The other day a friend of mine asked me what I thought about text marketing. My answer was this – for some industries, like retail, it makes a lot of sense. However, no matter what kind of marketing it is, I believe it has to be opt-in.
How many times do you go to a networking event, meet people, and suddenly find yourself subscribed to their newsletter? Annoying, isn’t it?
If we go with the belief that sales is permission based then it stands to reason that some forms of marketing should be opt-in. It’s not about building your numbers. It IS about building qualified numbers. You really want to be in front of the people who want you in front of them; the people who want to hear your message.
When you take it upon yourself to sign people up for your messaging, you do more harm than good. You run the very real risk of alienating the very people you want to be connecting with. Not the best marketing move I can think of.
In addition, when you ask someone if they’d like to receive your newsletter or text you have a better chance of them actually reading it. Now the marketing is doing its job.
So, let’s compare:
1. You sign people up without their permission. Result:
a. You alienate them and they opt-out or delete
b. They tell others about your behavior
c. They make the decision to NEVER do business with you
2. You ask people if they’d like to receive your information. Result:
a. They are prone to opening and reading your information
b. They might share that information with others
c. They have a positive attitude toward your business
Which scenario sounds better? Exactly!
Sales is always about relationship building. It is your job to create a process that will build positive relationships – not negative ones. You want to be engaged in those relationships for a long time. That won’t happen if you fail to ask for permission first. In addition, once you gain their permission, be sure to offer them valuable information. You’ve gained their trust, so don’t abuse it by pitching all the time. Think about what message you want to share and be consistent.
For me it’s all about how you wish to be perceived. Do you want people to know, like, and trust you or are you in it for the quick hit? The answer to that question will determine the path you choose.
When you want people to know, like, and trust you then you have to be sure you are making decisions that work toward that goal. And of course, we all know that great sales people are the people who want others to know, like, and trust them. While that person may never have a need to do business with you, they will be more likely to refer you to others because of your behavior.