Want to Sell More? Stop Selling, Start Engaging!


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Stop Selling, Start Engaging!

Selling is the fuel that drives the business. We are all eager to sell more. But the funny thing is…sometimes the best way to sell more is to stop “Selling” and start “Engaging”. Why?

Selling is a process, not an event. When we think of selling as an “event”, or a one time transaction, we feel an urgency to close the deal right away, often by using “hard selling” and closing techniques that push the prospect to take action right away. While this can be effective some of the time, there are several shortcomings that can lead to less sales instead of more. The “hard sales” approach needs some rethinking in today’s Internet economy for several key reasons:

  1. Pushing People is Inconsistent with their Natural Buying Process – Most people don’t make snap decisions to buy. They do a bit of research, shop around, narrow down the options, make comparisons, and then make a final selection. Said another way, they have a “process” they go through that makes them feel comfortable with their decision. As sales expert Jeffrey Gitomer says in his Little Red Book of Selling, “People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.”
  2. High Pressure is a Turn Off – Because the pressure selling approach pushes people beyond their comfort zone, it turns off a lot of prospects. They might like what you have to offer, but they need a little time to “warm up” to buying from you. The high pressure is a turn off to these folks, so they decide to leave and buy from someone else they feel more comfortable with.
  3. Focused on One Sale – Even when you make the sale, the hard selling approach has a shortfall because it focuses on making just “one” transaction. This approach does nothing to earn a customer for life. As a result, these customers are far less likely to come back for repeat business or to provide referrals to others.
  4. Bad Fit for Internet Reality – In the online world of the Internet, everything is just “one click” away. As a result, if people don’t like your “selling” approach, even if they like what your offer, they can instantly leave your site and go to a competitor. Why risk losing people to a competitor?

Okay, so what’s “Engaging” people all about?

We do want to sell. That’s our ultimate goal and an economic necessity, but we need to do it in the right way. A way that is consistent with how people naturally buy and a way that works in the Internet reality — and that is to start “Engaging” them.

Instead of selling them on why our product/service is great, provide valuable information that engages them, attracts them to your brand or company, and establishes you as a thought leader. People want to feel comfortable with the company they buy from. Have an “about us” page that shares your company’s unique story and why you exist. Earn people’s trust and confidence by providing information that helps them learn more and think through the decision-making process as well as showing them you have a unique insight and understanding of their situation.

To really engage visitors to your website, let your company’s personality, or brand personality, shine through so they develop a different feeling about your website and your company. Even on the Internet, people are looking for a feeling of “connection” so make yourself different and have a unique personality. Go to the Apple website and compare it to the personality of Lenovo, for example. Both are great companies, but they have very different personalities. How are you different? What is your brand personality? How should you leverage this to lay out the information on your website in a different and compelling way.

When we think “engaging”, the goal of the content on the website isn’t to sell immediately, but to create a place where people get what they are looking for and to give them compelling reasons to return when they are ready to make a purchase.

We want to start a dialogue, or a “brand conversation”. We want to convince them we “get it”, and show them we are different in a meaningful way. This will motivate them to come back, contact us, or fill out a web form that moves them along the path towards conversion. Ultimately, we sell more when we engage people and start a conversation that fits with the natural way they like to buy. When we “engage” customers, they will buy, buy again, and refer their friends to us as well. This is how we create customers for life.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Rick Thompson
Rick's passion for building brands and innovative marketing programs makes him an ideal partner for companies that want to build a strong brand that engages customers and drives revenue and profit. His experience in owning the P&L as a line manager help him appreciate that the goal of all branding and marketing is to drive the bottom line.


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