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There's mainstream style marketing, then there's direct-response. Let me put it to you like this: we have all entered into the world of “fake news” but it is no different then that of the “false advertising” campaigns of the past.
The Only Kind of Marketing That Gets Results
I've said it many times before and I will continue to say it: Because of the rise of the information age, digital marketing, and the never ending war on "fake news" (a.k.a. false advertising), consumers “BS” alert meters are at an all time high, and it is direct-response style marketing that will stand the test of time.
It is the only kind of marketing style that not only attracts the kind of target market you are looking for, but it demands a response from them as well – a kind of response that can not be refused. And the reason for this is because there is a system involved. In fact, it nearly comes down to an exact science – not to mention, it can be fun.
Online and Offline Working in Harmony
It begins with effective lead generation that delivers the right message to the correct market through the most powerful media (or medium). It is what I call the perfect market, media, message match.
It is important to know that direct-response style marketing is not confined to direct-mail (snail mail) only, but, in fact, actually utilizes all types of media – including social media and other forms of internet marketing.
What is also important to understand is that you want to take people offline as soon as possible, and that is what direct-response style marketing allows you do. In other words, you want to be able to communicate with your target market in every area they are most likely to hang out at. Whether it's online or offline, you want to be there.
Mastering Salesmanship Through Lead Generation
When it comes to lead generation, what you have to understand is this: People do business with people, not with companies or brands. It is the company name or brand that might bring the customer into the store, but at the end of the day, money is exchanged between people, not a logo or a slogan.
To be honest with you, I'm finding more and more people are being hired for sales positions that they are nowhere near qualified for. I say that to say this: I just recently had a very unpleasant shopping experience at a local cellular store (I won't mention the name because I'm sure they won't appreciate the negative publicity) where I found a salesman who hadn't even mastered salesmanship 101.
In short, the salesmen - it was more than one, actually - left me feeling like I was an idiot for buying the cell phone that I purchased, even though I did my own research before arriving to the store. In other words, I knew what phone I wanted and why I wanted it; but they wanted to make sure that I knew I was an "idiot" for wanting to get the phone I purchased. This is a BIG NO, NO!
You see, everyone is "entitled" to their own opinion, and that goes for sales people as well. They are "entitled" to have their own personal preference when it comes to the products they sell, which ones they like the most; but lesson number one in sells is this: The product your customer wants to buy is always the best product.
In other words, as a salesperson, you are not the one buying the product, the customer is. Therefore, your opinion is of no consequence and should not be made known unless the customer specifically ask for it. The only thing that is important is what your customer thinks and how they feel. It is your job as a salesclerk to make sure your customer not only knows, but feels like they have made the best decision.
In this particular case, as a customer, I had already done my homework, which means I made the salesclerk's job that much easier. I actually allowed him to skip a few steps in the whole selling process. All he had to do was take my money and leave me feeling like I made the best decision.
Now, if I hadn't already done my homework, and I was just coming in to the store to look around, then at that point, it would be that salesclerk's job to get know me -- to get know my likes and dislikes, my budget or financial situation, and so forth. This is what is not only considered lead-generation, but also customer-acquisition (two skill-sets that I am specialized in).
This is one of the reasons why I like to do the majority of my shopping online, because I find copywriters and digital marketers know more about selling and marketing than so-called in-house salesclerks these days.
There is more that I could say about this topic, and I may write another article specifically on this subject matter, but until then, I just wanted end by saying this: This may be hard to listen to, but people are naturally selfish and only think about themselves. Therefore, if you are going to be successful in selling, the first thing that you need to be able to do is become consciously aware of this truth, and make every selling experience as much about the customer as possible and less about you and your feelings or opinions.
How to Master The Know, Like, and Trust Factor
Look, we've all heard it before: People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust.
Notice the order to that…
First, they must know you. How do you get your target market to know you? Let's be honest, if you are not doing everything you can to stand out from the crowd, the likelihood of your target market noticing that you even exist is going to be slim to none.
In other words, you are going to have to do your marketing different than those in your industry in order to stand out, that is the only way to get noticed and capture the attention of your target market.
You see, when we were growing up our parents told us to "never talk to strangers," and not to draw attention to ourselves. The fact of the matter is: This is the worst advice you could ever follow if you are wanting to go into business for yourself.
