How Salesy Is “Too Salesy”?

I love when marketers act like they’re above marketing, then turn around and get sold just like everyone else.

Another pro-tip:

All marketing is sleazy until you’re the market.

Which brings us to the point of today’s post.

I was recently on a group call with some copywriter buddies.

We were doing a hotseat thingy; taking turns telling the group our business challenges and having the group solve them.

Someone said something to the effect of, “I want to sell without sounding too salesy”…I’m paraphrasing but you get the gist.

To which I asked, “how salesy is ‘too salesy?’ Is there like, a line where ‘up to here is not salesy enough’ and beyond here is ‘waaaay too salesy’?”

NO ONE…I repeat…NO ONE…could give me a a clear answer.

Here’s the best they could do:

“It just feels icky.”

Please, shoot me in the face, right now.

Let’s put aside, for a moment, a bunch of professional marketeers deciding what to do based on highly subjective icky-ness.

It flies in the face of the fundamentals of direct response.

The complexity your sales messaging (aka how hard you sell) depends on many factors.

And without getting too into the weeds, they boil down to the following:

The two articles I linked explain the concepts well enough.

Suffice it to say, HOW you communicate with your audience will vary massively the more aware and the more sophisticated your customers are.

how salesy is too salesy

Are you sending cold, paid traffic to a reasonably low-cost product for a one-off purchase to extract as many sales as possible?

Well…you better sell the s*** out of it.

Are you building a legacy brand that will stand for generations?

Then you need a softer touch to build long-term relationships with your customers.

Whatever your business model, your sales messaging is predicated on one thing:

Understanding your customer.

^^Research, research research.

THAT is why it’s profoundly discomfiting to me to see marketeers subjectively decide something is “too salesy” based on their feelings.

First of all, you are not your customer.

Second, If your customer NEEDS a hard sell, and you DON’T sell hard enough, you lose.

You’ll likely end up going out of business.

What’s more, you are doing a customer a disservice and potentially harming them by not selling your product the way it needs to be sold.

And that is a profound ethical failing MANY of these “I want to sell without being too salesy” copywriters utterly fail to comprehend.

I’ll be exploring this topic further in upcoming posts but in the meantime, subscribe to my daily email newsletter below.

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