An alternative to Noisy marketing

A colleague and I were recently chatting about whether it’s possible to run a profitable business without using ‘noisy’ marketing techniques. By noisy I mean there is a drive to get “numbers” onto a mailing list, rather than build deeper relationships with people whom you can best serve.

Noisy marketing involves implementing some 13 point plan that you are assured, by someone tooting on a horn, will bring you success and money. In a general way, these programs work . . . but not all participants get the same level of results.

Trumpet playing robot
Credit : Mr Wabu

So back to the original question. Is it possible to create a profitable business without selling to your prospects from a soap box?

Skilful business people understand that others buy from you because of the relationship you’ve built. They like your values, they believe in what you offer, and enjoy working with you. Does this play out into profits?

This approach has been hugely successful for Judith Faulkner. Judith is the CEO of Epic, an American software company that provides software for medical organisations. The company’s motto is “Do good, have fun, make money.”

In 2011 Epic made revenues of $1.2billion US, has no debts, and employs 5,200 people. A factor that their clients highlight is that “They don’t sell to you.” Instead honest dialogue that allows for deep questioning and ensuring that Epic has found the right clients for its products are at the heart of the relationship. In an April 2012 Forbes article the CEO of one of their customers had the following to say about their approach to sales:

They were very honest about what they had, and didn’t have. Their attitude was more like ‘you’re embarking on this big effort, and we want to make sure that you’re serious about this, because if you’re not successful, then it’s not good for us.

If you’re turned off by loud-speaker marketing, chances are the people you want to work with feel the same way. So how do you reach this audience and allow for business success?

  • Build relationships (rather than lists) – this is at the heart of marketing. It applies whether you’re developing a social media strategy or using more standard platforms to share about your products and services because you’re focusing on those you want to work with. One of the best way to create such a relationship is to ask “how does my message come across” if I were standing in their shoes? This is a starting point. You’ll want to cultivate this approach to enable you to allow for consistency in thinking.
  • Consider win/win strategies –We’re moving more clearly into a new era of Conscious Business. Think Tony Hsieh of Zappos or Richard Branson’s book ‘Screw Business as Usual’ – win/win is an important mindset for these successful entrepreneurs. Win/win strategies involve focusing on innovations in products and service. Mercenary tit-for-tat monitoring of your competitor’s actions is a drain on energy.  This effort could instead be better spent in developing the flow of communication with your customer.

When you hone what you offer for your audience, they sense that value. They will in turn choose to value your work. If you have one eye on competing companies, you’re not completely focused on innovation or your customers. No competitor can ever deliver what you are uniquely gifted to do.

  • Identify your key values and find a way to incorporate them into how you language your work. I’ve recently identified 30 key words that are at the heart of what makes me passionate about my work. I use them as a spring board for my written output. This isn't about doing crafty SEO, but being true to what matters to you.  This will inspire your audience. 

A short inspiring and values-based message is more compelling than a long sales page that is trying to push your audience into making a purchase. When you recognise the intelligence in your audience, you’re literally creating a rich pool of clients who will be hungry to hear more from you.

The above outline is part of the mental compass that leads to inspired action, rather than following by dull rote.  And when inspiration is in the air, there’s so much more room for play at work!

Healthy in Mind viewpoint: build relationships that allow everyone involved to win, and you will gain pleasurable success from your work.

Article Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2012


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