Have you ever been on the receiving end of a really terrible sales or marketing experience?
I know I have...
When I started working for myself, my biggest question and fear was “HOW on earth will I bring in business month after month?”
So when I saw a Facebook ad for a business coach who would teach me how to get fully booked, I immediately signed up.
This would help me find the answer!
On the call, she spent a long time tapping into my innermost dreams...
She made me imagine what would be possible when I was earning the riches - who I could help, where I could go, what difference I could make.
She swept me up in the vision.
Then she switched into sales mode...
“Are you the only decision maker in your business”, she asked.
I said yes.
“Are you resourceful?”
“Will you commit to doing the work?”
Hell, yes...and I thought to myself...if this is less than £2k, I’m in.
…then, with my dreams laid bare on the table, she told me it would be £8,000 to join her program.
She told me I had to be resourceful to be successful in business and if I didn't have the money I could apply for a credit card or loan.
She told me the price was only valid for 24 hours, after that it would go up to £10,000.
And finally she told me not to speak with my loved ones for advice, because they hadn’t been on the call with us, and therefore they wouldn't understand the 'journey' we had been on together.
I got off the phone in tears…my confidence in tatters.
I couldn’t afford the coaching. I wouldn’t learn the secrets. I was going to fail in my business.
Is this really the way to sell and market my services?
As I sat red-eyed on the sofa, I wondered if I was supposed to play on people’s hopes, dreams and fears to be successful.
I realised that if THAT was the way to do business, then I’d rather just go back to working for someone else.
I didn't want anything to do with her or her questionable sales techniques and I wondered how well she slept at night.
The whole experience left me with a horrible taste in my mouth, but an unshakable conviction that I would NEVER impose these kind of techniques on my clients.
Manipulation and fear-based selling
Manipulation is a common tactic used in the psychology of selling, and we see it all the time in offers:
Fast acting or time sensitive bonuses
Super slashed discounts
Prices that miraculously halve because people 'don't want you to miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity'
Risk reversal promises
Bonus up-sells after you've bought the thing they've been selling you
People create offers including these elements because they've been told it's the best way to do it.
But these things are all based around fear, lack and manipulation...and I wonder if the days are numbered for this style of selling?
I certainly don't want to be sold to like this any more
All of these things leave me with a bad feeling about sales and marketing in general.
What's the alternative to fear based marketing techniques?
Does the answer lie in marketing our products and services in a more gentle and conscious approach?
By creating a marketing strategy that's aligned to our unique Human Design.
By leaning into our values and marketing in a way that feels right for us.
By sharing our truth with openness and without agenda.
By actively creating helpful content that will attract and connect with our ideal people.
By committing to experimenting with the above.
My conscious marketing experiment
This is my marketing experiment for at least the next 12 months and I will be updating you about what's working and what's isn't as I go along. You can read all about my conscious marketing experiment here.
Maybe you'd like to join me...? Feel free to reach out if this resonates.
I hope you've enjoyed this article and you've taken something useful from it.
I'm a brand designer, photographer and Wix website designer based in Dorset. I help female business owners and career changers build their brand and online presence through photography and web, brand & human design, so that they can turn their passions into the business they dream of.
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