PRESELLING is about moving your potential customers - your prospects - gradually and gently to the point where they're ready to buy from you, without directly selling them what you have to offer.
This is done in "content" formats (such as articles, reports or videos, and emails) rather than in a sales pitch... because unless people already trust you, they're skeptical of pitches and are likely to tune out at some point.
While there are many advantages to preselling, in this article I'd like to focus on an incredibly powerful but often overlooked one.
In short, it comes down to this:
Let me unpack this statement, and then I'll give you a few examples.
When a new prospect discovers your "world," perhaps by visiting your site for the first time, they may have certain views and perspectives that aren't helpful for selling them what you have to offer.
It could be the polar opposite of what you'd like them to believe, i.e. if you're all about eliminating plastic use, your new visitor might believe plastic is important.
It might be a fallacy that you know isn't true, but your prospects happen to believe it, such as "articles aren't very important for making sales. Only the sales pitch really matters."
Or it might be a limiting belief such as, "I can't learn the piano"... which is clearly not helpful if you're offering a piano course.
With preselling, you can help shape the views, perspectives and frames which prospects initially bring with them.
You can also do this in a sales pitch, but if prospects don't already trust you and align with your viewpoint, it's easier for them to reject your perspective if you're also trying to sell them something... and this rejection could be harder and longer, because they associate it with the sales pitch.
Let's look at two solid examples of what I mean.
In the Presell System, I created several presell campaigns from scratch for my students, so they could see how all the ideas I teach come together.
One of those campaigns was for a book called Mind-Lines: Lines for Changing Minds by L Michael Hall and Bobby G Bodenhamer.
In essence, the book is about creating "mind-lines" (lines of text or speech) that reframe, i.e. change a person's perspective, using the 26 reframing strategies they teach.
Part of the preparation for creating a presell campaign includes figuring out the ideas people need to "buy into"... before they could buy the product itself.
The biggest one would be the idea of "changing minds." Some people might not want to do this, or see the importance of this... so here's an idea I'd want to sell them on:
Changing minds is important.
I'll admit, to me this sounds pretty obvious... but what's obvious to me won't automatically be obvious to my prospects.
I'd have to "sell" the idea to them, which is what I do in the introduction of the presell report I wrote for the campaign.
I walk readers through three scenarios involving potentially life-changing opportunities to change minds... but because they don't have the right tools of influence, they fail to make any impact. For example...
A loved one tells you about a new employment opportunity available to her, one that could have a major impact on her life.
You know she will be much better off making the change. You tell her you think she should apply, but she says, "I’ll never be good enough for that place."
The best reply you can muster is, "Well, you won’t know unless you try."
"True," she says. But she isn’t convinced, and doesn’t apply. She misses out on an opportunity that would have made her life so much better.
After giving the three scenarios, I say...
When you find the right words to change someone’s mind, it’s a moment of magic.
You empower people to become more resourceful, and get more of what they want and need in life. And maybe you do, too.
The idea that changing minds is important is a precursor idea to buying into the larger and more distinctive "mind-lines" idea.
Among other things, the purpose of the presell report is to "sell" people on the precursor ideas that lead them to recognizing the critical importance of mind-lines as tools for changing minds.
There are lots of content writers out there who will happily churn out articles and blog posts for you, by googling around and rehashing other people's content... and they'll charge maybe $10 an article or less.
But hey, why pay that? Nowadays, you can have AI bots write you articles for free!
The problem with both is, those articles will be pretty generic... and so they'll only build your authority in your niche, to the extent of showing people that you have general knowledge about your field.
They won't make you stand out from the crowd.
Indeed, in a world where everyone and their dog uses AI to cram their site with "content," your site would just look and sound like everyone else... perhaps forcing search engines like Google and Bing to downgrade it in their rankings (which would be ironic, given the companies behind those search engines are the ones who unleashed the AI content writers on us).
I believe that Presell Content will hold up pretty well in a world of AI generated content, because it's designed to make you stand out from the crowd, to give your prospects memorable teaching experiences... and each piece of content has a deeper and wider purpose that may not be understood by a chatbot.
This is why, one of the ideas I want to help my prospects buy into, before I even pitch them on anything is:
Presell Content can be one of your most valuable assets.
To establish this idea, I first need to make clear what "Presell Content" is, which is what this site is all about. I also need to distinguish it from other content, such as typical articles and blog posts, as well as AI generated articles, or content written by article mills that churn out a lot of generic stuff.
By contrast, Presell Content is designed to move people gradually to the point where they're ready to buy. It can turn cold visitors into red hot prospects. In other words, it's actually a sales tool... without feeling like one to your prospects.
The bottom line is, if you're selling anything, it's up to YOU to shape the frames, context and perspective of your prospects.
You can do this in a sales pitch, but if prospects haven't already bought into certain precursor ideas, if they struggle over a new idea, your sales pitch is likely to fail... and often, you only get one chance to pitch to a prospect, before life distracts them with other shiny things.
This is one major purpose of Presell Content: to "sell" prospects on the ideas that open the way for them to be receptive to hearing your offer.
You can use it to set the frames, give prospects a new perspective, and maybe a fresh way of looking at things. It gives prospects the time and space to absorb, accept and integrate those ideas.
This is why it's fair to say that Presell Content really can be one of your best sales tools. (See what I did there?)