When it comes to filling your pipeline and generating sales most businesses rely heavily on going out and chasing down their prospects. This takes a lot of time and effort and often results in frustration for both you and your prospects because there is nothing worse than signing people up who are not a good fit… it just leads to frustration for both parties.
side your ideal client profile and you can decide whether or on your wish to work with them, but you need to position yourself to appeal to a specific type of person. The more detail you collect about that person (industry, income, age, gender, personality, location, ethnicity, political affiliation, attitudes, education…) the easier it is to get in front of them and attract their attention efficiently and economically.
Why Does it Matter if You Have to Chase Clients?
Apart from the frustration of chasing after clients who may not be a good fit for a variety of reasons, chasing clients puts you in a weak position when it comes to both authority and price. A surgeon, celebrity, thought-leader, or other authority does not chase after opportunities, they are sought after by people who really want them. Your goal is to put yourself in the same arena.
Not only does this provide you with the authority advantage when you dispense advice, it also gives you a price advantage because people who have chosen you from a long list of candidates and reached out to you are already pre-disposed to work with you. This means that when you tell them what you charge they may be shocked but they won’t be discouraged unless they truly can’t afford your services.
This approach is the heart of direct response marketing: giving interested prospects the opportunity to raise their hand and invite you to contact them. It is also known as ‘Magnetic Marketing’ (Dan Kennedy’s term for it), ‘Attraction Marketing’, and ‘Inbound Marketing’.
So, How Does Direct Response Marketing Work?
You need to decide who you are and what kind of clients you work with. Then you position yourself in such a way that you appeal to those clients. Along the way, other people will turn up who are outThis takes substantial amount of research and effort upfront, and should also be an ongoing project but will stand you in good stead.
- Bait and Breadcrumbs:
Once you know who your ideal prospect is, you will have a strong idea of what kind of ‘bait’ will intrigue them enough to get them to reach out to you. That is why the research aspect is so important: offering uninteresting bait won’t achieve your objective.
Sometimes people say that creating tasty bait is too much work. However, the alternatives are far worse: chasing people who aren’t really determined to work with you, discounting to get people onboard, and the frustration of working with people who don’t really value what you offer.
Bait and breadcrumbs include: Reports & white papers (don’t believe the people who tell you these are now ineffective); videos and training; webinars; articles; social media posts; advertising; radio and TV; magazine and journal articles; and (my favourite) direct mail. I encourage people to experiment with a combination of onlineand off-line media and to be consistent in their efforts to get in front of people because the return-on-investment is enormous. As someone recently said to me, “After sending out a monthly newsletter for 6 months I believe you understated the value of consistent physical mail.”
- Follow-up & Education:
After people have responded to your initial attraction campaign, you have the opportunity to follow-up and educate them some more. This should be part of an automated sequence that orients people to how you work and builds value. In my experience, the people who have been exposed to this kind of sequence and education have a much better understanding of the processes they will be following, and are better prepared for your initial conversation.
Some of my clients actually insist that prospects are informed themselves about the business prior to any serious conversation because the conversations are then much more purposeful and valuable for both parties. This may seem draconian but it’s actually far more respectful of both your time and that of your prospect.
- Prospect-Initiated Conversation:
I love talking to prospects who have initiated the conversation, in fact, these days they’re the only conversations I have! To paraphrase Joe Polish, “Magnetic marketing is what you do to bring people to your door who are predetermined to buy from you, prepared for your processes, and willing to pay the price you suggest because they recognise the value you deliver.” This totally transforms the conversation you have.
When a prospect comes to you and demonstrates interest in your product or service then you are able to spend the time you need to determine whether you can really deliver value or not. When you have a steady stream of prospects in your pipeline then you are not tempted to take on clients you can’t really serve. As a result you can deliver better value and get greater enjoyment out of your day.
Is Direct Response Marketing Worth the Effort?
I think it is, and so do my clients who have switched from outbound marketing (chasing prospects, telemarketing, cold-calling, LinkedIn prospecting etc.) to attraction marketing. I guess it depends how much you like being rejected, or talking to people who have no clue about what you can really do for them.
Yes, it takes work to create bait pieces and breadcrumbs, but it also means that you find prospects you would never have found any other way (some of my best clients are people whom I would never have dreamed of reaching out to), you are only having conversations with interested parties (even though they don’t all result in sales).
Interested in Learning More about Direct Response Marketing?
I implement magnetic marketing campaigns for my clients, but I also recommend that they learn the principles of magnetic marketing themselves for two reasons:-
- Every business owner should know how to market their business, rather than just being able to ‘do’ the business. Systems are critical for scaling a business (and I’m a big believer in systems of all kinds), but without Marketing Systems that bring your ideal clients to your door in a steady stream, you don’t have a business. Anything that is that critical to your business success is something that you should be intimately familiar with.
- Most business owners are approached by marketing agencies, need to manage marketing teams, and are running their own campaigns or outsourcing them. There are so many bright shiny marketing objects out there that you need to be able to recognise them so you can make informed decisions about what to invest in. You can only do that if you actually understand the principles of direct-response marketing and can actually compare new initiatives with your existing marketing campaigns to measure ROI.
The best program to help you understand and implement direct response marketing in your business is GKIC’s 25th Anniversary Edition of Magnetic Marketing. Once you’ve invested your time to work through the program (about 6 hours of education and insight) and tested some of the pre-built campaigns included you’ll never make a cold call again.
Check it out HERE!