Today’s post is by Stu Heinecke, the best-selling author of How to Get a Meeting with Anyone and host of Contact Marketing Radio. He is also the co-creator of NASP’s “The Power of Contact Marketing” training program, a Wall Street Journal cartoonist, hall of fame-nominated marketer, and founder of Contact, a first-of-its-kind contact marketing agency dedicated to helping sales teams connect with their most important prospects and assigned accounts.
There are a lot of movements in sales today: social selling, account-based marketing, filling your funnel, flipping your funnel, inbound, inside...
You don’t get to talk to your prospect until you’ve earned the right to. Cold calling is dead. Outside sales is dead.
But there is one movement I’ll bet you didn’t know you were part of. That’s the “contact marketing” movement. The term is probably not familiar to you, because this movement has had no name for years. Still, marketers have been quietly using it to produce results that nearly defy reality.
We’re told we have no business reaching out to the people who represent the highest potential value to our enterprise if we haven’t first established several layers of social connection and prepared a dossier on their likes, thoughts, and goals. But, as High-Profit Prospecting author Mark Hunter puts it, “If you have something that will help that person, why wouldn’t you tell them about it?”
That is what the contact marketing movement has been quietly unlocking – the ability to knock on someone’s door and create an instant connection where there was none before. And then make a critical sale.
When you’re able to break through like that, you don’t have to target a lot of people to make a big difference in your sales numbers. In fact, the number can be minuscule.
The developers behind the NoWait App did this when they composed an entire national launch campaign that went to just 30 people. It was a small campaign with an enormous upside, because it resulted in the top 20 restaurant chains in America rolling out the app.
NoWait did it with personalized videos delivered on iPads in custom packaging. Others have used various forms of gifts, information and insight, pigeons, full-page ads in The Wall Street Journal, AI, interviews, social media swarming, and more.
I’ve been using cartoons (like the one above) to create those kinds of breakthroughs, which hasn’t gone unnoticed among the marketers who’ve read my book, How to Get a Meeting with Anyone. As I continue to explore the many ways people have concocted their own methods for connecting with critical accounts and prospects, I’m finding there really is a movement out there – a movement few people seem to know about.
But it’s changing. I’m hearing from more and more people who have read the book and have fascinating stories of their own to share. Some have used their own ideas to create critical connections. Others have used what they found in the book with great effect.
One of the most fascinating of those was the story of Lee Hancock, who got in touch to tell me he’d borrowed my cartoon approach to produce his own contact marketing campaign. He reported a 100 percent response rate, which is not unusual in contact marketing, but that’s not quite what made his story so interesting.
While he was assembling his campaign, his CEO saw what he was doing and expressed grave concerns about its effectiveness. They made a bet, and – with the response rate hitting 100 percent – it’s obvious who won. They share their story in the episode below of Contact Marketing Radio. They’re obviously part of the movement. And I’ll bet you have a few stories to tell as well.