SELL! The New 4-Letter Word.
I'll tell you where this all started. In my post I'm Talkin' About a Revolution you can view the Social Media Revolution video. In the video, amongst all the other rather riveting facts, figures and editorial, is one statement that continues to stick with me—the concept that, more or less, successful professional business development services and top marketing communication strategies are more likely to be molded after Dale Carnegie than David Ogilvy.
The video is really fast and it's easy to miss, but, for some reason, it keeps popping into my head. Have we really come to the point where we just can't admit we've been "sold" to? I'm guilty of it too. It makes you feel dirty. It makes you feel ignorant, uneducated and like you've been taken advantage of. Most people, including me, won't even admit it. I'm struggling to remember, did it always feel that way? As a matter of fact, the entire concept of "exchanging goods or services" has moved from the question of "how well do you sell", to "how do people buy". Can good sales people even find work any more? Or are they slowly being exiled to a remote island somewhere?
The best lead generation methods are now really about educating, informing and "offering" than they are about selling anything. In some ways, it seems that no one really wants to sell anything because they don't want to be accountable. The integrated direct marketing campaigns that I build are centered around "how people buy" because, for the most part, that's what's important. We now create marketing and sales support materials to aid the sales process. In other words, provide the literature to validate or legitimize a claim. What did old sales support materials look like? A bad sport coat, coffee breath and threats?
It seems to me that salesmanship has become somewhat of a lost art. And now that I'm thinking about it, I'm going to take it upon myself to incorporate the expression "What do I have to do to get you to drive this off the lot TODAY" as a new business development tactic!
The Allied Group is a New England marketing communication and full service fulfillment company.