Part 1: General Introduction to Marketing

I remember…

…I was at the golf course the other day when this fellow sauntered up.

‘Hi’ he said, ‘do you mind if I introduce myself?’

‘Sure’ I answered. ‘Tell me who you are and what you do.’

‘I’m John’ he replied, ‘and I am a builder who just moved into town … and you?’

‘I was born here and am a marketing consultant.’

My new chum’s eyes brightened. ‘Pleased to meet you’ he said, ‘you must tell me how I can learn to do marketing someday.’

I leaned back and looked him in the eye. ‘You just did marketing’ I said. ‘You are a born natural, John, because you know how to introduce yourself and have a conversation.’

Marketing is essentially about introducing our business to new prospects. We hope they remember us when they need our product or service. And, if we come to mind, we may have a chance of a sale. It sounds easy, because it is. Keep reading, and I will share with you the fundamentals that will help your journey to success.

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"You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you."

– Dale Carnegie

How John Got Things Right That Saturday

John had things the right way round that Saturday at the golf club. He could have just said I am a builder, here is my card. Instead, he spent fifteen minutes being friendly and making conversation. John didn’t realise, but he was low pressure selling. How was this so effective? Just think: would I be just as likely to refer his services if he didn’t take the time to share a conversation with me?

I found a great blog on Farnham Street that explains this nicely. It boils down to the fact that we are happier to receive advice from people we know and like. And we’re more likely to buy from them too, which is the point of being in business. I find it difficult to refuse invitations to dinner parties from people I like, even if there are other things I would rather do than listen to the mindless chatter of their guests. Why? At the heart of things, we depend on the people around us to prosper, and spiking their curiosity is a great way to share our message.

How Curiosity is the Currency of Marketing

Curiosity has played an important role in human evolution. It stimulates exploration, investigation and learning. Humans are actually ‘hard wired’ to learn new things, and acquire new knowledge and skills. Those were the forces driving me to listen to John. I was also reverse marketing in case there was business there for me too.

If you have read Alice in Wonderland, you may remember her curiosity convinced her to obey the words ‘open me’. Those ‘Nigerian’ emails that offer to put money in our bank accounts do something similar. We know we should not read them, but we still do occasionally click the message just to see what it says. Incredibly, one in five million take the bait, and are poorer for it. In an era with fleeting attention spans and people believing what they read, people are falling for curiosity marketing in increasing numbers – for better and for worse.

Free chocolate samples in shopping centres are equally effective in piquing curiosity, if not more so. Once the delicious flavour has seduced our senses we are more susceptible to buying. Often, we feel guilty if we do not, and so a curiosity marketing technique eases us into a purchase, completing a sales cycle. The key to spiking the curiosity of your potential customer is understanding them and what makes them tick!

The More We Understand the Customer, the Better We Get

Marketing is a never-ending journey where we never know precisely what makes our customers tick. However, in continually discovering more about our customers, we can better serve them and be rewarded for that service with their loyalty. There are no tricks that work in the majority of cases.

Business is about being ethical and helping consumers discover what they need. This takes time and a personal approach, as you are dealing with people and not robots (yet).

Remember this: your consumers are the primary group with the most influence to impact your business through unanimous judgement, for its growth or destruction.

That being said, here is a simple affirmation to repeat frequently:

Learning comes before earning. To earn more, you need to learn more.

So, when was the last time you studied your clientele?

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"Get closer than ever to your customers. So close, in fact, that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves."

– Steve Jobs

How Confident Are You About Marketing?

In 2018, high pressure selling has become ineffective, and thank god for that!

The Harvard Business Review believes most of us respond to low pressure selling, especially when purchasing high-capital items such as new cars and houses.

Before my company became what it is today, I discovered high-pressure sales were far more likely to result in a wrong client fit and ultimately lead to unhappy or demanding clients (we all have them!).

Low pressure, and being gentle and considerate of the lead worked much better in the long run, for both our clients and our enterprise. It aligned us with our ideal client type, creating long-term mutually beneficial partnerships, and enabled us to focus on deliverables.

Marketing and selling are not about fooling people into doing things they would otherwise not do. We should all strive to find out if what we offer suits them, with the customer being the one who decides for themselves. The more pressure someone feels, the more likely they are to have buyer’s remorse and less likely they are to like your brand.

Do you remember we touched on earlier how people prefer to buy from people whom they know and like?

We are all customers to someone, and we all like to do business with people who are knowledgeable about their services/products, especially when the person understands our unique circumstances. This is the psychology behind business blogs, articles and advertorials in print and on the internet. When businesses give us free, helpful information, it is more likely we will come back for more. This really works, especially in the modern age.

Back to John My Builder Friend for the Moment

John is hardly what I would call a high-pressure salesperson. Do you remember his opening words “Hi, do you mind if I introduce myself?” John will make a super marketer for himself by demonstrating his expertise in his industry using the platform he is comfortable with, face-to-face communication. He will also get acres of mileage with throwaway advice that may or may not bring business but is still helpful.

John is not a high-end property sales business with hundreds of houses to sell off plan and the glitz to go with it. John will succeed after he finds local leads, is patient and friendly, charges competitive prices, and does a quality job.

In fact, I will not be surprised if he gets a fair amount of business from referrals. Naturally, if John makes the right decisions, his impact in his community and business will grow in unison.

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"Get closer than ever to your customers. So close, in fact, that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves."

– Steve Jobs

The master method that creates vast opportunities

Modern marketers want you to believe that old-school methods of growing your business are dead; that you need Adwords, Facebook, expensive websites, flyers, newspapers and more to grow.

This is true in a sense… however, old-school isn’t dead, it’s alive and well. And let’s face it, old-school doesn’t make for sexy unique shareable content though, does it?

So please, reader, if I can anchor your time on just one point for your professional growth and knowledge, it is this:

Since the times of ancient Babylon, one marketing method has held strong and is even ingrained in our DNA. To master this method will bring fortune and opportunity second to none. This method is an unshakable foundation for any great enterprise and is a powerful metric for success with any product or service:

Trusted customer referrals.


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