We’ve all seen it. The guy with a red Solo cup at a party who walks up to the beautiful girl thinking he’ll make it to “third base” before the end of the night. It’s a crude metaphor, but it’s perfect for an area of business that too many people go about the COMPLETELY wrong way. Can you guess what it is?

If you guessed sales, feel free to pass go and collect $200. Most salespeople go about sales in one way: encouraging people to buy, buy, BUY. They do this by creating fake deadlines, false scarcity, or promotional deals that aren’t really all that great. Some even do the dreaded cold call, a nightmare for both parties. Awful.

I recently sat down to talk about this on Episode #79 of the Finding Brave podcast with host Kathy Caprino. Kathy is a friend and an exceptional thought leader (so watch out when she and I get to bounce ideas off each other)!

Kathy and I agree that sales isn’t about selling; it’s about helping. Drew McLellan, another tremendous thought leader, friend, and client of Predictive ROI, boils sales down to three levels: macro, micro, and nano. Business owners oftentimes mess up and get scared at even the macro level, and it’s time for that to end.

The macro level is your mass sales pitch. This is NORMALLY your website or your advertisements. This is NORMALLY where you try to round the bases as quickly as possible. I stress normally because the strategy I believe in is anything but normal. It’s about helping. To help people at the macro level is to share your thought leadership in a way that is helpful to the largest group of people without selling them anything. This means writing articles for Forbes, putting helpful videos on YouTube, or producing a podcast. Show people how great and helpful you are, and they will flock to you.

At the micro level, people reach out to you, just as Kathy has experienced. They offer you their email addresses and opt into hearing more of what you have to say. You’ve achieved a level of trust by being authentic, intentional, and helpful. People screw up here by immediately trying to close the sale and round the bases again; that’s a no-no. Here is where you continue to be helpful by sharing content with them WITHOUT selling them. Fill their plates with your eBooks, white papers, podcasts, or webinars. Be open to answering questions; that’s where the sales power is.

Lots of people stay at the micro level for that help without proceeding to the nano level. That’s okay because lots more will find your content so compelling that they commit to that deepest level. At the nano level, they trust and respect you enough to buy your courses, your coaching, or your books. They believe in you because you’ve invested yourself in helping them. But it doesn’t stop there.

The nano is the most personal level, and that means you now have to invest yourself in each person. Research their business. Discover the problems and unlock the solutions. Be so helpful that they can’t resist spreading the word and telling other people. Forge a partnership and believe in yourself.

You’re not just some business owner; you’re one of the best in your field. Once people discover that about you, you’ll have new clients recognizing your generosity and expertise and rewarding you with new, meaningful partnerships.

And that’s a home run.