Content Marketing Trends - Is Your Business Chasing the Wrong Ball?

I don't know about you, but I'm constantly bombarded with people pitching me on the internet. It's what I refer to as the connect and pitch.

When someone connects with you, they may wait a week or they may ask, “How are you doing?” immediately away.

You know it's coming, and then it happens: they call you up and try to sell you something.

“Hey, you got a minute for a quick question?” someone texted me on a Sunday afternoon. “Sure,” I said. He looked perplexed until I explained what certainly meant.

“Yes, I have a minute for a quick question,” I finally said. “I'm running a free workshop for impact-driven coaches coming up on the 1st of October,” he said.

You appear to be interested in impact and purpose as well. I'll show you how to use emotional brand intelligence and ubiquitous marketing to boost your prices and scale to six and seven figures. “Would you like to join us?”

“Hey, I have a coach who has already doubled my business,” I replied. Do you require any assistance with your event's marketing?

My clients get a tenfold return on their marketing spend when they work with me. “How do you spend your days?”

“Well, I guess the marketing people who invited you to their event never got you a 10 times ROI, but I could be wrong,” he added. Regardless, thank you for the pitch.”

To begin with, I was simply doing what he was doing. The boomerang pitch is what I call it.

To put it another way, they pitch you, and I return the favor. Do I have any expectations of him? No, but I'm trying to convince him that what he's doing isn't working.

Do you want to follow the ball?

At a soccer game, I witnessed the same thing. Have you ever attended a soccer or basketball game for small children?

It's the same situation. The ball is moving in one way, and you can see a blob of small beings chasing after it.

They all sprint to one goal if the ball goes there, and they all run to the other goal if the ball goes there. Many businesses approach their marketing or sales pitches in this manner.

It's as if (insert guru name here) declares, "This is the new HOT thing this year," and everyone jumps on board.

“Go where the ball will be,” suggests Ellen Huxtable, a friend and fellow marketing maven. It isn't there.

Where it is, there are far too many elbows.” And she is completely correct.

All of these folks who are striving to "Connect and Pitch" are learning from others who are teaching it. And I'm here to tell you that "Connect and Pitch" rarely works.

It is going to happen. You'll acquire a client if you do it long enough, but it's a lot of work. So, rather than following that bouncing ball, here's what I recommend.

Begin with the end in mind

Start at the beginning and work your way backward. To put it another way, ask yourself, "What is the goal?"

All those youngsters chasing the ball are hoping to score a goal, but it's difficult to do when you're surrounded by this blob, which makes it lot easier to keep track of what's going on.

When you watch professional soccer, you'll see that the ball is passed from one player to the next. This is due to the fact that they have a system in place.

And in a soccer game, the ultimate goal is to score more goals than the opposing team. My apologies for being Captain Obvious, but the team with the most goals wins.

What is your business goal? Isn't the goal, in general, to generate a profit?

So, in the marketing business, one of the things we focus on is nurturing and starting relationships. As a result, closing sales should be the following stage in the reverse process.

Relationships are necessary for sales

How can we keep and expand partnerships into sales relationships where we're fixing the end-problem user's and they continue to rely on us to do so? It all starts with relationships when it comes to sales!

If we work backwards, the first thing we should focus on is maintaining present and previous business ties. One of the things I try to encourage my customers to do is spend more time nurturing current and prior customers rather than prospecting.

You can always cultivate new relationships with prospects, but nurturing existing ones is one of the most reliable strategies to cultivate, retain, and establish new relationships with existing clients. Customers who are pleased with your services are more likely to refer you to others who are not rivals.

Moving backward, the next step is to develop those relationships in order to nurture those ties. This is when the prospecting aspect of things comes into play.

If you can pique someone's interest in your solution, you can begin a dialogue with them. In the B2B industry, converting a prospect into a sale might take anything from three to twelve months.

However, larger purchases or projects can take longer in some situations. Developing, maintaining, and finally solidifying the relationship could take two to four years.

You must be willing to devote time to nurturing and growing connections with engaged prospects.

The Relationship That Isn't

Right now, I'm telling you that the "Connect and Pitch" is not nourishing. It's aiming for the throat.

“Hello, you don't know who I am, but do you want to buy my product or come to my free webinar so I can sell you harder for an hour?” That is essentially what they are attempting.

Conversations, learning about that person, their challenges, what makes them special, and how you can solidify the relationship by giving them with a solution are all part of nurturing a relationship. Will you be a perfect match for everyone?

Most likely not. However, if you start from a place where they've recognized you as someone who can assist them, your chances of turning that into a sales relationship are much higher than if you start from a place where they've identified you as someone who can help them.

Future Prospects

Capturing prospects is the final phase in this backwards-in-time process. That means you need to get inside your prospects' heads and create content that says, "You know what?

That's me on the left. That is MY issue! That's a fantastic suggestion. That could be a viable option.”

You're trying to persuade them that you know what they're talking about. Your goal could be to persuade people to invest time in you if they believe they will be rewarded.

This is where content marketing enters the picture.

You begin to observe and learn from your current clients. What are the questions they're posing?

What issues are they dealing with? What is their experience with this solution?

What is the most significant impact? What are the most common pitfalls?

Then you try to warn individuals ahead of time, saying, "Hey, if you're in this area, we've been there." That's what we've done.

And we can assist you in getting around those stumbling blocks.”

Last Thoughts

That is what great material accomplishes. Begin by moving ahead.

You develop fantastic content that draws in the correct customers. This enables you to establish and sustain relationships that you may painstakingly cultivate over time in order to increase revenue.

Rather than chasing that bouncing ball, you should stand at the goal and wait for someone to kick the ball to you. So, while everyone else is on the other side of the field, you may kick it in and give your team the lead.

I'd want to hear what you have to say about your relationship marketing system (or your kid's soccer game). Share your opinions, ideas, or questions about your own marketing approach in the comments section below.

Thanks to Brian Basilico at Business 2 Community whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.

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