The reason I chose the word MAGNETIZE in the subtitle of this book is because I, like a lot of business people, would rather jump off a ten story building than make cold calls.
Sure, I’ve made cold calls before. But I can honestly say that after all these years; I’ve only booked ONE speech as a result. Which apparently makes my closing ratio pretty crappy.
So, that either means:
a) I suck at cold calling
b) People won’t buy from you unless you’ve given value first
c) It’s becoming increasingly difficult for business people to successfully use interruption marketing techniques to obtain new clients
Probably all three.
On the other hand, consider this example. I’ve been contributing a monthly column to the St. Louis Small Business Monthly for the past three years. They don’t pay me, but then again, I don’t do it for the money. I do because it I love to write. I do it because I’ve developed a mutually valuable relationship with my editor, Ron. And I do it because I know that an article is one way to MAGNETIZE more business.
Because an article gives value first. It offers helpful content, displays credibility and expertise, and most importantly, builds trust between the author and the reader. And my hope is when the reader completes the piece, she’s thinking to herself, ‘Wow, what a great article! I’d love to learn more.’
Then the reader comes to the bottom of the page and sees my bio. (Scroll down if you’d like to read it.)
And that’s why articles beat cold calls any day of the week: because they don’t sell, they enable people to buy.
It really works, too. In fact, I can attribute over $20,000 of business in the last three years as a result of articles. Which is exactly why, since 2003, I’ve been writing and publishing one article per week, every week. And while not every piece gets picked up, the more content you have out there, the greater probability you have to MAGNETIZE more business. It’s like Peter Montoya says, ‘Personal branding means business comes to you, even when you’re not around.
But not everybody likes to write. Some people would rather make a thousand cold calls than write an 800 word article! And that’s cool. It’s not about writing, per se. Here is a list of five other ways that don’t sell, but rather enable customers to buy:
1) Give a speech at a local event based around your area of expertise. Offer helpful tips and ideas in a fun, entertaining, valuable and unique way that personifies your brand.
2) Gather all your best testimonials. Chop them up into short phrases, compile a Master Paragraph and fax it to 20 potential customers with a Post-It Note that reads, “I’d love to do the same for you! Call me!”
3) Do this stuff weekly: go to one business meal with a customer/associate, offer one email introduction between two people on your contact list and attend one networking event.
4) Go to your company’s website and make sure every possibly medium of contact is available and accessible to your customers: phone, fax, email, online form, mailing address, IM and 800 number. If not, find your IT guy and yell at him.
5) Offer yourself as an industry expert to publications read by your customers. Send them a pre-written Rolodex card with your contact information on it. When you secure an interview, get a hard copy. Send it to everyone. Especially the IT guy.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Do you sell or enable people to buy?