Marketing to Human Beings

Cold Calling for the Clueless

 I get many cold calls, emails and Linkedin inmails from people trying to get an audience with me. They want to sell me some type of marketing service. It can be consultants, ad agencies, graphic design or lead generation folks. Rarely do they ever connect with me because almost all of them are lazy, impersonal and their outreach is filled with jargon I don’t understand. They speak like bureaucrats with meaningless business words and clichés.  In a phrase, the treat me like a lead not like a human being.

Why don’t those business development managers take the time to reach me- the human being not me the Global Director of Marketing?

Why don’t they ever do a little homework and approach me AFTER they have done a little research about me, the company I work for, my blog or background?

Why don’t they personalize they message?

Why don’t they speak to me through explaining how they may have a solution if I have a specific problem?

I have three suggestions to make your outreach more effective.

FIND THE HUMAN BEING: First, remember that you are trying to gain the attention of a human being. Don’t treat me like another email, phone number or name on a call sheet. It won’t work. Find some human connection. For example,  I noticed that you are a Jersey boy- I too grew up in New Jersey. Or, I see you worked on marketing the Slim Jim brand- I grew up eating those nasty meat snacks. Or, I see you work in the wine industry and I have a good friend at X,Y, Z winery, I wonder if you know him.  Or, I read some of your blog posts on marketing and really found your story about Ben & Jerry to be incredibly funny and informative. Make an effort to find a human connection between us. 

DESCRIBE YOUR BENEFIT:  Second, quickly help me get what the heck you do. The best way to do this is to give me a few examples of problems that companies had that you and your services, software or solution fixed.  For example, I recently worked with a packaging firm that had a problem reaching thousands of small leads through the distributors. Their message wasn’t getting through and leads were flat. We designed a simpler e-mail campaign that generated an open rate of 25%, a click through rate of 4% and generated a 10 X return on investment. I’d love to share those details with you. Be specific and share these anecdotes because I might see myself in that same situation.

USE HUMOR:  Third, breakthrough the boring with a quick funny story or joke that illustrates a key aspect of your message.  Compare your product offering to something fresh and current in the news. Make me want to read your email or listen to your entire voice mail but giving me something entertaining.  Be different. Don’t waste my time but lighten up a bit and don’t be so serious that you jump right into your pitch. You wouldn’t do that in person would you?  Don’t do it virtually.

Connect with the  Human Being 
Connect with a human being, not a lead
Remember, you are trying to reach a human being. Often we come with emotions, stress and a range of other feelings.  Connect first with me as a person before you put your sales hat on. Find some way of quickly explaining that if I have a specific need, you have a proven solution. Stand out and be different through humor or some other compelling and authentic emotion. 

You might want to read Daniel Pink's new book called To Sell is Human which is filled with many great examples on selling in the 21st century. 

We humans prefer personal communications that shows you know something about us.  Do some homework first. Find a connection. Talk to me, Jeff. I am not lead #32

I won’t bite.

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