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74 Comments

What do you hate about sales/marketing?

What are the annoying parts you don't like about marketing and sales?

  1. 2

    I think for bootstrapped businesses, the cost of paid advertising (Google, LinkedIn etc.) is becoming increasingly prohibitive and more the domain of large corporates and VC-backed businesses.

  2. 1

    It is not as creditable as advertising and personal selling. ...
    It cannot be carried out without advertising and personal selling.
    Effectiveness depends on active interest of dealers, middlemen, and salesmen.

  3. 1

    Much depends on the company and how people in such groups actually function. If they help, that's great. On the other hand, if something irritates, I have had this experience:

    • marketing/sales is too optimistic
    • they do not want to understand the technical aspects
    • they want to operate in isolation from others, to focus mainly on achieving their own objectives and not those of the product/project as a whole
  4. 11

    Nobody likes cold outreach, but getting your outreach game right puts you further than 95% of founders who give up. Can help you make it less of a headache and get people to thank you for writing to them, let's connect on Twitter.

    1. 1

      This x100. Don't think of cold outreach as sales. Think of it as relationship building that can lead to growth for your business!

      1. 1

        This x101. Cold outreach is so underrated and is only thought of "mass emails or dms". No lol, it's none of what fake guru's sell. It's exactly how you mentioned, a relationship building technique and understanding potential customers.

    2. 4

      Good point. One significant step I made was to overcome the rejection or indifference I might experience and to keep putting myself out there regardless. I now find it one of the most effective ways to build a network, and you don't need anything to start! Just start reaching out to people.

    3. 3

      100% agree with the statement: "getting your outreach game right puts you further than 95% of founders who give up".

      I think most founders got it wrong with selling at the first instance; you should connect with them, find out how you can help them with your product, then make the sale.

      1. 3

        Totally. Nobody loves to buy, everybody loves being heard.

    4. 1

      Any books you’d recommend for cold outreach?

      1. 1

        There is also "The Cold Email Manifesto"

      2. 0

        I put a few examples into denisshatalin.com/10K .

        Also check out the email guide by Dylan Bridger on Twitter.

    5. 1

      The first time I got a "thank you for emailing me" reply to a cold email I definitely did a dance.

      100% worth slogging through until you find the templates that work.

  5. 1

    I guess my main dislike is how the rules of approach are hard to define. It's hard to know how to approach people in order to solve their problems, and not annoy them.

    1. 1

      That's in your head, mate. You aren't annoying anyone that you are truly solving a problem for. :)

  6. 8

    I use to dislike feeling like I'm 'pushing' my products on to others.

    Now I realize if you're building something valuable and targeting your audience right, it's actually a win win.

    1. 1

      Agreed! That was the big shift in mindset for me. You have to genuinely believe you're helping them. And if it's not a good fit for their needs being open and transparent about it.

    2. 1

      I used to feel the same. I think the concern softens when you believe in what you are building like you say. I've also come to accept it as part of the process. If you don't talk about your product nobody else will.

      1. 2

        "If you don't talk about your product nobody else will." - 100% agree.

  7. 1

    The sheer amount of people you need to reach these days. With so much competition for everything and little customer loyalty, sales and marketing has become exponentially harder and more expensive plus the constant changes in marketing methods that work. It seems much like a rat race of chasing something that is elusive yet ever changing.

  8. 5

    Phone calls. I really don't need a stranger call to me for business.

    If a site mention schedule a demo call instead of email signup then I just move on. No matter how good is their service.

    1. 1

      Agreed. I've skimped so many good services because I hate making phone/video calls

      1. 1

        I kind of agree with this but I do think there are exceptions. All of the services I am involved with at the moment, I was able to self qualify in through their content and messaging and I love that, it's A LOT of work for them though to build up the catalogue of content and newer businesses might not be there yet. I do get that some businesses need to talk to you to see if you are the right type of client or if their service needs to be tailored but I generally feel these calls are just another way for them to close you into the next sales stage.

  9. 4

    For me, it always feels unnatural and a little forced at first. Imposter syndrome doesn't help.

    But sometimes, when people respond warmly it makes all the difference and becomes little easier. So I guess the initial steps until I find some traction are the hardest for me.

  10. 3

    For me it's the waiting for a response, there's nothing worse than finding a good opportunity, reaching out to them knowing you have something they'll want/need, and then not getting a response. The optimism quickly disappears when someone doesn't reply for weeks or at all.

  11. 2

    When outreach methods stop working, when they used to work before.

    It's awesome when you have a cold outreach channel working well, but I hate it when that channel starts trending down in performance. Then I have to dig into why and get it working well again.

