Selling vs. telling – which one wins the ROI showdown?
Lots of folks don’t like to sell, but selling is how you grow business. And it’s the essence of direct response marketing, one of the most fundamental internet marketing strategies.
If you want to make money, then you have to sell.
But that’s not saying you need to become a sleazy used car salesman.
In fact … pushy salesmanship is really just the mark of a lousy salesperson.
Pushers are pushy because they lack tact.
Today — especially online – businesses need tact.
While most people confuse selling with pushiness, the opposite is true.
Effective selling means interweaving content with promotion, listening to customers, and engaging with them on their level.
But let’s be clear.
In order to get an action, you have to ask for action. And you need to tell prospects what they need to do … explicitly.
If you don’t want to be aggressive, you should at least be assertive.
Explain the offer … tell customers what action needs to be taken … and continue promoting your business.
Let’s look at an example of selling vs. telling.
Selling vs. Telling in Context: Email Marketing
As one leading marketer said, “If you don’t email at least once a week, you don’t like money.”
But many companies don’t want to seem pushy or get unsubscribes (which, by the way, is a pretty lousy email metric), so they don’t sell.
Okay, okay, I kind of understand the feeling. Unsubscribes mean people don’t like you and you’re “losing business.”
- Not seeming salesy seems safer…
- There’s no risk of rejection…
- People won’t badmouth your business behind its back…
However, these are emotional reactions that aren’t based on cold, hard facts.
And, in marketing – as in business – ROI is your top concern.
When it comes to your email marketing — is it generating the ROI you expect?
How much do you email?
Are you asking for action in each and every email?
Email marketing is the cheapest, most effective channel out there.
At one point, email was cited as being 44 TIMES more effective than social media marketing…
Here are a two big reasons why:
Having given you permission to market to them, email list members are more receptive to your messages
The email inbox is a private one-on-one space, unlike social media or paid advertising, which are noisy and distracting
Email offers the highest ROI of any digital marketing channel…
…yet it is severely mis-used by most businesses out there.
In the battle between selling vs. telling, most businesses don’t communicate enough and they aren’t assertive enough.
The failure to sell or to stay in constant contact often traces back to:
“I don’t want to come across as salesy.”
To which I’d respond,
“Out of sight out of mind.”
The less businesses hear from you, the less they remember you.
Ultimately, businesses that don’t use email to its fullest aren’t fulfilling their ROI potential.
In future emails, I’ll discuss other benefits of constant contact (the marketing principle, not the email software).
But in the meantime, don’t forget to subscribe to my daily email newsletter.