The Best Sales Pitch Ever

the best sales pitch everMost people hate selling. They hate having to sell things to other people, and they hate being sold to.

If you’re the seller, selling can be a frustrating process of rejection. And if you’re the potential buyer, nothing is a bigger turn-off than a blatant sales pitch.

Unfortunately, if you have a business, you have to sell products or services or advertising to earn revenue.

Just the thought of selling is enough to keep many people from going into business for themselves, and many people who do decide to start a business end up failing because they don’t accept the fact that products don’t sell themselves.

Selling in some form is just a fact of life when you’re running a business.

I’ve never been particularly good at selling directly and used to cringe at the thought of the sales process just like everyone else. That was, until I discovered the best sales pitch ever.

The best sales pitch ever is no sales pitch at all.

That’s right. The best sales pitch you can use is no sales pitch at all. At least not in the traditional sense. This isn’t a trick. Let me explain how it works.

I run an independent small business based primarily around this blog. The business supports me comfortably and is starting to provide opportunities for other people as well. I built the entire business in about 18 months and I sell products, services and other people’s products. I’ve never cold-called anyone to make a sale and I’ve never made a hard sales pitch either over the phone or online.

I don’t cringe at the thought of sales anymore because I don’t have to do much of it at all. The selling I do is actually something I look forward to.

This is all because of (get ready for a couple of buzzwords here) inbound marketing and permission marketing.

Inbound marketing is about attracting people to your website or business who are looking for information on the topic you cover. Search marketing, blogging and social media are three channels for inbound marketing.

Permission marketing (coined by Seth Godin) is about reaching out to people after they’ve given you permission to. It’s the opposite of the old standard of interruption marketing.

The point of both of these types of marketing is that you’re telling a friendly and interested audience about products that might help them instead of forcing your message in front of people who are trying to avoid it.

Your goal for building an audience for your website or blog should be to attract people who you can help fill a need or desire for. Once you’ve attracted those people, you can ask for permission to stay in contact with them (for instance by getting people to follow you on Twitter or Facebook or subscribing to your email newsletter).

Rinse and repeat and eventually selling will be easy (you might even start to look forward to it).

Hot leads! No selling required!

This site is just eight months old and yet it has already become a powerful driver of clients and customers to my business.

Because I’ve focused on both inbound and permission marketing (instead of pushy old-school sales tactics or shady internet marketing trickery), every day I wake up to email from potential customers and notifications of sales of products.

The people who contact me don’t require any convincing or inspired speeches to become customers. They’ve reached out to me because they already know I can help their business. I’ve already demonstrated my expertise every week through the value in every piece of content I publish.

They feel like they know me already. No sales required.

Someone recently asked me why I blog. Part of the answer is personal. I love the process of writing and connecting with people through words. The other part of the answer is purely business. Blogging is a fantastic vehicle for building an audience of people who want more of what you have to offer. Some of those people will become paying customers to get more of what you offer.

But blogging certainly isn’t the only way to take advantage of these superior marketing strategies, it just happens to be something I’ve used successfully and I tend to write about my experience.

If you don’t blog, you can still use these strategies to your advantage. The point is simply to attract an audience which is interested in what you have to offer and ask for permission to reach the audience members on a regular basis.

Once you’ve done that, the selling part is easy.

What about you? Have you tried inbound marketing or permission marketing? How has it worked compared to traditional sales techniques? Please share in the comments!

photo by Troy Holden

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  • http://www.howtomingle.com/blog/ Parker Lee

    Hey Corbett,

    I have much respect for your hard work… I’ve been blogging full time for 3 months now and it’s seriously hard work. I’m lucky if I can get a quarter of the success you’ve made with this blog..

    Thank you for the tips, have a great day!

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett Barr

      Hey Parker, thanks for the compliment. Stick with it and keep trying to improve yourself and your site. Set your sights higher. There are people out there enjoying 100 times the success I’ve had. Your modest goals are completely attainable.

