The biggest lie a salesperson can tell themselves: “the product sells itself.”
The “build it and they will come” philosophy doesn’t work. A business can have the best product in the world, but if no one knows about it, no one will buy it.
Selling a product requires getting attention. Getting attention requires effective marketing.
Here are some ways to market effectively.
Appeal to emotions.
Humans are emotional creatures.
We buy products that make us feel smart, safe, important, hopeful, beautiful, excited, or inspired.
We need some logic to help rationalize a decision, but too much puts us to sleep.
To appeal to emotions, use charisma, paint mental visions of the future, wrap the product in a compelling story.
Use humor: people like, share, and remember what makes them laugh.
Put creative ads in unexpected places: a clever NYC brewery dropped ads disguised as passports in the subway.
Incorporate a talent or unique attribute: my dad wrote and played his own commercial jingle for his insurance business.
Use headlines that are shocking, contradictory, or unexpected:
- “Why You’re Wrong About the Stock Market”
- “How to Get Fired”
- “How I Quadrupled My Income Last Month“
We don’t have to be overly obnoxious or scandalous, but be interesting. Stand out from the clutter. Boring doesn’t sell.
Build a relationship.
People don’t buy based on our business cards or Twitter accounts.
People buy because they know what we do and that we’re damn good at it.
Likewise, we have to know our customers – their hopes, fears, and dreams. What do they value? What are their goals? What keeps them awake at night?
It’s not about what we’re selling – it’s about what our prospects need or want to buy. What’s in it for them?
One of the biggest turn-offs for customers is when they can tell a salesperson only cares about earning a commission.
We need to be the first person a prospect thinks of when they think of our industry.
If a friend is going to sell their house and we’re not the first real estate agent they think of, they’ll list it with someone else.
Then they’ll say, “Oh yeah! I totally forgot you’re in real estate! I would’ve listed it with you instead. Sorry, pal….”
Studies show that a prospect needs to be marketed to six to eight times before they think about buying.
If you’re not the first person they think of, you may as well be the last.
Be bold and outgoing.
Don’t always do what everyone else is already doing – be daring.
Stage a dramatic scene to be acted out in public. Print your job resume onto a wine bottle and send it to a potential employer at a winery. Buy someone’s face to use as ad space (oh yeah…).
Bonus points for nude models.
Don’t be afraid that you’re annoying people. You’re never going to please everyone. Some people will be interested, some will buy, and some will get annoyed no matter what you do.
The bold and noisy get noticed; the quiet and timid are ignored and forgotten.
“If the marketplace isn’t talking about you, there’s a reason. If people aren’t discussing your products, your services, your cause, your movement, or your career, there’s a reason. The reason is that you’re boring.
To not be boring — to be a true winner — follow Curtis Yungen’s blog.”
Seth Godin, marketing master
For more marketing tales, tips, and strategies for getting attention and engaging customers, grab your copy of Al Lautenslager’s book, Market Like You Mean It.