My “bloggers’ recommended reading list” is something I’ve been putting together for almost ten years. Last week’s Say It For You blog posts focused on books about writing and books about tidbit treasures. but in today’s post, I’ll share links to books about selling.
As a corporate blogging trainer, I use the word “selling” in a very specialized sense. That’s because, in today’s world, whatever your business or profession, there’s almost no end to the information available to consumers on the Internet. Our job then, as business blog content writers, isn’t really to “sell” anything, but rather to help readers absorb, buy into, and use all that information.
“Tell and sell tradition marketing is dead,” according to Stan Phelps of Yahoo! Small Business Advisor. If marketing is about anything, it’s about differentiating what you do and how you do it.
As a business blog writing trainer, I’d go a step further. Marketing is about differentiating what you think about what you do and why you think that way. Taking a stance on issues relevant to your business or profession will give your blog post more “pow” every time.
That’s precisely why I chose the book Stop Selling & Do Something Valuable, by Steve Walmsley for my bloggers’ resource book list. “We have to sell ourselves to potential clients so that they choose to work with us rather than the competition… , he says, which is not the same as selling our product or service. “In our role as advocates, we need to persuade people to act.”
“Our challenge is to make customers fully aware of their situation without insulting them,” says Jeff Thull, strategist for executive teams worldwide and author of Exceptional Selling. “The more you sweat, the less you sell,” he observes. “Your ability to constructively attract and engage a customer in a relevant dialogue requires a conversation style as well as substantive content.” In selling done right, says Thull, “We don’t need to manipulate or push customers, nor do they have to protect themselves from us.”
Both these books about selling are relevant to business blog content writing. When it comes to Calls to Action in blog posts, I find myself issuing the following caution during corporate blogging training sessions: Blogs are not ads. When people go online to search for information and click on different blogs or websites, they want to
- Find out where
- Find out how
- Find out why
What they don’t want is to “be sold.”
So far in this Say It For You series, I’ve shared reading resources on writing, tidbit treasures, and selling. Stay tuned for Part D this Thursday, a review of some of my favorite books on blogging and internet marketing…