Tired of SPAM? I’m not talking about the the stuff in the can that comes from the great state of Minnesota. No. I’m talking about the massive amounts of content that continues to be pushed down our throats via direct mail, email, advertisements, billboards and all the other various forms and mediums of media.
The vast majority of all incoming marketing messaging we receive is forced upon us. We didn’t ask for it. We didn’t invite it. We don’t want it. And we especially don’t want all those pesky calls that come throughout the day from those companies who feel they have won the right to interrupt us with their message. You know those calls. The ones where you answer your phone and there’s a pause while the phone system uploads the call to the salesperson on the other end. UGH!
Why do companies continue to take this approach to telling, and selling, their buyers? The truth is that it’s comfortable. It’s what they’ve always done. It’s what your boss demands. There is math that supports an ROI – make this many calls and you’ll get this many deals. The other side of that same equation that is never considered, is how many potential buyers have you pissed off forever given this arrogant approach?
Permission based marketing takes time. It’s a relationship. Imagine walking up to a woman and saying “hurry up, we need to get married right now”, or bumping into that guy you see at the coffeeshop each day and saying “I see you here everyday, you should buy me my coffee today”. Relationships don’t work that way. Okay. Maybe sometimes they do, but by and large, most lasting relationships take time. Trust. A commitment on each side. Yet because approaches like these work sometimes many companies feel that if they do this often enough they’ll win with volume.
Asking for permission seems almost as uncomfortable, if not more so, than asking for the sale. Can I talk to you? Can I share my thoughts with you? Can I connect with you over time to get to know you? These are the questions you should be asking. But to ask those questions you need to have something of value to offer. Why do you want to talk to me, or why should I let you talk to me? Your response should be clear, concise and focused. You’re not about selling as much as you are about sharing. But again, sharing takes time. It takes patience. It takes trust.
Think about approaching your prospects to gain their permission rather than the sale. Of course you’ll need great content, time, and most of all a genuine belief that you’re helping your customer. Yes, it sure is a mind shift; and not one that is easily adapted. Yet as the number of voices in the marketplace continue to increase, all fighting for shelf space with each prospect, it becomes crucial to win the hearts and minds of these prospects by gaining their permission. Being, acting, looking, and sounding like your competition only helps your prospect weed you out quicker. Provide value, in a safe and easy environment for which your prospect can consume it and get to know you and you’re on the path to increased revenue.