  • http://rasolved.com R. Anthony Solis

    I’m truly inspired by your whole journey. I’ve been doing this now for about 3-4 months (although it seems longer!) and I feel the momentum coming.

    This post is a great reference for me to email to clients. Being a certified Inbound Marketing professional, I try and send clients solid and clear resources. Your post and site are now bookmarked for them.

    Thanks for your work and for sharing bits and bytes. :)

    RAS☺

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett Barr

      Oh, cool, I didn’t know there was a certification for “inbound marketing.” Great field of study to choose. I hope my assessment was on the right track.

  • http://ultimateorigami.net/ Peter Saydak

    Another great post! You’ve given me a lot to think about especially since I’m still new to this whole Internet blogging thing.

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett Barr

      Cheers Peter, thanks.

  • http://blog.naturallyengineered.com David Csonka

    Hello Corbett!
    I wonder, if you had to choose between either inbound or permission marketing (due to some kind of constraint) which do you think would provide the biggest ROI?

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett Barr

      Hmm, tough question. The two really do work hand-in-hand. In general, I think permission marketing works best though because you have the chance to build a long-term relationship with people. Inbound marketing on it’s own could just lead to one-time interactions if not followed up with the permission piece.

      • http://blog.naturallyengineered.com David Csonka

        I see what you mean, thanks Corbett. I’ll be sure to sign up for your newsletter so this isn’t just a one-time interaction.

        • http://fizzle.co Corbett Barr

          ;)

  • http://selfimprovementedge.com/top-20-motivational-speakers-of-all-time Anass Farah

    Thank You corbett for the article.

    I’ve started blogging some days ago and it’s hard I could say, the most difficult part is creating a good content, so I choose to post once a week because I think it’s the best way to provide my readers with some good content (eventhough they are few :D )

    So you’re giving a very good explanation to permission marketing here, bon better than the one in some books on marketing :D

    Thank you for the article Corbett :D

    Anass

  • http://website-in-a-weekend.net/ Dave Doolin

    Waking up to money in email is one of the coolest feelings I’ve ever felt.

    I’m on that road now, it’s the best ever.

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett Barr

      No kidding. It always makes my morning.

  • KDB

    Reminds me a lot of what Dan Kennedy teaches. Years ago I was on his newsletter list, and looked forward to it in my mailbox (I know, old fashioned, but this was about 15 years ago) every month. And he made the same case – offer something of value like a free report to attract people to what you are selling, position yourself as an expert, and the orders will come. Good stuff.

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett Barr

      It’s true, these ideas aren’t new, but hopefully they’re replacing more and more of interruption marketing these days.

      • http://www.murlu.com Murlu

        (Wanted to chime in here)

        Glad you’ve mentioned interruption marketing Corbett because I think it’s definitely on the way out – because of multitasking.

        Before, you were forced to sit through commercials and be hit in the face with ads but since so many of us are on the computer, phone, whatever – when something interrupts us we just quickly focus on the other thing that isn’t.

        Just think of any time that you’re on your laptop while watching TV – it’s more passive watching now more than anything – commercial comes on? Jump back to the computer. Back and forth.

        But when people are actively opt into information such as KDB said, you look forward to it – you almost feel bummed out when content is late – the “ah man, no new post today”.

  • http://www.murlu.com Murlu

    Love it

    I know exactly what you mean Corbett, the more you examine your buying habits, the more you realize that those direct sales pitches don’t really work. Think of the last time you’ve truly bought something because of someone hammering you with a sales pitch.

    Nahhhh, not happening.

    The net gives us that ability to do additional research; since we know it’s there we don’t buy into anything right away – think of it like helpful skepticism :P

    If it sounds right and the research backs it up, than we make the final decision – not from the high pressure of a sale.

    It becomes less of “hey, buy my product” and more “well, I’m gonna write all this information for you guys/gals because I’m passionate about it” they naturally find what you have to offer – that’s powerful.

