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Want to out-perform all other organic product companies selling similar products as you?

Then focus on doing this 1 thing:

Make people think about things in ways they’ve never thought of before.

In other words…challenge their world view.

Looking back on the various clients I’ve worked with since 2006, I recall all major sales breakthroughs coming from this principle of “challenging.”

We sent out emails that challenged readers’ viewpoints of the world.

Like cracking an egg, something irrevocably opened up in their minds…leaving them changed.

The reader could never go back to their old way of thinking.

Whenever you challenge someone’s world view, you can expect one of three reactions from them:

1. They can attack you, direct rage at you, insult or threaten you, or engage in other emotional upsets. (This type of result usually comes if the person is SO-NOT-READY to hear your message and prefers to cling tightly to their now-crumbling-thanks-to-your-eye-opening-message status quo).

2. They might respond with joy, enthusiasm, or pure delight. They might hand you their money, buy your products, send you a strong testimonial, or respond in other favorable ways.

3. OR…they might simply stay silent as they begin thinking more about what you said or wrote. They may start paying more attention to the content you’re publishing…thereby giving you more opportunities to communicate your message to them.

By cracking open someone’s mind, heart, and soul (AKA CHALLENGING them), you create change.

Managing this change is what sales is really about.

There’s an entire book devoted to this topic called The Challenger Sale. (Note: This book is not specifically about selling organic products, but the information should certainly be applied if you’re marketing and selling organic/natural health products.)

The book explores why Challengers are the highest-performing type of salespeople compared to the other four types of salespeople — Hard Workers, Lone Wolves, Relationship Builders, and Reactive Problem Solvers.

The other types of salespeople can deliver average sales performance, but only one — the Challenger — consistently delivers high performance.

Meanwhile, the Relationship Builders are the least effective at generating sales, according to research discussed in the book.

This is quite interesting, considering most traditional sales advice tells us we should “Focus on building the relationship FIRST in order to get the sale.”

That’s B.S.

(Frankly, that advice never felt right to me.)

Neil Rackham, who is considered one of the founders of modern sales theory, says: “The relationship is the reward for delivering value.”

Most salespeople have it backwards…they try to build relationships first, thinking that will create an opportunity to deliver value later.

Nope! Deliver value FIRST, then you’ll be rewarded with the relationship.

Relationships are important, but they’re not the CAUSE of good selling. They’re the RESULT of good selling.

Challengers don’t care if people like them…they’re more interested in creating tension that leads to change.

You don’t necessarily want customers to be your friends, or for them to “like” you.

You want them to change their mindset about something, so that they’ll buy your products over and over again.

You want them to transform their entire world view…which may include years, sometimes decades of un-budging dogma, propaganda, and false beliefs. You want people to let go of all that crap, so that they’ll CONTINUE buying your products and tell others about them.

In this way you’re rewarded with an ongoing relationship with your customers.

Big sales are about creating change.

Change can be uncomfortable for people.

But it can also be life-saving.

As one Amazon reader put it:

“The key to a really good book is that it makes you say, ‘I never thought of that before,’ and it makes you use that insight to improve your life in some way. Interestingly, that’s also the key to a really good salesperson.”

If you want continually high sales performance, write messages that make readers say, “Wow, I never thought of it that way before.”

More than anything, customers today value someone who can teach them something AND challenge their perception of the world.

Be the Challenger.

Help potential buyers manage the changes they’re looking to make in their lives.

Don’t bother being overly nice, friendly, polite, or doing any of the other useless “relationship-building” things. (Those will just get you average sales, if you’re lucky.)

Instead, produce the necessary tension that drives potential customers to make important changes in his or her life…and you’ll enjoy high sales as a result.

Talk soon,

About the Author

Michelle Lopez is a writer, editor, and copywriter with a BA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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