I had three one-to-ones in fairly quick succession recently with three very experienced businesses. These were all smart guys, all with successful businesses, but they managed to tie themselves in knots around what their marketing was trying to achieve.
The truth is, that what they needed to do was, in fact, way, way simpler and more straightforward than the complex set of scenarios that they’d ended up with.
Had it just been one person I could have put this down as an isolated incident, but the fact that there were three such smart guys in similar states in such quick succession suggested to me that I should highlight the issue in this article.
If your target market is certain types of local businesses, say, and your goal is to acquire another 25 or 30 of them as your customers this year, then you do not need to embark upon complex email campaigns, squeeze pages, or invest lots of time developing your social media presence, your Facebook page or running glossy ads in magazines. You’ve simply got to ask for the meeting.
Think about it, when was the last time you replied to someone who you’d never heard of before who sent you an email asking you to go to a webpage, to ﬁ ll in your details and collect some kind of free report?
It doesn’t happen that often, does it?
Marketing really can be very, very straightforward and in each of the three cases that I mentioned, the goal of the individuals concerned was simply to set up a meeting with their potential customers.
They weren’t looking for hundreds or thousands of people to buy online.
In each case, they wanted a relatively small number of new clients who were going to be based within a fairly small geographic radius.
In these situations, it really is the smartest thing to just ask for the meeting.
It reminded me of an example Nigel gave prior to Lockdown. EC got a call from a lady who’d taken over the marketing of conference space at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry (a venue that the EC had used for a big event over six years ago). She simply rang up, asked
if we were still running events, ( this was before Lockdown ) and when we said we were, she said that she would be passing their offices the following day, handing out some chocolate and could she just pop in and drop them off . It was a very inoffensive, well delivered pitch to get a meeting and, guess what, it worked.
The same approach will probably work for you as we exit Lockdown.
What you have to think about is giving your potential prospect a strong enough reason for them to see you (in this case chocolate worked really well – and it might do for you also) and, as well, be smart about the amount of time that you are asking for.
Something along the lines of “I’ve got this really cool thing that I think could make a real difference to you… can I have 17 minutes of your time next week to pop in and show it to you?”
And then shut up.
Now, I’m not saying that every single person you approach will say “Yes”, but, if you deliver it well, a lot will and you’ve just short-circuited a whole load of ﬂuff and puff and accelerated the growth of your business.
I also know that, in some cases, it won’t be easy
to engineer a conversation with the person you want to talk to, but then, few things in life are easy and there are lots of ways you can make that conversation happen.
Finding ways to get a warm introduction to your well deﬁ ned target market is a smart use of your time and energy.
Using all your contacts, your networking groups and LinkedIn all have a part to play here.
All three of the people I spoke to were initially surprised at my response. “I thought you liked all this marketing stuff ” said one of them. “No,” I replied, “what I like is the results.”
“That’s all that matters” I added “and I really think you should try and short-circuit things here…”
The good news is that he did and I got an email from him 48 hours later telling me that he had secured four appointments for the following week.
Boom! That’s the sort of result that I like. Because he will make sales from four appointments.
To be clear, you do have to deliver this well, and you have to think, very much, about what you can do for the person you want to see rather than what they can do for you.
Put yourself in their shoes.
What would you say to an approach like the one you’re planning to make?
Be honest here.
Don’t fall into the trap of kidding yourself.
We all live in the real world. So get real with your thinking and, indeed, your marketing approach. Sometimes, the answer is way more straightforward than you originally thought…