“We are in an age of unprecedented change, it’s a ‘revolutionary’ time to be alive! The question we need to be asking ourselves is - ‘Am I leading that change?’ I believe we all have a choice to step up into personal, professional and social leadership. We have a choice to become agents for change, amplifiers, thought leaders to upgrade our thinking and lead our very own revolutions.”

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Entries in Sales (6)


Instead of selling, try clicking

For a Thought leader to be commercially smart, someone, somewhere, must buy their great ideas. That’s the secret by the way; stop selling and start letting people buy. For this to happen you don’t need to figure out some slick sales script, you don’t need to handle their objections, you don't need to learn the six magic steps of influence. What you need to do is know your stuff, know their needs and place you and your ideas into the conversation, so that they click. This is the same whether you are talking about people outside your organisation or Thought Leaders practice or to your staff internally. Whether you are talking to a large crowd or one-to-one, you need to make it easier for them to want to listen to your ideas.

There have been some attempts to evolve traditional selling such as integrity sales or relationship selling. While they have their merits, tried and tested sales techniques are increasingly experienced by our customers as tired and broken. Thought leaders need to do something different to take the relationship to the next level. It’s our belief that clicking is the next stage for selling to evolve to. We believe clicking is the key to selling ideas in the crowded, post information age, always on, attention deficit economy.

Here is a process you can try:
Thought leaders don’t sell, they understand. If you don't know why people might benefit from your ideas, then spend time getting to know them and ask their permission to use them as a pilot to test and prototype your offer. Initially they may not even pay you, but if it works they will tell all their contacts and mates about you. If it doesn’t, then what you will learn from this experience will be invaluable. This is thought prototyping though. Once you know their needs and can show them how you have a solution, then they invite you to dance! It’s really simple. All you need to do is:

  • Know your stuff
  • Know my stuff
  • Place your stuff as the solution to my stuff and always create massive value.

The idea that you have integrity is the price of entry. Without this, others will not buy your ideas, your approach, or you. As a consequence, thought leaders embrace this new approach, because they can evolve from selling to people, to clicking with people. Clicking is simple fun of service to the people you are communicating with and earns you the right to pitch your ideas and approach.


 * Extract from the book Thought Leaders, written by Matt Church, Michael Henderson and Scott Stein.


The first sell is always to yourself

I've been thinking about the idea that the first sell is always to yourself.

One of my friends, Scott Brownbill is a master at helping organisational sales teams align their dialogue internally and externally with their markets key buying criteria. The more he speaks, I understand that he creates true believers. It's about conviction.

The first sale is always to yourself!

How much do you believe in what you're doing?

I know that for something to work, I have to believe that it will. (No, not just the often used Napoleon Hill stuff, it's more than that).

When you believe, you never need to sell.



The Nobility of Sales

Why do so many people dislike the sales process? The number of switched on people I meet who actively don't sell is staggering!

It's an issue of identity I think...

The obvious elements that contribute to the anti-selling phenomena...

  • Bad past experience
  • Cultural bias
  • The elitism of the academic world
It's all about language, meaning and service.

To serve is to solve problems.

You don't have to technically sell anymore.

You do have to invite people to buy.

So, focus on doing great work, building a reputation and be sure to let people know how they can get more of you, your business or your cause.

Get out actively and have conversations with people who you can help and who may need what you have. But always let them know what they can buy, how they can buy it and why they should buy it from you.



A crazy thing can happen when you talk about yourself!

When you are what is for sale, you can often confuse the client by rambling on and stuffing up the sale or pitch.

Thought Leaders often have to talk about themselves. I sometimes talk about Matt Church in the third person (second sign of madness). I've been doing this for so long that I have learned a couple of tricks to help me talk about this Matt Church guy.

Stagenames: My name is Matthew but I promote Matt Church. It is not ‘Madonna'or ‘Bono' status, but it helps.

Diagrams: I often rely on contextual diagrams to explain what I do. This way the focus is less on me and more on my message.

Analogy: If I can explain what I do through an analogy it is easier to talk it up than if it is simply me I am talking about.

Future: Always focus on what is coming up as opposed to what you have done. What you have done is bragging, what it is you hope is going to happen is exciting.

Rapport: People buy people. Be gracious, generous and positive in your conversations. If asked about a competitor the same rules apply.

Often as experts and Thought Leaders, we wish for some one else to sell us. This is not always the best option. There is no one better than you to sell you.

Matt Church


Subject Matter Experts

Subject matter experts are those people in your business with knowledge about how to do things better. They have something to offer an industry or a sector. They make a difference on your projects as what they know has a direct impact on how others do things in your business. They are your Thought Leaders.

They are innovators and original thinkers!

Often they don't realise that they are and even if they do, they don't always have the skills to communicate those ideas in a way that others get them.

In a recent study by Rainmaker, the online platform for sales and marketing professionals, they placed speaking at conferences and tradeshows and producing white papers as some of the best ways of selling any product or service. The thinking is that people trust people and that expertise and authority are true business currencies.

How are you developing your expertise or nurturing the talent in your organisation to stand up and be regarded as Thought Leaders?

Matt Church


Book Covers, Billboards and Movie Trailers

Billboard thinking versus manuscript selling...

How would you describe your idea if it had to be put on a billboard or book cover?

What would you say?

And maybe more importantly, what would you not say?

How would you let me know just enough to be interested but not so much that I am confused?

This kind of thinking forces you to assess ‘What's in it for them?'

Every great idea needs to be positioned first, explained second. Position it in my world by explaining 'How it makes a difference to me. How does it make something better, faster or cheaper (or maybe all three)?'

If you are having trouble selling your ideas it's because you might be saying too much. You might be serving not selling. Don't give me a manuscript when you explain your big idea, give me the front and back cover. If that doesn't get me then more information is not going to make a difference. It's the same with movie's… the trailer makes me go, the movie is what I buy.

First I get into it - then I get it!

Matt Church

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