Do you hate selling? Done the way so many profess, it’s no wonder. That pound them until they’re sure to relent strategy is painful for both the perpetrator and the victim.
Think sending dozens of e-mail message during the course of a week – or day – is much different than old-school manipulative selling? Sure, those on your list can unsubscribe (count me among them), delete or conclude you’re not physically in their face so it’s not invasive, but how do you feel when someone badgers you for a sale? Imagine your prospect’s perspective.
It’s sad so many people screw up selling. That’s probably why most of us find it so distasteful. Selling isn’t about bullying, manipulating, deceiving or conniving. It involves smart strategies that build relationships. In fact, with thoughtful marketing approaches, there’s no need for a small business owner to coerce a sale – the prospect will ask you to help them understand what it takes to work with you.
Marketing is magnificent
First, stop thinking of sales strategies as akin to a lottery win. Done right, business prosperity doesn’t come overnight. Most of those who profess proven instant results are either anomalies or outright tricksters. If you have any doubts, ask yourself why these folks claim to have made millions yet are still pandering for customers on the internet.
If you’re truly committed to a marketing strategy that works, think long-term – and fun. You should smile as much as your prospects do when they receive your spot-on, clever comments. Whether this is generated online, in person (speeches, meetings, events, etc.) or as part of your written communication campaigns, if everyone involved is nodding and chuckling, you’re on the right track.
3-D campaigns are a great way to get into doors otherwise closed to you (snail mail is more memorable now than ever with most resorting to thumbs for communication). This can be done with inexpensive products provided you craft creative and relevant messages and strategies.
Imagine an administrative assistant marching into his president’s office demanding she immediately open the third installment of a three part series (OK, now even the president’s personal mail is opened by another) after he witnessed what was delivered in the first two (she had to share it with him because it was so entertaining). This eliminates the need for an awkward cold-call introduction and sales pitch – all you have to do is say “we sent you the Chinese finger puzzle with instruction to insert fingers in each end then call us when you get stuck.”
“If you build it they will come” is misguided
Most new small business owners believe merely opening their doors (with a physical or virtual site) will draw masses. It doesn’t work that way. Be ready to spend two years building a network and referral base. It’s usually sudden, at about the two-year mark, when that gratifying moment comes as you realize you have more clients than time to support and a slew of prospects waiting in the wings. Those relationships you build during ramp up time come back to you unexpectedly in remarkable ways.
Top five tips for marketing smart
In the next blog post, you’ll enjoy more detail and some specific action items you can easily employ to integrate these strategies for little or no cost, but these are some of the most effective tools I’ve employed over the past 25 years to spur business revenue:
- Build a referral network
- Go for quality over quantity
- Assemble a team
- Forget about features & benefits – get paid for what others provide for free
- Have fun
Does the idea of selling keep you up at night? Quit that. Selling is a dirty word the way most people do it. I hate selling too – but get giddy about creative, outlandish small business marketing strategies. Such an approach eliminates the need to sell to anyone. Done right, people will approach you, feeling privileged by the opportunity to call you part of their team (it takes time to get to this point – persevere through the launch phase and you’ll be surprised when someone you forgot about remembers you with unexpected and lucrative referrals).
Sign up for free (on the right column of this blog) to be sure to get details on how you can implement the five tips above to help you craft a customized strategy for small business prosperity. If you want some help with strategy or copy, send an e-mail with the subject line “I Hate Selling” to NLevin@FulcrumNY.com and I will respond to your query personally.