Selling to Followers


JUL 2021

“Social Closer”

“Get the Toy in the Kid’s Hands.”

As entrepreneurs, we do a lot of marketing. But sometimes we forget to sell. And as I’ve learned and written about in “MARKETING ≠ SALES.” Selling requires meeting with someone who wants to buy what you’re selling—getting that thing in their hands, agreeing on the price, and delivering it.

Becoming Santa

In the 2015 film “Becoming Santa,” hearing the lead character, a toymaker, say he knows he could sell a wooden dog pull-toy if he could get the toy in the kids’ hands was an ah-ha moment.

It’s rare to see a creative entrepreneur so passionate about selling.

Yet, the toymaker met with children who wouldn’t put down their tablet PCs long enough to pick up anything else.

These focus group children had the final say on whether the manufacturer would greenlight this very low-tech toy.

The toymaker was undeterred even though the thing in his way was a “yes.

Followers ≠ Customers

“Like the toymaker’s old toy, marketing was an afterthought. In the past, salespeople knocked on doors. Advertisers paid to broadcast their products to the masses. Today, we send an email and cold call for leads. With all the social media marketing tools available in the digital age, creative entrepreneurs behave as if social media followers are customers. 

They could be, but followers are leads. They may enjoy your content but may not see the value in your offering. If they do, they will inquire about your product. Then leads become prospects, i.e., potential customers.

Three Steps to convert a Follower to a customer.

  1. Determine if the prospect can make the purchase. There’s a difference between wanting and buying.
  2. Do they want to buy now or later? If later, share with them the value of buying now.
  3. To close the deal, remind them of the product’s benefits that are uniquely suited to them.

Note: Marketing allows entrepreneurs to know their prospects’ wants and needs.

The toymaker knew his prospects so well; he knew if he’d get the toy in their hands, imagination could turn the pull toy into anything they could think it could be. 

 He was right and made the sale. 

 Spoiler Alert: He became the next Santa Claus too.

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July 2021

Gotta Know when to Fold

People want what they want, and they vote with their dollars, giving it currency. If no one wants your high-minded, high concept product/service/book — shelve it. Then produce and sell them what they want, consistently. Let your net profit finance your high ideals.


I know, I know, if you are a Marketing and/or Sales practitioner, of course, you know marketing and sales are not synonymous.

However, if you are working as an independent marketing consultant, it is possible that your prospects may not know the difference. Sure, you know everything about your potential clients. You’ve done your homework and researched them thoroughly. You know where they live, how they live, their habits, likes, and dislikes. As a Marketing professional, you’ve analyzed the data, and now you know how to communicate with those in your target market. If you are really successful, they have even reached out to you.

But have you ever thought that maybe your prospects don’t have a clue as to how to use your services?

‘I recently encountered this challenge when a business owner inquired about my”Sales’ program. Since I offer Marketing Communications services, not Sales, I declined the invitation to do business.’I recently encountered this challenge when a business owner inquired about my ‘Sales’ program. Since I offer Marketing Communications services, not Sales, I declined the invitation to do business.

Simply put, I’m not a salesperson. I’ve closed very few deals other than what I’ve closed for my own consultancy. On the other hand, I have exposed my clients to hundreds of thousands of potential customers, thereby enlarging their warm market in which THEY could sell. I am excellent at attracting potential customers and communicating with those prospects. However, I believe selling to them should be done by someone skilled at closing deals.

And the aforementioned is exactly what I should have told the prospect, but it didn’t occur to me until days later.

However, in every meeting, there is something gained. In this particular encounter, I learned that we, the Marketing professionals, would do ourselves a favor to teach our prospects how to use our services. In doing so, we educate others about the goals of Marketing and what it can achieve.   We can also educate our prospects on how effective Marketing can be when combined with a great sales program.

Copyright (c) 2009 MH