Sunday, 22 April 2012

Too Much Selling?

I follow a few different blogs for different reasons.  Seth Godin is an internet and technology guy who’s written a number of influential business improvement books.  He has been blogging daily for several years and almost always delivers compelling thoughts.  Today he writes about marketers who are out of touch with the actual product they’re promoting.  I read it and think of our industry, where on every level we are tempted to oversell.

I’ve often quoted David Ogilvy (founder of one of the world’s largest marketing firms Ogilvy and Mather) who said, “the heart and soul of advertising is THE BIG PROMISE.”  I have also added that the promise you make has to be backed-up in your stores.  You cannot say, “we have 1000 engagement rings in stock” and the consumer walk-in and find 57.  You cannot tell a customer that the ½ carat diamond is going to be bigger and more impressive than 99% of their friend’s diamonds.  I cannot sell you something and claim that you’ll surely see a 6 time turnover.

Whether it’s advertising or selling, there’s such thing as “overselling.”  Overselling is a code-word for lying.  One summer, I worked selling cars in Vancouver.  My sales manager was the king of “no problem.”  If a potential buyer asked for something, you said, “no problem” and then tried to find a way to make it happen.  The idea was to get them into the business manager’s office any way you could and let them deal with whether it was a “problem” or not.  The intent was to try to deliver what they wanted, but often it ended up being a “problem” and left the salesman as one who “oversold.”

Two things: A. Don’t oversell.  B. Make sure you have some pretty wonderful things to say about your product or your services that are true!

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