What is Permission Selling?
I don’t know about you, but I detest when somebody tries to sell me something out of the blue online or offline, especially if I’ve never even heard of their product or service before!
Have you ever felt that browsing online is similar to walking through a Macy’s in the mall, pestered with direct in-your-face selling tactics? Now covered in cologne, all you wanted to do was walk through to the food court!
In this article, I’m going to explain to you how Permission Marketing and Permission Selling can change the future of your business.
The Internet Has Changed Marketing and Sales Forever
Before HubSpot and Inbound Marketing changed my outlook on marketing and sales, I’ll admit that I was a slimy (outbound) salesman that didn’t care about anything but trying to close a deal.
From my time involved in everything from print advertising to SMS texting campaigns, I was knocking on your door, surprising you at work, and emailing/calling you from 9am-5pm.
I still have a bad taste in my mouth over those experiences.
I come from a family full of salespeople, involved in everything from real estate to retail, but I watched how the Internet changed everything around me growing up. I realized that the generation around me, including myself, was becoming immune to the old marketing and sales playbook.
How are these old-school tactics still being used? I observed the buying patterns of those around me and reflected on my own buying patterns; there was something unique about the phenomenon of the buyer having the advantage over the seller.
What is Permission Marketing?
In my opinion, Seth Godin’s book Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers should be read by everyone that works in a marketing or sales role. In the strange circumstance that you haven’t already, here is the link to the book on Amazon and a quick teaser about his philosophy:
“Permission Marketing is just like dating. It turns strangers into friends and friends into lifetime customers. Many of the rules of dating apply, and so do many of the benefits.”
When Seth Godin talks about how marketing and advertising departments need to re-evaluate their complete strategies and shift their outlook toward the future of the marketplace, he’s also talking about you.
The reason why I love what I do is because my team helps those companies that realized what used to work with sales, marketing, support and customer service just doesn’t cut it anymore – with those tactics, they weren’t asking permission.
What is Permission Selling?
On the flip-side of that scenario, if I see a brand, product, service or company that gained my attention with something that truly stands out and is remarkable compared to the efforts of their competitors… I stop and register that contact point.
Lunch Break Research
If I’m still interested in this product/service from this point, I do what anybody else does: diligent (and probably impatient) online research.
I can check how easy it is to find their website, follow their social media channels, read online reviews and subscribe to their blog – and they still haven’t tried to sell me anything!
What I have just done is given this company permission to advertise and market their brand, service or product to me while they have my attention. If done correctly and strategically, they have now enabled this relationship between us in which I’m listening to what they are marketing and selling to me.
If I go one step forward from that and I really want something that they are offering to me, generally all I have to do is fill out a form. Whether it’s a free trial of their service or maybe I’m ready to buy a product off their website and add it to my shopping cart, they have officially gained my permission to sell to me.
Are You Seeking Permission to Market and Sell to Your Target Audience?
If you’re stuck trying to utilize the archived sales email lists that you accumulated over the years, purchasing “target lists” and spending thousands of dollars every month on direct advertising, ask yourself a very simple question:
If my company was selling to me this way, would it actually work?
A time-tested, data-fueled formula from HubSpot that you should be following is very simple and has changed dozens of B2B and B2C companies that I have personally worked with:
Attract, Convert, Close and Delight… by seeking permission to do so.