I had the opportunity to speak with an account rep at an Internet company recently. As we talked about different types of advertising, it became obvious that he distained old media. He said that television advertising was pointless because people TiVo past them, and that he “couldn’t begin to remember” the last time he’d looked in the Yellow Pages. Instead, he uses a smartphone, buying a new one every 3 to 6 months, because he gets bored with the old one.
Michael Hyatt, Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, says that when we think there’s a singular solution to our woes, we’re guilty of “silver bullet thinking.” It’s precisely this type of thinking that’s led to the debate over whether inbound or outbound marketing is “best.” Proponents of inbound marketing claim that, in new era of social media, outbound marketing is no longer effective. Yet, many companies continue to use outbound marketing with great success. Let’s take a look at each.
In my latest article on SitePoint, Transactional vs. Consultative Selling: Knowing the Difference Makes All the Difference, I compared the transactional sale with a consultative one. In Harvard Business School professor Ranjay Gulati’s new book, he explores the fallacy that media companies are “consultative and customer focused.” According to the article, salespeople are saying “I’ll talk about your needs so long as it leads to you only buying my portfolio of solutions …” but that they are “communicating with customers through a product lens (with a pre-determined end in mind).” That’s a problem.
The following was a guest post at TMR’s Direct Mail and Marketing Blog.
In their book, Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing, Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg say that …
…customers want to enter into dialogs with businesses, to establish relationships, participate in the conversations, and be more in control of the exchange. They expect a level of personal communication tailored to their needs and wants—relevance and context are their top priorities. (p 41)
That sums up the philosophy behind inbound marketing in a nutshell. Customers are in control. They TiVo past commercials, subscribe to commercial-free satellite radio, circumvent pop-up ads with pop-up blockers, opt out of receiving phone books, and use caller ID or the “do not call” registry to avoid telemarketers.
In my latest SitePoint blog post, I finally reveal what stapling bacon to your face has to do with cold-calling, and I explain how to overcome the single biggest obstacle you’ll face when it comes to actually doing it.
Several years ago, the company I worked for held its international sales meeting, and reps from all over the globe came to our corporate headquarters in Los Angeles. I was asked to stand up in front of the group and make a presentation. Two of the reps from Australia approached afterwards to tell me they thought I’d done a good job. One of them expressed his fear of public speaking with this statement…
In my last SitePoint article, I promised to show you if and how cold-calling can generate new clients. In this article, I’ll tell you why it works so well and reveal a deep, dark secret behind it (hint: it stinks).
In my last post, I promised to show you if and how cold-calling can generate new clients. As I mentioned in that post, the company I work for uses cold-calling and cold-canvassing as its primary means of getting business. That doesn’t mean we ignore other marketing methods. It’s just that we don’t just sit around waiting for people to respond to our mailers. We have a sales force on the street and a telemarketing team on the phones actively looking for new business.
In 2008, Eyes on Sales featured an article entitled, “Why Decision Makers Hate Cold-Calls.” If you want to be convinced that cold-calling doesn’t work, that it’s a colossal waste of time, and that it’s the most “ineffective and costly” way to find prospects, then go ahead and skip what I’m about to say and go directly to that article. (Just be sure to read the numerous comments from people who vehemently disagree with the author.)
On the other hand, if you’d like to explore how cold-calling can be a great way to find new clients, then stick around, because that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
In my last post, I talked about how raising prices can actually bring you in more business, reduce your workload and make you more profitable. The reason is simple: raising prices drives away the cheapskate customers. And what’s left are the ones who spend the most.
Another way to accomplish this is to deliberately target customers who spend the most. The idea here is to clone your best customers.
Over the years, I’ve participated in a number of online forums, where business owners gather to discuss various issues that affect them. On one such forum, someone who had just started a carpet cleaning business posted this question: “What’s the best way to get new business?” The answers that followed were typical, if not predictable:
- The web designer said, “Get a website.”
- The direct mail guy said, “Send out some postcards.”
- The newspaper guy said, “Take out a classified ad.”
- The promotional items guy said, “Get some pens and fridge magnets made.”
- The yellow pages guy said, “Take out an ad in the Yellow Pages.”
And on it went…
Instead of searching for the one “magic bullet,” think of your advertising mix as a “team.” By adding members to the team, you can accomplish more than just one member could by himself. This is the best way to improve the response you get from your marketing.
In all fairness to his expertise, the author did outline an effective alternative to cold calling:
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Thanks for visiting. I’m a Marketing Evangelist, Blogger and Sales Trainer.
I get excited about geek stuff. But I’m also passionate about helping people and companies reach their fullest potential and becoming wildly successful.
That’s why I love helping businesses figure out how to market (especially web marketing) and why I train sales people to be the best they can be at what they do.