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    There’s no Yelling in Selling

    By Eric Groves | Yahoo Small Business

    We see hundreds of businesses each day introduce themselves to others in their local business communities. While the majority of business owners appreciate newfound access to their local business community, on occasion someone tries to ingratiate themselves to the community with a “Yeller Post.” These posts typically go something like this:

    My name’s Bob Smith and I am the best dang insurance agent in town. I have the best rates and the best service. If you don’t contact me today, you’re a dope.

    Yes I took a little creative license, but not much. If you have the urge to follow Bob’s lead and be a Yeller yourself, here are my top three reasons why it will fail:

    1)   Local business owners are highly intelligent, motivated and time-starved individuals that get hundreds of sales pitches each year. They are unlikely to be persuaded by you yelling what you’re selling.

    2)   Establishing trust is critical for success in selling to local businesses. Trust in you and your company is formed over-time by demonstrating the value you can provide not by proclaiming it.

    3)   Even your existing clients will disavow knowing you. You want your clients to recommend you and share with others the great things you have done for their business. When they see a yeller post they don’t want their reputation tied to yours.

    By comparison here is what one local insurance agent posted to his community recently:

    QUESTION: I work part-time using my car to deliver pizza. Does my insurance cover me while I am working this job?

    ANWER: Probably not. Most private passenger auto insurance policies do not provide coverage when the covered vehicle is used to deliver property (pizzas) or people for a fee. Coverage would probably be denied if an accident occurred while you were using your personal vehicle to deliver.  

    This is a great example of how to make an entrance, building trust and establishing rapport within your community as an expert to turn to. Not surprisingly, this post garnered him a good deal of attention within his neighborhood. Scores of local businesses posted messages of thanks, asked follow-on questions and reached out directly about their business insurance coverage.

    And that’s selling without all the yelling!

    Eric Groves is the co-founder and CEO of Alignable (www.alignable.com), the free social network for local businesses and organizations to connect and collaborate with others nearby. Eric has been a local marketing expert and enthusiast since 2001, authored The Constant Contact Guide to Email Marketing, and believes that local businesses are always stronger together.

    Yahoo Small Business Services