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“Sex with Strangers” Marketing Is Not Marketing

I have an important public service announcement for small business owners:

“Sex with Strangers” marketing is not marketing. So please stop doing it.

I’m sure that’s one of the oddest things you’ve ever heard so think of it this way. You’d never walk up to a stranger on the street and say, “Hi! Want to have sex?” I mean, duh. That’s weird.

So why are you using this approach for marketing?

Marketing is about building relationships and trust. It’s about getting to know each other, building a connection and, you know, talking.

Marketing is not about the quick sale. The sale comes later. The relationship comes FIRST.

A real-life “Sex with Strangers” marketing example

A few weeks ago, I got a LinkedIn request from a local Realtor. Cool. I like Realtors. They are typically smart, outgoing and driven – my kind of people.

First, he asked me out for coffee to discuss … I don’t know what. I don’t “do” coffees for no reason, so I declined nicely.

When that tactic didn’t work, he went straight to sex: Please let me know if I can ever help you or your friends with real estate in MD, VA or DC. I always appreciate referrals!

<Insert me banging my head into the keyboard>

Not only does he want to have sex, he wants to have sex with my friends! No. Just no.

When my husband and I are ready to sell our house, guess who we’re going to work with? Our friend Mark, who we have known for 11 years.

Mark has never acted as our Realtor before, but he is very well-established in our town, successful and … a genuine friend. In fact, we’re friends with his wife, and we have met his extended family.

How to avoid “Sex with Strangers” marketing

Three words: Don’t rush things.

Here’s what I would tell the Realtor to do instead:

  • Send me a LinkedIn connection request with a short note.
  • Engage with the stuff I post – a like is fine, but a comment here and there is better. Comments make you much more visible.
  • Post valuable content on LinkedIn that will help me get to know you better.

This is a solid start to building a new relationship. Will it pay off? Only time will tell.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

  • Robin Gordon
    Posted at 12:05h, 11 April Reply

    Never thought of it like that, very true-love it. Will be very useful info when I move to RVA in a few short months.

    • Monika Jansen
      Posted at 13:25h, 11 April Reply

      Ha – awesome! You definitely don’t want to accidentally proposition someone in RVA!

  • Rich Young
    Posted at 09:40h, 10 December Reply

    I don’t know if you coined the phrase “Sex with Strangers Marketing” but I love it! I’ve always said this type of outreach is like firing a shotgun in the dark hoping to hit something.

    • Monika Jansen
      Posted at 09:50h, 10 December Reply

      OMG, yes! It’s just like firing a shotgun in the dark. (Don’t know if I coined the term, but I don’t know of anyone else who uses it.)

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