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We live in a technological world. Almost 2.5 billion people use the Internet. Over half of American cellphone users own smartphones, and new technology is being introduced daily. With these advances, marketing has evolved as well. Can you imagine 10 years ago if someone asked you the following questions?
What if there was a way to get the customer to pursue you?
What if there was a world where cold-calling didn’t exist?
What if there was a way to not exceed your marketing budget every month with billboard ads and needy gimmicks or those giant lists of phone numbers?
Today, there is a solution for all of those questions. Unfortunately, while working in my previous sales job, I was still having to frequently pursue customers through cold-calling. I used to cringe before making every call. I knew in my heart that, more often than not, my cold call was going to annoy those poor folks on the other end of the line and completely interrupt whatever they were doing. This actually turned out null and void since no one ever answered my cold calls.
In this job, I was also commissioned to drive from Birmingham to Toronto and back for a sort of cold calling road trip. While I was excited at the prospect of getting out of the corporate office to travel, I dreaded the cold selling. The president of the company I worked for wanted me to stop in at random concrete companies along the way and sell them our services. How many decision makers did I talk to? Zero. How many receptionists and gate keepers did I talk to? A lot.
Before the sales road trip, the same company would spend excessive amounts of money purchasing phone numbers. I would then call these phone numbers – Presidents and VPs of concrete companies. Let’s just say that I left hundreds of voicemails and talked to lots of administrative assistants. After about the third cold call of my morning, I would dread the rest of my day. Unless it’s my little brother or my close friends, I don’t enjoy annoying people. Plus, I knew the chances of little ole me speaking with the President of a multi-million dollar concrete company were very slim. Like, very slim.
Rebirth of a Salesman
Those dark depressing days are behind me now. I can finally sleep at night. With the help of colleagues and a little therapy, I have found a more effective solution to generate sales. It’s called inbound marketing, a relatively new term. It’s the kind of marketing focused on getting found by the customer. Wait, this exists? Yes, it’s a simple concept. A prospect who finds you is a much more qualified lead than if you found them, and inbound marketing costs less. Search around for some billboard ad pricing, or just calculate the fuel cost and hotel stays from Birmingham to Toronto and back.
Inbound Marketing is transforming the landscape of marketing. Buyers are becoming smarter and more educated. Inbound Marketing is not about selling. It’s for folks like us, who hate being “salesy” and “pitchy.” It’s about helping. It’s about becoming the trusted authority on whatever product or service you are selling. It’s about learning your buyer personas and having the technology that actually allows you to engage with your leads based on their behavior and interests. And, by doing these things, your customers will fall in love with you. And if your customers falls in love with you, they might just buy your product and then tell their friends about how much they love you.