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"I Want You to Go Here and I Want You to Do That" - The New Audacious Sales Technique of the Internet.

by Diane M. Hoffmann, ph.d.
Hoffmann-Rondeau Communications Inc.

Have you noticed a new sales twist in recent times in Internet selling? I don't know about you but instead of making me click, it makes me recoil.

I just received another one of these: "Here's what I want you to do right now. Click this link and read the important message I have for you then I want you to take action and click on the 'Get Started Here' link you'll see there".

What do these "sales people" think we are? A bunch of sheep?

Ok, I might sound frustrated. Sorry. But I am. That is not the way to sell on the Internet - or anywhere. There's enough write-up and talk about how to build relationships, how to warm up to the prospects, how the target market is changing on the Internet from a scarcely served open-minded audience to a plentiful discriminate sophisticate searcher -- you think somebody would have picked up on this one.

In the offline business, sales techniques have moved from the hard sell to the soft sell over the last decades. Sales people are trained to sell solutions and not product, to build relationships. And you do that with the right words and respectful attitudes.

Can you imagine a salesman/woman coming into your office to sell their product and tell you "I want you to read this brochure and then I want you to sign on the dotted line". You'd have them leave your office pretty fast wouldn't you?

That's what we do as Internet salespeople when we tell prospects and customers "I want you to click on the link and then I want you to click on the "buy button". I find that audacious. Why?

Because I get a lot of these every day and there seems to be more and more picking up the trend.

I'm on the mailing list of many of the best of the Net. I don't subscribe just to anybody and everybody. I don't have time. And I can tell a phony from a professional; I'm not easily impressed either. I only subscribe to those who have been successfully around for a long time and who have something to model -- and of course who have good products that I "choose" to buy if I want to when it fits my business strategies.

Have you noticed that I used "Internet salespeople" just above. The term we've been using when we talk about those who do business on the Internet has been "Internet Marketers", "Internet Gurus". That's fine, those of us who are doing business on the Net are definitely marketers -- and the real good ones are definitely Gurus. However, as I have clearly shown in another article "Advertising, Sales and Marketing, Online Or Offline - Are They the Same Thing?" there is a point where marketing stops and selling begins.

When we are e-face to e-face with our prospect, we are selling, we go from marketers to salespeople. It seems that a lot of marketers don't realize that yet and have not learned how to sell in the field. There's a big difference between the marketing team in the ivory tower and the sales team on the road. Totally different working environment and tactics apply.

That quote I gave in the first paragraph of this article is a real quote from a real email I received from a real and prominent Internet guru. I'm talking about professional Internet marketers here. If I mentioned his name you would all know him -- and the same goes for the many others who are doing the same thing. I could name them all, they're big, they're well known, they're the stuff success on the net is made of!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not discrediting them, that's why I don't mention names, I respect them -- hey I follow them!

But I have noticed this trend and I don't like it, and it makes me actually not click and buy at their command!

Audacious means -- among other things -- impudent, proceeding from daring effrontery, contemning the restrains of decorum, bold. Well bold is ok but it has to be a respectful bold. It has to be a "not being afraid to show your product's benefits to the customer", not a "tell the customer what to do" bold.

Maybe these patriarchs of the Internet marketing have become too sure of themselves and forgot their humble beginnings. Trouble is they have to catch themselves now because the younger generations are modeling them and I don't think sales terminology from a selfish and aloof point of view is going to work on the increasingly competitive cyberspace road./dmh

Diane M. Hoffmann is president of Hoffmann-Rondeau Communications, which offers ONline and OFFline business services and resources. She is the founder and creator of and author of several books, e-books and articles, including "Contextual Communication, Organization and Training". Diane has recently shifted her primary focus to helping entrepreneurs start and grow their own Internet business. Copyright(c)2009 Diane M. Hoffmann. You may reprint this article without any changes, making sure to include this bio.

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