“O what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!” Sir Walter Scott
You have just been the victim of “untruth." More on that word and several others later. You started reading this article because the headline seemed to promise something exciting, sinister, private and maybe even a little clandestine. But the outcome of this cleverness is that - OK you started reading but you feel tricked, lied to, embarrassed that you got sucked in.
That is exactly how your prospect reacts to being “tricked” into returning your call. Leaving voicemail messages, business texting, and certainly email have to be treated differently than other communications. They are statements rather than conversations. We have all seen and maybe experienced the come-ons offering to share special knowledge that “powerful people” don’t want you to know. They warn you to take advantage now because some terrible folks will make them stop sharing the information soon. There are the offers for only the first 83 people to respond or those “selected” to receive a special not available to the public. My personal favorite are any of the “FREE” offers (Just pay outrageous shipping and handling).
The common aspect of all these is that they appeal to basic human weaknesses. People like to be in the know, they like to have special or private information, they like to think they will have a monetary increase, they like to think they will be cured from ailments, etc.
These offers never measure up to the promise and many (most) times don’t provide any real benefit. But the proliferation of these offers are proof that enough people fall for the pitch.
That won’t work for you!
Unlike the once-and-done offers that trick people to give up some cash, your goal is to establish a working relationship over an extended period. You can do that as long as your marketing message utilizes the same basic human traits but without the trickery or stretching of the truth.
For just a moment think about the words you hear and see in advertising today. Untruth was once known as a lie. Preowned was used. You will see “clinically researched” not clinically proven, which therefore means absolutely nothing. Make your message appealing and valuable.
The number one best way to get a return contact is the referral. Being able to leave a message that simply says “Hi, I’m Jack Jones and Bob Smith suggested I contact you about what I’m working on for him”. The normal curiosity people have and the connection with someone the prospect knows is a strong motivator. No deception is involved. Asking every customer for referrals is golden!
When prospecting without the benefit of a referral, design your message in a prospect focused way. Don’t say what you want, tell them what they want. How many times have you begun an email with “I just wanted...” Why would you think that a stranger cares what you want? Here is a typical, simple and effective email, voicemail and phone marketing message.
“Hello Ms. Thompson, there are marketing methods utilizing promotional products media that are highly effective, extremely budget-friendly and have really benefited businesses like yours. If you would like more information on putting this media to work for you, please let me know.”
In two sentences you let the prospect know that you have something of value for them, that promotional product media is what you want to discuss, that other similar businesses are realizing value and that there is a budget-friendliness (low investment). No tricks, outlandish promises ‘untruth’, or even half-truth. A prospect that responds is identifying themselves as an interested future client. Those that do not reply (get filtered out) eliminate the need for you to waste your time.
An often overlooked aspect of connecting with a prospect is that our industry specializes in accomplishing those connections. Adding a promotional component to your own message not only accomplishes your contact with the prospect but offers them an opportunity to see how they might benefit from something similar for their business. Your message might be:
“Hello Ms. Thompson, there are marketing methods utilizing promotional products media that are very effective, have great return and are a lot of fun. Would it be OK to send you some information and a business gift you will certainly enjoy? My contact information is …”
Even if the conversation is started with a question as to what the gift is, you will be able to demonstrate that the offer helped the conversation get started and that you can do the same for the prospect’s business.
One other point that was shared with me back before text and email existed, is to be professional but be friendly. Be sure you sound like a person, not a recording. Address the prospect by name. Know what you want to say before making the call, knowing that leaving a message will be needed most of the time. And - never neglect to try again without mentioning that you tried before. Leave the tangled web of trickery to the online charlatans and keep your communication grounded in good clear truthful messaging.