Has any thought been given to separating the philosophical ramifications of peace as are espoused from all quarters on PeaceBuilders, from the informational aspects of very `un- peaceful happenings' as often reported, and then again focus on `Peaceful happenings' ...???'

And I wanted to conclude with a previous comment by Steve Sokol, 'Can we go back to realistically talking about what we can do to make sure that my one year old granddaughter can live a full life and hopefully in peace.  There is much we can do.  ...  "Talking in tongues" will make us feel good, but will not ease the suffering of a single refugee.  Let's get back to where a day on this list is a real learning experience!!!'

To the question of 'How to Sell Peace Building?'  We are all Sales Persons - from President Bill Clinton to ourselves.  Whether you sell ideas, products, services, or yourself - you need to know what works.  Possibly, a better understanding of this will also help our little PeaceBuilders organization to work better.  I share the following selling secrets with you.

Almost everyone who succeeds is really an effective sales person, whether he or she realizes it or not.  Successful peace activists sell others on the value of their ideas and how they will bring people what they want in terms of peace.  (Marketing, on the other hand, is about doing research to learn what people want, creating the products and services that people want, pricing them competitively, and then making it easy for people to buy.)  Even valuable ideas can wind up on the scrap pile just because they weren't sold.  As good as some of the ideas to solve the problems of war and violence might be, how much good would they do if either side decided not to buy the answers?

Successful Sales Persons know that behind every sale is a PERSON.  And they are successful because they are adding value to the other person - to the buyer.  The 'Wonderful Paradox' is: I have more fun and enjoy more (peace) success when I stop trying to get what _I_ want and start helping other people get what _they_ want. In simple terms, you have to know and convey 'what is in it for them to buy'.

Successful Sales Persons 'Sell On Purpose'.  First, Selling On Purpose means that I am usually conscious of what I am doing.  I am not unconsciously repeating a memorized sales routine.  On each 'pitch' I am doing what I am doing consciously - on purpose.  The second, deeper level of Selling On Purpose is, however, where the real power is: appreciating the difference between a goal (for example, putting on a conference) and a purpose.  How can you tell the difference between your goals and your purpose?  Take the Tombstone Test: Ask yourself, 'What would I like to have written on my (or my organization's) tombstone?'  That is, 'What was my purpose in life?'  Do you want your tombstone to read 'He pushed a lot of conferences or held a lot of meetings'?  Or would you like your tombstone to read 'He helped many people get what they wanted.  And so he got what he wanted'?

Many people are not sure they know what other people really want.  'What do _you_ want?'  When you answer that you will probably know what other people want.  Most people want to feel good ... about what they are doing ... and especially about themselves.  Success in selling peace is helping people get what you want to get: My Selling Purpose is to help people get the good _feelings_ they want about what they bought (peace ideas) and about themselves.  The fastest way to achieve your goals is to stay on purpose.

The fact is, with an idea or service you believe in, selling is inherently purposeful.  You do add value.  You help people solve problems, seize opportunities, and, by acting, feel better about themselves.  You can either recognize that fact or not.  Give yourself credit for the fact that you are serving, helping, contributing, making a difference - adding value.  _It comes down to caring about your 'customers', doesn't it?_  Caring is what purpose is all about.  We are talking about customers who trust me and give me referrals and stick with me for the long haul.  Selling On Purpose isn't an issue of being nice, but of being smart.  It is the single major difference that sets apart the top twenty percent from the other eighty percent (Pareto's 80:20 Law).

Selling On Purpose is an intention, a way of life, the philosophy from which you operate - not a slogan.  It is Caring - Caring is a very powerful word.  That is what you need to bring into your peace activities.  _I quickly reduce my stress_ because I no longer try to get people to do what they do not want to do.  When I sell On Purpose, it is like swimming downstream.

Tomorrow I will present the secrets of the 'mechanics' of selling (the 'how to').  Comments welcome.

