I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand when I walk into a store, and a sales person jumps down my throat with a canned greeting and list of promotions. I immediately tune them out. And truthfully, some part of me decides that I’m not buying in that very moment.
This is what happens when you try to push your products and services on people. And with the proliferation of social media usage by businesses, it seems like this “push practice” is only getting worse.
Every time I pop into a LinkedIn discussion, stop in on a forum, or engage in a “networking” oriented Facebook group I feel bombarded by “hey, buy my stuff” messages.
And these messages aren’t passive postings anymore. People are strategically connecting with me on various networks so they have messaging access to me. And once they have it, they use it to pound me with their “buy my stuff” messages.
I still don’t understand why people think this is effective?
Don’t they understand that even though the contact is virtual, it still feels like an unwanted experience with a pushy in-store sales person?
If you’re going to be profitable in your business, you have to promote your offerings. I get that. It’s one of my favorite aspects of entrepreneurship.
But recognize that the way you promote your business says just as much about your business, as the quality and value of your offering.
How to Promote Sans Push
To promote your business without being pushy you must operate from a place service. It’s about sincerely having your ideal customer’s best interest in mind. When you authentically operate from a place of service, you immediately remove any resistance that causes your communication to be perceived as pushy.
So how do you authentically operate from a place of service? Easy. You serve. And to serve means you do a helpful act.
Instead of interacting with others to see what you can get, see what you can give. Join LinkedIn and have conversations with group members. Pop into a forum and answer questions that demonstrate your expertise. Jump on Facebook and encourage, compliment, or support others.
When you do these things, people notice, people listen, and people will come to you. That is the secret to promoting your business without being pushy. When you operate this way…you pull.
This is why I love content marketing. Using web content to attract your ideal customer to you is the easiest way to eliminate all barriers to buying from you.
What if You Don’t Use the Web To Generate Leads?
If you don’t use the web to generate leads, you’re nuts. If you have a brick and mortar business, you should also have a website that leverages the power of content marketing. Not only because having an online presence is a requirement for being in business these days, but because the online model makes this really easy to implement.
But even if you operate a brick and mortar retail store (without a web presence), the concept behind content marketing (and selling from a place of service) can easily be applied to the way you interact with your customers.
For example, let’s say you own a furniture store. You could set up a small kiosk inside your store with a classy banner that says, “Get Your Free Design Guide Here.”
Put together a guide for decorating featuring furnishings from your store, and include a color wheel with fabric swatches, so customers can easily decide which furnishings would suit them best. You could even include a 10% off coupon for their first purchase (and ask for an email address if you’re brave enough).
Creating this type of environment gives you the opportunity to be of service to your ideal customers while enabling them to approach you first. No jumping down their throat required.
Now if you read this and you thought, “Why not just hand out free catalogs?”
You’re missing the point.
Although it’s probably important you get a catalog into prospective purchaser’s hands, giving them a catalog doesn’t do anything to meet their needs or wants.
They’re already in your store. They were interested enough to find out if you could meet their need by showing up. So their need probably isn’t a free catalog, it’s probably to find the perfect color and size couch for their studio apartment – which a design guide would help them do –instantly.
Now That You’ve Been of Service – Offer a Solution
Ironically, this fear of being pushy causes many entrepreneurs to refrain from making offers to prospects regularly. But what you need to remember is that you only appear pushy when you’re not truly being helpful. Pushiness is a result of ulterior motives. It occurs when authenticity has left the building.
As an entrepreneur your goal should be to make offers often, but only if your product or service is truly a solution to a prospect’s need or desire.
Once your client has come to you, whether that is in-person or through an opt-in online (and you’ve helped them in some way), then you should make them an offer that can meet their needs.
This means if you offer graphic design services, and you’ve followed this advice closely, your offer could be to let your prospect know that one way they can develop a more memorable brand is through your branding consultations. Explain how a branding consultation meets their need or desire by describing the outcome you’ll provide to them.
Or in our furniture example, you could explain that based on your design guide, their preferences are a great match for three specific pieces of furniture in your store – and point them out. Then simply ask, “Would you like to select a piece for delivery today?”
This is the art of promoting from a place of SERVICE. This is how you promote without being pushy.
When you understand how to promote your products and services without being pushy you will have more sales, create a better experience for your buyer, and you’ll become more confident when it comes to making offers because you’ll see great results.
It’s really that simple. All that is required is a commitment to serving before you attempt to sell, to provide some help without expecting something in return, to offer a solution through your products and services, and to making your offer easy to accept.
Join the Push Back from Pushiness Challenge
One reason I think so many entrepreneurs have a hard time embracing this concept is because they want instant results. But being of service to your ideal customer requires that you establish trust. It requires consistency. It requires patience.
The upside is that when consistency and patience start working for you, everything gets much easier. Today, I want to challenge you to push back from being a pushy marketer.
I want you commit to building a foundation of trust in one channel you use. I want you to commit to operating from a place of service. And when things start working for you, I want to hear about your results.
How will you start implementing this push back from pushiness challenge today?