Thursday, August 20, 2009

Three "Sales" Pitches We Can Live Without

Ever heard the term "white noise?" It's sort of like when Charlie Brown's parents spoke to him: it was just a "wa, wa, wa, wa" sound. Charlie Brown didn't hear what his parents were specifically telling him, just this muffled...noise.

The same thing can be said for certain "marketing" terms and catchphrases that are still--to my surprise--widely popular.

Three "Sales" Pitches We Can Live Without

1. "Earn Your Business" has to be one of the most over-used phrases in marketing history. Yet, how many products or services still cling to this phrase, as though it really means anything? "Earn Your Business" has definitely become a white noise phrase; people have heard it so much that when you say it, it's like yelling into the wind. It's lost its punch, its significance, and any meaning it once held because of overuse.

Sadly, as with everything, a few bad apples ruin it for everyone. Those folks who used the "Let us earn your business" tagline and then acted in a way directly opposite of their said slogan, have made us distrustful of anyone using it.

2. "Get it now for the low, low price of $X," is another phrase marketers could forever bury, and it wouldn't be missed. In my opinion, this phrase is equivalent to the "It's the last one on the lot," or "The offer's only good for the next 30 minutes" type campaigns associated with sleazy marketing. It's a high pressure phrase that insinuates that if you don't buy now for this "low, low price," you'll have to pay a high, high price later.

3. Be a rockstar at savings. Get a rockstar deal. If I never again hear the term "rockstar" used to describe anything other than Ozzy Osbourne and his colleagues, it will be too soon. The term "rockstar" now applies to BUSINESS! How can that be? It's a pop culture reference at best, but you hear very high level executives regularly use the term. Because it's transcended the teeny boppers and now become so mainstream, it' guessed it...lost its power. Nowadays, we're all rockstars at something. I'm a rockstar mom, a rockstar copywriter, a rockstar cook...

These marketing terms (and I'm sure there are others I've missed) are useless because they appeal to base needs and wants: the desire to be valued, to save money, to be highly regarded. But today's customers are more savvy, more sophisticated and require marketing campaigns that are creative, but genuine. We know marketing initiatives are launched with the bottom line of bringing in money. But we don't want to feel like marketers are underestimating our intelligence when a product or service is pitched on us.

So my advice to marketing professionals: Just give me a sales pitch I can live with.


  1. To see some really great comments and discussion on this article, please copy and paste this URL into your browser:

    This is a LinkedIn Group I belong to, and the quality of responses is always very good.

  2. the overused word I most dislike is "killer"