Most people love to buy stuff, but they don't like being sold. Many of my clients love what they do, but they really detest selling it.

How can we reconcile these two points of view?

What if you could learn to "sell" without actually selling? Then, you wouldn't have an unpleasant feeling inside, and your potential clients wouldn't avoid talking to you. The good news is: it's not only possible to sell without selling; it's preferable.

Here are 7 enlightened ways to "sell" without selling.

1. Provide free samples.

Popularized in supermarkets, sampling is an incredibly effective way to sell without selling. If the first experience is pleasant enough, most people will convince themselves they want more.

Is there a no-risk way that someone can get a taste of what you're offering? If it's hard to give a literal sample of your services, what can you give away that will most closely resemble the experience people would have with you?

2. Deliver awesome value every time.

There's no better way to convince people to purchase, repurchase and refer others than to deliver on and exceed expectations every time. Businesses with a loyal following hardly have to market themselves at all because their reputation (brand value) is so widely known. Most of their new customers are referred by other loyal customers or are attracted by all the hoopla.

3. Show, don't tell, with case studies.

When people sell, they are usually TELLING you about their value. They may list benefits and customer satisfaction numbers, or they may just rely on their ability to persuade.

A more effective way to "sell" is to offer case studies or stories about how you've helped other clients. This subtle illustration is proof that you can do what you claim, since you've done it before for others. Case studies that include testimonials can be incredibly persuasive.

4. Share information, tips and advice freely.

Demonstrate your expertise by speaking, writing and interacting with others in ways that allow you to share what you know. The underlying message is "if they can give this much away, they must know so much more." Like free samples, a little bit of information often leaves people wanting more.

5. Volunteer your time or donate your services.

Giving your services to charities is a way to show what your value is as well as express your values. I've found that it's most interesting for me to help charitable causes by offering them marketing services, rather than helping with booths or being on the planning committee. Marketing is easy and fun for me, and I love to help good causes. A wonderful benefit is that potential clients get to see me in action without any "selling" happening at all.

6. Generate publicity

Using press releases to announce your news and events can be a very effective way to get the word out about your business. Many of my clients have used New Business profiles and simple event announcements to attract new customers to their businesses.

7. Interview someone.

I'm very comfortable talking to other business owners, because I never get bored or run out of discussion topics. I love to ask people how they grow their businesses, to collect tips and best practices that I share with others. And most people love to share their great ideas and success stories.

Now my purpose is never to sell that person. How could I even do that if all I ever do is ask them about themselves?

Instead, I'm collecting information to share with you and my clients, or that I can use in my own business. It's fun and, honestly, fascinating.

So, would it surprise you to hear how often the people I've "interviewed" turn into clients? I believe they can tell from the questions I ask and the genuine interest I've shown that I could be a resource for them. Growing your business should not be painful or involve distasteful activities. Anyone who can provide value to his or her clients can easily offer that value (not sell it) in ways that generate attention, interest, desire and purchase.

What's your favorite way to sell without selling?

Author's Bio: 

"I'd love to give you over $300 worth of valuable marketing strategies gifts - just visit me at"

Samantha Hartley of Enlightened Marketing helps socially responsible entrepreneurs who are struggling with peaks and valleys in their businesses to generate a consistent stream of new, profitable clients.