By Tim Connor, CSP
As someone who has been selling my services globally for over forty years, I recently decided to dramatically reduce using technology, social media and mass email marketing as my primary approach to achieving increased sales and acquiring new clients.
Now before you start shaking your head and laughing until you can’t breathe – hear me out.
Everything keeps changing – from direct mail, fax machines and snail mail to texts, websites, YouTube, and email blasts to who knows what it will be tomorrow.
We all have a choice – evolve, adjust, improvise and adapt or stay stuck and comfortable.
Well, as an author I have been sending out my Weekly Email Booster articles around the world every Monday for over 15 years to over 100,000 subscribers. I have six websites and I have over 4500 Facebook friends and 2500 Linkedin connections – so before you start pointing fingers about where you think this article is going – you might want to just chill before judging me.
I am not against change, progress or new stuff. I am also not against fundamentals, the basics, and what works. I am an advocate for what I refer to in many of my seminars and keynotes as a belief in The Blending Process.
Let me explain.
Years ago, I spent hours on the phone every week telemarketing. I sent out direct mail on average of once a month to over a thousand potential prospects and I also gave away over 500 copies of one of my books every year to potential customers and clients.
Well, something changed – Now I had to have a website, a blog, send emails, follow up with texts etc. etc. etc. So, I adapted.
I let go of what worked for twenty-five plus years and started over with the new wave of marketing, sales, and promotion. That included all the jazz of SEO for search engines, measuring and counting clicks, and well I could go on, but the odds are good that you know all that stuff.
And you know what happened? Business over the years gradually got slower and slower, and why?
Perhaps I lost via electronics the personalized uniqueness of my telephone contacts. My creativity, my cleverness, and was now just a part of a bigger (and much bigger than I could ever compete with) competitive world. Now, you could say, “Well Tim, maybe you just weren’t in touch enough to hold your own.” NO, I finally figured it out. Yes, millions of people want to become famous on Facebook. Millions of people want to be known by their Twitter handle and millions of people get hundreds of emails every week that the vast majority just don’t read. Those are facts.
A friend of mine provided the following data from MailChimp, similar to what Constant Contact or others use.
Per Mail Chimp, in Media and Publishing, the average open rate is 17.3%. For many kinds of emails, that number is high. Also in Media and Publishing, the average click through rate is a mere 3.6%. Imagine, for people who sign up for reading someone’s email news, less than 4% will actually click through? By the way, my friend does much, much better than those totals, but it still reflects how low those opens and clicks actually are.
Back to the Future?
Try it, just go to any social media site for an hour and do nothing but stroll. And you know what you will find? Thousands of people trying to create a niche, fame, new friends (and I use that term very lightly) in some market or with some group or to just feel important or not alone in some way.
Social media, websites, emails etc. are not the end of the story. Nothing in the past 2000 years has ever been the end of the story and this law or rule has not changed. Someday in the future – something new or different will replace what is common and comfortable today.
So – lessons learned, I decided for the end of 2018 and all of 2019 I would try an experiment – I would go back to the way I did things twenty and thirty years ago – telephone calls, follow-up notes, thank you cards and no online submissions for new business but conversations with the hiring influence.
“So, Tim, how is going back to the past working for you?”
Well, I’m not going to brag or act like I’ve got everything in life and business figured out better than others, but what I will say is; I’m having more fun, I’m enjoying my client relationships better, I’m getting more referrals like I used to, I’m back to separating myself from the crowd NOT THE CLOUD, my cost of doing business is less than it has been in years, I’m creating more valuable relationships and it feels good to know that I don’t have to follow the masses to be successful and enjoy life and the time I have.
The short term results are the same going lower tech, my time invested in marketing is about the same, my costs are lower, and long term, there are indicators that this will be more successful than all of those electronic contacts were.
Let me repeat – I’m not telling anyone what they should or shouldn’t do when it comes to business development, sales, marketing, promotion etc.
All I’m saying is that there are things in the past – called fundamentals and basics – that when blended with both the now and what can or will be in the future are the best combination of tactics, strategies and/or techniques to use if you want contentment, peace and personal value and not just success.
What will you try new in 2019? ## (See bonus video, below.)