Selling is dead! All you need now is your personality! (Jesus wept)

Selling is dead!

This has nothing to do with personality marketing. (I LOVE personality marketing. My niche is defined by my clients’ business nature.) No, this article is my response to yet another thing that supposedly died. Last time it was blogging and this time it’s selling. We’re here because I got triggered by a clickbaity social media post. Anyway, just forget about selling. Your personality will shift products now.

Last night I had a dream that I was Keith Allen.

(For the youngsters that’s Lily Allen’s dad).

Well, actually, I was still me, pretending to be Keith Allen who was in turn, playing a role on the London stage. I gave a cracking performance. I wowed the audience. I even heard someone in the crowd whisper, “Is that Sarah?” see, they weren’t quite sure—that’s how good I was. There I stood, head shaved and bare-chested, being Keith Allen being some other character.

I think you’ll agree, that’s quite a funny story. Reading it has given you a flavour of my character. That little tale has made you want to hire me RIGHT NOW. Go on, do it!

Welcome to the latest episode of Squirts From The Marketing Shit Fountain…

I am grumpy today. Again. I can’t help it, it’s genetic. 

Ok, it is absolutely acceptable to run your business how you wish. If you get results with the thing I’m going to piss all over, pay me no mind.

The Social Media Wisdom Directive 275 clearly states you only need a personality to sell stuff.

Correction: there is no Social Media Wisdom Directive 275. And the person who made this claim is speaking from their own experience. So, to be clear, they need their personality to sell their stuff. Not your personality, yours is shit. And if you don’t have a personality, well, you’re fucked. 

The “people buy from people” mantra. 

Sound familiar? Old-style selling is dead? Getting to know your prospects is the new way of selling? This blarney is another line from the social selling playbook—build relationships and your prospects will come (gross). I don’t really know how I feel about this. (I do, I’m just trying to seem like I’ve considered the other point of view.) I guess it depends on what you’re flogging. 

If a potential is looking for a long-term service provider, they’ll probably want to know a lot more about you. So funny stories and social media posts about your kids could be the way to go. And hey, I’m all for nurturing a prospect but only when I get some kind of commitment from them. For example, when they sign up for this brilliant blog. (SEE BELOW THIS POST.)

AOB: if you *only* want personality, grab my non-business blog updates (find out more here). 

Selling using your persona is unreliable.

Despite a certain person saying this method works for them, I wouldn’t recommend nailing all your colours to that particular mast. Especially if you are (as this person was and is) a copywriter. You’re sorta kinda doing yourself out of a job.

This idea of personality for sales smells like brand awareness.

That’s you saying, “Hi this is me/my business” on the regular. We all need to do that, btw, that’s how people get to know us. But brand awareness is top funnel content. And the folks that need that guff are new prospects (and they ain’t ready to buy). Yes, we should drip-feed brand awareness for those newbies—that’s a good thing to do but it will take ages to convert, if at all.

FYI: Prospects are not clients.

When they part with cash they become clients. But they only do that after they have a bit more to go on. Brand awareness content is no good for the potentials who are already aware of our existence. There might be a few reasons why they have not decided to buy. Just churning out top funnel content might be one of them.

It’s true that your business has a personality.

And the tone should attract as much as it repels. But it’s not all there is to consider when it comes to sales. If you are one of the few, who can sell simply by being you, you must be pretty impressive. People are no doubt wetting themselves to hire you. That is very rare. Perhaps you’re a LinkedIn celebrity (lord fucking help us). Maybe your reputation precedes you. And if you are kind of a big deal, you’ve likely earned the right to lean on your good name.

But for the rest of us losers, we have to sell, not by stealth but by good old-fashioned sales techniques. We have to cling to the hope that selling is not dead.

I follow a few direct response copywriters.

(To you and me that’s conversion copywriters—yeah, getting quick sales is their bloody job.)

One of my favourites is Cain Smith. He, like the legendary Dan Kennedy (copywriter/marketer/salesman extraordinaire), thinks this about selling: people are scared to do it. Even some marketers feel it’s vulgar or shameful. It makes sense that those folks like to focus on social selling, it’s much comfier.

Successful businesses openly sell. 

They aren’t putting all their eggs in the personality basket hoping people will (fingers crossed) buy. Cain is a freelancer and he works for a large marketing agency. He creates email campaigns (along with lots of other copy). His agency sends out more sales emails than the ‘giving value’ emails.


They convert more.

(In fact, they get more unsubs with the ‘giving value’ content.)

Ok, these guys test and measure performance so they know what works for their audience. But Cain is a seasoned copywriter and his view is this: if you have to sell more, send out more sales content.

No, Karen, I am not a direct response copywriter.

I’m not even a garden variety copywriter. Content writing is, as you know, my thing. But I do write copy when I want to get a quick decision from my peeps. If I only wrote funny anecdotes I wouldn’t sell my book or get any subs to my list.


Because people want to know how I help THEM and what they have to do to get that help. Until the day comes when I’m famous, I will always need to demonstrate that.

People don’t mind being sold to if you have what they want. 

I know that coz I buy stuff all the time. But if you actively sell to people that aren’t in your market, they’ll get pissed off. 

That could be why you get unsubscribers or negative comments when you send out sales content. Those people are never going to buy from you. Warm leads will always welcome a consistent sales message.

If you fancy some unconventional help with your content writing, head over to my services page.

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