After selling Real Estate in Australia and Corporate Advertising in London I thought that I had enough personality and persuasiveness to be able to sell almost any proven product to a pre-defined interest group. What I did not contemplate is, upon coming online that I would need to discover something else from within to emanate my personality to my interest group.
Power of Personal Contact
We all know that Real Estate is sold most commonly by face to face contact. Sure, there are occasional telephone deals and appointments etc. made by phone but generally one gets to exercise their personality and nature through all media. Let me explain. With face to face personal contact contact the following will generally become known in the space of a short amount of time: grammar, appearance, punctuality, tone, dress style, age, sex (male/female not how often), self-image, self-confidence, attitude, permanent injuries, etc. Anything that one can pick up with sight, smell, touch, feel and audibility. All the five senses come into play here. This is a very powerful tool if used correctly.
Selling by Telephone
Then there is selling by the telephone. Here you can’t call on all the senses to work for you as you can with face to face selling. Your voice, tone and attitude need to emanate your personality just to get a telephone interview. I was living in London a couple of years ago selling advertising with an engineering publishing firm for a percentage. The job entailed cold calling potential advertisers to both Europe and North America asking for thousands of pounds from just one telephone call.
One’s honesty and integrity must be instantly made known through an effervescent personality so it becomes an informative conversation as opposed to a boring old lecture. I think you know the type of phone call I mean! Sometimes you’ll get a telephone call from someone with no clue trying to sell you vinyl cladding for your house. You tell him that you live in an apartment and you’re only renting but he still keeps chatting at the same tone as if you hadn’t said a word. Many of these poor sods are working for an hourly wage instead of a commission. This lack of incentive is evidenced by their apparent disinterest in what they’re doing. Just imagine how interested you’d be if they were full of life and grabbed your attention with a good rapport building joke or something to open followed by asking questions that could only be answered yes to whilst radiating personality the whole time!!!
Sure, the telephone is a hard medium to sell through. I remember my statistics were about 1/70. Every 70 times I picked up that phone I’d make a sale. Keeping the attitude to maintain the same level of personality through the entire day needed work but as time went on I knew it had to become my strong point.
Now I’m online. I believe this to be the hardest method of the three to sell through. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Objections are not given the chance to be countered.
- Net Marketing is cheapened by those looking for a quick buck.
- It’s hard to know who you’re talking to online.
- Many would be purchasers don’t take web businesses seriously.
- Purchasers can easily click away – never to be seen again.
- Spamming isn’t as accepted as it is by post, telephone or fax. (I Don’t advocate spamming online. I also don’t complain about receiving it to the relevant ISP.)
And a host of other reasons…
Contact through Email
Like the method of the telephone the ability to use all your senses is reduced somewhat. Therefore we must capitalize on what we can use to optimize the results from our message. Many of your sales will be made through your writing style online. As I see it there are three ways publishers and salespeople can put their message before their audience via email. Only one of these methods utilizes the power of the relationship between the subscriber and the publisher optimally.
The first is the day to day garbage that we generally filter out immediately when we get it; commonly known as spam. It is by far the least effective method of email communication. I have advanced email filters in place that will trash most of it before I even see it. Jim Daniels wrote an article in his excellent BizWeb Gazette last week in relation to “headlines”. It seems that most who opt for spamming don’t look past earning the first dollar. They are generally littered with ridiculous claims that really do insult the intelligence of any potential target group. Headlines such as “$10,000 – Overnight For Absolutely No Effort” or “I Made $500,000 in Six Months! Ask Me How!”
This form of marketing targets the masses, pisses most people off and is looking simply for the one off sale. There is no relationship building at all on the part of the marketer.
When I first came online I was none the wiser with spamming. I genuinely thought the whole world would be delighted to hear my offer. So I sent my offer out to 1500, what I thought to be targeted, email addresses. I ended up getting 155 replies. 17 were interested in my offerings. The other 138 were “hate mail”. I couldn’t believe that first of all not everyone was over the moon with what I had; and secondly (and most importantly) that people could be so mean simply because of an email text message. I was booted off by my ISP and had only 17 interested names to show for my work. I needed to start over!
Imagine how much better my response would have been if I’d taken the time to target those who are genuinely interested as opposed to the public at large!!!
It was a big lesson. I’m glad I did it early on as I learnt first hand the true “non-value” of such an exercise. I honestly felt like JR Ewing as I got continued abuse letters for a week. I almost half expected Krystal to break into my office with a revolver and give me what I (apparently) deserved. Needless to say I never did it again. I then developed what so many before me had advised me to do; this was to start my own “opt-in mailing list”.
This is the second option of email marketing. I then decided to begin my own database for direct marketing. You are all more than likely familiar with this form of marketing. Delivery is by subscription only! Your own opt-in list allows you to stay in regular contact with your target audience. Your subscribers are virtually inviting you to send them your offer!
Don’t get me wrong here – if you simply send a sales letter to your subscribers then they’ll just laugh you out onto the street. They will do this by way of mass exodus. Subscribers want information in their field of interest not simply ways they can part with their cash! I mentioned in an email to a potential client last week that in real estate it’s “location location location” that’s important. I believe without a doubt in email marketing this is “value value value”. If this value is not adequately provided then subscription cancellations will abound and you won’t sell anything.
Ezine marketing to an opt-in list allows you so many options as a Net Marketer. It’s paramount to your success! You need to have an ezine in your field! If you aren’t keeping an opt-in list then start one today. It goes beyond the scope of this article to dig deeper into this topic.
When you receive a letter in the post from a friend you will almost 100% of the time read the letter from beginning to end. Why? Because there is a relationship in existence between the two of you! Everything in this handwritten letter was written personally for you. All you have to do is transpose this sort of personalization to your subscriber base.
People are looking to get quality information from someone they feel they can trust. Building trust on The Net takes time and needs the right ingredients. Remember, the only one of our five senses that can be fully utilized by email marketing is really sight. Everything is virtual! So, those reading your offerings need to not just be impressed with your finesse and marvelous ability to present your wares professionally and positively but also to feel a connection that you are indeed a friend with their greatest interests at heart. I am now truly starting to see the fruits of my work from adopting this sort of approach.
Personalising your emails coupled with creative and powerful copy will be a very positive step for your email marketing campaign. Optimize your resources and reap the benefits.
Recommended Books on the Power of Personal Contact:
- Relationship Economics: Transform Your Most Valuable Business Contacts Into Personal and Professional Success
- Crisp: Networking for Success: The Art of Establishing Personal Contacts (Crisp Fifty-Minute Books)
- Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results
- The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web Is Changing What We Read and How We Think
About the Author:
marketing consultant at the helm of Topliving Consultancy. Visit his web site at http://topliving.com . Subscribe to Darren’s popular “Success and Self-Motivation” Weekly publication, “AAvenues 2 Your Success”. It’s packed with this sort of material each week.
Category: Business Communication