I went to into the bank yesterday to cash in one of those annoying debit cards that Verizon gives you in place of a rebate. While the very competent teller was taking care of the process, another woman came and, obviously looking at my bank record, started doing a hard sell on a home equity line of credit.
I say it was a hard sell because after each “no thank you” she came back with another reason why we needed it – started asking after my kids, etc. She was remarkably unresponsive to the negative feedback I was sending her.
As a customer, I was ready to turn and leave my transaction unfinished – I detest salespeople that make me feel like I have to be rude to be left alone.
As a marketing professional, though, I took it as a lesson – don’t sell the customer who isn’t ready to be sold. And listen to the signs that they’re not ready.
If your marketing content is selling too hard or selling before the prospect needs or wants your solution, you risk getting the same reaction that I had in the bank – aversion. What does this look like?
- Opened but abandoned emails (low click-through rate)
- Web pages where your visitors abandon your site.
- Unsubscribes from email campaigns.
One of the golden rules of content marketing is; make sure you match your content and your call to action with the prospect’s stage in the lifecycle. When they’re ready to make a purchase, if you’ve done your job, you won’t need a hard sell at all.