Why High-Pressure Selling is Antiquated

Everybody loves buying things, but most of us hate being sold to. Sales and advertising have negative connotations for many people and that’s because it makes them think of products being pushed on them. This is in no way unique to online marketing or the Internet marketing niche. Far from it. Pushy sales-people and -tactics have been around since long before the Internet came along.

In fact, online marketing is the perfect remedy against high-pressure selling, because it offers better alternatives.

Buy, buy, buy!

Internet marketing gets a bad rap and it’s often associated with scams and endless spam messages flooding inboxes. And it’s no surprise, either. The IM niche is full of cowboys and scammers and if you sign up for half a dozen ClickBank product launches, you’ll quickly lose faith in humanity.

Unless this is your first visit to my site, you probably know that I’m not a big fan of high-pressure selling. I don’t like hype, I don’t like fake scarcity, false promises and “selling the dream”. I don’t like constant sales-pitches and fake enthusiasm masking greed. But I also realize that the IM cowboys don’t represent Internet marketing. They may be the loudest and most obnoxious proponents, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that Internet marketing = IM niche. Here’s an illustration of what I mean:

Think of e-commerce retailers, service providers, authors and entrepreneurs creating an online presence for their offline businesses and you’ll quickly see that there’s a heck of a lot of actual marketing happening online, that has nothing to do with the IM niche or IM niche typical practices like creating affiliate sites or driving traffic to CPA offers.

Having said  that, I don’t condemn the IM niche entirely, of course. That’s where the overlap comes in, in the above graphic. There are genuine marketers and teachers in the IM niche. And I for one am very thankful for them and the opportunities that this small sliver in the IM niche offers for entrepreneurial bootstrappers.


The Better Alternative

Apart from the above rant, I do have a point to make in this post, which is that there’s a better alternative to high-pressure selling available online: precision targeting.

High-pressure selling is applied when limitations are in place. Limited time and limited potential customers. Example: some guru (doesn’t need to be an IM guru, by the way), holds a seminar and then tries his best to pressure everyone into buying his super-expensive home-study course or “mastermind” membership. Being more persuasive and/or applying more pressure is the only thing the guru can do in this setting, to increase his profits, because there are a limited number of people present at the seminar and there’s a limit to how many seminars he can run.

Online, limitations like those are close to inexistent.

As previously illustrated in this post, the growth of the Internet and the growth of any given target market is staggering. There are likely more potential customers for your product out there than you can ever reach. And new ones are coming in at a greater pace than you can keep up with. You are not a pitch-man in a room with a finite amount of prospects. Your goal does not have to be to push your product on to as many people as possible. Your goal should be to make sure you can actually reach everyone who’s already interested in what you have to offer. Those who would be happy customers already, if they only knew about your existence.

To make a long story short: I believe that those businesses that take targeting, tracking and segmentation seriously will lead the pack pretty soon.

What are your thoughts? What are you doing in your business to make sure your message reaches the right people? Leave a comment and let me know!

About the Author Shane Melaugh

I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better entrepreneur and product creator. Read more about my story here.

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  • Mitro says:

    I may be getting you wrong, but are you saying that scarcity and persuasion are antiquated?

    • Shane says:

      Not exactly. Of course scarcity and persuasion are still relevant and you’re still going to market to your audience. But I do believe that this takes a back-seat to targeting.
      The better the targeting, the less persuasion you need to make a sale. With a virtually unlimited supply of potential customers, what would you rather do: make sure more of the right people know about your stuff or push more of the wrong people into buying your stuff anyway?

      Copywriting and persuasion aren’t going anywhere, but together with targeting and segmentation, they might evolve. Show the right message to the right people.

      • Mitro says:

        Yes, that’s exactly what I wanted to hear, and I agree with you.

  • Phil says:

    I just discovered this blog and your free training last week. I appreciate your style of teaching and marketing. You’re correct. If you put out something of value and offer to people who need it, there is no need to use pressure.

  • tom says:

    I absolutely agree! With a good product that delivers what it promises you don’t need the high pressure phony presentations.

    In a book on social media they went into how social media interaction can destroy you if you get a bad reputation. Social media is the anti-TV type of marketing. You can click away or if really annoyed creates some anti-product bias using the same media. We have all seen this go viral from time to time.

    Unfortunately the crap isn’t pointed out often enough to warn newbies, although it is getting better.

  • Dimitris says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Specially in very small markets where rumors and word-of mouth can offset your marketing efforts very quickly you don’t have the option of pressure selling because you will hit the same prospects again and again in the future and they will hardly give you a second chance. Inspiring with your vision and rock-solid Integrity is the only viable strategy.

    • Shane says:

      Thanks for your comment, Dimitris!
      I think that’s a very good point. The rise of social media is definitely something that the more honest and personal brands and products benefit from.

  • Griff says:

    Well said, Shane. It has always been the case that a small minority can spoil the good reputation of the majority of high integrity sellers in given Market, but it is hard to think of a niche that has suffered as badly as IM!

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