Shock and Awe Marketing
Picture these two different scenarios:
You've done some great work for a client. They sing your praises to one of their peers – an ideal potential client for you – then give you a call to say they've done so and suggest you get in touch with them.
So what do you do?
Perhaps you call that potential client to set up a meeting? Maybe email them?
What does that do to the dynamic?
All of a sudden you've gone from someone they've had recommended to someone who's pushing. Someone trying to get a meeting with them. Someone trying to sell to them.
It's only a subtle shift. It's not like they now see you as some awful agressive salesperson.
But it is a shift. You've had to “draw down” on the favour bank established when your client recommended you.
And what are you going to do when you meet them? You have to figure out whether they need you, what they need, when, and you have to demonstrate to them that you know your stuff and they can trust you.
Feels a lot like a sales meeting to me. Probably does to the potential client too.
So bang, you're a vendor.
Exactly the same as above.
Except instead of calling them to set up a meeting you send them something instead.
Perhaps a CD or a video. Not a “showcase video”. Lord no, please not a “showcase video”.
But something useful. Something that would be really valuable to them. Something they would want to listen to or watch because of the intrinsic value it brings – not because you happen to be in it and you've asked them to look at it.
You know the sort of thing. You being interviewed on audio with 20 minutes of your best ideas on leadership. A video showing you creating a successful adwords campaign and describing the key elements. Your top tips on reducing overheads.
If you've written a book then, of course, that would work brilliantly. But if you haven't, then a CD or video is pretty easy to create. And can actually work just as well.
What's the dynamic like now?
Now you've deposited more into the favour bank rather than withdrawn. Now they've had something valuable from you that they feel grateful for – especially if it gives them something they can immediately do and get results from.
Now they've seen you're an expert. You know your stuff.
Now they want to call you.
Completely different ball game.
Isn't scenario 2 so much better than scenario 1?
And so much less painful when it comes to meeting them. No push. No feeling salesy.
But here's the catch. It takes work.
You've got to make that CD or video.
And you've got to nail your colours to the mast. No weasling around just saying what you think they want to hear when you meet them. No just reflecting back what they say. No BS.
You have to take a stand. You have to say what you think. You have to risk them disagreeing.
And you have to actually be good at what you do. You have to have some different ideas (for them). New insights (to them).
You don't have to be Michael Porter or Tom Peters or Seth Godin.
But you do have to say something they won't have heard time and time again before. You have to have something more than “don't work in the business, work on the business” or “work smarter not harder” or other overused crap. Clichés and obvious truisms aren't going to cut it.
It's going to take some courage. And some confidence.
But if you can take that step. Make that CD. Get it published properly (it'll be less than £100/$100 to get 50 of them done).
If you can have something that blows the socks off people before they even meet you. The full shock and awe treatment.
Well, you don't need me to tell you what a difference that's going to make to your results.
Are you going to do it?