Snowden it… or Not: How to sell privacy services?

Privacy industry is on a rise. But primitive sales tactics like scare, guilt and priming won’t make your services be more appealing to consumers. Quite the opposite. Here are few tips…

Image courtesy of debspoons /
Image courtesy of debspoons /

I stumble upon two excellent posts The privacy industry: Scare and sell (by Jeff Jarvis) and Post-Snowden, the online privacy industry is booming (by  Aaron Sankin, The Daily Dot) who are describing sales tactics of an emerging privacy industry with one commonality: scare as a prime motivator for growth.

That is just plain wrong sales tactic in today’s world.

Also costly and unproductive.

Selling privacy means targeting smart consumers.

Although is true that only smart beings can feel fear it is also true that only smart people know when they are manipulated. Some like to be terrified from time to time.

But nobody likes to be manipulated.

Tactics like The Fear-Then-Relief Procedure, Exchanging favors by forcing guilt upon somebody and The Foot-in-the-Door Technique are manipulation.

Those are very evil ways of selling.

But you can sell privacy services in a different way: through education.

Write about real world.

Write what’s really happening in the world.

Have you heard of Edward Snowden and NSA, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, Google One Account, Facebook terms and conditions of user’s data ownership etc.?

Nowadays stories that privacy consumers can relate to are practically writing themselves.

Write such stories because they are a powerful sales tool in attracting smart buyers. Write them in you brochures, blogs, corporate web site and so on.

There is also Snowden effect!

Thanks to Snowden these days people and companies have sense of urgency to boost their privacy right away. You can boost it even more by limiting supply or by limiting the amount of time.

To enhance your sales further you can offer a guarantee, offer proof that your service is effective and pre-qualify your prospects by conducting consumer segmentation.

Scare tactics don’t work. Manipulation doesn’t work.

Truth does. Stories do.