One of the biggest problems to having confident conversations that sell, is our relationship and beliefs around Money.
It’s such an important ingredient of of successful selling ( and your business as a whole), I’d like to share some insights and knowledge, that hopefully will open up a new perspective for you, to help you on your selling journey.
So What exactly is money?
From an economic perspective, it’s crucial to understand what it is and the influence it has a cross not only your personal life, but modern society as a whole.
But before we can actually define it, it’s useful to understand why it exists. And to help answer this question, knowing the most basic purposes that money serves clears some of the misunderstandings about it.
One of the key changes in our social history, is when human beings moved from being hunter gatherers, to more static agricultural-based living. At this time, a barter system developed where for example, I would exchange a dozen chickens for your pig.
And although this is a very practical and tangible way of exchange it did have its problems. Mainly, mainly that you have to do make sure you exchange stuff that you know somebody else is going to want as well, because if you don’t want it and nobody else wants it, you’re stuck with it.
So, a universal medium of exchange was created (money) that bound all transactions into a common method of exchange, without actually exchanging physical items.
In early times this exchangeable coins of money were made of valuable metals like gold and silver. The roots of paper money go back to when people used to take the gold and silver coins to blacksmith for safe keeping.
The blacksmith would give a receipt to the owner of the gold which stated a claim (of the value) on the coins in his vault. These receipts then started to be exchanged as money substitutes. It meant not having to carry the heavy gold and silver, but just exchanging pieces of paper instead.
Paper money was born.
But this is also where it gets interesting. The blacksmiths noticed that not many of the receipts were issued were actually brought back to claim against the gold and silver they were holding. So they saw what was in their vaults effectively doing nothing.
Doing the calculations on how much gold was redeemed, they started to issue more receipts than they had gold to back them, quietly lending money out at a premium, and therefore making a profit on the gold holdings they had in their vaults.
Of course the risk with this was that if the customers found out and all tried to get the gold same time, the blacksmiths couldn’t give everyone the gold they had a receipt for.
Modern day fractional banking actually works on a similar principle, although somewhat more refined.
For a long time, the value of your money was directly linked to gold (the gold standard) but most economies disconnected this link sometime during the 20th century.
Simply put, Money is the representation of an underlying value, used as a token in exchange for goods and services.
This is not this basic understanding of what money is taught in schools, and there fore leads to a lifelong misconception for the Majority of people.
Only by actively seeking out the wealthy and successful, does this fundamental understanding become known. Once it’s it is truly seen for what it is, the knowledge is a transformative gift.
The world is changing
But have you noticed, that every so often that a new story, an idea, or an invention goes viral? And when it goes viral, it’s not just only online it’s off-line media newspapers, magazines, radio that breaks through the noise of all other information at that point of time and creates massive interest and following.
In many cases, these things are created accidentally like funny cat videos, bystander views of incredible natural events like floods or massive hailstones, or bold rescues of people or animals.
This type of spectacle has a natural human intrigue and curiosity about them; our innate fascination with danger and daring.
However, the attention grabbing power of boldness and daring, isn’t just confined to day-to-day funny events or natural disasters. New and exciting ideas in the world of business, can also have the same captivating effect on our attention, just look at the meteoric rise of Apple and the iPhone.
with the ability to now reach a global marketplace directly from your smart phone, the currency of competition is getting people’s attention.
The flipside of this situation, is that it’s also never been easier to reach so many people’s attention so easily, so fast.
For a number of years my consulting business was successfully based on word-of-mouth recommendations, which meant I had to do very little marketing or promotion as 95% of my work came through introductions.
But I came to realise, that my business had plateaued, and me with it.
In a new or rapidly growing marketplace, it’s very easy to ride the wave of progress, without necessarily putting a huge amount of thought into keeping your business growing.
This is because finding business is easy when there are lots of people looking for what you have to offer. The tough bit comes when you have more competition doing the same as you, or even worse, overtaking you because you’d become complacent about the next steps needed to grow.
I was massively guilty of this, so had to take a cold hard look at what I was doing. I reluctantly went back to basics and got honest with myself about what it was I got into business for, and why.
