From my front porch in Franklin, TN, I often see hot air balloons over the valley. Here is a photo I snapped with my phone at sunrise not too long ago:
Hot air balloons were among the first practical flying crafts invented, first used around the time of the Civil War. They are simple in design and fairly easy to fly (I am told).
They create a beautiful and odd sight at first. There is something peaceful yet exciting about watching them float over the trees, the colorful balloons stretched to full capacity against the blue sky.
When you see a hot air balloon in action, you can’t help but want to jump in one yourself—a completely different experience from seeing one before it is unpacked and inflated.
A hot air balloon deflated and packed into a small covered trailer is unattractive with no wow factor. It does not inspire you. It does not encourage excitement at all. Because it is deflated you feel deflated.
There are many steps that must occur for an uninspiring, deflated hot air balloon to become the beautiful, inspiring sight I described earlier.
First, you must unpack it. Take it out of the storage shelter. Fill it with hot air.
You must keep the heat going so the balloon will stay up in the air. And there is always the possibility of a fire. So you must be alert.
There are many steps to go from uninspiring to inspiring…yet the whole time we are dealing with the same object. Sure, we have changed things about its presentation, but at its core—whether deflated in a shed of inflated in the sky—it is still the same balloon.
And that is exactly how you sell something.
Selling is an intense form of telling. You must be intense while showing the wow factor. People cannot visualize what they cannot see.
No one will take the time to see your big picture unless you spell it out for them. One letter at a time. Make it so simple that a junior high student could fully understand what you’re telling.
If you have a physical product, let people touch and hold it, just like show and tell in elementary school. Show it and tell it.
If you are making a presentation via email, provide links, videos, and any attachments that give more information with flair.
Have an email signature that lets the person on the other end know you are not a nobody. Hint: You are not a nobody. If you think you are, start acting like somebody. Eventually you will stop acting and start feeling.
Don’t have an email signature? Here is mine. Feel free to copy, adapt, and make it your own. Need help setting an email signature up? Google “how to create an email signature in [Insert Your Email System Here].” I have faith in your ability to get this done.
When we launched my book 20,000 Days and Counting, we didn’t simply refer everyone to the Amazon link. We created a custom web page featuring graphics and ad copy that show and tell why you need this book right away. We even created a calculator that tells you how many days you’ve been alive. Click here to check it out.
But we didn’t stop there. That was a presentation for the general audience. We still needed a presentation for the people who would help us promote the book launch—the media. So we created a custom media kit complete with interview questions, excerpts, and a section called “What to Know to Sound Like You’ve Read the Book” (which is every busy radio and television host’s favorite part).
Regardless of whether you’re an author or not, there’s a lot you can learn from seeing a media kit. I’d love to send you a copy, so click here and I’ll do exactly that.
Even this blog post has gone through several stages and transformations before being presented to you in its current format. In the beginning, it was nothing more than a Word doc. Then it was pasted into WordPress. Links were added. Pictures were scattered throughout. “Click to Tweet” boxes were placed between paragraphs to make it easy for you to share.
If you are presenting what you know is an attractive opportunity, what you know is life-changing information, what you know is insanely valuable…do not present it in a way that makes people want to pray about it.
Let it float high above for all to see. Let people gaze. Let them wonder what it is like to be so high in the sky.
Unpack your hot air balloon!
P.S. For a real-life example of everything this blog post describes, don’t forget to click here so I can send you the media kit that helped me get booked for dozens of interviews to promote my book 20,000 Days and Counting.