Just Because You Have a List
I think there is definitely an expectation in marketing that just because you have a list of contacts, be it from a bought list, networking event, LinkedIn connection, referral and so on, that everyone on that list should be interested in what it is that you do.
Let me give you an example. A client of mine was thinking about doing some telemarketing. When asked why he thought this might be a good method for his business he said, “Well, anyone can use our products so I can’t see why they wouldn’t be interested.” Erm, no – it doesn’t quite work this way. People are only going to really respond to something if they can see a reason to.
For instance, if I connect with around 40 people a week on Linkedin and then contact them all asking if they would like to have a chat on the phone, I can expect around 5 people to come back to me and say yes. Now in the scheme of things, that’s only a 1% return.
However, if you think about it in a slightly different way, it’s actually quite good. You see, I’m connect with people who have never heard of me before, don’t know anything about me and I don’t know anything about them. When I connect with them, I have absolutely no idea whether or not they’re interested in doing some marketing, whether they’ve just signed into a contract with another provider, whether they have excellent marketing already in place and don’t need my help or whether they are just about to close down the business and retire.
If they’re in any of the above categories, I doubt very much whether they’ll come back to me at all. However, if they are possibly interested, are thinking about doing some marketing or maybe have got someone on board that’s not the best fit for them, they do come back to have a conversation. So even though it’s a fairly low return percentage wise, it’s not bad for five good quality discussions with people who may potentially become clients.
Remember, just because YOU think they should be interested, THEY may not agree with you and marketing is about finding a method that attracts interested people to have a conversation with you. Note the word interested in there. They must be interested in order for it to count. If they’re willing to have a conversation but they’re not particularly interested, sorry but you have to keep trying.
And the colder the list is, the harder it is to get that interest you’re looking for. That’s why in marketing it’s important to use several methods rather than just one. So instead of just calling a list of contacts that have never heard of you, you could send them a letter, follow-up by phone, grab their email address when you speak to them and email them, then connect with them on LinkedIn and send them a personalised message on there. You could also send them an article or blog post you’ve just written; in fact, the more ways you can think of to connect with people and build the relationship with them, the better.
But don’t just assume because you have a list, they’ll be interested in what you do. They may not be ready to buy yet, may already be using someone else or your products and services may not be for them. The trick is to get everyone who is on that list and who is interested to raise their hands and tell you they are and that’s why you need to use a variety of marketing methods rather than just one.