Using Social Media As A Pull Marketing Strategy

pull-marketing

Things have changed and we live in a connection economy today.  Consumers want to be pulled pull-marketingnot pushed into the products or services the desire.  The sales person, consultant, company, you fill in the blank that does the best job at connecting with people or companies, i.e. pulling those, who are willing to listen to them wins…big.

I’m startled when sales people or organizations fail to use social media as a pull marketing strategy.

My Honda dealer won’t connect with me…even though I asked them to very politely

As I write this I’m sitting in the waiting room at my Honda dealer getting my oil changed.  My family has had an absolutely wonderful experience with this dealership on every level.  We adore our sales rep, and we love our 2012 Honda Crosstour. With just a little effort to connect with us socially they could have us as customers forever (providing the experience remains consistently great).

Here is what boggles my mind.  When we purchased our Crosstour early this year we told our sales rep that we were in the market for a second vehicle.  More importantly we asked to be contacted and kept up to date with any lease specials (we actually said PLEASE inform us).  To date we have gotten zero, zip, zilch, in way of any type of communication from our sales rep on lease specials.

In a connection economy when a prospect gives you outright permission, no scratch that, request PLEASE connect with me you have to do it.

Why I think my rep has not connected with me

He’s thinks he selling cars, but he’s not.  He’s selling a wonderful non-pressured sales experience, a service department that doesn’t try to rip me off, a waiting room with better coffee than Starbucks, and permission to inform me about anything Honda (I’d even follow him to a different dealership…because I’ve bought into him).  My wife and and I have already bought into all of this.  Getting us to purchase a second car there would be a piece of cake.

Newsflash…we actually want 3 cars…my daughter starts to drive in a few months.

Using social media as a pull marketing strategy is easy

Social media does not have to be difficult. You don’t have to have a Facebook or Twitter account.  Email is a social media tool that you likely already have…use it.

Blogs are a social media tool and should be the foundation of your social media strategy anyway (not Facebook and not Twitter…YOUR OWN BLOG).  My opinion is that micro blogging platforms like Facebook should support your blog on your domain…not the other way around.

Setting up a blog is free and takes less than 10 minutes to get started.  Seth Godin who communicates with thousands of people each day that, willingly spread his ideas via Twitter and Facebook, uses Typepad’s free blog platform.  You can also check out WordPress it’s also free.

Use social media to connect or risk losing your customers

There is another Honda dealership in walking distance from my house.  By not connecting with me in any way shape or form, my dealership has opened the door for their competitor.  All I have to do is walk on over to their competitor.

How To Sell Your Products The Way Apple Sells iPods and the iPhone

iPod Ad

iPod AdYou can sell more of whatever it is you are trying to move if you will quickly abandon any attempt to tell clients any facts, figures, or pricing about what you are selling.

To often sales people do what I call a feature puek.  They rattle of all the facts, prices, in’s & out’s, and we do this and we do that about their product or service.  They want to give the customer information, but information is exactly what the customer does not need in the information age.  All the information they need to make a buying decision is available online for a whopping $0.  Besides if they found you trough an Internet search haven’t they already read the information on your website?

Customers don’t need sales people to give them information, (even if they say)…”I’m looking for some information on…”.

How to sell anything … Tell clients want they want to hear

What they are really after is a story that already lines up with their particular worldview.  A world view is simply a story that a customer has already told herself and believes.  If you can share with consumers a story about your product, that they have already told themselves, that is true, and makes a promise that they believe you can fulfill you have a good shot at making a sale.

How Apple sells iPods and iPhones

Consider the most successful MP3 player in history…the Apple iPod.  Apple did not invent the MP3 player, instead they just told a better story to the people who were already inclined to believe it, then those people told their friends.

  • World view: I’ve got a huge music collection that I’d like to listen to when and where I want to.
  • Story: 10,000 songs in your pocket.  For Mac or PC

No facts, no figures, no advertised price, just a story told to a consumer who already shares that world view.

Automotive Marketing Still Stinks

Deceptive automotive marketing stinks and consumers are fed up with it

My wife and I are in the market for a second car.  At least she is, which means I am.  A few weeks ago she noticed a lease special advertised on the website of Ardmore Toyota.  The ad was for a Toyota Camry LE lease with $0 and $189 per month.  Just what my wife was looking for.

We rushed in ready to sign a deal.  When we got there here is what we discovered.

  1. The advertised price is only for recent college graduates (was in the small print but we did not read it).
  2. The car advertised does not have electric seats and unfortunately they did not carry that car (not we don’t have it stock…we don’t even order it!)(So even if we were recent college graduates they still could not have lived up to the promise of the ad.)
  3. The nice shinny car in the pictured in the ad was not the LE but the more expensive SE version. With a clearly different set of lighting options that were not available on the actual car they had for lease.

