Why talking product is a turn off… And what to do instead

September 29, 2019 |

We’ve all experienced the hard sell; whether it be in the physical world or the digital. I’m sure you can remember sidestepping an overzealous salesman; or deleting that app that won’t stop pestering you with incessant notifications.

Who really enjoys being pushed to with overly salesy messages!?

Granted there are times when it does work. Either the timing is exactly right, or the approach is so hyper-personal to your circumstances that it resonates. But if it doesn’t then it can be a giant turn off.

For businesses marketing their products and services to other businesses, the hard sell is even less likely to be effective. This is true for a range of reasons; not least the complexity of the product or the often nuanced nature of the market it serves.

In particular; many technology businesses have developed a reputation for banging on about their latest widget or feature without much thought for the end-user.

Our advice? By all means carry on like this if you want your brand to be dismissed, overlooked or even worse; perennially ignored. Or you could try something different.

Be One Step Removed

Go beyond sales or product messaging and discuss thoughts; trends; insights and musings that are not wholly unrelated, but complementary to your day-to-day activities.

Content aligned with your industry, that goes beyond sales or product promotions will be far more effective at placing you and your brand at the heart of your sector.

Your audience may not be ‘ready to buy’ but you can pique their interest by occupying a space that demonstrates your expertise and highlights that you understand their circumstances.

Temper your Excitement

Try to avoid going OTT. Ultimately, yes, everyone’s priority is the bottom line. But there’s got to be more to a story than just return on investment or generic KPIs.

Often, an audience wants to be wined and dined a bit before being confronted with a pitch; or the sell. Everyone likes to be entertained. Nobody likes a comedian that jumps to the punchline too soon; or a magician who unleashes their grand reveal before the suspense has reached a suitable crescendo.

Spark an Emotional Reaction

Uncover the hidden stories that show the world why you do what you do.

What difference does your product or service make to human beings?  Talk about that instead of technical features.

Show you’re different by tugging on your audience’s heart strings. For example; consider not just your customer, but their customer too, and what it might mean for the end-users. Showcasing that you are more than just a company that manufactures widgets, develops software or researches acronym-based evolutions and revolutions will set you apart.

Have Other People Say It

Make sure that, if you do publish or place content about you, then it isn’t you doing all the talking. Ideally, you’ll be centring on external factors affecting your customers – with a passing reference to your product’s role.

Having one of your customers telling others about their “journey” towards finding your solution is better. Sure your company may be a smaller part of the overall story; but that story will likely reach a listening audience with an open mind.

Are You Event Ready?

At Tank, we’ve created a marketing checklist for businesses planning to attend, exhibit or sponsor SATELLITE in Washington between 7 – 10 March.  Have you considered your approach to PR, content creation, social media or SEO?

If not, or just to assess and benchmark your approach, you can download the TANK checklist to see if you are marketing-ready. Drop your email in the form below to receive a digital copy in your inbox right now.

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