Since it’s love month, I thought I’d take a moment to talk about RELATIONSHIP as it pertains to the success or failure of any marketing initiative.
On that, here are two things I KNOW to be absolutely consistent across all media, all niches and all businesses:
- The response (and ultimate success) of a campaign rises and falls based entirely on the relationship you have with the list of people it’s being sent to.
- The single BIGGEST ASSET in any business is not just the customer, but the RELATIONSHIP that customer has with your business.
Let me start with the first: What’s your relationship with the list you’re marketing to?
This is always one of the first few questions I ask when someone has come to me with a campaign that hasn’t worked. In most cases, it’s a cold prospect where there is NO relationship and no established “brand” recognition. In the worst cases, it’s a list of actual clients that have become unresponsive, mostly because there is no established relationship.
For example, TMT’s Producers Club members open and respond to nearly everything we send their way. Over 90% of them will come to our events, which is practically unheard of for companies that host events for clients – most expect to get 5% to 15% of their customers to attend.
But 80%? No one does this. Why are we able to pull this off? For a number of reasons, but mostly because we have a great relationship and a high level of trust earned – something we have to continue to nurture to keep.
Know this: Relationship capital is not a static asset and is not kept or nurtured by just doing what’s expected of you.
Even clients can revert to “cold prospects” if you ignore them or never attempt to build a relationship that goes deeper than you being simply the vendor they get “X” from, whatever “X” is.
That’s why cold prospecting is so difficult and expensive. You’re attempting to start a relationship with someone who doesn’t know you, probably doesn’t like you and certainly doesn’t trust you (yes). And since most marketing is boring, off-target and overtly selfish in its purpose, you are actually making things worse and causing a prospect to back away from you as quickly as they can.
This is why I discourage MSPs from buying, renting or otherwise acquiring e-mail lists of cold prospects, then spamming them. You’re already in a no-trust relationship – you only make that bad situation WORSE by conducting yourself as an unwelcome, uninvited intruder in my inbox because it’s CHEAP and EASY for you to do.
So, a good question you need to ask yourself and work on is this:
What should I be doing to build (or at least maintain) a relationship with my list of clients and unconverted leads?
First and foremost, you have to be INTERESTING so that you can get someone’s ATTENTION. You can’t start a relationship with someone if you cannot even get them to notice you. That’s what good lead generation marketing does – it piques someone’s curiosity and interest enough so they give you their attention and you get to start the relationship-building process.
Next, you have to be able to sustain the relationship by being able to KEEP their interest and attention, delivering what they consider to be valuable. If you can do that, you can e-mail a list every day and they’d appreciate it. However, increasing the frequency of communication that is of no interest, boring and irrelevant is like singing LOUDER to fix the problem of being OFF-KEY (not interesting). It only serves to further irritate those around you.
If you’ve been struggling to build up a quality list of leads and prospects to market to, then it’s possible that you may need to understand a little deeper what it take’s to start the relationship-building process with potential clients.
One way to make the relationship-building process easier for you is to build a list of “right fit” clients, that actually care about IT services, understand the value, and are willing to pay for it.
So If you’re an MSP or IT services business owner that wants help positioning your business to have a strategic advantage over your competitors, and attract high-value RIGHT FIT clients, then you need to consider attending the IT Industry’s BIGGEST and BEST sales and marketing event of the year.
Right now tickets are available for our annual conference happening in April. This sells out every year so if you want to attend, click the link below for more information: