When you hear ‘marketing’ what comes to mind? Websites? Brochures? Advertising?
These can be important tools to promote your business. However, there are so many contradictory opinions about the best type of marketing that many throw their hands up in frustration. After spending large sums on one marketing campaign after another, they decide that marketing doesn’t work.
This is unfortunate, because without proper promotion, your business cannot survive.
So what’s the solution? Why not stop marketing to attract new business until you’ve made face-to-face connections with prospective clients?
If you’re in the business of marketing, please don’t rush off to your email account to write me a nasty email until you’ve read the rest of this article. If you’re still mad at the conclusion, then write to me. Keep in mind, I raised two sons and survived their teenager years – nothing you say can hurt me. :)
I didn’t say stop marketing altogether. Wait to put your marketing plan into action until you’ve made a personal connection with potential customers. Previously mentioned marketing tools may work for huge companies like Procter & Gamble, but most business people don’t have that name recognition, or budget. They need to develop a personal connection with people.
Running a marketing campaign without face-to-face contact reminds me of being in sixth grade. Remember that cute boy or girl you saw in class, but were too nervous to approach? Like me, you may have passed a note to that person. It read:
‘I really think you’re cute. I like you.
Do you like me?
In effect, this is what many people are doing today. They convince themselves that they’re marketing as efficiently as possible – sending emails, stuffing envelopes, and running advertisements. This is similar to handing out that note, praying the other person will check the YES box, so you don’t have the risk of being turned down in person.
In effect, this is fear-based marketing. Many people have a deep-seated fear of hearing ‘NO’, so they run any campaign that avoids the chance of in-person rejection.
As mentioned earlier, this often results in many feeling that marketing of any kind is ultimately a failure. These activities fail because the public is bombarded by so many ads that sound alike. They can’t hear your message because you haven’t penetrated all of the advertising ‘noise’ and they don’t know you.
People want to do business with people they like, trust and connect with. The best way to develop those feelings is share your story. Tell people why you do what you do through this story. Allowing prospective clients to know who and what you are about gives them the opportunity build trust in you.
Think of marketing like dating. Do you attempt the sixth-grade note approach if you want a date with someone? “Aha, Michael! I’ve gotcha on this one. Online dating! I’ve tried it and it works. So there. You can get people interested in you without initial face-to-face contact.”
Those are great points. According to the website StaticBrain.com, 20% of current committed relationships began online. Not a tiny number, but, that means 80% began the old-fashioned way – in-person. Do you want to exclude 80% of your potential market by avoiding personal contact?
An additional tidbit of information from StaticBrain.com is that the most common online dating lies from men are about Age, Height, and Income; from women it’s Weight, Physical Build and Age. When these people finally meet, how long do you think it will take for their lies to be exposed?
What else are they lying about? Are lies a good way to begin a relationship? A more relevant question is ‘Don’t you have a better chance at a long-term relationship if you can ‘size one another up’ in person as soon as possible? Doesn’t it make sense that this same concept would apply in business?
So how do you do set up these personal ‘assessments?’ As a speech coach [I’m obviously biased] I strongly support using public speaking – storytelling in particular – to create interest in you and your product or service. Your presentation can take the form of one-on-one talks, small group get-togethers, or speaking to a large audience.
Public speaking is an excellent method of helping others determine if there is interest in developing a business relationship with you. And it’s a great time-saver for you.
Marketing is important to your business. It can differentiate you from your competition. But, people don’t care about your marketing tools until they’ve developed a bond with you. Telling your story through public speaking can help create that bond.
Rather than struggling with traditional marketing, why not look at a new approach? Stretch your comfort zone; take the risk of using public speaking to tell your story.
Who knows, you just might create more business for yourself.
EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE OF THE WEEK
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© 2014 – 2015, Michael Davis. All rights reserved.