Over the past several weeks I have received little notes, slipped under my front door, from the newspaper delivery person, the postman, the gardener type person and a few others whose names I do not know. No doubt, many of you have had this same experience.
All of them were happy to wish me a merry Christmas, happy holiday and happy new year and SIGN THEIR NAME to a card that encouraged me to say thank you for “their service” this holiday season. Translation: “give me money because I serve you all year”
In this “content marketing effort”, all of these service providers delivered a non commercial message with the intention of strengthening our relationship which they hoped would lead to a value exchange (send a check for Christmas).
The problem comes down to this; these guys missed the whole relationship building process. I mean the whole thing!! There’s no introduction, cultivation or progression of a relationship with content moving things along. None, just “give me money.”
Maybe if these guys would have sent me some information every couple of months or sent me jokes or inspirational quotes, I would have had a feeling that they were at least TRYING to build a relationship. Maybe if they would have done that, I would send them more than I am planning to send.
Maybe you do the same thing. Take this holiday season for instance. Did you start your big “ASK” in October or so – having not communicated with these corporate types since last October? This eleventh hour effort is easy to spot. It’s a BIG ASK out of the blue – not built upon a series of communications LEADING UP to the BIG ASK. Maybe that’s why you didn’t get as many sales as you could have IF you had worked on that relationship all year.
So the next time you need a sale, think about these three elements. Heck, cut this out and put it over your desk.
1. Start sharing information well before you need the sale to happen; if you need the sales in December, start talking to the prospect in May or June.
2. Repeat your effort multiple times.
- One Contact Does Not = One Sale.
- One Contact Does Not Even = One Awareness!!!”
3. Stay with the program. Never stop communicating. Never stop building and nurturing relationships.
As the Beatles used to say about relationships, “It Don’t Come Easy.” If it did, it wouldn’t be worth much and neither party would get much out of it.