  12. 2

    Sales and marketing can be difficult and frustrating for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you find it difficult to establish rapport with potential customers, or you're struggling to close deals. Maybe you're simply tired of the constant rejection that comes with sales. Whatever the reason, it's important to remember that everyone experiences difficulties with sales and marketing from time to time.
    If you're struggling with sales or marketing, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier. First, take some time to understand your customers and what they're looking for. Then, focus on building relationships with potential customers rather than simply trying to sell them something.

  13. 2

    I don't enjoy the calls themselves. You have to be salesy and bend or exaggerate some of the things you're providing, and I struggle really hard with it.

    1. 1

      SOLUTION: Make sure that your product/service is a sure-fire WIN for the prospective client. Either by 1) Having a killer product/service that you have tested and gotten great feedback on. Or 2) Being more selective about who you offer your product/service to. Then you'll never have to bend or exaggerate ever again.
      The problem is not selling - It seems to be a subpar product or lack of targeting the RIGHT prospects. IMHO. I hope this was useful even though it was blunt.

  14. 1

    When you have the users but they do not convert. Any tips for increasing your conversion rate?

    1. 1

      What is your product?

      1. 1

        It's an online criminal background check - ontab.com/verify

        1. 2

          I used your link and it sends me to your unsecured site, which is not a great image for a security conscious product.
          So I went to https://ontab.com/verify and the website layout is broken.

          It is unclear if I can ask for a background check of someone else. (I'm not sure if this is something employers do or legally can do)

          You state that it's speedy and the price, show a comparison if you can. It looks like RCMP takes 2-3 business days if I go there directly.

          Is your traffic coming from Canada? If not, then maybe you need to focus your marketing.

          You might also want something that states that no records are stored on your end, to ensure full privacy for the user.

          1. 1

            Hi! Thank you for your feedback. We've been having this certificate problem on our MVP website, hopefully, we can resolve it asap.

            Noted on the comparison & privacy. Helpful to add that to the landing page.

            For the users, yes they are all from Canada. We're having Search Ads to acquire users but the problem is only 2%-5% convert.

  15. 1

    Rejection. It hurts sending emails and leaving voicemails that are never responded to. Yes, we do the same things - ourselves.

  16. 1

    I don't like the actual asking for money. It makes me feel uneasy but I need to do it.

  17. 1

    To some people, sales and marketing isn't annoying. You just have to work with people that love that industry or find partners that have strength in that area. Just like working out, not every body is into it but it is essential.

  18. 1

    There are a few different aspects of marketing and sales that can be frustrating. For one, it can be difficult to keep track of all the different moving parts and make sure that everything is working together cohesively. Additionally, it can be challenging to constantly come up with new and innovative ideas to keep your marketing and sales efforts fresh.

  19. 1

    The main complaint against salespeople was that they didn't listen. Too many salesmen fail to pay attention to what their clients or potential clients have to say, failing to address the crucial points that the client has identified as being crucial.

  20. 1

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  21. 1

    Wouldn't call it annoying per se but every time I reach out to to a potential client I don't know if my pitch is better or worse than the last one. The waiting for a response doesn't help either. Feels like I'm talking to myself. If I could get the response quicker I would at least be less worried about how I approach my next potential client. Also, it hates when one of your arranged call doesn't happen.

  22. 1

    I love it all feel free to ask me anything.

  23. 1

    I hate getting rejects while doing cold outreach. Even understanding that it's a part of the game doesn't help much sometimes.

  24. 1

    The constant word regurgitation of like 5 similar phrases that every online marketer seems to use.

  25. 1

    Content distribution is damn hard! Posts with links are getting banned and removed even useful ones. They are only kept in communities full of spam, where nobody cares.

    Also, recently I hoped to gain some audience by inviting an influencer into the content project (HE AGREED!). He tweeted about his participation, but it brought us 0 subscribers. His audience in Twitter is 7k followers.

    I know that the key is consistency, but sometimes such things make me feel desperate.

  26. 1

    I hate treating people the way I wouldn't treat people outside of work. I mean, for me, cold outreach is annoying and it's something I wouldn't like to do to other people. I reach out because I need something from them and I'm going to waste their time. I know you can do it the smart way, try to offer them something valuable, but reaching out cold you aren't always sure what would be of value to them :/

    Something I really don't like about marketing is not being sincere. The point is to sell, not (always) to bring value. I don't mind marketing something when I am sure I'm giving value and people will appreciate it. Not always easy in B2B marketing and sales :)

    1. 1

      Start doing customer interviews. No selling just asking questions about their world, their challenges, their attempts in the past to solve the problem you can solve.
      There is a really good book on this: The mom test.
      That way you get to know where your product/service ACTUALLY provides value in a way that makes sense in THEIR world. If you know you bring value - you stop 'selling' and simply help them explore if your offer is a good fit for them.
      And if you did your homework, it will be - That is why you reached out to them specifically and not just anyone. I hope this will bring you much ease and many sale to the RIGHT clients that you have helped make a GOOD decision investing in your offering.

