I was talking with an amazing new client yesterday. During our chat, I mentioned that I hadn’t sold my services to anyone in over 20 years. I went on to explain that thousands of people have hired me or bought from me. But I hadn’t sold anything to anyone.
That’s not just a play on words.
It’s a way of operating! And if you want to attract more clients or customers, you need to know about it.
Buying and selling
I discovered what this meant at the ripe old age of 21, at the very start of my marketing career. It came from an insight, which my first ever boss shared with me.
“Everyone loves to buy things, but no one likes being sold to”.
And she was right.
Most small and medium-sized business owners don’t seem to ‘get’ this. Their marketing is little more than a series of needy pitches. And it’s rightly ignored by the vast majority of prospective customers, because no one likes being sold to.
The smartest business owners bake marketing into their business. They know that everything their business does is marketing; from the way they answer the phone, to their customer service, their pricing, their branding, their opening hours, their location, the quality of coffee they serve guests… and everything else. It’s all marketing. All of it.
Most marketing versus Smart marketing
Those different approaches look something like this.
- Most marketing is about bringing your need to the marketplace. Sales pitches, special offers and closing the sale.
- Smart marketing is about bringing your seed to the marketplace. Contributing your knowledge, solving problems, being helpful and opening the relationship.
Smart marketing is more effective, creates greater trust and builds better relationships. And it works in every industry. Because regardless of what line of business you’re in and what marketplace you serve, people love to buy things. Bring your seed, my friend. And let your competitors pester the marketplace with selfish requests.