Sunday, November 30, 2008

Adopt the 'Contrarian' approach to improve your marketing

These days we hear lots about 'getting sales up' and 'marketing approaches'.It is a sign of the times.
One little tome that is well worth the read is The Contrarian Effect by Michael Port and Elizabeth Marshall.It is an absolute gem and it brings one back to earth with a marketing approach that is do-able for every mere mortal who may not be blessed with a marketing degree and lots of money to throw at advertising.
So if you don't like cold calling or door-to-door selling and you hate the bullshit of the sales closing technique this approach is for you.
The most memorable part of the strategy pushed by the authors is so damned simple you feel like driving a skewer into your eye for not adopting it sooner.
You need to identify initially the people that you work with best and for whom you have done your best work. These are the people for whom you already have a soft spot and vice-versa. They most likely trust you.They are the ones who will really appreciate your approaches for more work. You probably already have a good knowledge of their business and so you have some sort of understanding of their issues and challenges.
This means that you might even be able to apply the 'putting yourself in their shoes' strategy to develop a proposal and ideas for them before the call.
It is not a cold call. It is a follow up call to 'touch base'. You have been thinking about them.
And you are more likely to have their ear because they are empathetic to you----after all you have done good work for them in the past and there is no reason why you wont be able to do it in the future!
It will also relieve you of some stresses because you are engaging people who you basically like rather than having to 'sell to difficult people who screw you down all the time'.
May I suggest that you do this exercise immediately:
  1. Get out your customer/client list straight away and make a list of those of your customers/clients with whom you work well.
  2. Then beside each name jot down the issues that they might be wrestling with.
  3. Then schedule to ring them or email them telling them that you have have been considering their business issues and you would like to confirm or share your thinking with them. Let the discussion meander a little and make notes furiously.
  4. Then within a day or 2 ,while they are still appreciative of your contact, give them a simple proposal as to how you are able to help them

But don't stop there. Follow them up. Show interest.Be Contrarian!

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