Sell It Well

“If your marketing is good enough, then selling becomes unnecessary.” -Peter Drucker

Guy Kawasaki asked Dave Kerpen of award-winning social media agency Likeable Media how to be “more likeable online.”

It’s a cheese-filled question, for sure, but that doesn’t bother me as much as the 10th of 10 suggestions on Kerpen’s list.

10. Don’t sell

Just make it easy and compelling for your customers to buy. If you’ve done a great job listening to people, engaging with them, and educating them about your business through storytelling, when they have a need that you can solve, you’ll be there for them. Or when their friends or followers have that need, they will recommend you.

It’s funny, because I’ve always identified way more with brand than I have with direct marketing, but having spent a number of years in promotions helped me to see that whatever side of the aisle you prefer, or claim, it’s all about selling.

Which leads me to ask what’s so horrible about selling? I guess it depends how one defines the act of selling. If it’s a car lot hard sell we’re talking about, then sure, that’s bad form. But real sales pros don’t pull that crap. Selling is ultimately about relationships, and guess what, that’s what digital marketing is all about too. Imagine that.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.