The secret of the open and shameless sale

Many people seem apprehensive about selling their products and services. Not all, some are natural, others have had practice. But when the time comes, even many sellers are hesitant to push the sale.

I think this hits entrepreneurs of all kinds.

They are clear about what they offer.

They believe in what they do.

Still, when that time comes, they don’t ask for the sale. They expect the prospect to make that leap for them.

This is also seen with digital marketing. An avalanche of useful content (emails, videos, articles, you name it) without even trying to sell.

Ask anyone who does this why and they’ll give you a reasonable answer:

I want to offer value.

I don’t want to come across as salesy, corporate, or greedy.

It will chase away the clues.

Right now, I’m focused on building the relationship.

Sounds reasonable, right?

Except it’s rarely the real reason.

The reason is that it is more comfortable to say a lot without asking for the sale.

To write emails with intriguing topics, attractive bodies but no call to action.

And then someone comes up with a plausible excuse: “Not asking for the sale builds the relationship!” – and people line up.

Whether it’s true or not.

Well, I guess it builds a relationship. But what kind of relationship do you want?

Do you want to be seen as an enthusiastic hobbyist or a professional?

A curiosity, or someone who can solve problems?

A leader in his field or a child in need?

Professionals sell things while building the relationship. Each reinforces the other. You do not believe me? Think of how often people joke that Apple is a modern cult. Their fans love their products, they love them.

And, well, Apple knows how to ask for the sale…

And they also know how to build a relationship of admiration, maybe even loyalty.

Is that something you want for your business? Instead of customers, do you have a loyal following?

What would that do for its impact on the world, let alone its bottom line?

The best email marketers do this. The people on your list look forward to your emails. There are some email captions that I eagerly devour the moment they cross my inbox.

It’s not hard to tell the difference between them and all the other spammers:

Legends are entertaining.

His personality shines so brightly it’s deafening. Yes, I know I mixed metaphors there and I stand by it. They are deafeningly bright.

They offer enough value to allow you to justify reading them. Sure, they’re fun… but it’s educational fun, see?

And then they ask for the sale.

Usually a literal sale – click this link and buy this thing.

Sometimes the call to action is something else, like completing this survey. But usually it’s to take money from their readers and line their own pockets with it.

Because that’s what professionals do, no matter the industry.

(You can’t help anyone if you close the store.)

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