Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Response to Blane Canada's Fear Based Sales Recommendation

According to Eric Canada of Blane, Canada, "selling economic development to prospective investors is just like selling insurance. Create fear or uncertainty, then offer hope. Looking for a development manager to increase investment? Look for insurance sales experience" (ED Marketing Letter, September, 2009).

With respect to my friend Eric, I can't imagine anyone using this approach to attract investors. The fear sales pitch is made to give us a sense of urgency, when there really is none. But who is not turned off by that type of approach?

A better alternative to selling urgency through fear is to promote trust. This requires accountability and transparency - two characteristics not needed in a fear based selling approach.

But developing trust requires that you actually deliver value. As you do, people will want to work with you, not out of fear, but because they trust you, because you offer top-of-the-line services, because you solve a problem for them and because you are dependable. They not only will invest in your organization but become your greatest ambassadors as well.

When you deliver on your promises, your investors will feel good about the process and the trust you earn will translate into a larger and more loyal investor base.

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