No doubt you’ve heard, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” – but why do so many leads still “buzz off” before you can close the sale?
Like virtually every other facet of our lives, the Internet has revolutionized the realm of marketing. Of course, the impact of this revolution wasn’t initially felt in the retail sector but with time, the ripple effect has reached even the humblest of brick-and-mortar merchants. And no wonder – the Internet has provided the opportunity to connect with so many more individuals on a more personal level than has ever been possible and in truth, may even be humanly possible. This in turn has redefined the very foundation of retail marketing and the revolution is called Attraction Marketing (or Magnetic Marketing).
In traditional marketing strategies, you begin by obtaining lists of prospective leads. If it has been filtered in any way to help weed out the worthless leads, then that helps; but the nature of the process is time-consuming – contacting large numbers of leads and trying to determine which ones are worth pursuing. Depending on the nature of your industry, this process can involve numerous attempts before you even get an opportunity to present your sales pitch and with no guarantee of closing the sale. The alternative to lead-chasing is mass media advertising channels, which have long been one of the most expensive yet the lowest ROI forms of promoting your business.
Attraction Marketing turns the entire process inside-out. Instead of pursuing leads endlessly, the nature of this approach is to draw leads to you by providing info and resources which add value to their lives and illustrate how your business is best-suited to meet their needs. The benefits? Quite a few, actually.
First, the cost of entry into Attraction Marketing is much lower than lead-prospecting or mass media. It even utilizes assets already at your disposal, including your website and social media. Since the conversion rate is also much higher, this is a win-win for the ROI.
Second, this approach naturally filters out low-quotient leads because it “pre-qualifies” prospects through a carefully-designed series of automated stages. By the time a prospect reaches you or your sales team, you can be much more assured that they are serious about taking advantage of what you’re offering because they were serious enough to follow through the process and perceived value in what you’re offering.
Third, it’s far less labor-intensive and far more personally rewarding than prospecting. Instead of actively pursuing leads, you’re sitting back and letting leads come to you. You are then on your own “home turf” so you’re more comfortable, and this communicates in your level of confidence and ease of presentation. Since this is a more passive form of marketing, you don’t need the hard edge of a pushy sales pitch, because these prospects are already there to buy.
Referring back to point No.1, the assets already at your disposal: this includes your website and social media. Taking advantage of these 24/7 workers means that the marketing machine is never silent. Value-added content is critical at this stage because it establishes you/your business as an authority, while offering important educational content which grooms the prospective consumer into a savvier consumer. You can also improve the effectiveness of these assets with info-rich articles, blogs, educational video content, polls and surveys, and even notices about events specifically designed to educate the prospect. These resources also serve the purpose of improving your search engine optimization, driving up your Internet search ranking and thereby increasing your reach!
Referring back to point No. 3, selling on your “home turf”: this is really an element of human nature. When you’re pursing prospects, pursuit embodies negative energy which inadvertently communicates in your message as either pushiness or desperation. The entire approach of mass media marketing also feeds the negative input into your message because consumers are so bombarded by media sources unrelentingly shouting their messages. By turning the tables, prospects are pursuing you and this establishes a more positive energy in your message. Attraction Marketing is all about inviting and not the aggressive sales pitch. Hospitality and invitation also create the proper atmosphere for a positive future customer service relationship and one-to-one relational marketing which will follow. These important, intangible attributes are what builds lasting customer relationships.
A word about the transition from prospect to closing the sale: in the spirit of hospitality mentioned above, in addition to the wealth of info and tools from your online presence, offering a free gift or small token for the opportunity can turn even unrealized prospective customers into walking advertisements. Don’t think of it as a shameless bribe (although it kind of is) but rather, consider that it serves to break down the automatic shield consumers use to defend against the stereotypical aggressive sales tactics. Even if the lead doesn’t purchase anything, they’re more likely to associate your business with memorable, positive experiences and share that with others. If they’re telling their friends about the low-pressure sales tactic and free gift just for listening to the pitch, they’ve become walking/talking free ads whether they realize it or not.
Free advertising? Well that’s something you just can’t buy!
is the Business Support Manager for Helios, LLC. He is chiefly responsible for Helios’ media and public communication as well as overseeing any training initiatives. Contact Jeremy at email@example.com.
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