Chapter 4. Selling Sucks: To Educate, Inspire, and Entertain Is Fun

Scott Ginsberg, "The Nametag Guy"—who has made a living from wearing a name tag and inspiring people (seriously) through books, seminars, products, and more—said it best: "If people like you, they will buy everything you have."

What gets people to purchase your product? The quick sell is going the way of the dinosaurs; it used to be the norm to try to force this on potential customers. Many salespeople genuinely believed that they only had 30 seconds or a one-quarter page of advertising to get their message across. They told people what would happen if they used your product: They would attract members of the opposite sex, keep up with their neighbors, and be invited to all the fun parties. All you had to do was buy what they were selling.

That approach doesn't work so well anymore.

I'm not suggesting that direct marketing is dead; it isn't. But I am suggesting that the smarter, faster, cheaper way is to view sales as a long-term goal—not a quick, manipulative, pushy attack.

Educate, Inspire, and Entertain

If you give educational, inspirational, and/or entertaining content away—with your number one goal being to help people—your business will flourish. If you give it away just for the sake of selling stuff—it will be obvious. And this isn't fluffy theory; we are all smart. We know when we are being hustled by people with manipulative intentions (shudder). It is the difference between watching a really bad movie and a ...

Get Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-Free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.