Why not just ask for the order up front? In the old days, sales people would cold call on a business in person and ask for the order. I did that for two years selling automated accounting systems to small businesses in the Boston area and believe me it was not fun. But it was direct. All effort went directly to a possibility of generating revenue.

Remember the college student who sold ads on a page by pixel? The Million Dollar Homepage succeeded financially because the marketing effort went directly to a revenue producing result: selling ad space.

The entrepreneurs I’ve worked with all ask for the order up front through outbound marketing. If the prospect isn’t ready, then they are provided with free information in emails and in the mail, all of which continue to ask for the order.

Contact the prospect -> ask for the order. That is the mantra of sales.

Contrast that with inbound marketing, which makes extensive use of blogging and social media.

The inbound marketing strategy is to produce “content” that is “remarkable” to establish a “conversation” that might lead to a “fan” or “follower” that will lead to a “prospect” and maybe a “customer.” That to me is a passive aggressive approach, a kinder, gentler sales process.

Take the marketing of inbound marketing itself. How can a prospect decide which post source (like this one) is better and more credible?

The phrase “5 Ways to Improve Leads” yielded 1.1 million Google results just for blogs alone. A general Google search came back with 48.7 million results.

I tried “5 ways to improve online leads.” This is the goal of inbound marketing. That had 137 million results, more than just plain old regular leads. Is it because everyone is blogging about improving online leads, using inbound marketing techniques to sell inbound marketing?

How many more blog posts on this subject are needed?

And should each post ask for the order? What is your opinion?

[Now, let me explain to you, if you are still reading, the real teaching moment of this blog post. I am using an inbound marketing technique in this post: that each blog post should be centered on a keyword phrase. This one is centered on the phrase “inbound marketing.” Note that I’ve worked in the phrase “improve online leads” and I’ve repeated my targeted keyword phrase many times, even adding it in this explanation. Blog posts have a goal: to inform, educate and motivate a reader to seek more information at its source. The hidden goal, exposed here, is to improve my web site’s ranking in Google for the target phrase. While many blog posts are just blather, focused inbound marketing posts yield traffic, sign-ups, downloads and new customers. I remind myself to use targeted keyword phrases as I write my post. That is the key.]