I’d made the classic mistake of using ‘life’ getting in the way of me doing what I should have been doing, and came up with a raft of excuses as well. Although my business was doing well it wasn’t growing.
What it made me stand out in the early days, had now become commonplace. So I wasn’t just standing still, I was effectively going backwards.
Change can be difficult. Changing beliefs even more so. Especially when it’s your own business and if you’ve become entrenched in the way you run it.
But what I have found, is that it is not necessarily big changes that create bigger results, but actually very small changes in the right areas.
In the same way that 6000 years ago the Sahara desert was lush grasslands, and a tilt of less than 1° of the Earth’s axis, turned these grasslands into desert, a small change in the thinking around your business, can create a massive positive change in income and results.
It’s a paradox.
We grow up and go through school would encourage by our teachers and families to work hard, do well and get good grades. Get a job, work 40 years, and if you do well you’ll be able to retire at 65 with a nice little nest egg and relax in you ‘Twilight years’.
And if you do really well, you’ll be recognised with certificates, achievement awards and even letters after you name, how about that ?
How did we manage to get sold that pup ?
The flipside of this, as the comments bullying and marginalising attitude that some of the other kids have around you. And it’s very difficult when you want to fit in socially, to be seen as somebody who does very well academically.
The politics of your social peers and friends can have a huge impact on how well you do at school. And if you do choose the difficult path of ignoring your peers at school, it’s not long before you find a similar situation in the workplace.
I’ve witnessed many environments both small and large, where enthusiasm, intelligence and creativity are routinely sidelined as it’s seen as being “too big for your boots”.
Why we need to be ‘Money’ Aware more than ever
the volume and quantity of information we receive often causes us to jump frantically from one thing to another. We scan headlines and bullet points to absorb as much information as possible, without looking at the detail to give us a more thorough understanding.
In this way we believe will get an understanding of the main ideas, but actually we don’t allow ourselves the concentration or focus to properly form an opinion.
channel hopping on the TV has now become a national pastime, if a program is not engaging from the opening 30 seconds, the press of a button and you have hundreds of other channels to choose from.
A study by Microsoft of 2000 people, gave results that in the year 2000, the average adult attention span was 12 seconds. In 2015, the results were a reduction of attention span to just 8 seconds.
What made me laugh out loud about this is, apparently a goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds, which means like-for-like we now have smaller attention span than a goldfish.
Still, there is a positive side to channel surfing our information. For if it is a subject that you are knowledgeable on or you are interested in, skimming the headlines and bullets gives your intuitive senses, the information needed to make a decision on whether it’s something you want to know more about or not.
In the same way that you intuitively make a judgement about somebody when you first meet them, the upside is that if somebody is interested in what you’re presenting they’ll decide very quickly.
However this is only step one, so we need to ensure that what follows gives substance to our main ideas.
Thankfully, this is changing. Collaborative working is the new mantra for the 21st-century. Rapid growth in the speed of Internet, and advancement in mobile technology, means you don’t have to be in the same office as somebody to complete a piece of work.
If you have a bright idea that your current employer doesn’t want, social media gives you immediate access to a huge group of people that are eager to listen.
if ever there was a time where the phrase “the only constant is change” is true, it is now. The old adage of a job for life is long gone, the speed of movement of stock markets, property prices, commodities, Gold, copper, iron and fuel, are all examples that have had huge swings in prices both up and down in the last few years.
With little or no meaningful perspective from those who are supposed to understand and know about these things, it is a genuine concern as to who we look to for leadership.
In the absence of inspiring leaders, who is going to step up to the plate?
There is a vacuum that needs filling by people who can take both our society, and commerce away from the roots of the Industrial Revolution, and across and beyond our information age.
Sadly, the growing culture of popularity and fame just to be famous, I don’t see as a strong role model for true long-term growth and success.
Don’t get me wrong, I see nothing wrong with fame and celebrity created by those that have created something that is valuable to an audience. But fame for fame’s sake, is worthless as it has no real substance to build upon…