Why Permission-​Based Selling Should be Part of Your Strategy

BY Rachel Cagle
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What is permission-​based selling? It’s basically about getting consent from prospects before you try to sell to them. Verbatim, according to Jay Fuchs, writing for HubSpot, it's, “A sales strategy where a salesperson reaches out to a prospect after that prospect has given them permission to do so — whether that be over the phone, via email, through an opt-​in form, or any other medium that lets them indicate sincere interest.” The situation sounds ideal, doesn’t it? But how do you get to that point?

Why Use Permission-​Based Selling?

Well, before we get around to answering that question, let’s establish why permission-​based selling is worth your time.

First of all, you get to bypass the negative stereotype sales reps are unfortunately associated with: pushiness. Using permission-​based selling, all of your outreach will be welcomed. This includes emails, phone calls, social media outreach, and more. And when sales outreach is welcomed, it will be responded to.

Second, if a prospect gives you their permission to sell to them, you can automatically qualify them as a lead. There’s no more wondering whether or not your prospect is truly showing interest in your product or service. They are outright proclaiming their interest to you. Now all you have to do is sell them on how exactly your product or service will benefit them.

Third, you’ll be seen more as the prospect’s consultant rather than a sales rep. When a prospect is already showing interest in the product or service you’re selling when you approach them, you get to focus on discovery. That is, you get to work with them to figure out what exactly they’re hoping to get out of working with you. They’ll also likely come into the meeting with questions for you to answer, which will help form an engaging conversation.

So what is permission-​based selling? Let’s get into the details.

Approaching this New Selling Method

Fuchs compares permission-​based selling to marketing strategies that revolve around prospective customers opting into mailing lists or other formats of distributed promotional ads or brand announcements.

Now, this type of selling method isn’t asking for permission to sell to someone bluntly. Imagine getting an email that says something along the lines of, “I have this product I think could interest you. Please give me permission to pitch the idea to you?” That’s just weird. When you ask yourself, what is permission-​based selling, part of the answer rests with your company’s website layout and advertising efforts, as well as your own social media account.

You know those commercials you see or hear that end with an offer for a free consultation if you call or email the company? Do those answer the question: What is permission-​based selling? Absolutely. If you promote something for free in your ad campaigns, plenty of good prospects will reach out, giving you permission to sell to them. Well, except if you want to post about the offer on your social media pages, which you definitely should. And, after you establish a good business relationship with a prospect and they become a client, any future outreach to them is also a form of permission-​based selling.