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett Barr

      Plus it just feels so much better when you do it that way. It’s far easier to sleep at night knowing you’re really helping people instead of just talking them into things.

      • http://www.murlu.com Murlu

        Exactly – you can honestly claim that you’re ethical in your marketing.

        Plus, there’s something that’s really exciting from a customer end when you discover something – when you find that golden nugget, you generally tell others. Word-of-mouth: the most powerful form of marketing, ya know?

  • http://www.thesaleslion.com Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion

    Wow Corbett, loved this subject man. Inbound marketing (through Hubspot) has changed my business and my life completely. My entire business model is based on giving great content, video, etc to consumers knowing that Google and clients alike will be attracted to such information.

    So much has this methodology helped me I now coach other businesses in an effort to assist them to embrace this new way of thinking, giving, teaching, and ultimately receiving.

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett Barr

      Hey Marcus, thanks for sharing your experience. It’s probably hard at first to give up the old methods if you’ve spent years earning a living that way. It takes some faith that all that effort you put into creating content will pay off.

  • http://ivan.klariti.com/ Ivan Walsh

    When you’re the Authority, they come to you!

  • http://www.zonejumping.com TimB

    Hi Corbett,

    I’ve given this comment a lot/ of thought before replying cos I don’t want to come across as sounding too cheesy or sycophantic.

    In both cases, whether utilising inbound or permission marketing or a mixture of the two, what is crystal clear to me is that people are buying into you/.

    When you’ve got that cracked, you’ve got it made!

    When people see that you are genuine, honest and helpful/ for them, they’ll buy pretty much whatever you have on offer (so long as you stay genuine, honest and helpful).

    For example, I’ve seen your ads for Traffic School and, man, I’m in – I don’t even know what it is yet!

    Reputation means a lot/ in any kind of sales and a loyal tribe of followers is a big asset to any salesperson.

    Cheers, Tim

  • http://www.zonejumping.com TimB

    Hi Corbett,

    I’ve given this comment a lot of thought before replying cos I don’t want to come across as sounding too cheesy or sycophantic.

    In both cases, whether utilising inbound or permission marketing or a mixture of the two, what is crystal clear to me is that people are buying into YOU.

    When you’ve got that cracked, you’ve got it made!

    When people see that you are genuine, honest and helpful for them, they’ll buy pretty much whatever you have on offer (so long as you stay genuine, honest and helpful).

    For example, I’ve seen your ads for Traffic School and, man, I’m in – I don’t even know what it is yet!

    Reputation means a lot in any kind of sales and a loyal tribe of followers is a big asset to any salesperson.

    Cheers, Tim

    PS please delete previous comment as formatting screwed!

  • http://www.abstract-living.com Vinay

    interesting concept. While I agree this is a very good image for your brand, do you think this form of selling is the most productive in terms of results?

    Do you feel it is restricted to an industry or style of selling (ie blogging)?

    Do you feel it is restricted to a certain type of product (digital, consulting)?

  • http://thetitanproject.wordpress.com/ Jonathan Manor

    great read corbett. The Tipping Point has a chapter on salesmen. What really popped from that chapter was how salesmen can get people to replicate their actions. If he smiles you smile. If he nods, you nod. Really clever stuff.

  • http://financiallyeliteblog.com Dwight

    Hey Corbett,

    You’ve done a great job with inbound and permission marketing as the awesome stats for such a young blog can attest. Good work.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite blog dot Com

    • http://fizzle.co Corbett Barr

      Thanks Dwight! Cheers.

  • http://www.billyirish.com Bill

    The Permission Marketing book was the best $20 I’ve ever spent. Great to see you mention it here and great post!

  • http://keepupwiththeweb.com Sherryl Perry

    Corbett, I like the concept of inbound marketing. That’s where I’m starting and then as you say permission marketing is another tool. I’ll gradually move into that too. Love your articles! Your articles about marketing strategies resonate with me.

