Would you buy from someone you didn’t know, but who kept turning up at your house and insisted that you bought something from them? And furthermore, they seemed genuinely hurt that you didn’t immediately jump at the opportunities they were offering? I guess the answer is no. Yet it’s interesting that online and even over the phone the rules seem to be very different.
I am sure that like most of us, you’re sent emails or receive sales calls on an almost daily basis from businesses you have never heard of? Companies who have got hold of your details from somewhere dubious and are keen to sell anything and everything to you? The subject can vary from print, SEO, website development and IT essentials, like laptops and printers, to the more banal, like food, pharmaceuticals and insurance. But essentially, the format is always the same!
The pitch starts off simply by talking about how great they are, how useless you and your efforts are and how they can help you to change all of that. Some even give you a date and time for a consultation or visit with their esteemed MD who is in the area. All you need to do is contact them or confirm the arrangements. These limp and futile efforts are mostly ignored, emails are deleted, and phone calls are terminated quickly, often with the other person still talking. So, what amazes me is what happens next.
Phase two – applying pressure
A few days later, you tend to receive a follow-up email or call which tries to be friendly and concerned. It mentions the fact that you haven’t be in touch or responded. This is when I start to get annoyed. If I were interested, common sense dictates that I would respond. Because I haven’t, surely that indicates a lack of interest? Once again, the phone call is terminated and if I remember, I might block the number, but all too often I forget.
If it was an email, it might mention something about how if I am not interested, I need to reply with NO in the subject line. Then I will be removed from their mailing list, which we never asked to be on in the first place. Well, I don’t know about you, but this is something I never do because I think that by confirming my email address is valid will only open the door to even more unsolicited and unwelcome emails?
Phase three – aggressive techniques
And just when you think it’s safe to answer your phone or look in your inbox again, another call happens or email three arrives. The tone has changed. Things are a little more forceful and will usually include the words, “We are very disappointed/upset/offended etc that we haven’t had a response from you, we need to know now if you are interested in our services… etc”
I don’t like this method as it transfers the onus to us as the recipient to respond and is intended to make us feel as though we are in the wrong if we don’t. This is what I call guilty marketing and it has no place in my world. Often after call/email three, there are others but by then the block option has been activated and/or the emails go straight into my Junk Items and I never engage with them again.
Real marketing is all about making genuine connections with a view to developing relationships. It’s about taking the time to get to know people, finding out whether they are a match for your services and then letting them know the benefits they can expect to receive. And into the mix, it’s good to demonstrate your credentials, expertise and of course show that you understand them and the challenges they are facing.
Now more than at any other time, trust is important. To establish trust takes time and effort, you cannot negate it by over selling or by bullying people into buying from you. That’s why we like networking. It’s the perfect opportunity to spend time with people without scaring them into submission.
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