Harper PR Blog

Stop Selling and Start Satisfying

  • June 23, 2016

Sales is an important business function and department for many businesses across many industries.

However, when it comes to building your brand and business, sales may not always be the appropriate function to lead with.

I’ve worked with many businesses, and when we first start working together, this is usually how they think:

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However, through the work I do, I usually start to challenge this thinking and work with clients to shift their thinking more to this:

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This is the difference between PR and sales. We are trying to achieve the same end results, but we come about it in very different ways.

Earlier today, I was on an Edmonton REALTOR’s website. It looked great. It had great, engaging content, and I was uber impressed with their approach to educating and engaging through educational and value-added content. I started to look at their home listings. I was interested in one particular listing based on a photo and information they posted on their Instagram page. I clicked on the photo gallery, saw two images of the listing and then BAM! I was hit with a pop-up message to enter my contact information and subscribe in order to see anymore photos and info on the listing.

Like a brick wall, I was suddenly blocked from engaging in the content and as quickly as I fell in love with the REALTOR, I bounced off the page vowing never to give them my business.

Harsh sounding? Perhaps. However, like many of you, I’m sick of being another name in a customer relationship management program. I’m sick of the forced fed, lead-generation forms that feel like they are being shoved down my throat.

This is sales, not PR.

Lead-generation. Sales people LOVE this term. They also love terms like drip campaigns, lead magnet, up selling and top/middle/bottom of the (sales) funnel.

The problem with a sales only approach, is that it tends to prioritize the company and the people selling the company rather than the current or potential customer.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of sales. I just think it needs to work in unison with PR efforts, and come in at certain times. It doesn’t always need to be there hoping and praying for a closed deal.

I actually think PR techniques are far more valuable in educating and engaging potential customers and have far more potential in growing a business. However, I also believe the sales expertise becomes very valuable in closing the deal.

In simple terms. PR does a great job of opening the door. Sales does a great job of closing it.

This is why I say it’s important for businesses to stop selling and start satisfying. Satisfy your customers’ wants and needs by enhancing value. Satisfy them by anticipating questions and being there with the information they require. Satisfy them by providing a great experience. Pull them in by building a trusting relationship rather than pushing them aggressively and forcefully in the direction you want them to go in.

Change the way you think – put the customer first and tailor your marketing mix to help them. You’ll be amazed at how this transformation in thinking will transform your business.

Natalie Harper