Updated: Sep 1, 2022
There is a marketing cliché that says everything is sales.
LinkedIn posts? Sales.
Instagram stories? Sales.
Happy hour margs? Sales.
Vacation photos? Sales.
Witty blog posts? Totally not sales.
The problem is not that we’re selling. The problem is we pretend that we’re not. 99% of all LinkedIn messages or cold emails are selling something. “Dear John, I can increase your ROI by 254%”. First of all, we’re not on a first name basis (also, my name is not John).
Second of all, how do you know my ROI, why do you think about my ROI and why would I ever believe this is about my needs? Rather be honest and tell me what you do in short, and let me decide if it’s something I need, without the pressure of “getting on a quick call”.
That’s why I prefer receiving emails from brands rather than people. Brands send me a few photos of people on boats wearing striped shirts and say something cute and impersonal like “Sale into the sunset”. They’re not promising to increase my ROI. It’s my call if I click the button and indeed ‘sale’ into that sunset. Statistically speaking, 95% of the time I do.
In our agency, we never do cold email outreach. Not because we’re too good for it, but because we’re too bad at it. I’ve never sent a cold email to someone and got a piece of business. Or hardly a response. So, we decided to just focus on doing fun things and hope someone like-minded takes notice and says ‘hey’. Hint: it’s the Contact button on our new website *cough cough, wink wink*.
The bottom line, we all have to do sales, one way or another. But our reptilian brain feels when someone’s not being genuine. Maybe we should start by being more open, and hopefully, somehow, some ROI will show up down the line.
In the meantime, smooth sale-ing to everyone and all!