The Fear of Sounding Salesy: How to Sell Without Selling

It’s the holiday season, the most profitable time of the year, especially for small business owners. Regardless of how eager you are to tell your customers that Black Friday sale is on in your store and that your products are ready for grabbing, make sure that you do it with an inviting call to action. First of all, let’s discuss sales, then we’ll dive into what makes a great call to action with several truly handy examples.

Once upon a time, in the dark age of marketing, the goal of sales tactics was to wrangle a commitment to buy, even when buying may not have been in the customer’s best interest.

Luckily, times have changed.

And importantly, customers have changed. Contemporary customers, especially Millennials and later, are finely attuned to sales tactics and they tend to run as soon as they sense them. So your fear of sounding salesy is quite justified.


Marketing has changed as well. Selling has become cleaner and more empathetic. Read on to learn how to sell without sounding salesy!

What does SALESY Mean:

  • self-centric
  • pushy
  • aggressive
  • superficial
  • causes discomfort or annoyance in the prospect
  • not interested in solving the prospect’s problem

How NOT to be Salesy:

  • demonstrate interest and care
  • focus on the prospect, not the product
  • ask questions
  • address pain points
  • educate the prospect
  • add value to your offer
  • sell a transformation (not a product/service)
  • earn trust (honesty and proof)
  • be careful of what you can ‘guarantee

Examples of well-written Calls-to-Action

And here are a few examples of well-written calls to action that do not sound salesy, but are empathetic and sell a transformation instead. What’s brilliant about these is that you can use them in your e-mail marketing, social media posts, and Instagram or TikTok videos!

  1. ‘Wave goodbye to feeling ________ (negative emotions/fears/pain points – you can list up to 3) and say hello to _________ (benefits and outcomes of your product/service – you can list up to 3).’
  2. ‘Get ready for how your ________ (space/business/profile/skin, etc.) will look after you try _______ (product)!’
  3. ‘This product was inspired by _______ (mention something or someone that your audience identifies with, or yearns for) and we can’t wait to share it with you!’
  4. ‘If you’re looking for something that will _______ (mention the transformation that the product offers) check out this new release!’
  5. ‘If you are _______ (who’s your target client) who wants to ________ (what they want), I invite you to apply for/check out ________ (your service/product). This is your chance to ________ (the transformation that the product/service offers)!’

Bonus tip: ✨In CTA’s don’t use words such as ‘BUY’. People don’t like to be sold things. They like to be the ones who make the decision and take action. So use words that emphasise the prospect’s POV such as ‘OWN’ or ‘INVEST’. ✨

These CTA’s show that you know your prospect, that you are interested in them, and that you understand their problem, which builds trust and shows that your product or service will work for them!

Don’t be afraid of calls to action, they are necessary and tremendously effective when done right!

Still in doubt? Or you simply need some inspiration? Keep in touch with us on our Instagram profile!

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