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If and then

We are all salesmen.

We are looking for audiences to part with their time and consume something that we've created. We are looking for investors to part with their money and buy into our idea for a business. We are looking for employers to part with their money and hire us for the work we can do. We are looking for friends to part with their time and emotional energy and buy into a connection with us.

No matter what we do, we are selling something and we have a certain target audience in mind who classify as potential buyers.

There isn't always money involved in the sale. But there is always a value exchange.

Unless both parties come out of the sale with a net gain, there is no question of a repeat purchase. If your audience feels your content is click-bait or not worth their time, they don't come back. If your investors don't see you utilizing their funds well and returning growth, they won't invest in you again. If your employee feels you aren't adding enough value, your contract won't be renewed. If your friends aren't seeing reciprocity in what they offer you, they will stop being your friends.

Every sale, thus, can be outlined in an if-then statement.

"If you want to come across a new idea, then spend three minutes reading this article."

"If you want to be seen as rich, then buy this car."

"If you want to make a difference to the planet, then donate to this cause."

"If you want to be a good friend, then help out in this scenario."

As you can see, there are two sides to the sale.

It is not enough to know what the other person wants and have something with you that you can offer for it, it is equally essential to have the credibility to ensure the other person believes you can deliver on your claims.

And you only build that credibility by doing the things you can later claim that you can do.

The problem usually is that we start from the 'if' and work out the 'then' that is needed. And it is a problem because by the time we have gained credibility for being able to deliver on the 'then', the 'if' of the audience would have changed, or there might be someone else that delivers better than us on the 'then'.

Instead, do what you do best and find the corresponding 'if' for what you do. And you have your audience served on a platter.

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