Some may believe the word gentle has no place in the crazy world of sales.
Yet, it’s always been my belief that gentle selling is much more powerful than we understand. We live in the age of 5000-word sales pages and clickbait headlines like this:
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Don’t tell me you don’t want to click that right this second to see #8!
These tactics play a vital role in many businesses and there is nothing wrong with a strong sales strategy. Yet, that’s not the only way to sell and your business blog may be the place to try a different approach.
Small Changes for Big Results
Sometimes you don’t need to make big changes. Sometimes you just need to improve the existing system. And easy one for business blogs is to fix small issues that may be turning off your readers. In 15 Practical Ways to Improve Your Blog Today, Jerry Low suggests going after low hanging fruit including:
-Choosing the main blog theme and organize content according to priorities
-Check for spelling errors and typos that scream unprofessional!
-Create an editorial calendar
-Replace “click here” actions to stronger CTA’s
-Fix any broken links
None of these are challenging or overly time-consuming. But they are important for the overall effectiveness of your blog and it’s a great place to start your gentle sales strategy.
Gently Connect Content with Sales Info
You know who does gentle sales persuasion better than most blogs? Food bloggers.
Food bloggers don’t just share recipes. They share the entire story of why and how the recipe was created, plus colorful step by step pictures of how to create their masterpieces. One of my favorites is Kathryn Taylor from Cookie and Kate. In a recipe called Sunshine Salad Dressing, Kate explains a recent trip and a local dish that was the inspiration for her dressing. She did all this and still worked in a mention of her cookbook and a link to the sales page.
The mention wasn’t out of place and it wasn’t flashy. It was just a simple connection to how you could check out her cookbook if you were interested. Take a look at your existing content to see if there are any opportunities to link to retail items or sales pages in a natural way.
Share Stories, Not Just Features
It’s so easy to jump to a hard sales pitch when your sales are lackluster. And you may need to do some hard selling to your email list or promising leads. Yet, what works with clients face to face may not work on your blog. Mainly because the reader came to read your blog, not a sales page.
That brings us to the real purpose of a blog. It’s not a sales page but a communication tool. It’s great for building up your brand’s image, but necessarily the right place to shove in-your-face advertising at your readers. Instead, it’s a place to build your brand’s image by showcasing what an awesome business you have.
Mexicali Blues is an online and local retailer that specializes in “ethical fashion”. In Mexicali Travels: Holi, India’s Festival Of Color, they shared a festival they attended. Since their entire business platform is built on selling ethically sourced fashion from countries like India, this was a perfect way to show customers exactly where their products come from.
There is no reason to stop sharing new products or feature launches. Just don’t forget to share the personal side of your business and why you’re in business in the first place. And don’t forget to let your personality shine through!
Gentle Has Its Place in Your Sales Funnel
Some love the excitement of the hard sell. They love crafting the perfect sales pitch and the rush you get when someone actually buys your product. There will always be a place in business for slick sales and I’d never argue against that.
Yet, there may be times when a gentler approach can bring decent results too.