It seems the whole point of this ad was to get people into the dealership with the promise of something the dealership did not even have to sell, to then sell them something a bit more expensive.  Which would be OK with me if they could have actually sold me what the ad promised.

Once there the standard twisting of trying to get us to lease a slightly more expensive vehicle went on for some time.  And of course we were assured they were offering us their best deal possible (does anyone believe that any more?).

We decided not to lease the car and left.  For the next 3 days I received calls from the General Manager making me increasingly better offers on the same vehicle they had assured me while in the dealership they were offering me their best price.

What we really want

As I think through this it’s not really another car we are in the market for.  What we really want is an automotive retailer we can trust. The actual vehicle matters much less.

I’m not lumping all automotive marketers in the same boat

I do realize that all retail automobile dealers don’t engage in such glarringly deceitful advertising.  In fact we’ve had a very pleasant relationship with Martin Honda whose January ad for a lease special was exactly what they offered.

Word to the wise marketer

Consumers want to trust their auto dealers and anyone else they buy from.  Get caught lying to them and you run the risk of ending up the subject on some guys blog with an army of readers and not just losing his trust and business but his tribes as well.

6 Reasons firing clients may make sense

Firing clients may have the short term draw back of lowering the bottom line, but could pay off huge in future Donald Trump You're Fireddividends.

If you think you may have to fire a client keep in mind the words of Maya Angelou who said

When someone shows you who they are…believe them….the first time.

Although this advice is most often applied to personal relationships between individuals there is something here for businesses and entrepreneurs to learn as well.

We can easily substitute the word ‘someone’ for the phrase ‘a client or a customer’.  Some clients are simply not worth the trouble and they need to be fired.

Here are 6 reasons you might want to consider firing clients.

  1. They are not profitable.
  2. They are profitable but are to much of a drain on your resources, and it causes you to produce sub par work.
  3. No matter what you do they’re never happy.
  4. There’s undue stress in the relationship.
  5. You have a moral issue with the clients line of business (think Phillip Morris).
  6. The client constantly price shops you or wants for free things you did not contract to perform.

Firing clients is a decision you should not take lightly.  However, you may find yourself in a situation where you seriously have to consider it.  When the time comes remember Maya’s words….and don’t expect your client to change.  Look them square in the eye and give them a Donald Trump…“You’re Fired!”

Jesus loves stupid marketers too

John 21:6 describes a biblical event in which Peter and several others had fished all night and caught no fish.  Jesus instructs them to cast their net on the right side of the boat, which they do.  Following these seemingly irrelevant instructions the fishermen catch so many fish that they could barely haul it in.

So what’s the simple message that marketers can learn from this story?  YOU NEED A NET!!!

Fishing without a net is plain stupid

Imagine if the men had gone fishing without a net.  It would not matter that they had a boat, a team, or that the water was loaded with fish.  To have gone fishing without a net to catch the fish would have been simply dumb.

You are a fishermen…of sorts

You’re fishing for clients, and it’s equally dumb for you to fish without a net as it would be for actual fishermen to fish without one.  But don’t worry…Jesus loves stupid marketers to…and has provided free nets 🙂

What’s your net?

So what’s the net for marketers?  It’s your CRM software.  In case you’re unfamiliar with the term CRM stands for Customer Retention Management.

Why you need a net

I speak with business owners and sales people every day who are struggling to make their numbers.  When I ask them how they track their leads, I’m flabbergasted to hear things like: I write them on a notepad, they are in an Excel spreadsheet.  What – Jesus Christ!!!

Consider this – a sales person, marketer, business, non-profit, or you fill in the blank with a 10% close ratio who needs to close 100 sales a year to make ends meet needs to do 1,000 proposals.  Not to mention that to do 1,000 proposals you need to likely talk with twice as many leads.  How can you keep up with communication streams, follow up activities, to do lists, etc for 2,000 leads and 1,000 prospects on a sheet of paper or Excel spread sheet.  You can’t.

You’re fishing without a net and that’s just plain dumb.

Free nets – Yea!

There are many different CRM tools on the market.  SalesForce.com is the wolds most popular…and expensive cloud based tool.  There are others like Sugar CRM and ACT which you can load on your computer.  However Zoho offers a CRM tool, it’s their basic version, that you can use for absolutely free.

When I worked in the mortgage industry I used the free version while I was building my book of business at Wells Fargo.  Once I was making enough in commissions and needed more than the free version offered I upgraded to the paid version…a whopping $12 a month.

Don’t be stupid…get a free net!