Respectfully submitted,

Bob Stewart

[Excerpted from The One Minute Sales Person by Spencer Johnson and Larry Wilson; Avon Books; ISBN 0-380-70151-0]

Time Out - 4. How to Sell Peace Building? Part 2 of 2

Buyers like to trust the person and the organization they buy from and to have good service.  The Peace Activist that Sells On Purpose is going to do very well because he or she will provide people with trust and service.

Rehearse your 'sales pitch': The first part is 'A Walk in the Other Person's Shoes' - seeing things from his side.  The second part is 'The Advantages' - how the features of my idea combine to solve his problem (you have to have done your homework on the idea or 'product' you are selling).  And the third part, as corny as it may sound, is 'The Happy Ending' - seeing the otherperson using and benefiting from what he buys - and feeling good about it.  It is like parents who successfully sell their ideas to their children because they also take a minute to see things from their children's point of view.

People hate to be sold, but they love to buy.  ('I never cared much for peace activists before, but your more successful people don't seem to preach so much as you help me like to learn!' - Anonymous)  When you feel you are being sold you question the intent of the other person and do not feel that you are in control of what is happening.   Just the opposite is happening when you know you are doing the buying.  It is fun.  You enjoy it.  That happens when the sales person is clearly on your side and does not stray from what you want.  People buy for their reasons, not ours.   'When I want to remember how to sell, I simply recall how I - and other people - like to buy.'

There are certain obstacles to a 'sale' that we have to help buyers overcome:
1. No Trust - you have to earn their trust; why should they trust you?
Referrals help immensely.  Point to other evidence of successes.

2. No Need - one of the most helpful values we provide is helping people
recognize what _they_ really want or need.  We do that with our ability to
ask relevant questions and use intense listening.  Know your customer. Ask
'What do have and what do you want?'  Point out the difference, so they can
recognize their problem and discover the feelings they want.  You can not
present a solution to a problem that someone didn't feel he had.  Tie
together problems and solutions.  If he doesn't recognize a need, get out of
the person's office.

3. No Help - here is where, if appropriate, you can point out the unique
advantages of what you have to offer, and how they have worked on similar
problems elsewhere.  Without your help, how will the buyer get what they
want?  If not your proposal, then what?  If someone else can help them
better, refer them to that source.

4. No Hurry - usually it is the other person's fear that is the cause of 'no
hurry'.  The idea then is to suggest a course of action that will result in
maximum opportunity for them to gain with the minimum risk (including cost
and hastle factor).  When the smallest personal risk is combined with the
greatest personal payoff, people get over 'no hurry' in a hurry.  Then ask
them to 'buy' in to your program.

After I sell On Purpose, people feel good about what they bought and about themselves.   And so they give me invaluable _REFERRALS_!  Make sure you follow up, and nurture your 'sales'.  If they are having problems, help them resolve them.  Go beyond what was expected.  And ask if they know of other people who would appreciate your help.

Taking care of your customers is important.  It is also important to take care of yourself.  Sales people who feel good about themselves produce good results.   The most powerful fuel for high personal performance in selling is high self-esteem.  Self Managed Selling involves having a game plan, setting SMART sales goals, visualize their attainment, my behaviour should match my goals (and if I am doing something that does not contribute to attaining my goals stop doing it), help yourself realize your sales goals by catching yourself doing something right and rewarding yourself(positive reinforcement and consequences, like a pat on the back, maintain behaviours), and if you occasionally 'fumble the ball' then pick yourself up and redirect your efforts.

When you Sell On Purpose you don't swim upstream, fighting the power of reality.  You realize that you do not control the other person and you never did.  The only thing you have is influence.  The more you let other people determine what is important to them and relate what you have to offer to how they want to feel - about what they have bought and about themselves - the more easily you will make sales. In fact: You don't make the sale.  They do.

Finally, the more you share your success, the more success you would have. Share It With Others.

Whether it be this PeaceBuilders email list server, or whatever peace organization you belong to, you will have more success in your relations
with other Members (or potential Members) if you apply the secrets of selling your ideas outlined above.  Comments welcome.

Respectfully submitted,
Bob Stewart
[Excerpted from The One Minute Sales Person by Spencer Johnson and Larry
Wilson; Avon Books; ISBN 0-380-70151-0]

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