Could *love* be the magic marketing bullet you’ve been looking for?

Or else I’ll keep pressuring you until you do!

I took my first sales training course back in the 1980s. The Glengarry Glenn Ross “coffee is for closers” scene pretty much nails the experience.

I learned that it was “us” against “them.” Whoever speaks first “loses.” Never take “no” for an answer. Ask questions to get “ammunition” you can use against people in order to overcome objections and close the sale.

Silence was used to intentionally make people uncomfortable: “If you make them squirm enough, they’ll decide they’d rather buy instead of spending another moment with you.” <- actual word-for-word advice I received.

I left the course knowing that “sales” was not for me!

Ah…but things have changed since then, yes?

Stop being such a loser and buy while you still have a chance! Cart closes at midnight. Tick. Tock.

It might look that way on the surface. The language may be softer. Especially within the coaching world.

Yet…

We still hear advice like: “grind in the pain.” Make people feel worse so that they’ll buy.

We still see high pressure tactics. “Decide now” or miss out on the bonus, the lower price – or the entire offer (seems the cart is closing in X hours – complete with countdown timer.)

And the psychology is becoming more and more sophisticated. Robert Cialdini wrote a book called “Persuasion” to WARN us about these tactics so we can see what marketers do to manipulate people.

Instead, marketers use Cialdini’s book as a “how to manual” for making their marketing more effective. (Read the book and it will become obvious!)

Where it all starts: trying to sell something that people don’t want

It doesn’t work. It’s over-priced. But if you order before midnight, you get the “fast action bonus.”

When you really dig down into some of these tactics, at the core they are designed to try to get people to do things they don’t want to do.

The intention is to bypass a person’s logical thought processes and have them hand over a credit card before they realize that they are about to:

  • Buy something they don’t need or want
  • Pay more money than what something is worth to them
  • Be fooled into buying something of low quality (or that doesn’t do what it promises to do)

If you’re selling a product or service that people would WANT to buy, at a price they are willing to pay – why would you use sales techniques designed to sell crap?

Can we do business in a better way?

I want to live in a world where business is a force for good!

One of my favourite quotes:

BE the change you wish to see in the world

~ Some really smart person who may or may not have been Gandhi

When I started this business 5 years ago, I was determined to make it work MY way – through honesty and integrity – by serving with love.

I believed that I could attract clients by working within my values. I trusted that the right people would respond positively to my honest approach. And if I was wrong about that? I would quit.

There have been times when I wanted to throw in the towel.

It’s frustrating (and a little heart-breaking) to have someone nod along with the ethical approach I offered, yet choose to spend their money with someone who is “more visibly successful” and offering an “easy path to success.”

But overall?

It’s worked.

I’ve made a steady living with my business and I’ve had the honour of working with amazing ethical business people who make a positive difference in the world.

Let’s market with love instead!

Maybe frogs would be less “froggy” if they included love?

If we want to change the world of business – it starts with us.

Let’s approach the sales and marketing part of our businesses with the same energy we bring to the actual services we provide.

In the wise wise words of one of my clients: “Coaching is a trust-based relationship. How can you establish trust if your first interaction was all about skeazy tactics?”

What if we:

  • Connect to our potential clients with empathy – instead of “grinding in the pain”
  • Focus our marketing efforts on being helpful – instead manipulative
  • Provide honest information – instead of persuasive language

Perhaps promoting our businesses with love would remove the hesitancy a lot of us have with marketing.

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4 Comments

  1. Terri on February 10, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Oh, Patty I just love this. And what about repeat business? If someone I’ve gotten products or services from makes me feel uncomfortable because I sense their unethical practice to get the sale, I am not likely to go back and purchase again. And for certain if someone is “intentional silent to make me squirm,” I bolt. I define being treated like that abuse.

    With a couple of businesses I owned and a company I worked for, I never thought I was good at “sales” part. Avoided it like the flu. I could not have walked into any conversation with a potential client with the idea of I was going to sell them something. It just isn’t me.

    I love to meet people and that was what handled the sales part of what I did. I never had to ask for a sale or get persuasive or start lying. Overwhelmingly people called and scheduled services when I cared about them genuinely (love), told them about what I do and enough about myself they knew me and the integrity of my work. They most often figured out what they needed. I was shocked that they needed me and my services more than I could have expected. Yes, you are onto to it. Love it the answer.

    • Patty K on February 12, 2017 at 10:31 am

      At a recent networking event, a couple of women who had been in business for several years attributed their success to “repeat business and referrals” – this comes from providing great service and truly caring about their clients. Another client of mine gushes about how much she loves and cares for her clients – and guess what? They keep coming back. They refer others.

      I think that this is a HUGE advantage that those of us in small (one person!) businesses have over larger companies: we can care. We can make it personal. Yet what are we advised to do? To automate, to “scale” to “leverage our time” – all of which degrade the client experience. We give up our biggest competitive advantage (personalized, caring service) to try to compete with larger businesses and “established celebrities” by doing what they do. And it doesn’t work. Because it isn’t “us” – it doesn’t fit – it feels cold and icky and we can’t pull it off.

      What you said here: “I was shocked that they needed me and my services more than I could have expected” – I think if we could keep this in mind as we think about our sales and marketing, we could allow the conversations to unfold in an easy way. When this is true…who needs to lie or get persuasive?

  2. Dr. Rick Bradshaw on February 12, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Yes, definitely agree that “Love is the Answer”. I’ve trained many (500+) masters-level counsellors. The therapists who are booked up 1-3 months in advance are the ones who are just great counsellors, and ethical, loving people! They don’t even need to advertise beyond having a good Website!

    • Patty K on February 12, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      Exactly!

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