Is there such a thing as “overselling”, especially if you are a new business trying to make an honest buck? Unfortunately, there is. And you can experience the conundrums of it first-hand when you are bullied into buying something you didn’t want or need.

Overselling is one of the reasons “sales” and “marketing” got such a bad reputation in the last few years. It seems that companies big and small want to sell people something at all costs.

That’s why we turn off our online ads and run away screaming when our computer screens get filled with never-ending marketing posts, videos, links, texts, and images. We are suffocated by the torrent of promotions pouring from all over the place.

On the other side of the coin, there is a world of technology mixed with creativity, research, and psychology, creating canvases which marketers can paint their campaigns on without pushing people away or overselling their business. Long gone are the days when we could make people buy something and get away with it.

Nowadays, overselling reeks desperation, lack of imagination, and lack of basic consumer knowledge. As recent research shows, we live in the Age of the Customer. People need to be kept happy if we don’t want them to put our business to eternal rest.

So how can we cleverly market our business without overselling?

1. Stop Selling

This sounds like a paradox, as a company wants and needs to sell. But in order to avoid overselling and having people grow tired of you, pause and take stock of what is actually happening. Today, customers have all the necessary tools to make a valid and solid purchase choice. So it is rather counterproductive to keep stalking them and shoving your own agenda in their faces.

Instead of sending the same mind-grinding message of, “We sell the best product at the best price,” try to humanize your business and engage users into meaningful, bilateral communication with your brand.

This is what the new age of marketing is all about:

  • Build brand awareness focused on what your buyers want and how they feel, not what you sell. This is why we have brilliant marketing campaigns that tell the story of the business or that of a key person inside the business. This is why we have live streams taken behind the company’s curtains, why we have animated explanation videos showcasing our companies and products, and why we have rock-solid blog posts keeping people educated, entertained, focused and coming back for more.
  • We can learn plenty of things from other peoples’ failures. And one of them is to acknowledge the power of trust. People are more likely to buy from companies they trust and that show morals, ethics, and transparency. Such trust gets built in time, and through a simple principle: show, don’t tell. Let them take a sneak peek into your business, understand what you do, empathize with a cause you support, and share an idea that you stand behind.
  • Communicate in innovative and fun ways. TV ads have had their share of success, but we live in a hi-tech world where anything is possible. Start thinking about an easy-to-use flowchart maker to create decision trees, GIFs, infographics, video and audio content, and integrated marketing campaigns that run on all platforms and are compatible with all devices. Instead of selling, you can build a growing community of fans and followers online who can become prospect buyers, as long as they don’t feel pressured into buying.

2. Ask Them What They Want

Many businesses make the mistake of assuming that people want a certain thing at a certain price without bothering to learn what people really feel about the company or its products or service.

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Instead of overselling, you can use some tools that work both as engagement means and solid actionable feedback means.

  • Polls and surveys. While you show your customers that you really value their opinion and position towards your brand and products, you  get a deeper understanding of what they really wish for, need, and require of you as a company.
  • Quizzes and trivia games. While these are less used to understand your demographics, such fun and short engagement tools can keep your customers close to your brand, compelling them to share their quiz results, and naturally make your website visible via their social media networks.
  • Feedback forms, reviews, and rankings. People usually buy products that other people recommend. So never be afraid of asking for honest reviews and comments. The trick is to actually answer these reviews and upgrade your products and services once you understand from your clients that you need to.

As an extra piece of advice, always publish all polls and surveys’ results to gain even more website traffic, trust, and brand awareness. Also, repeat such polls and surveys whenever you may need to, to introduce a new concept or product.

3. Tailor Your Marketing Message to Specific Audiences

This is where technology and psychology shook hands to make the world a better place. Instead of pedaling on the repetitive and redundant, “we are the best” message, create different messages that match your audience.

And since one size never fitted all, it is time to rethink your strategy in terms of:

  • The emotions leading to a campaign going viral. Make sure you understand who exactly your customers are and what makes them tick, so they don’t sleep at night until they make your brand visible to the world.
  • The time your audience is willing to spend to engage with your marketing video, article or image board. Never overlook the current human attention span, which is excruciatingly low.
  • The message conveyed by your call to action. An audience responds better to “download our e-book to learn more” while others respond better to “shop now.”

Overselling can be avoided. Once you understand that just as you don’t agree to being bullied at the farmers’ market into buying some parsley you didn’t need in the first place, so do your customers avoid aggressive and pointless marketing strategies that keep them annoyed instead of making them happy.

Unsubstantiated sales pitches, boasting about your company being unique and special (just like everybody else), unnecessary hype, exaggerated and false claims about the company or the products, repetition, information overload, lack of ethics, lack of empathy towards customers and lack of interest in the customers can all be considered overselling components that can kill your business.

Show, don’t tell. Be open, transparent, and make people come to you instead of forcefully pulling them towards you.  These are a few steps to take to keep your audience genuinely engaged and spending money on whatever you have to sell.

Leaders, How Can You Market Without Overselling?

If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Dustin Ford
Dustin Ford is a writer with a great passion for gadgets. He knows that the internet and technology are the future and wants to be part of this development.

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