The quickest way to sell is asking someone if they want to buy. There’s just no way around this essential truth. In a one-for-one match up, direct sales contact will beat networking, speaking, blogging, PR, promotions and advertising every time. Sooner or later, you have to ask the question.
But that doesn’t mean marketing and publicity are useless.
Instead, it helps to think of them as supporting functions. They’re the things that help move the client or customer toward an eventual “yes.” The scaffolding of recognition, trust, and excitement that successful sales require.
Without that scaffolding, asking for sales is a little like asking strangers for their phone numbers. You might get a bite now and then — say, one out of every hundred — but you haven’t earned it. The resulting relationship is apt to be short-term, awkward, and transactional. And you’re going to get a reputation as a skeezy, sales-y type.
So… build up that scaffolding. Use video and other tactics to pitch your community outreach programs, or to educate your users; to let people know who you are, and establish yourself as a credible, generous, connected leader. Then use it to ask your question or pitch your service.
Nobody wants to be “that guy.” And nobody credible wants to do business with “that company.”