Marketing guru Dan Kennedy developed the “welcome guest” and “unwelcome pest” terms. They conjure excellent images in our minds for how a prospective customer perceives representatives of a company.
Think about your process of going through your email for the day. Aren’t you scanning who is sending you an email and possibly the subject? “Is this a person I can trust?” “Do I care about this message?” Most of us are so busy and have so much email that we are looking for an excuse to delete as many of them as possible as quickly as possible.
Late marketing guru Gary Halbert had a similar description of people picking up their mail from a post office box. Often, they would pause by a trash basket before going home and throw away anything received that wasn’t from someone they knew and otherwise didn’t look interesting. The mail was sorted into “A” pile – a letter from a family member, someone you knew or the IRS – something requiring immediate attention, “B” pile – bills and something that looks interesting to read later, and “C” pile – junk mail – everything else to be thrown in the trash.
The last person anyone wants to see is a salesperson. (Close second to the last — charitable fundraisers!) These people are perceived as a drain on the pocketbook for little or no value.
That’s why we never want to position ourselves as salespersons. Instead, be an advisor or consultant who is helping to solve a problem. An assistant buyer.
Some of this relates to timing. Kennedy shared the experience of coming home to an empty apartment when his first wife left him. Suddenly he was in the furniture market and desperately needed help getting some!
Somehow you have to position yourself as someone who provides something valuable to the prospective customer. This is usually information in the form of a “report”, white paper, book, video, or audio.
Then continue building an ongoing relationship using a newsletter, podcast, blog, or other subscription-type service.
Usually we should try to be in contact with people who are likely to want what we have to offer, so that they are likely to be interested in the information we have to offer.
With this “be of service” positioning, customers should eventually take down their defenses so that we can help them solve their problems.
Would you like some help positioning yourself as a “welcome guest”? Please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org for an initial discussion.