Why People Can’t Stand Marketers

Although I’m directly speaking to a particular industry, the title of this post seems pretty exclusive to people who call themselves “marketers” or “marketing consultants”, but it really applies to any entrepreneur or sales guy out there.

Any sales guru or training guide is going to tell you that 21st century sales and marketing isn’t as much about your price or product as it is about the relationship you build with your clients, i.e. Jeffrey Gitomer. A good relationship can fix a bad problem with your client on your product or service. Without it, you’ll be having the highest churn rate you’ve ever experienced.

But people often forget that the relationship doesn’t start after the sale. It starts much earlier, in the prospect stages. It starts even before you know who could be in the market to buy.

This is the point; if the first thing a prospect hears from you is your sales pitch, you’re immediately letting them know what you really care about. Your own bottom line.

The Problem

As an entrepreneur and business owner of a digital marketing agency, I specialize in marketing for landscaping and lawn care businesses. Doing this has prompted me to join and engage in industry specific groups on Facebook and online forums such as lawnsite.com.

The point is to engage with my target market and ultimately increase my client base and brand recognition. But you can’t do this by pitching everyone that has a question or problem with their marketing (or whatever service you’re selling).

I think the problem is people are so focused on themselves and getting a sale, they forget about the person that has a problem and needs a solution.

Imagine you were doing some simple plumbing under your kitchen sink but you kept getting a slight leak when you reconnected the new trap.

Okay, maybe you don’t have to ‘imagine’… just ‘remember’, I guess…

So you turned to your DIY Homeowners group on Facebook and asked what you could do to stop the leak, then all of a sudden an experienced plumbing contractor comments and says something like,

You should avoid using polyurethane O-rings as they’re more suited for dynamic applications. Give me a call if you’d like:
Joe’s Plumbing
(555) 555–5555

Or my personal favorite, simply,

Sent you a PM.

Get out of my face, Joe. I already know you care more about advertising your services in this thread than simply sharing your expertise and solving my problem.

But what would I have been more receptive to?

An answer without a sales pitch.

Your services are not always the best answer for every solution. Give your value and your prospects will know where to go when the problem is outside of their own capabilities.

What Marketing Consultants and Freelancers Are Doing

As soon as anyone remotely asks a question regarding help with a marketing question, the digital advertising vultures swarm in hoping to scavenge an easy sale.

Take this one for example.

LOL. Aside from his super, condescending statement, “…unless you really understand how the internet works,” the first thing this guy does is side-step a simple solution for this person and solicit his services.

Notice how Ryan isn’t a part of the group anymore. He’s not a part of literally the largest lawn care group on Facebook.

Why? Because he was trying to BE the solution instead of PROVIDING a solution. People saw right through this and tarnished his reputation as a genuine marketer looking to better the green industry.

What Should Ryan Have Done Differently?

Provided value.

Ryan had his blinders on and only saw “…my web site for my business.” There were two other really important participles in this sentence:

  1. What’s a good site…
  2. …that I can make…

The first participle identifies Zack’s ‘want’. The second participle identifies his ‘objective’. If Zack’s intentions were to be solicited to, his sentence would have a completely different want and objective. It would look like this:

What’s a good agency that can make me a website for my business?

The context of the statement is completely different and all I did was change the subject of the sentence. This is an example of someone who wants to hear your sales pitch.

Ryan should have offered a few websites Zack can use to design his own website with little experience, such as Wix, Weebly, or SquareSpace. Then he should have brought up a platform that is going to provide him the most value in the long run such as WordPress (sure, let’s fight about it in the comments) without soliciting his services.

You see, WordPress has a learning curve, and Ryan would be demonstrating value by sharing his expertise in website building and SEO without coming off as a self-promoting ass.

Provide Value. That is the key.

Providing Value, How It’s Done

Ever since I started in sales I’ve been told that getting someone in the (metaphorical) chair is 80% of the battle. 20% is getting them to say yes to your pitch.

If you start with your pitch, you’re literally putting 0% in to the first part of that battle. That’s like going to war without ammunition. You’re going to lose almost 100% of the time.

But providing value has to be substantial to an extent. In the example above, don’t just say, “Wix.” With that answer, as far as Zack knows, you’re just some shmoe that heard good things about Wix. Instead, go into detail a bit.

Why do you recommend it?
What other platforms are there out there?
What problems have you encountered with it?

Now all of a sudden you’ve established credibility without making the topic about YOUR business and YOUR services. It’s about THEM.

Here’s an example of value I provided for Aaron in the same group who asked,

What is that way people were talking about advertising on fb. (not boosting posts)

And here’s my response:

Aside from that very subtle line at the bottom, I did not solicit services in any way, yet still provided killer value. I literally answered his question as descriptively as possible and told him how to do it. I even linked him to where he needs to go and sent a link on how to learn more.

Notice how I didn’t link to an article on my site? Use that sparingly.

People know when you’re self-promoting versus genuinely providing value.

Self-Promotion Turns People Off

You might start off thinking that this is the only way people are going to know your service exist and people can actually pay you for the marketing services you offer. But as soon as you self-promote, it diminishes the value you offer.

Like Justin. Justin is in a lot of these groups and the only engagement that comes from him are weekly posts about $49 website builds that somehow include the build, hosting, maintenance, and SEO…

Obviously, no one ever responds because if he’s this persistent on soliciting every week without getting responses, imagine what he’d be like if he got to slide into those DMs.

Despite Justin posting this on the 3rd of July (a Tuesday) and wishing everyone a happy 4th, unfortunately for Justin, Stephen is not only a landscaper but also has past web experience. It only takes a matter of time before you get called out.

Even if no one is saying anything, trust me, they’re thinkin’ it.

You don’t even have to have me tell you that, just think to the last time someone called you and tried to sell you something. That’s exactly what you’re doing to these people.

The Bottom Line

Leading with a service as a solution to a customer’s problem will only spot light your true intentions, which is taking their money. And if you think your prospects are naive enough to not be able to tell that you’re self promoting then you’re the stupid one.

Quit self-promoting, start building credibility and relationships. The customers you want will come to you, but you have to put in the work.

I’ll Leave You With This Tip

Answer questions your services could solve as if your mom were asking them and trying to do things herself. I mean, if you solicit to your mother, then you’re probably an asshole.

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Owner of Evergrow Marketing and Director of Marketing at an industrial scale company. Specializing in SEO, SEM, SMM, and Website Development, specifically WP.

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Jake Hundley

Jake Hundley

Owner of Evergrow Marketing and Director of Marketing at an industrial scale company. Specializing in SEO, SEM, SMM, and Website Development, specifically WP.

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