The “traditional” style of selling has never really appealed to me. Not that I wasn’t good at it; but I just wasn’t into the whole “hook, line, and sinker” approach that has been a standard technique in the marketing industry for many generations. My aversion to the standard sales pitch was also due in large part on the effect that it had on many of my potential customers. I already knew that most people hated the idea of being pushed into making a decision, and I myself hated the idea of being the “pushy salesman”. Therefore, it was a good thing that I stumbled onto the idea of the twin concepts of inbound marketing and permission marketing.
The sales pitch is quite possibly the most powerful tool available to the marketer. However, today’s audiences aren’t as easily swayed by a sales pitch, as cleverly-worded as it may be. Instead of the standard sales pitch therefore, a more subtle and engaging approach might be more effective. Central to this approach are inbound marketing and permission marketing.
Inbound marketing basically involves attracting the audiences who are looking for the specific information that you offer. This can be done using a number of techniques including search marketing, blogging and social media. Permission marketing on the other hand involves getting back in touch with potential customers after they have already given you permission to do so. This approach contrasts with the traditional–and appropriately named–interruption marketing.
What both these marketing approaches have in common is that they share information to people that are already interested, rather than forcing people to listen to something that they would rather avoid. It may seem like a small difference, but it means the world to people that are tired of the whole marketing spiel.
The key to this is building a website that will appeal to people who will have a need for your products and/or services and then getting permission to stay in touch with them. The combined approach of community building and providing for the needs might just be the most effective way to market yourself–and you don’t have to be pushy to do it.