Amazingly, our world has gone back to what we were doing a million years ago. What our distant ancestors were doing on the Savannahs of Africa.
Where the ‘herds’ of hunter gatherers, the tribes, all talked to each other. Then, for just a nano-second of history, a few hundred years, we had ‘top-down’ communication. From the Archbishops, the managers, the Dictators, the CEOs, all sending their messages and commands down the line to the many peons and minions below.
Then for an even briefer period, a fraction of a nano-second, we had mass media broadcasting their messages. And the large tribes became less and less connected at the grass roots.
Now, our much, much larger tribes are talking to one another again—on Social Networks.
Everybody has access to a platform, a soapbox. They are communicating sideways, and paying less attention to what the bosses and the leaders are saying.
And does anyone believe it’s a coincidence that the Middle Eastern Dictators are now vanishing as people increasingly talk to one another. And when people talk, they mobilise. And not just against tin pot dictators. It’s also against companies that lie and cheat. And specialist doctors who are rude and keep you waiting (and many specialists have turned poor service and arrogance into a bloody art form!).
Marketers have to stop “Top-down telling & selling.” TV advertisements and other mass media telling us how good you are just don’t work anymore.
As a business, particularly if you sell B2B, your approach is now simple. Simply facilitate the conversations between your VIPs, your very important prospects. Before your competitors do.
So where does telemarketing and email advertising fit in this brave new world? Nowhere. It just annoys us, it just interrupts us.
Once you gather your VIPs, then all you do is stay in touch. Lightly. Until they are ready to buy and you will be top of their mind.
Building communities of VIPs is hard work. We have been doing it for our clients for almost 3 years – a long time given how new social networks are. We have built 16 on LinkedIn – here are the links to 4 examples:
Get Booked Out: The group for marketers aiming to fill their order books with ideal clients.
Sales Masterminds: The group for ‘Sales Masterminds’ seeking to drive sales and grow their businesses.
CIO Masters: The group for senior information and technology leaders.
Small Business Evolution: The group for small business owners building better, more profitable businesses.
All you need to do is decide who your VIPs are. Then gather them, engage them. And later, when they are ready, sell.
See how you can Shorten the B2B Sales Cycle when you Gather, Engage, Sell.