If you’re a CEO or senior marketing executive and you’re not happy with your marketing funnel performance
and need to drop more to the bottom line quickly, here’s a suggestion: stop trying to sell your prospects and instead serve them.
This isn’t a post about ‘servant leadership’. Others have said far more about that and more eloquently than I can. It is a post about how to make more money quickly by helping others.
We’re all busy, jaded, and growing immune to typical sales and marketing campaigns.
So when I see an organization still making first contact with a prospect and trying to sell them something, I know there’s a great opportunity.
The first, or second, or third, or 9th contact with that lead should always be an educational one. Give them something. Give them advice, help, information, a free trial, a free sample, a free consultation…something of value that will actually improve their lives, even if for a moment. The worst that can happen is you don’t make the sale, and odds are, you weren’t going to anyway. The best that can happen is you improve their life, and they see you as caring for them, providing value, being trustworthy and having credibility and expertise.
Not bad since you can usually do this by email.
Giving something away is tough for a lot of people. It involves an investment of time, maybe money, and some element of risk. Fundamentally we are a people afraid of loss, even among business people. My experience is that we actually bear a great deal more risk than we’re conscious of, and it’s those unknown risks that usually nail us, because we fail to manage them. (The things we don’t know we don’t know). So, you’re already bearing the costs and risks of failure, you just haven’t figured it out yet because you don’t know how much better it could be.
Instead of sending that lead an email that pushes them to buy, giving them only the choice of ‘yes’ or ‘no’, send them an email that offers to help them avoid a bad decision, or saves them money, or gives them peace of mind. Make that lead a suspect, one you suspect is interested in something you have to say. Then thank them for taking you up on the offer, because you’re so passionate about helping them solve problems that you take pleasure in the knowledge their lives are improved. And then offer to help them again, in another way. Keep helping them, turning them from a suspect to a prospect, and from a prospect to a client…and friend.
I know a guy who still cold calls. Imagine that misery. I suggested he change his approach; instead of cold-calling to make appointments, cold-call and ask permission to email them a white paper on “How Such and Such Businesses Waste Tens of thousands a Year On Such and Such”. Now he’s building an email list of people he’s already provided value for. This is an extremely simple, but effective change and remarkably, one that most businesses have failed to implement.