There’s a secret marketing strategy I’ve seen over the years that makes and breaks more businesses than any other.
The reason I say it’s ‘secret’ isn’t because people don’t know about it. Nope, it’s because hardly anyone does it. And yet it’s so important it can mean the difference between eye-popping sales or a foreclosure sign.
I’m going to share how you, as a small business owner, can sell more easily, more often. When implemented correctly, this marketing strategy will deliver massive returns.
I’m going to show you how to market like a farmer. Here’s what you need to know.
DO YOU WANT TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS RAPIDLY?
Hunting versus Farming (from a marketing perspective)
Imagine yourself as a hunter. You wake up in the morning, gather your weapons and head out to the hunt. Some days you come back with a kill and your family eats a feast. Other days your family goes hungry. The pressure is on every single day to hunt successfully – it’s a constant battle.
Now imagine yourself as a farmer. You plant your seeds and wait for them to be ready for the harvest. In the meantime, you nurture them and treat them with care. You water and tend to your crop. When they’re ready you start harvesting.
In my experience, most businesses are hunters – not farmers:
- They cold call to generate new business
- They spend huge amounts of time and energy trying to get a new customer and do anything to close the sale as soon as possible
- They’re advertising reeks of desperation as they try discounting and competing on price just to make a quick sale
- They waste huge amounts of time pestering people who are not interested in their product or service
I’m not saying hunting is generally bad. What’s bad is when you solely rely on it.
When it comes to lead flow, you can get these two things from farming:
- Predictability. When it comes to lead flow, no one wants to be stuck on a feast and famine roller coaster ride where today, you’re doing great; the next day, you’re not.
- Consistency. What you need is to get a consistent lead flow and fill your sales pipeline with prospects that you can nurture for future conversion.
Why you need to transition from pest to welcome guest
How do you feel about a dear friend who shows up at your front door? Contrast this with how you feel about a stranger selling door-to-door who interrupts your dinner or family time.
What’s the difference? The former is a welcome guest, someone you have a relationship and connection with. The latter is a pest. You don’t know who he is, where he’s from and most likely you don’t even want or need what he’s selling.
The welcome guest brings value to your life, whereas the pest is just there to interrupt you and to take.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could approach a prospect and be treated by them as a welcome guest rather than a pest? Selling suddenly becomes much easier and more pleasant when you are welcomed with open arms and when the prospect is deeply interested in what you have to offer.
This is the transformation I’d like you to make in your business and in your marketing. Transition from being a pest to a welcome guest. Here’s how…
The real goal of advertising, it’s not what you think
Most business owners are clueless about the purpose behind their marketing. They slap the name of their business on their ad with a pretty logo and some meaningless slogan claiming to be the leader in their industry or area.
If you ask them what the purpose of their advertising is, most will say it’s to sell their products or to “get their name out there”. This is WRONG! Dead wrong. They may as well be flushing money down the toilet.
The whole purpose of your advertising is not to immediately make a sale – it’s to find people who are interested in what you do and put them on your follow up database so that you can build value for them, position yourself as an authority and create a relationship built on trust.
After doing this, the sale comes (if it’s right for them) as a natural consequence.
This will take a mindset shift but is an absolutely vital concept to understand.
Three ways to sell more
1. Position yourself as an authority
So how can they see you as a welcome guest instead of a pest? Position yourself as an authority, a trusted figure—someone who can bring genuine value to your prospects’ lives. The best way to demonstrate this is to help them before they become a paying client.
Think about it. From a prospect’s perspective, would you rather buy from a salesperson constantly following you up for his next commision? Or would you buy from someone who actually listened to your concerns and gave you great advice? It’s a no-brainer.
2. Don’t pressure your prospect
On the sales side, a lot of marketers always think about ABC (Always Be Closing) and all that sort of stuff. But if you’re on the customer side, how would you deal with a salesperson doing tricky, weird closes? What would you do if he’s pressuring you to buy right now?
You might have been on that side too before building your own business.
In sales, you want to diffuse pressure. Pressure is a major turn-off. It triggers people to stay away from you. Bombarding their inbox with multiple follow-up emails creates pressure. And they won’t reply back because you introduced pressure into the situation.
Stop selling and start talking. Have a conversation. Get to know them. Discover what they’re struggling with, and help them in advance. Make the sales process natural and authentic for your potential customer.
3. Delay gratification
Stop trying to sell from your ad. It’s true that some people reading your advert might be ready to buy immediately. But the vast majority of people won’t be ready to make a purchasing decision on the day they read your ad – even if they are interested in what you do.
If you don’t put them on a database you’ve lost them. They might have been ready to buy in a month, six months or a year. But since your advertising was “one-shot” you’ve completely wasted that opportunity. Your chances of them remembering your one-shot ad from six months ago is extremely slim.
This also has a secondary side effect with the people who are ready to buy immediately. They see you’re not desperate to sell or discount your product or service. They see that you’re interested in building a relationship first rather than just going for the jugular.
This kind of marketing is similar to farming. It is an investment in your future because as your database grows, so will your business and your results.
Recap on marketing your business farmer style
Accept the fact most people will not buy right away.
Put them on a database – and database could be email or physical direct mail (preferably both).
Mail them something regularly to stay in touch, positioning yourself as an expert in your industry or field.
And like a farmer, wait for that prospect to become ready for harvest.
This growing list of prospects and the relationship you have with them will become the most valuable asset in your business. It’s the golden goose.
Now when the prospect is finally ready to buy, you’re a welcome invited guest rather than a pest.
The most important thing you can take away from this message is to become a marketing farmer. It’s a simple three-step process:
- Advertise with the intention of finding people who are interested in what you do. Do this by offering something free like a report, video, CD etc. Any kind of free information that presents a solution to a problem they have. This positions you as an expert and as an educator rather than a salesperson. Which would YOU prefer to buy from?
- Add them to your database
- Continually nurture them and provide them with value. For example a newsletter on your industry or information on how to get the most from whatever it is you do or offer. Important point – do not make this a constant sales pitch. That will become old very quickly. Be sure to offer them valuable information with an occasional pitch or special offer. Most important of all be sure to keep in contact regularly – at least once a month, otherwise the prospect will forget you and your relationship will then be relegated to that of a cold prospect and pest salesperson.
If you become a “marketing farmer”, you’ll have a rich and continual harvest as your database grows in number and quality.