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I regularly receive messages through LinkedIn and email with offers for this free webinar or that free content, all because this person and I are connected through a huge group, or they found my info on such-and-such a website…. And I delete the message every time, often without even skimming it.
Why? Because I have no relationship with these people. They are “cold-calling” me and many, many other people --- randomly throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks. It’s a pretty vague strategy and it generates a lot of misses. It can also generate a negative response and hurt their overall brand image when they’re reaching out to people as though they have a connection when, really, they don’t.
What is a better way of doing this? In your own marketing, how can you connect with someone and increase the likelihood – nay, guarantee – that they will read your email or open your LinkedIn message, and welcome your content with interest and curiosity?
Recipients of your message are more likely to open your message and read it if they (1) know who you are and (2) expect the message. Why? It’s human nature. We talk with, listen to, connect with and buy from people we know and trust. Not companies – people.
So when you reach out, reach out as a person, and do things that will help them know and trust you.
Building a relationship of trust and understanding will result in them noticing your message, clicking on it and actually reading it and possibly even taking the action that you ask them for. This does take a little bit more time than just pelting the world with your content, but the long-term impact for you, your business and your customers’ success is much, much better.
GREAT content, thank you, Suzan!
The question that occurs to me is, that is the best plan, so in the meantime while I wait for the one or two industry association events where I see these prospective customers, should I not also throw some spaghetti? I can only talk to so many of them in 2-3 day events...maybe I can have 20 quality conversations...that is a lot, but it's not a large enough marketing pipeline...
Please share your thoughts!!!
Hi Ivan -
I'm glad you found the "spaghetti" reference useful! Let's step out of the analogy a bit and see how this looks...
I'm basically saying: Don't cold-call people and try to sell them right off the bat
I hear you saying something like:
- How can I talk to these people without having to be face-to-face at an event?
- How can I increase the # of people I can meet at that event?
- Would some cold-calling help?
The spaghetti answer is: Reach out and send-them an offer. Maybe they'll buy!
The non-spaghetti answer is: Connect with them as people first and keep your offer off the table while you get to know them and give them a chance to get to know you.
So -- maybe you can find them through social media and build a relationship? Or maybe you do reach out directly, but only so that you can simply connect. Perhaps offer them some free, valuable content. And what's powerful about that is... the next time you're at an association event, you already know who they are and are simply "putting a face to a name" as you continue to build your relationship.
In short -- yes, absolutely connect with them. But don't try to sell them until you've built a relationship, and gained some trust and credibility.
Does that help?