To sell more, stop selling
A New Zealand investment company sells more by telling people why they shouldn’t buy property. It’s not reverse psychology. It’s a legitimate technique to build trust, explains Andrew Nicol. Kiwis hate selling. We don’t want to feel like we are being sold to. And we don’t want to feel like we are hard selling someone […]
A New Zealand investment company sells more by telling people why they shouldn’t buy property. It’s not reverse psychology. It’s a legitimate technique to build trust, explains Andrew Nicol.
Kiwis hate selling. We don’t want to feel like we are being sold to. And we don’t want to feel like we are hard selling someone else. As New Zealanders, it turns us off.
That’s why my company, Opes Partners, stopped trying to sell things. Instead, we switched our focus to educating people.
It all started with The Property Academy Podcast. Every single day we release a 15-minute episode teaching people how to invest in property. The first episode aired in September 2019 and got just 26 plays in the first week.
But we persevered, and each day we essentially teach people how to invest in property … often without using our service.
It’s proved popular. As of episode #1378, Kiwis have downloaded the show 6.5 million times. It’s often the number 1 business podcast in New Zealand.
Yet even though I teach people how to invest without using Opes Partners, our business has grown over five times in four years.
We’ve applied that approach to YouTube. We now have almost 8,000 subscribers. Our monthly webinars, Property Live, attract around 1,800 signups per month. And we’ve written a book: Wealth Plan.
Every single time the approach is to teach people how to invest without using our service.
This builds trust with our potential customers; many decide they will use us anyway.
I’ll let you in on a secret. Almost all our competitors look at us and think, “That’s the secret sauce. We’ll just copy Opes and start a podcast, or use social media, or write articles or do webinars.”
But that’s not the secret sauce. The secret is to stop selling.
Because we Kiwis are smart. We know when we’re being sold to. We know when a company or a salesperson is being biased.
But when you stop selling and start teaching, people trust you. And they’re more willing to listen.
Let me give you an example of this in practice.
Opes Partners is a property investment company. We almost only recommend New Builds to property investors.
The developer pays us a fee if an investor buys a property we recommend. It’s a bit like a mortgage broker who gets paid by the bank when you get a mortgage through them.
We need people to invest in properties we recommend to keep the lights on.
But a massive part of our ethos is to tell people all the bad things about these investments. We talk openly about the problems property investors face. We record podcasts about when property investors should not use the strategy we get paid to promote.
Recent articles include:
- “8 things that will go wrong in property investment” or
- “Don’t use Opes if” and
- “Everything that could go wrong with a New Build”.
These articles aren’t written to instil fear into potential investors or scare them away. (After all, I wouldn’t still have a job).
The opposite is true. These articles instil confidence in investors. When you know what can go wrong, you have more confidence to decide.
They also create trust, which has allowed us to grow our business.
Once they know the worst-case scenario, they can prepare a game plan. And who are they trusting to do that with? The people who educated them about the risk.
When you take that educational approach, customers can then make the right decision for them.
So what we’ve found is that actually, instead of going: Sell, sell, sell. The right thing to do is say: “Well, maybe you shouldn’t buy. Here are your range of options”.
And that means we sometimes tell people why they should not use our business. We might not be the right fit for them.
Through this approach, we’ve found that we don’t have to be out there selling things all the time.
Andrew Nicol (pictured above) is managing director of Opes Partners and the co-author of ‘Wealth Plan: How to Invest in Property and Retire on Real Estate’ – available at Whitcoulls, Paperplus, all good bookstores and at www.wealthplanbook.com.