Permission-based Selling

April 26, 2011 at 7:46 AM 1 comment

Traditional marketing is about interrupting.

You create an engaging experience – a TV show, ad copy, demonstration – and then you interrupt it with an attempt to sell something. The customer has no control over the experience. One second you’re watching Glee and the next you’re being told how good Verizon’s network is.

Traditional B2B selling is also about interrupting. You watch people’s response to marketing efforts, and when certain people score highly enough, you send their names to the telemarketing team in the hope that they won’t hang up when they hear your voice.

Chances are a few won’t hang up. But a lot of people are going to be irritated that you’ve interrupted their work day. And that a huge cost to the relationship.

We all know about permission-based marketing, in which you’re asked respectfully if you want to be marketed to by an organization.

Shouldn’t we have permission-based selling as well? Just because you have permission to market your products doesn’t mean you have permission to enter the sales conversation. Marketing activities should engage prospective customers, enable you to build relationships with them, and then politely ask them if they’re ready to talk to sales.

When you do this, when you give people control over the start of the sales conversation, you’ll find that your opportunity conversion rates are much higher.

So as counter-intuitive as it may sound, stop interrupting and find ways to politely ask permission.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Lawrence Anderson  |  December 4, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    Good advice! B2B lead generation methods like telemarketing really can’t afford to risk sounding like pushy salesmen. I believe advice like this can really help them avoid that mistake.


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Thompson Morrison

Thompson Morrison

About Thompson

As CEO of FUSE Insight, Thompson Morrison uses powerful new web interviewing technologies to help businesses better align their brand with the needs and aspirations of their customers. Learn more at


"The single most significant strategic strength that an organization can have is not a good strategic plan, but a commitment to strategic listening on the part of every member of the organization." -- Tom Peters



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