Is Selling Bad?

I wish I could say 'Why do you hate selling when you do it yourself to make money?' But truth is, probably I am one of those hypocrites myself: I sell stuff but sometimes I hate it when someone sells to me. Of course it was not always like that but I feel like this after being in the internet marketing niche for close to 3 years. :)

Maybe I am just tired and fed up of it all? :)

Don’t get me wrong: selling is probably one of the best skills you can learn. If you cannot sell, you cannot make money in any business, online or offline. Not too long ago I read a thread at Warrior Forum where a member was asking if he should outsource selling and marketing, because he cannot do it well himself. My personal opinion is that even if you outsource everything else, you shouldn’t outsource marketing. If you learn nothing else, at least learn how to market your product.

Having said that, there are things I like and then there are also things I dislike about salesmen.

I hate the-

1. The pushy pitcher: I will give you one offline, everyday example:

One day I saw a man peddling a brand new toothpaste to my neighbor. Now mom happens to hate those peddlers very much, mainly because they happen to be pretty pushy and tenacious. Usually, whenever she spots one, she instructs me not to venture close to the window, lest the peddler sees me and comes to our house (she believes that a peddler won’t visit an 'empty' house). And we are not the only ones of a kind. Several of our neighbors vanish into thin air as soon as they notice one of these peddlers.

Anyway, the trick didn’t help us that day, as the peddler came knocking at our door. Mom said that she didn’t need any of that as she purchases her stuff from a so-and-so shop, on credit. However when the peddler refused to budge, we started ignoring him. He kept knocking at our door for sometime and then left! We made a little fun of the man and then it was all over.

Now here is some food for thought:

It was certainly possible that the toothpaste he brought us could have been better (or worse) than the one we used. The only way to know for sure was by 'tasting' a sample. Instead of badgering and hamming us about how great his product was, if this salesman would have offered us a small sample of his toothpaste, no strings attached, he would have been able to make a sale.

Think about this: let’s say his product is really good, but he just offers us a free sample of it, and then returns a few days later asking about our experience with the toothpaste. If the sample was really good, we would have been ready to buy it!

Sometimes I think I should give a tip or two to these folks, but then I think that most people prefer to be doing what they are doing instead of learning from their mistakes and analyzing the results! So let them keep doing what they do! ;)

Still these peddlers can be excused on the pretext that most of them have little or no formal training in the art of selling! But I am even more surprised when the top internet marketers, who probably have all the world's marketing knowledge at their fingertips, rarely, if ever, offer free samples of their products. They are more interested in making their salesletters as 'hypey' as possible. I know very very few internet marketers who offer free chapters of their ebooks!

2. The copycat: Whenever a new product is launched by one of the top internet marketing gurus, it seems like there is a race for bonuses, and all the super affiliates are interested in outdoing each other in this race. He who offers the best bonus wins the race :) I am truly fed up of these emails. The bonus offers seem to be copies of each other; there is little ingenuity in them.

I can understand if the bonus products themselves are some crappy Master Resell Rights stuff, but at least show a little originality in the way you position your offer!

3. The liars: It is obvious: the one who blatantly lies about a product simply because he happens to be an affiliate. The unsubscribes don’t bother him, because he gets more suckers into this list than the ones who get off his list!

4. The pretender: Umm, the affiliates who pretend to have used and benefited from their affiliate products even when they haven't ;)

5. The long winder: Ever seen those emails which are so long winded (running to more than 3 pages) where you feel utterly lost about halfway down? The seller doesn't even get to the real point (read the 'pitch') until at the end! I wonder if it hurts to be a little precise!

6. And of course, the spammers! ;) I don’t mean just the conventional spammers. There are 'reputed' marketers from whose lists I have unsubscribed a dozen times, each time only to be added back again! It looks like these marketers import even their 'unsubscribers' into their followup cycle. Thanks to email filters, I can now breathe easy! :D

I love the-

Relationship builders: Don't know about you, but I would any day prefer 'relationship marketing' to 'business to business' marketing. :)

A person who encourages my dreams and aspirations, explains to me (in a clear and concise manner) how his product can help me achieve my dreams, doesn’t mind giving away some free tips now and then, doesn't hide behind a 'no-reply' email address, replies to emails in a timely manner, and of course, last but not the least, overdelivers at every step…

… Is someone I would like to do business with!

I prefer folks who can subtly use persuasion to convince me, but I don’t like the ones who use 'deceptive seduction' techniques – you know what I mean! :D

Tell me which kinds of sellers do you absolutely love/hate? You can post your comments below! :)

As for whether selling is bad or not, let me just say that selling isn’t always about monetary exchange. If anyone asks you to do anything for them, he is a salesman. If I ask you to do me a favor, then I am 'selling' myself to you, even if I don’t ask for cash! Now, is that bad?