Have you ever had one of those LinkedIn messages from someone you don’t know inviting you to connect?
You have no idea who they are, but “what the heck”, you say, and click the Accept button. I like strangers. Some of my best friends started out as strangers.
Literally minutes later you get a second message saying (and I’m paraphrasing), “I think you should BUY MY STUFF!!!!”
It’s clumsy. It’s a bit crude and, to me, a little ignorant of the currency of relationships.
It belongs in vault reserved for outmoded forms of “social” selling, filed under “Interruption marketing”.
It used to work. We were once bombarded with adverts in the middle of our favourite TV shows, and the advertisers were safe in the knowledge it worked. We accepted it.
We’d get pop ups all over our web browsing sessions, whether we wanted them or not.
Our inboxes would flood with spam, with no filter to save our tired, tired eyes.
Then something amazing happened. Information became an abundant resource.
Didn’t like adverts in your entertainment? Choose streaming.
Didn’t want pop ups in your newspaper feed. There’s a plug in for that.
Don’t want to get another message from Dave the Lead Generation Ninja? There’s a button for that too.
Suddenly we could choose what we paid attention to and what we didn’t.
The game changed to something called Permission Marketing.
Permission Marketing is about giving people the opportunity to let you know they want your stuff, which leads to them wanting to engage with you, which leads to clients who come to with those magic words…
“I know you. I know what you do. I want to talk about what you can do for me”
Lovely string of words. They sound good together, don’t you think?
Out there are dozens of agencies, tech specialists and other well-meaning experts waiting to sign you up to their program, service or solution.
Related: The 85:15 Story of Advice Clients
None of it will work unless you’re 0% sure you are playing the right game.
It’s hard to only play the short game with advice anymore.
You can’t get someone who doesn’t know they have a problem, isn’t looking for help and hasn’t even started to consider advice may be a solution to suddenly decide to meet with you.
Even if they do agree, think about the flow of that meeting…
It’s a whole lot of trying to convince someone to pay you a bunch of money for something they still aren’t sure they need.
Even if they do say yes, you better hope the mindset shift you engineered sticks long enough for you to complete the plan (these are clients we refer to as ‘converted but not convinced”, and they’re a bag full of future trouble in waiting).
To win at this new game of permission marketing you gotta play the long game.
Give me three minutes and I’d love to tell you how.
With your permission of course.
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