Death of the hardsell?
Selling less will probably sound counterintuitive to many businesses. Afterall, why would you sell less?
Nowadays, with the residue of the recession still lingering for many hard-up business owners, the thought of withdrawing from the sales mentality may seem a little crazy.
But what if I told you that is exactly how to sell more products and boost your income? You’d laugh me out of the room right?
Wrong. Welcome to marketing law 101. A new trend is quickly gaining ground among savvy marketers, and that is how not to sell. I’m serious. Afterall, put yourself out of the shoes of a business owner and into the shoes of a customer.
The last thing you want is constant adverts pushed into your face, trying to sell you this or sell you that, because every man and his dog wants to sell you something.
And the truth is, most customers just aren’t walking around thinking about your business. Not unless you have built up some kind of relationship or meaning to them.
But it still works doesn’t it? Otherwise, why would so many businesses out there spend billions of pounds on adverts and spamming people if it didn’t work?
True, it might work for some of the bigger corporates with millions of pounds at their disposal, but these days – especially for the new businesses – it just doesn’t work that way. Especially not over social media.
Even adverts that are posted over social media are usually targeted at very specific audiences.
But a growing number of businesses are picking up on the principles of attraction marketing, which puts forward a new model of business based upon getting customers to come to you, rather than the other way around.
So how do you do this? The most successful marketers do this by setting themselves up as experts in their industry.
They do this by blogging, creating online events, such as webinars, and targeting their marketing materials at those who have already expressed an interest in their products.
For example, on Facebook, an ad may be targeted at specific groups where one has already built up relationships with those within the group.
And essentially, that is the essence of attraction marketing. Building relationships. People don’t walk around worrying about businesses they’ve never heard of.
They do however, spend a lot of time thinking about the relationships and connections they’ve made with other people.
So instead of shoving an advert into peoples faces, instead network, find out about people and most importantly, provide a service to people.
Now I’m not necessarily talking about giving away free products. But what people are really after is information. Information which will help them to solve their problems. This is why how-to videos, recipes, and and online guides are all the rage among consumers.
This is why Youtube has enjoyed almost unrivalled success. This is why Facebook is one of the biggest tech giants out there, along with Google, Twitter and Skype.
The new economy is a service-based economy, and those who do not get onboard, are leaving money on the table.
Almost everyone in business has been told “know your target audience”. But how do you get to know your target audience? By using social media to interact with people, provide value, share information and building those relationships – which will ultimately turn into fans and then customers.
Once a potential lead becomes a connection and a friend, it is easier to pitch them products and services based upon the value and trust you have already built up.
This is the philosophy behind attraction marketing. It is one which abandons the hardsell, in favour of the “warm” market, that is, family, friends and new connections.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to follow relevant industry figures and their followers, because many people have an automatic follow back facility.
Commenting on other pages, retweeting top industry blogs, and responding directly in a timely way to people can literally work like a charm for your business.
Another thing is, people like to be listened to. So if you can offer your service to people in a way that speaks their language, and addresses their particular needs, this is likely to yield greater success for you in the long-run.
Those businesses which fail to listen to their customers and instead talk at them, do so at their peril. I’m reminded of a funny experience I had when touring the USA . I popped into a phone shop in order to get a cheap, temporary mobile phone so that I could stay connected with my US connections while I was in the country. This was before the iPhone and iPad had really hit the market.
Despite my repeated pleas for a cheap, temporary handset that would just tide me over until I boarded the next plane, the over-enthusiastic salesman insisted on trying to sell me phones which cost upwards of $500. After trying to explain what I was looking for to no avail, I left the shop.
The lesson therein: always pay heed to your customer base.
Using autoresponders in a clever and consistent way can also go a long way to building your very own business empire.
One of the best books out there on the market which addresses the issue is: Magnetic Sponsoring by Mike Dillard.
Another fantastic book is one called Attraction Marketing by Annie Meacham, which is an interesting fusion between attraction marketing and the law of attraction.
Ultimately, it boils down to you. If you invest the time into learning these principles and applying it in your own business, you can be in a position where your customers come to you, rather than you having to chase them.