You know how a pitching machine works in a batting cage? It’s a machine that automatically tosses out balls for the batter to hit. If you think of a pitching machine in terms of sales, those balls are a constant barrage of messages like: “last chance,” “buy now,” “limited time offer!”
We all have pitching machines in our inboxes. They’re the newsletters that make us happy there is an unsubscribe link!
In this world of relationship marketing, the hard pitch doesn’t work anymore. We have to be subtle, strategically engaging and growing our audience; but not to the point where we aren’t making any money.
I was chatting with a prospective client the other day about how much he hates the thought of selling to his customers all the time. Sales are down, yet he told me multiple times that as a heart-led business owner, he does not want to be “buy buy buy” all the time.
When I took a look at his social media profiles and his website, I could clearly see why sales were down. They were down because he, indeed, was not selling. At all. He wasn’t selling to the point where wading through his Facebook posts made me feel quite inspired about being a better person (thanks to a ton of wonderful quotes), but not inspired to hire him, because I didn’t know what he was selling.
This business owner is a lovely human, but has gone so far in the direction of not wanting to be “in your face” to buy, that his audience doesn’t know enough about his services to want to learn more.
Now, I admire those business owners who are driven by heart instead of cash, I really do. But when you’re in business, you’re in sales. Period. And when you’re in sales, you can be subtle, but you can’t assume everyone who connects with you will understand what it is you’re selling. Unless you weave what you are selling into your messaging.
You need to find the balance between pitching all the time and not pitching at all.Find the balance between pitching sales all the time and not pitching at all.Click To Tweet
So, how do you influence people to buy without pitching them to death?
By mastering the fine art of subtlety. It comes down to integrating your services and core message throughout your content. Without being “in your face.”
When you take a broad look at the content you’re putting out there, think about how you can weave in the odd promotional message so it’s clear what you do, yet, you’re not turning anyone off with the hard pitch.
If you’re publishing a weekly blog post, maybe every other week you add in a line or two about how you’ve helped a client with a particular problem, or how you’ve added a new service to address a trend you’ve seen in their industry.
If you send out a weekly newsletter, it’s OK to include a line or two about taking on new clients.
If you Tweet six times a day, nobody will notice if a few of those throughout the week point back to the services page of your website. If you populate your Facebook page with thought-provoking articles and engaging content, it’s fine to remind those folks on a weekly basis what sort of services you provide.
Again, I commend all of those heart-based leaders for trying to make the world a better place, but unless I have it all wrong; the majority of us are in business to make a profit. You can’t make a profit if you don’t have any sales. And I believe you can increase your sales without being a pitching machine.
How do you handle the topic of sales in your business! What side of the fence are you on, or have you found a nice balance? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts on the matter.
Also published on Medium.