What you should do instead of spamming your prospects

Cartoon of business peopleI just shared some thoughts in a private forum, in response to an article by Ken Varga called Turing Prospects into Customers.

Since my comments are broadly applicable I copy them here.

I both agree and disagree with Ken Varga’s article. Here is why:

The trick is to engage the prospects when they are ready to buy.

Here is a typical example: Joe lives in rented accomodation and has no plans to buy a house. At this time he is not open to mortgage deals, which means that advertising to him is a waste of money. However when Joe 6 months later starts looking for a house with his new girlfriend, there is a period when he is open to mortgage deals. After he has bought the house, that time-window is now closed again.

In traditional (outbound) marketing you need to keep pounding on your prospects, hoping you will touch them just when they are open to the message. That is spammy, annoying and expensive.

In the new world of social media there is another way of doing marketing. The trick is to 1) become relevant to the prospects and 2) stay connected, so that when the time is right you are top of mind with them.

So how do i become relevant? One way of doing it is by helping people. I.e. instead of selling what I have, I help them with what they need, thereby becoming relevant to them.

How do I stay connected? That is where the social tools come in! After the initial engagement I continue providing value and thereby earn the right to continue communicating with them.

There are many words for this new marketing style. Some call it “trust marketing”, others call it “inbound marketing”. The common theme is that we stop spamming people with advertising and start engaging people with value.

Going back to the Ken Varga’s article; what he does right is staying connected with his prospects and providing tips. What he misses is “listening” to his prospects for what they need and thus being able to provide better value. The social media tools provide fantastic ways of engaging people in “conversations”, instead of advertising to them.

Don’t you agree this new way of marketing is much more fun and rewarding for both seller and buyer?


One Comment

  1. Ken Varga says:

    Hi Hakan, you are absolutely right that social media tools provide fantastic ways of engaging people in “conversations”. And from my point of view, it’s not an “either-or” between inbound marketing and outbound marketing. As a matter of fact, I think using them together is the key to growth for companies as we move forward. Each “method” feeds the other to generate bigger results than either can by itself.