The first step to becoming successful in business is by getting your target market to know you exist. They have to know that you are out there before they can ever decided to like you (and eventually trust you).
How do you accomplish such a task? You do that by developing an irresistible offer that generates leads on autopilot. In other words, you have to develop some kind of lead product or service that you give away to your target market for free. And it must provide tons of value and deliver on a promise, or solve an immediate problem that your target market is currently facing.
That is what many across the digital marketing space refer to as a "lead magnet" or "bait piece." In essence, it is a flagship product or resource that introduces your target market to the products and services that you offer.
Let me put it to you like this: We've all heard how important first impressions are when it comes to dating, meeting new people, or going on a new job interview. You want to be able to really shine with that first impression, but you don't want to end up giving so much away in the beginning that you end up not having anything more to offer later on down the road.
In short, you always want to keep them wanting more. This is how you get your target market to know that you exist and that you offer something of value. When you WOW them with that first impression -- you delivered on the promised you made, or you solved a problem that they were currently dealing with -- that is what moves them to the next level or into the next phase, which is moving past just knowing you and into actually liking you.
That brings us to the second step towards business success. How do you get your target market to “like” you? As I've stated already, being able to deliver on the promise you made, and being able to solve an immediate problem that your target market is facing is just one step in the direction of getting them to like you.
However, it has been said that "people like people that are like themselves," or that are like the person they would like to become. One of the main reasons big companies fail in their marketing efforts is because they start to think that everyone is like them, or that everyone is interested in what they are interested in. Remember what I said earlier: People are naturally selfish, and only think about themselves.
I know that that is difficult to listen to and accept because we would never want to admit something like that. We would rather let our self-righteous meter go off the charts. However, the fact of the matter is: As business owners, the sooner we learn to accept this truth, and start putting our customers before our own personal opinions and feelings, the sooner we will be able to really provide a service that is not only appreciated, but admired and referable.
Look, if we were to do things the way big dumb companies do it, it would be like going on a first date and only talking about yourself, never allowing the other person to share anything about themselves. This is the fastest way to repealing someone rather than attracting someone.
You see, consumers are more interested in the end result that they are suppose to receive after using your product or service, and how it is going to make them feel. In fact, it has been said many times, "People don't care about how much you know until they know how much you care."
Take a minute and really think about that. You see, getting your target market to really like you has nothing to do with how much you know or how great your product or service is, but rather how much you care for your target market, and how passionate you are about helping them achieve their dreams, wants and desires.
This brings us to the last stage of business success -- the trust factor. You see, once your target market, or ideal customer/client, not only knows that you care about their well-being and what they are going through, but can also feel that same thing in their heart, that is when you will win a customer or client for life.
Tribe of Faithful, Loyal Customers, Clients, and Patients - Your Passionate and Enthusiastic Evangelists
Finally, how do you get your target market to trust you?
I don't know about you but I am persuaded to believe that building trust is ultimately established through consistency. What I mean by consistency is by being faithful to put your customers or clients first, and the more you are able to provide engaging and valuable content, that not only entertains, but also informs, and even solves the occasional problem for free, is a practice worth following through with.
For instance, consider the analogy of a romantic couple. There are many factors that come into play when establishing trust within a romantic relationship. Communication is extremely important, but even more important than communication is that your significant other must not only know, but also feel that you are faithful to them and that you only have eyes for them. And that all you want to do is please them and make them happy.
One way to establish effective communication in a business to consumer relationship is through content -- articles, videos, social media posts, etc. -- as well as having a channel in which your ideal customer or client can communicate back with you, whether that be through social media messaging or through email.
As you remain consistent in providing these types of communications with your target market, you become that much closer to establishing trust with them. In other words, the more they become familiar with receiving your content, and the more your content provides value to them by answering their questions, the more they begin to trust you and your content. And that is partly because they know that the content you create is specifically designed with their particular wants, needs, and desires in mind.
Once you are able to nurture that trusting relationship on a continual basis, that is when you will be able to cultivate an evangelistic tribe of happy customers and clients that can’t help but want to spread your company’s message to everyone they know.
William Ballard is the author of "The True Writer's Life," which is the book that essentially started it all for William. In conjunction with the coaching he provides for free through his blogs and articles all across the web, he also offers Personal Writing and Business Coaching where he teaches freelance writers and aspiring authors how to start, build and maintain full-time, high-earning writing careers.