The article is originally posted at Tony R Sander’s blog. Tony is a generous friend who has a huge background in sales, having more than 17 years of experience with Fortune 500 and 1000 Corporations. If you need sales advice for your startup or your products, Tony will be glad to help and of course his blogs are always informative source to understand sales.

I get a kick out of observing human behavior off and online. Yes, it can be a little annoying to my close friends and family that I look at every human behavior as a data point, but that’s how I see it. The other day I experienced a data point that I thought was worth sharing. Not only because it’s interesting nature but also because of the insight it gave me. It gave me a clear insight of why people aren’t buying your product or your service.

What I Learned

I found a way (that I will share in a later blog post) to get my content shared more across multiple social media platforms. Through this hack, I’ve gotten the chance to interact with more people on Instagram and Twitter.

In this particular story someone reposted some of my content on Instagram. When I received the notification I went to their account to comment on the post and look their page. I try to see what type of accounts are sharing my content. I noticed that this particular guy was new to Instagram and using it for business purposes. I decided to DM him and not only thank him for sharing the post, but also ask him about his business.

I spoke with him and decided to give him some of the things I was trying on Instagram.After I gave him a few basic tips about using the analytics, hashtags and such he asked me an interesting question. His message read, “I appreciate the help but can I ask why am I being helped?”. I could smell the skepticism all over this message!

It was amazing to me that he questioned that a good deed couldn’t be just a good deed on its own. There must have been something more right? A sign up for my course or my email list or something had to be next right? He was wrong but I completely understand why he would think that and that is the problem! The problem is that every time you interact with a potential customer you have to fight to get to zero. Let me explain what I mean.

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Giving Value For Free

Gary Vee wrote a great book called “Jab Jab Jab Right Hook”and the idea is that you give, give, give and then go in for the sale. I agree with this strategy 100%. However, what we all need to realize (myself included) is that when we are building value with our audience or “jabbing” to use Gary’s terms, we start off with negative trust. All of our audience is a little skeptical, of us when they first come across our content.

Without this insight many of us ask for the sale too soon! We don’t realize that we’re starting off in the negative. I’ve had plenty of failed sales attempts by asking for the sale too soon!Think about if you opened a bank account and it was already a $1,000 in the negative. Some of you may think “I would never do that” but I’ve got news for you. If you’re in business in 2017, that’s exactly what you did. You signed up for something that you have immediate negative equity in.

How to Sell Your Product More

The way we overcome this hurdle and have more success selling our products is that we increase the giving to asking ratio. If you were giving 5 times before you ask, you might need to increase it to 7 or 10. Maybe you need to give away valuable content for 6 months straight before asking for the sale. I haven’t figure out the golden ratio to online selling yet but when I do I will share it! What I have learned is this: Giving more won’t decrease your sales but asking too soon will!