I just opted out of yet another newsletter that I never opted into in the first place. It is so annoying. You might think the spam only comes from companies who buy a list or scrape your email from a website, but often just handing out a business card leads to more junk mail.
For the newbie salesperson or business owner, let me help you understand something. There is a concept called permission marketing – a term coined by Seth Godin some years ago – that you need to educate yourself about. The concept is simple really. Ask permission before you add people to your sales list. Just because I met you at an event and cheerfully handed over my business card when you asked, does not mean that I said it was OK for you to add me to your list.
A Common Mistake
Realizing that this is a common mistake made by a lot of people, including me in the earlier days, I will often let it slide if the content you send provides something of VALUE that I can use. Creating value with your prospective buyers is what leads to the sales of your products or services, but that’s a detail that seems to escape a lot of sellers these days.
Target Your Audience
Speaking of prospective buyers, your market is anyone with a pulse. If you want to succeed with your sales and marketing campaigns, you must give some serious thought to who your “target buyer” actually is. The danger that comes in assuming the planet is your prospect is that your messages will lack focus, clarity and value to most of the people you email. What you send won’t be relevant to them and that’s akin to slinging hash up on the wall expecting all of it to stick. It doesn’t!
For just a moment, I’m getting up on my soap box with my megaphone in hand to shout out that a one-size-fits-all, “spray and pray” approach simply defeats the entire purpose of using e-marketing at all. Your goal must be to build relationships with people that “over time” leads to business. This same philosophy holds true in the world of social selling. That means you need to be patient, because building that all important relationship is not going to happen overnight, and it requires your commitment to be consistent.
It’s the Content that Matters
Back to that newsletter I opted out of today. Though they don’t know it, I’ve actually given them several chances to woo me with meaningful, valuable information. They haven’t. Each piece of email I’ve received is nothing more than a sales pitch for their latest workshop. Not an introductory note, article, book review or news flash to be found. There is nothing compelling about the material at all. The subject lines lack punch, the information is poorly written, and it is clearly all about them.
These folks have given zero thought to their audience as far as I can tell. That will certainly impact their ability to convince someone to buy from them. Oh, and did I say that their workshops are supposed to help you increase your sales? Pardon me for thinking you’d be wasting your money if you decided to purchase the snake oil they are selling.
Time to Say Goodbye
Image Consultant and colleague, Peggy Parks is fond of saying that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That’s definitely true, but I know that I’m also willing to give people other opportunities to change my mind. In this case, it was just plain time to say goodbye. Not only was my impression of this company not changing, it was only getting worse, and that’s a surefire way to blow the sale forever!
ps…I’m their competitor. I have to wonder what makes them think that I will sign up for their sales workshop when I’ve been professionally selling, training and coaching others to sell for close over 25 years? Selling services that complement your competitor’s business may not be a bad idea, but if you are going to try to sell them something they offer themselves…well, you better have your game on!
Speaking of nurturing relationships…have you tried Nimble yet? Why not take the 14-day test drive. No credit card is required, and you’ll be up and running in minutes.