Last night I had a gentleman call me who owns a ‘Do It Yourself” wine making business. It’s a very cool business concept. People come in and actually create their own wines. They also get to design their own wine labels and choose the type of bottles for their wine. He was asking me about how to get more referrals for his wine business.
I gave him one specific idea that was somewhat aggressive, but VERY effective. His immediate reaction was, “My customers are upscale people. I can’t do that.” Well, this isn’t the first time someone has told me that. In fact, I often get that reaction.
I then proceeded to explain to the caller a concept I call the, ‘Marketing Comfort Level Continuum.’ Picture a continuum like the one below:
0 5 10
On the left of the continuum you’ll find marketing strategies that are very passive in nature such as writing articles or sending a newsletter. On the right of the continuum you’ll find aggressive marketing activities such as cold calling and door-to-door sales. All marketing activities fall in between these two extremes. When to use which marketing strategy depends on your comfort level, what you’re marketing, and the type of person to whom you’re marketing.
Most business owners in general, I’ve found, don’t like to use aggressive marketing strategies. They think that it will get their customers upset and, of course, that’s the last thing they want to do.But from my point of view, if you’re not getting someone a little unraveled or upset, then you’re not marketing hard enough.
(Article edited by Dispirito as David’s link – http://url123.com/xc6y9 - to an example of ’In Your Face’ marketing wasn’t working)
Dispirito edit: Here are some great examples of “In Your Face” guerrilla marketing
So When Is It Okay to Do Aggressive Marketing? The answer to that question is… WHEN IT WORKS!
You see, if people are giving you money in response to your aggressive marketing, they are essentially voting with their wallet that they want what you have (and that they trust you). And you must not have got them too upset, or they wouldn’t be buying from you. Right. This holds true even in the corporate professional world. Yes, even those :”white shirts” put their pants on one leg at a time and they DO respond to aggressive marketing techniques, when they solve a bad problem that the “white shirt” is experiencing.
I’m going to catch some serious flack for saying this – but here goes… Too many business owners are worried about what people think of them than making sales.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say… ”We want to keep our good reputation. What you’re telling us to do sounds, ‘hokey.’ (In fact, that just happened to me as I was giving a seminar down in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.) Because of this silly thinking, I’ve known a lot of good, hard working, honest professionals who have had to close down their business and go back to the corporate world simply because they were “too worried about their reputation” and weren’t willing to be more aggressive in their marketing.
Now, I’m Not Saying at All that You Should Do Something Dishonest or Unethical. Not at all. What I’m saying is, you should test more aggressive marketing tactics and if they work, go with them. If they don’t work, then drop them. Don’t let your ego stand in your way of success. Stretch your comfort zone.
Be a little daring in your marketing and you’ll discover that most people will respond in a positive way.