The Importance of Time In Pre-Selling

The Importance of Time In Pre-Selling

I remember Sydney, Australia

I was probably ten years old and my father had all of these travel brochures. But of all the places on the planet, I loved the picture of the Sydney Opera House. I remember the pink, purple skies offsetting the pale white of the Opera House. And nineteen years later I stepped into Sydney. Guess where I was headed first?

Time is the core element of pre-selling

There are many elements to pre-selling—and let’s not forget that pre-selling is ‘sales’ at the very core. The biggest difference between pre-sell and ‘buy now’ is the luxury of time. The more time you have on your side, the more you can ramp up the pressure slowly and steadily. The less time you have, the more the need to race madly towards the finish line.

So let’s pull up an example or two

Example 1:

Let’s say you’re selling a movie. How much time do you need? Most of us in the movie audience hear of a movie about six-eight weeks before the movie is released. But the movie has had months of pre-sell. Even if you don’t consider the immense work of pre-selling to distributors, TV rights etc., and just consider the audience, you still have a ton of work involved.

The movie has to have a trailer.
It needs to be entered in several festivals.
The movie stars have to be flown to several red-carpet openings across the planet.
The critics have to see a pre-screening.
The publicity machine has to swing in action so that the movie star appears in almost every magazine from the gossip magazines to the more serious ones.
The movie stars have to possibly do or say something interesting or outrageous and show up on dozens of radio/TV shows.

Example 2:

A mother as she gets ready for her delivery date.

First she has to read up every book available on Amazon
Then she has to get all the advice possible.
There are all the checkups and medical tests she has to undergo.
All the names she has to consider.
And the final drill of the run into hospital.

And all of this takes time

So the best way to start up a factor of pre-sell is to make time work for you. If you have an idea, it’s best to just put it forward to your audience. And then watch the response. So if I were planing to  have a workshop in May next year in California, Washington DC and somewhere close to London, I’d just put it forward. And there you go. Just like that I’ve installed the idea in your head.

Notice something important

There’s no fixed venue.
There’s not a topic in sight.
There are no fixed dates or timings.
No prices.
No group size.
In short, there’s nothing but the idea.

But an idea with time on its side is fabulous

When a producer sells a movie; he has nothing but an idea. All of those millions of dollars and tons of work rest purely on a single idea. When a couple gets pregnant, it’s still just an idea. There’s no baby for a very long time, but the ramp up has begun among their audience of relatives and friends. And as the weeks and months pass, that idea gets a life of it’s own as the final date approaches.

But what if you don’t have time on your side?

No one has time on their side. Everyone has exactly the same problem as you. And so you just launch the product or event by just creating a sales platform. This platform could be a bunch of emails, a salesletter, a live presentation etc. And that works too, but the chances of failure are greater, because of one reason alone.

The reason: Customers buy before they pay

The customer needs time to work out things in their head. Sure you can hold a gun to their head and compel them buy, but I don’t suspect you’re ultra-keen on following that wham-bam method. So the way to pre-sell is to simply announce something.

Like a mother announces her due date.
Like a movie producer sells a idea to financiers, distributors and the audience.

And like Sydney, Australia wove its magic on the mind of a 10-year old. Pre-sell takes time. Get started today!

P.S. You got it, right? Just announce your product or service. It doesn’t have to exist. Just announce it!

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  1. says

    Absolutely SPOT ON, Sean, this rings so many bells with my ( limited) experience in the photography / Facebook and whole publicity experience I am developing.
    I wonder if this is to do with the whole ‘NLP’ / memory / perceptions thing.
    How fascinating is our brain, I ask, our sight, our memory?!!!
    Best wishes and thanks for these edifying, captivating and enjoyable articles you continue to feed us with!

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