Ever hear someone say they’re going to do an “email blast” or a “phone blitz”?
If you’re talking about your marketing in terms that sound more like you’re in the army than in business, it may be time to rethink what you’re doing. We do tend to think of marketing in terms that sound vaguely militaristic: targeting customers, planning campaigns, deploying ads. But we’re trying to win hearts and minds, not blow them up.
Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of a “blast.” Ouch!
Do some research
When the phone rang yesterday, I was in the middle of a project. I glanced at the call ID and saw it was an insurance company – but since I do have a policy with them I answered. The trouble was that they had no idea who (or what) they were calling.
The man asked to speak to the head of the HR department. Haven’t got one, I said. Then he (somewhat puzzled) asked for the benefits manager. Don’t have one of those either, I said. Then he made some confused sounds and hung up.
He clearly was working from a list of names he’d gotten somewhere, with little thought about whether it was the best marketing list, or if the names on it matched his ideal client profile. I don’t have a benefits manager, an HR department, or an employee manual. My only full-time employee is my cat. He doesn’t take vacations, although he does give marketing tips.
Make real connections
When prospecting (however you do it), you first want to pick people and companies who have a need for what you’re offering. No sense trying to sell diapers to people with no children (or grown children). While I’m not the customer he’s looking for, a little research might have given him clues to what I actually cared about – maybe a better deal on the policy I do have.
Don’t annoy people, get permission to talk to them and then be a problem solver, not a pitch man. What if instead he’d sent a booklet with tips on getting better/faster turnaround and service if I have a claim. Or, sent me a birthday card in a few weeks?
Has this happened to you too? What did you think?