Are You Interrupting Your Prospects?
When I check out at the local supermarket, the card reader asks me whether I want to make a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I press no to move to the next screen to pay for my groceries.
I feel a nanosecond of guilt but always press no. St. Jude Children’s Research is an amazing nonprofit, but it’s not part of my giving strategy.
It’s now the day before Thanksgiving, cold and breezy.
A young man knocks on my door at home and asks if I will take a quick survey … about my lawn. It’s November 27. I say I’m not interested, and he says that he is not selling anything. It’s just a free survey about my lawn. I say no thanks, and he stomps away
That same weekend, I pick up some items from Ace Hardware. As I check out, I’m asked, “Do you want to round up your total to the next dollar for St. Jude Children’s Research hospital?”
No, I say. I don’t. I really don’t. Now my twinge of guilt is gone, and I’m just mad.
All three instances violate the general marketing principle: You never sell to a stranger. Or, you can, but your response rate is going to plummet. And your prospects for a genuine new relationship go to zero. No one likes to be interrupted.
Interruption, it’s what’s for breakfast these days.
Another Way?The interruptions made me ask, “What is the alternative to 'interruption' marketing?” The only real answer is permission marketing (ala Seth Godin’s classic book, Permission Marketing), where someone gives you permission to sell to them. Never sell to strangers. It's better to sell to a "friend," someone who already has raised his or her hand to be sold to.
Thought for the week: What's the best way to apply that to your work?