Market Your Writing By Sean D'Souza 45 minutes, 40 strangers, 1 product. Over 50% sales. Extraordinary! How did I increase sales? I remember flying to Pittsburgh in the year 2004. It was a 7am presentation in front of about 40 people I didn’t know. And they didn’t know me, either. When I finished the presentation at 7:45, I asked the crowd a simple question. “How many of you would like to buy this product?” Over 50% of the hands in the room went up. Which, by the way, wasn’t the most interesting part. The most interesting part was that I hadn’t told them much about the product, or the price, or the delivery. So why were so many people in the room willing to buy the product? The answer lies in a discussion I had early in my career with an amazing salesman. I was new to sales and marketing back in the early 2000s. And I ran into this multi-millionaire called Brian Tracy. His advice on sales was the best definition of sales I’ve ever heard. He said: “Sales is a transfer of enthusiasm from one person to another.” So that’s what was happening—enthusiasm was being transferred! Indeed, I’d made a good presentation. Yes, the content was very interesting and useful. But it’s the enthusiasm that caused people to brush aside the rest of the details and make a decision to buy the product. It’s the enthusiasm that allowed me to increase sales. However, it’s one thing to say “be enthusiastic” and quite another to do it. How do you create enthusiasm? The answer lies in a concept called “isolation”. It doesn’t matter if you are selling offline or online, you can’t be enthusiastic if you’re bogged down with seven hundred features and benefits. So you isolate just one. Just like Steve Jobs did when he presented the MacBook Air. Instead of simply rattling off every feature, the drama was centered on one thing and one thing alone: the fact that the MacBook Air was so thin, it could fit in an envelope. The BBC presenter, David Attenborough, creates this same moment of enthusiasm. There he is, standing in the middle of the forest, surrounded by thousands of trees, bushes, insects chattering endlessly and what does he do? He drops to his knees and shows you a flower. His eyes light up as he goes into detail about that flower, while ignoring everything else around him. What he’s doing is zapping that enthusiasm right into you, but he does so by creating isolation first—and then getting his message across. Enthusiasm doesn’t mean you have to be loud or boisterous The best sales people aren’t those who get in your face. Enthusiasm means you feel very strongly about that one feature of the product. So much so, that you’re willing to drive home that point in detail. If you’re excited enough, and exciting enough, the audience feels this surge of excitement. Yes, your product has a ton of features, but they want that one feature, and they’re willing to raise their hands for it. This method works for both online and offline sales. Offline, you drive home the point in person by demonstrating or showing a particular feature. Online, you pick one specific feature, and drive it home using more pictures and more explanations, thus isolating the importance. Sales is a transfer of enthusiasm from one person to another To feel that enthusiasm you need to isolate one feature of the product that’s extremely exciting to you. You then transfer this enthusiasm to your audience. And then, like the Pittsburgh audience, watch as their eyes light up and their hands go up. Yup, just like that. The question is: are you excited enough to try it? How would you use isolation to increase sales? Tell me in the comments below.