Last month we looked at Lead Generation and Systems and how this should be seen as foundational to your business. We discussed the opportunity of systemizing your lead generation to the degree that it is performed ‘systematically’ i.e. automatically and consistently.
This month we will be looking at the difference between traditional methods of marketing and proactively targeting warm prequalified referrals. More than 20 years ago, Faith Popcorn wrote a book named “Clicking”. In this book she predicted seven world trends that would take place over the subsequent 20 years. One of her predictions was a phenomena called “Cocooning.” She said that people would start withdrawing themselves into protected environments. This is precisely what is happening today as we see the effects of ‘advertising overload’ in a world where consumers are becoming more and more discerning, in respect of their wants, and more sceptical of the insincere messages that are constantly being churned out into the market place.
In the past 20 years we have seen the advent of: the answering machine, voice mail, caller id, gated communities, ‘no junk mail’ legislation, the anti spam act and the “do not call” register. Every one of these is symbolic of a society that is so obviously making a statement that is loud and clear! And yet we continue to implement marketing strategies that are designed to get into people’s lives UNINVITED!
Let’s rather design a strategy that aims to get us invited in!
In short, we have 3 basic forms of marketing to choose from:
(Advertising, print, media, internet, promotion, Direct Mail Etc)
(Call Centers, Cold Calling, Door Knocking)
(Proactive building of relationships through CRM and database management)
Research conducted across all industries has revealed the following.
While this covers a broad spectrum of different forms, what is considered to be one of the most effective forms of ‘Attraction Marketing’ is direct response post cards. A 1-3 % response rate after the 3rd to 5th repeat is deemed to be an excellent response with this method! That is to achieve “cold” inbound calls and then only 40% of all those cold inbound calls are ever expected to close.
This is what is more commonly known as cold calling and door knocking. Across all industries the response rate is only 1%!
This form of marketing works particularly well with professional sales people and small business owners who rely on a regular and consistent flow of personal qualified leads. It is also greatly enhanced with effective database management backed up with a specialized software application. The same research conducted across all industries reveals the following
40% when we call them
60% when the person hears about us first (endorsement)
90% when the prospect calls us or there is a three way meeting between us the prospect and the referrer.
To summarize these responses we have:-
Attraction Marketing 3%
Interruption Marketing 1%
Endorsement Marketing 90%
(Source- ‘Exceptional Networking by Wendy Kinney)
With this in mind, it’s not difficult to see where we should be spending our time and our money generating leads for our business! With relationship marketing we have the privilege of carefully selecting the people on our database (referrers, also known as ‘advocates’.) We qualify them and then over an extended period of time we apply proven and researched communication strategies and techniques that are designed to build trust, credibility and loyalty. Inevitably we create an in-built ‘instinct’ in each of our approximately 100 advocates to become like walking satellites, always on high alert and acutely aware of their desire to refer prospective clients our way.