Here’s a great question on Getting Your Message Out – becoming an Adviser, from this week’s Making Money with Security workshop (Virtual).
You gave some excellent information on what to say and do when you are in front of the executives/asset owner…when communicating by email and by other electronic means…
You mentioned that sound bites alone are ineffective and how you throw most of your marketing mail away. I agree with both of these statements, so with that said, do you have any suggestions for what I can do to increase our chances of getting our marketing messages heard/read?
Content is the key. When your goal is to sell, people feel sold. When your goal is to educate, people feel helped. The key is in finding things that are helpful to the buyer – the asset owner. Most asset owners are not technologists, so educating them on products, or anything technical, sounds like an opportunity for demotion. Expect to be delegated back down to IT.
Sound bites, or statistical data may be somewhat interesting, however it must be presented from a source they care about. If the Wall Street Journal publishes it in their daily paper, chances are it appeals to business people. However, statistics, as we stated in class, lead to judgmental thinking, not emotional buying. So while, sound bites do build credibility, don’t expect them to lead to a sale. Use them as attention grabbers only.
In my book, The House & the Cloud, I talk about “Idea Emails”. These are ideas that I present to prospects to create knowledge gaps. “I have some ideas I’d like to share with you on how to make sure your employees are not stealing company secrets”. Idea emails are one example of creating curiosity through a knowledge gap that potentially helps a client/prospect with something they would care about. Other messaging might be “How to” posts on your blog – how to educate the organization on safe data handling or presenting “Seven things your employees need to know before traveling with company laptops”. This type of education can be written to appeal to asset owners in a non-technical, business format.
In summary, create content, use knowledge gaps to generate interest, and then educate with your content. This education should lead to action using services your firm provides. As an example, my wife was reading a document on the harmful effects of amalgam fillings (dental). The document began describing all kinds of symptoms people complain of every day. The article went on to explain the importance of removing these fillings using a special process that prevents serious side effects including possible fatality from poisoning. The doctor writing included several case studies showing how patients had been improperly diagnosed and treated for major diseases including MS. He described the procedure for removal and then recommended using other synthetic metal-free materials. Of course, both my wife and I had the metal removed from our mouths. While we did not use the doctor who wrote the article, we would have, had he been local and had he called on us.
© 2010, David Stelzl