I *HATE* selling.

Did I mention I hate hard selling? I absolutely detest it. I did some telephone selling for a while. It creeps me out how people build shallow relationships just to get something.. anyways that’s a whole other post. Turns out I’ve created a whole strategy around not needing to do the hard sell ever again. Ever. Yay.

I’m not really in the business of advertising. But sometimes I have ideas about win-win situations – company gives me something, company gets something in return, that happens to usually be publicity, because of my loud-mouthed nature…. This usually happens very naturally with brands I’ve built some emotional involvement with, and it doesn’t happen often since I don’t need much. Recently it has happened while working in the library and while thinking of how to get out more and resulted in actual projects.

Usually when trying to sell an idea involving publicity (I think that’s called advertising), the potential client is faced with making a decision between “let’s do something safe with our money” and “let’s try this new idea”. This gap is normally is closed by building credibility through an agency portfolio, personal trust and rapport, plus creating emotional involvement by simply great pitching.

I realised that the way I do it is a lot softer, safer, and more applicable to the constantly changing environment we find ourselves in.

It involves building relationships which don’t require me to build the amount of trust, credibility and rapport which would allow a potential client to part with a huge amount of resources straight away. Since everything is fluid, I would have a hard time justifying this trust – what if in another month or so, the social landscape has changed again, and the idea has completely lost its brilliance?

So how do I solve this conundrum? By piloting rather than pitching projects. The company gets to try my idea for a limited time by investing a very limited amount of resources – because social media is very economical and this pilot usually involves work I’m doing anyways, it is almost sublimely safe for both sides.

At the end of the pilot, we review statistics and realise that what I’ve done has doubled the unique visits on their site, created 500 good followers for their twitter account, or whatever it is we measured – and the relationship is a happy and lasting one and I naturally get some of their marketing budget.

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