I’m very fortunate to do work I love – and the best part about what I do is the people.
I meet new people every week, and I am blessed to work with amazing people on an ongoing basis. As a speaker and author, I have people whom I have never met reach out and contact me, too. Most recently I received a letter from someone who was incarcerated and had read my book Understanding Other People: The Five Secrets to Human Behavior and wanted to ask if I’d help their legal team get them out of jail!
I passed on that opportunity. Lately I find that I get contacted by people who want to “Link In” with me all of the time. Because people are the basis of what I do, I’m always interested to see what others are doing. However, I admit I get tired of accepting the invites to learn more, and then receiving the marketing inquiry about 30 minutes later!
One recent marketing ploy was especially eye-opening to me – a person who told me they could help me get more exposure for my author platform marketed his services to me and said he could make me “busier than a dope dealer at spring break”. Huh? I’m a college professor. I’m a mom to college-aged kids. What people do on their own time is their business but I’m not, for obvious reasons, a fan of dope dealers providing drugs to college kids. Why in the world would I want to participate in something that likens me to this?
As a marketer, I find these inquiries an interesting study of what to do and what not to do, so if you are trying to engage people and bring them along to your way of thinking, here are some pointers that might help your cause:
- If you are going to do broad-based messaging, do it broad-based. If you are sending a LinkedIn message, it appears to be personalized, so make it personal, or don’t send it at all. I realize those who are marketing this way are hoping to cut a broad swath and then generate some response, but when you do it like this, you run the risk of offending someone and then they are actively against you. It’s one thing to simply not grab a prospect’s attention, it’s another to make them irritated or angry!
- Make sure you take the time to learn something about each person if you are going to do personalized marketing, not “Hey, I have a great business idea and you probably want to learn more about it” or “Hi, can I learn about your business?” (subtext: because I want to market to you). Link In, but then spend more than 30 minutes learning about your target audience. There is a world of information available on the web. Use it.
- Know your own strengths. If you are going to do broad-based, blast marketing, have a clear message (I recommend NOT using dope dealers as an example): “What are the three reasons it might be in your best interests to speak with me? Point 1, Point 2, Point 3. If any of these are of interest, I’d appreciate 30 minutes of your time.” And that’s another point; tell me what’s involved – a phone conversation of what length? You will email me some information? Don’t send me your YouTube link and ask me to look at it when I don’t even know why I am doing so.
- Be interested in others. I like to comb through LinkedIn and see what others are doing. I enjoy learning about new concepts and new ideas. I like connecting with people I don’t know and learning what they care about. I’m a “data junkie” and the more the better. Having genuine interest is the most compelling thing any salesperson or marketer can do.
And lastly, Know Your Audience.
If you want to market to me please know – my business is booming and we have a great list of incoming inquiries on a consistent basis, we love our clients and they are loyal and stay with us for long periods of time, my team is attentive and responsive and needs little support in what they do, and I do what I do for a living because I enjoy it. Oh yes, and I don’t do dope and don’t care to – actually I am hoping no one is selling dope to my own kids this year at spring break. And by the way, if you are considering going to college, I know a great school if you can just give me 30 minutes of your time I’ll tell you all about it…
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