Last year Rand Fishkin, a Seattle software executive, started an exciting Twitter thread when he let loose a provocative comment regarding sales tactics:
“Best way to sell something—don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect, & trust of those who might buy.”
As you’d expect, the comments that flowed in ranged from total agreement to disagreement bordering on denouncement.
In many ways, everyone is right and wrong: Sales and salespeople get a bad rap, some of it deserved, in large part because the worst examples (i.e., pushy, sometimes sleazy tactics) stick out in our minds and override those occasions when salespeople were actually quite helpful.
We have our brains to blame for the contempt, says Clifford Nass, a Stanford communications professor and co-author of The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships, said in a New York Timespiece on the topic.