If you are selling something, don’t sell at me Instead, provide value to people and really listen to them.
I was recently at a networking lunch and attacked from all sides by sales reps from the same company. They began their interrogation and talked at me because I was a target customer. I held my ground and switched the topic to travel. I don’t want to talk about the product. At least get to know me as a human first! I recently had a similar incident happen to me through an invite on LinkedIn. I thought it was a friendly introduction since we were in the same space. They immediately messaged me and wanted to sell me their services and schedule a call to tell me all about it. Develop a rapport with me first!
One thing I have learned, provide something that is going to make people’s lives easier. Give the “what’s in it for me?’ factor up front and fast. If you make it about the person and be sincerely interested in them to find out what they need, selling becomes a lot easier.
One thing I notice is that companies aren’t taking advantage of inbound marketing. Content marketing is a slow and steady winner. It’s about figuring out interesting topics that your potential clients may have – what issues or needs people have and talk about solutions. Write a blog, do a podcast, do a guest speaking engagement. Become valuable and truly listen.
Some sales reps may say it takes too long and too much effort – but I would argue that in the end, you would have a much better time and more respect by adding value and advice to people upfront than to resort to constantly cold calling, spamming or talking at people with the same messaging. Not only content marketing, but also utilize social media, digital advertising, website optimization (SEO) and many other tools can help.
Set up a strong measurement plan to track your success online. The beautiful thing about inbound marketing is that you can track whether your blog is a success, or that maybe Facebook is the right social media channel for you to focus on to bring in business. There are many options. It all depends on the nature of your business.