Something occurred the other day that made me wonder – should you use PR in the sales process, or just get the close?
My opinion is that PR underlies everything – it’s the “vehicle” of how your target market perceives you. It doesn’t just stop with a news release, a social media release or what-have-you. One school of thought is that it pervades your business through and through – sales, presentations, delivery, etc. Which brings me to something that occurred the other day. I was invited to a networking event and met an author who co-wrote a book with several other big names. She was lovely, had a great personality and was very personable – meaning it was easy to talk to her. I was genuinely interested in her story – I wanted to know how she came to write a book with these renown experts, not being a well-known entity herself? What’s it about? Etc. Etc. But before I asked any of those questions, I asked if she had it for sale anywhere or is she was using it as a promotional tool. She right off the bat asked me if I’d like an autographed copy. “Really? Wow, how generous! Sure – I’d like that, thank you.” She then quickly flourished her pen and signed a beautiful note to me and handed me the book….
“That’ll be $20.00. You can send the money to me later if you don’t have it with you today.”
Huh? I thought she was giving it to me as a gift! I did not even know what the book was about. I had not even had a chance to ask her any of the questions that I had wanted to know…the $20.00 does not matter – it was the situation where I did not even know a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g about the book, I was just introduced to her and next thing you know I felt bamboozled into buying it. What was I going to say after she signed a copy of her book with my name on it. It didn’t serve as an initial impression of good PR to me.
In truth, I probably would have ended up buying the book had I been enlightened through some informal sales process…you know, just capitalize on my initial interest. I was truly interested in her story. But now I ‘bought’ the book and have no interest in reading it.
So, this begs the question – should you use PR in the sales process, or just get the close? Let me know what you think!