In last week’s blog post I gave you the overview on 3 key ways to get people to talk about you. In that article, I gave not only the overview, but the focus on point #1, which is a fundamental ripped right out of the playbook of “Sales 101.” This fundamental, more often than not, is STILL missed by sales people and marketers…
Questions lead to conversations. Conversations lead to authentic, useful and profitable engagement.
- Conversations build trust
- Conversations build relationships
- Conversations can effortlessly sell your stuff
Why do marketers tell you over and over again that “Content is King” or the quality and quantity of your content will get you noticed?
Is it because they are looking backward instead of forward? Or, is it because they read it somewhere online and decided to share their “wisdom” with you?
In either case, it’s B.S
The internet is flooded with content to the point where our search engines need search engines. Marketing and sales continues to be a moving target that all business people want to master. However, until you realize it is a rapidly moving target, mastery is a fool’s errand. It’s a rapid-paced circle of life in marketing. For example:
- Email killed direct mail.
- Spam killed email.
- Direct mailing is now back on the rise.
The ebb and flow of tactics is what most marketers chase….but, like a dog chasing its own tail, you’ll never truly catch it. If you do, it’ll be for fleeting moment because you’ll soon realize, tactics aren’t what you truly seek.
The fundamentals of human behavior may change with the advent of technology, but the essence of our species is social. It revolves around the give and take of conversation.
Social media exploded because we could now share our kids birthday or a cat video to hundreds of people all at once. Simply donning a Chewbacca mask and laughing uncontrollably makes you an internet sensation and gets you on national TV.
But then, there’s tomorrow….
The 15 minutes of fame, now passed, will still leave you without a foundation to build a real business.
Which brings us to the 2nd most popular way for people to share YOUR content.
The 2nd best way to get people to share your content:
If you have something valuable to share, you may not have to ask, but people are lazy, easily distracted and nearly all of us are focusing on ourselves. It reminds me of a valuable life lesson and story.
When I sold insurance in my 20’s, my manager would meet a prospect and do the following:
“Can you give me 10-20 of your business cards?” Harry would ask the client.
“Sure,” the client replied.
Harry pulled out his briefcase and revealed over 20 different packs of business cards…all neatly wrapped with a rubber band.
“Hey…if you ever need a plumber, call my buddy Joe. He’s been a client for years and is a great guy,” Harry casually mentioned as he peeled off a single card from the stack and hand it to the prospect.
At this point the client figured it out…Harry was a walking referral machine. The client recognized that Harry would be a walking, talking, UNPAID salesman for him.
Harry gave first…fully and openly.
…without expecting anything in return.
By giving in this manner, he technically didn’t even ask for a referral. He gave first. However, the law of reciprocity (with the right people) created an imbalance and most people feel compelled to do the same.
I used this tactic (based on the strategy of reciprocity) to become the #2 top sales person at Nextel communications. On my first week on the job, I used this technique with my very first client. As we concluded business, my new client handed me his entire database of over 3,000 clients he had built over 20+ years.
“Doug, tell them I sent you,” he said.
BAM! I never made a cold call again.
Getting 3,000 warm leads occurred in my first week on the job with my very first client.
This stuff works.
However, without a conversation, your efforts will be hollow and insincere. Without a conversation, you’ll probably appear desperate, manipulative or worse.
The bottom line is if you want a ton of referrals…if you want top people talking about YOU, you either have to ask them to share your stuff or give them a compelling reason to do so.
Giving first…without asking is by far, my favorite way to do so.
P.S. If you want to consider being referred yourself, ask me about being quoted in my upcoming book, Conversation Marketing. I need 20 stories of people just like you who have suffered, learned and/or triumphed in the art of conversation, marketing and influence. Click here.
Also published on Medium.