The world is hanging up!


So there I was, just sitting at my desk this week, when I got a call from a private number…

It’s in my blood to ignore these calls because more often than not, it’s not the kind of call I want to take. It’s right about now that I’m pretty sure you all know what I’m talking about.

I took it none the less but little did I realize that this was call was going to teach me a lesson once again.

Sure enough, it was some lady from some company trying to sell me some cellphone contract. This was vintage cold calling. Reading from a script, she rattled off her lines like a swing door in a hurricane. I waited with baited breath for my gap. As soon as she balked, I stopped her dead in her tracks and told her I didn’t want to waste any more of her time as I was not interested.

Seeing this as a challenge, my newfound friend worked even harder to persuade me to take her up on this “REALLY GREAT” offer. While she deserved an “A” for effort, it didn’t really change my mind and I eventually got to put the phone down.

And that’s because the world has evolved but some company’s marketing tactics haven’t.

  • Who is their target market? Every living, breathing person on earth.
  • What value do they offer the customer? Besides a slightly lower price, virtually nothing.

A staff member who heard me take the call commented that when he gets a call like that, he simply hangs up. I don’t know the exact numbers but I assume many more do the same thing.

Our lives are busier than ever now and with so much media noise and clutter, traditional marketing is becoming less and less efficient.

So how should the company who’s name I can’t remember do things differently?

Cold calling isn’t exactly a cheap exercise. Maybe it’s time to look at your target market differently and get creative. Email marketing is a great alternative if you find the right data provider and agency but even then, you are still flat out selling.

At least this way, you’re not downright upsetting the people on the other side. If they don’t like the offer, they delete. If they do, they ask for more information.

Facebook and Twitter are great starting points. These tools aren’t going to magically tranform business over night but they are going to help you build a relationship with your audience. And that’s important because most of the people you cold call aren’t interested right now but could be later.

Cold calling says “take it now or leave it” but social media says “let’s become better friends until you’re interested”. The additional advantage is that have them within touching distance when they become interested.

In real life, we don’t befriend people who are selfish and try take from us all the time. Any relationship is about the balance between give and take. It is no different when you enter into a social relationship.

You can’t expect to be taken seriously by your audience if all you do is sell. Social media is about giving to get. One of my favourite bloggers, Jay Baer, teaches that you need to become a “Youtility”. Read one of his best blog posts ever on the topic by clicking this link!

Although it’s important for your website to be online brochure, it’s also important that your website helps buyers and potential buyers along with engaging and valuable content which will assist them in finding solutions to their problems. A static website that just sells is a no-no these days.

This is where a blog comes in. You need to see your company as a publishing house, almost like a newspaper; one that writes great articles worth reading and sharing.

It’s not easy doing all the above but it’s essential. We live in an exponential time and traditional media is highly fractured. You’ve got to do more to stand out. Good luck!

This post was written for the Vivid Marketing website. If your interest is peaked and you want to learn more about engaging with an audience, “like” them on Facebook“follow” them on Twitter and/or “follow” them on LinkedIn.

They use these channels to educate you on the finer details of social media for business.


About the author: Mark Sham

Mark Sham

NOT the boy next door. Entrepreneur at heart with a marketing background and a love for social media. Owner of Vivid Marketing!

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