  27. 1

    I have always been interested in marketing and sales but also always thought about it as 'evil' and 'manipulating'.

    I started the Digital Marketing and E-Commerce course by Google and it seems to me that marketing only sees people as numbers (which they're not, by the way).

    Since the goal is to make more, and more, and more, it is obvious that one cannot focus on the single individual but must collect data from all of them.

    I don't like this. But I like true and honest selling of a product or service one believes in.

    1. 1

      My thoughts exactly. In real life, I like being authentic and sincere with people, and I dislike it when I have to come up with something with the focus on selling, not on bringing value.

  28. 1

    Getting started, trying to figure out the good advice from the bad and knowing when to trust yourself vs asking for advice.

  29. 1

    Sales who are not marketers enough and marketers who are not sales enough 🤓😂 The two teams have to work together, they bring so much value for each other.

    And also... I'm quite afraid by sales people when they call you, they can sale me anything haha

  30. 1

    Having to accept that marketing is a long term game and it can very difficult to measure progress. You have to be consistent and disciplined

  31. 1

    People who book in a sales call and then never turn up or reply again...

  32. 1

    For me marketing is harder, choosing the right balance between the different channels.
    Being very scientific about it and having a clear evaluation methodolgy.
    Sales is easier as you work with someone the interaction is clearer.

  33. 1

    IMO the hardest part, by far, is getting the words right. Once you have a clear, simple message that demonstrates an understanding of the real problems your audience is dealing with RIGHT NOW, things don't feel so hard.

    But getting to that point of clarity is challenging. Can take many, many iterations before you find the right words that "click" for people quickly.

  34. 1

    some sales people i really hate

  35. 1

    because some sales people are that bound by contracts to provide certain thing or they would be breaking the law.

  36. 1

    Putting yourself out there can be painful, yet vital. It's also really tough early on when you don't have an established following or audience. It feels like you are talking into the void. Nobody cares.

    Sales, probably negotiation. I am terrible and tend to put all my cards on the table in an effort to just close the sale. I probably have undersold myself in the past due to that.

  37. 1

    Lead generation is pretty brutal. There are good paid tools, but as a new business it's not like we can spend a huge amount of cash. After spending the last couple of months having to manually build lists and do cold outreach we're just getting to a stage revenue-wise where I can pay for some tools to help!

  38. 1

    @Jordankilburn what are you working on these days after selling Go Atlas?

  39. 1

    uff so many things. the best sales/marketing i have ever ever dont was content on linkedin which i really like but i did everything. performance ads on facebook, linkedin and instagram (worked well most of the times but yeah .. dont like it), cold calls – which i genuinely hated .. i got used to it eventually but it was not that successful for me. I made print ads even a couple of years ago, like flyers and stuff.. weirdly that worked too. cold mail and calls are something i really dont like at all to answer your question.

  40. 1

    Not guaranteed results. You could work your ass off but have 0$ sales. Which is very depressing.

    1. 1

      Agreed, it's a very different feedback loop from building.

  41. 1

    Cold outreach is hard for me as well, but for a different reason. I feel like I'm doing the same, not so exciting thing over and over again. Getting a response, even when it's a no, helps this but after a great amount of attempts I completely loose my motivation.

    1. 2

      I think if you make a few tweaks to your messages you'll get more sign-ups. I regularly help tech founders with user acquisition, just dm me the templates you're using.

      1. 1

        I don't have an active product and templates at the moment but now I know who to get in touch with next time 😄

    2. 1

      Yea, that makes sense. Repetitive tasks are killer. Have you thought of outsourcing it?

      1. 1

        I have, but never did. I wanted to try different things to see if something would work for me so I can keep doing it but couldn't find it. Maybe next time.

  42. 1

    In terms of marketing, measuring the outcomes is very difficult. Also, there are many moonshots!

    1. 2

      Do you have a chart or table to measure the inputs/outputs and KPI's across channels? That makes it much easier to measure outcomes.

      I did a rough one as a FigJam mind map a couple weeks ago and update it regularly. (I own a service company, so having a real dashboard isn't a simple as a SaaS one)

      Saves me time and energy to focus on what I know works while trying new things.

    2. 2

      Yea, there is a lot of different strategies and channels... I've found that going all in on one works well for keeping things organized and seeing tangible results.

      E.g. instead of ads + twitter + IG + blog + etc. I just did one and went all out. Paid off well!

  43. 1

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