  • http://nittygriddy.com Ingrid Abboud

    Corbett, a hell of a job you’re doing here. Thanks for sharing all that useful information.

    I kind of cringe as well at the thought of selling and therefore have never really done it. Till now, word of mouth seems to be working quite well.

    Yet you brought up 2 excellent points which couldn’t be more spot on! And although many have been using these methods for some time – they may not have known the exact term for them – I for one, was not familiar with Godin’s permission marketing until you brought it up now – but I clearly witness it quite often although in my case I’m still trying to optimize my inbound marketing skills.

    I think our blogs are a medium for folks to come to us. Through the content we provide and the niche we focus on, they can decide whether they can label us as professionals in our respective fields or not. And through our track records, stats, commentators and so forth – they can in turn see the kind of ROI we are achieving. At that point – it’s your audience that comes to you and not you to them. And on top of that – as you said – they feel they already know you. Our writing, at least mine – portrays a big part of my personality for I write the way I talk. And it’s great! It’s actually proven to be quite an asset for me.

    Now about that someone who asked you why you blog :). I have it on good authority that she’s very grateful to you for your answer. She also hopes to be publishing that special post very soon!

    Thanks again for always sharing such valuable information. It’s always a pleasure coming here and learning from you. Excellent piece.

    Cheers

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  • http://www.mikeziarko.com Mike Ziarko

    Great post. I’ve been a long-time subscriber to the permission marketing school of thought. I’ve done plenty of outbound sales and have always seen greater success the other way around.

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  • http://cashcampfire.com Christina Crowe

    Great post Corbett,

    I actually use permission marketing when I publish content for my newsletter. It definitely does work, and the people you get permission from are already interested in hearing what you have to say, rather than readers just browsing the Web for information.

    They also already know a bit about you and are familiar with your work. So trust is another important factor that influences buying decisions, which is why the permission marketing strategy works so well. :)

    Christina

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  • http://www.ivdisplays.com/ Vinay Menon

    I used Adwords to try permission marketing and it worked very well. I got prospects to call on me & when they were in buy mode, the best thing it can happen to any Sales Professional. That time I did not understand the Permission Marketing, it feels really good to know how it works. A big thank you!!

  • http://www.seocorporation.net/ Vishal Vivek

    If a potential client or customer finds that you care for his or her business more than your own instant profit then you are certainly going to sell more than others. The worst sales pitch is being pushy and taking about yourself than the prospective client’s business.

  • http://christalsemercantile.mychoices.biz Christal Riley

    corbett,
    I am not a blogger, however I did start my own online retail store. and i have found that getting customers to change their ways of shopping is a bit difficult. any advice???

  • Cassandra

    Hi

    Reading your blog, i find allot of good helpful tips.

    I recently started working for a company whose’ whole business profits rely on me calling people up and attempting to set up meetings.

    My strike rate is shockingly low with 3 meetings set after 78 calls.

    We are a marketing company and rely on people needing our services to market there company.

    I don’t know if its the pitch which is short natural and to the point or if people just don’t like sales calls.

    Any advice? I need to improve my strike rate BIG TIME

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  • http://fineprintnyc.com/ Joseph@FinePrintNYC

    I really appreciate you honest and genuine approach, and I agree waking up to estimate request and business opportunities really sets a great tone for the day :) Thank you for sharing!!

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  • http://87sl.com/ 87SL ,Sales Network

    Marcus, thanks for sharing your experience. We think sales will be bit easy , if you get referrals from friends . But It’s probably hard at first to give up the old methods.

    87SL,A platform for helping businesses create more word of mouth business, more referrals, than they ever had before. This network is powered by sales professionals . If you are not in sales , you can not join this network . Because we understand sales professionals with perfect pitch can win businesses .

  • HP

    HI Marcus. I am a northerner new to the south in Louisiana. The people here are very stubborn and set in their ways. How do I break through this attitude and prove that I can help their businesses?

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