You have to really, truly, EXTREMELY “don’t sell” when you are trying to gain the ear of your prospects. It’s your best hope they will relate to your message.
I’m talking about “Don’t Sell” to the Extreme.
Prospects don’t relate to being sold. They are even onto our efforts to “not sell them but help them buy.”
In her recent article Product Marketing Consultant April Dunford wrote candidly about changing the way she and her company creates any type of marketing instruments.
“The content we are creating now is less and less about our products and services (at least not directly) and more and more about giving prospects something that is useful to them.”
I like that a lot, but truly executing it in spirit and truth will take extreme commitment and measures. Here’s a few ideas:
• Instead of producing product spec sheets or a capabilities brochure, how about hand out “Helpful Techniques” sheets. And only make a few hints at the end of the sheet require your products or services to accomplish. (Or be truly extreme and make NONE of the helpful techniques require your wares at all.)
• Instead of a website about your company and offerings, how about an attractive FAQ or Wiki-esque looking site with a slew of How-To’s listed prominently on the homepage. (I say “FAQ or Wiki looking” because most of it should be controlled by you with no contributors. You can have moderated comments for readers to add to each page, and perhaps a moderated, real wiki section as well, if you like.)
• Instead of phoning and sounding like a sales rep, even one with interesting facts to tell, how about calling a prospect and only talking about a new way to do something that will help them, even if the one you call never talks to you again or never returns your voice mail.
Here’s the big fat Relevance Marketing Point about this – If someone really helps you, won’t you try to figure out how to help them in return? Perhaps even consider buying from them?
Executing on that idea is a radical concept for me, and most probably for you as well. It is Relevance Marketing taken to an extreme.
I’ll keep you posted on my efforts to do this.