The Secret of Making Sales Without Selling (Is To Distract People From Realizing You’ve Sold Them)

Spike Jones

“I always aspire to that, where it feels like the film was made by the characters as opposed to the filmmakers. I try to be invisible.” – Spike Jonze, Born Oct. 22, 1969.

When you create marketing messages for clients, it should be this way, too. You're creating a message from the client to their customer, and the fact that you created that message FOR them should not be apparent. You're Cyrano in the bushes, but you stay hidden.

It gets tricky when you go guru and write your own marketing for yourself.

Here's what you need to do.

You as the face/voice/brand must be visible. You are the source of the content and the offers and the training. You are the human person making the promises and predictions.

But you as the engineer and mastermind of these scripts and sequences and funnels and sales structures – that version of you is invisible.

From the customer side, it should appear as effortless conversation, rather than a continuous sales pitch. But of course, because of that invisible engineering, the RESULT is the same as a continuous sales pitch: continuous sales.

Now one last wrinkle is when you are a guru in the field of marketing and selling.

Because then you don't want the engineering to be entirely invisible. Because that is what you're selling. So you want to be simultaneously demonstrating your selling, while kind of not appearing to be selling.

You do it with a wink.

Like watching a magician. When you're in the audience, you know that it's not real sorcery – that it's some kind of mechanical trick, but you're voluntarily submitting to being fooled. You know it, and you're volunteering for it.

That's where you want your audience. Aware of there being invisible persuasion happening, but also being able to suspend their inner observer and analyst and sit back and just consume your content like a muggle would.

But then they also want to study it closely for the magic inside. They know it's there, hidden, but definitely in there somewhere.

And here is my final secret on the subject for you…

Just skip the whole “engineering secret sales mojo” that you would normally have to do. Be up front with people. Be direct. They will eat it up and think you're some kind of subtle wizard with words. They'll think you're meta. They'll think you can magically “sell without selling”.

They will pay you a lot to learn how you do it.

The real trick isn't selling without selling. It's getting people to buy without being sold to.


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