Founded in 1957, The Shirelles were an American girl group, that had their first hit with “Tonight’s the Night”, in 1960. They went on to have seven top 20 hits. “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” was also released in 1960 and gave them their first number one.
Baiao music, which is a Brazilian style of playing, reminds me of summer. Driving with the windows down, or if you are lucky enough to own a convertible, with the roof down. No worries in the world. Except the sales pipeline for when we return in September.
The summer is always slow in Europe, starting in June, when the schools close in July for the long holiday. Many Europeans take the whole of August off. I had a Swedish VP, that on the day he was announced in role, promptly took six weeks holiday. He said to me on his return, my children said “everybody takes the whole of August off”, I could not disappoint them”.
So, of course, business slows down
I’ve also been hearing that generating pipeline is getting harder.
Let’s turn things around for a second and stop talking about us and think about our buyers.
Nobody likes to be sold to. We now live in a society where we can go on-line, check prices and have a product delivered within an hour. Whatever we want to buy we can become experts in the product in a matter of clicks be it patios, cars or even accountancy systems.
So, while things have slowed down in June, July and August, will the pipeline be there in September?
At a previous company I worked at, the year always worked like this.
January to August there was an expenditure freeze and then people came back in September realising there was no pipeline. Then the company threw money at marketing and telesales agencies hoping to create pipe quickly to close by Christmas.
So what options are open to digital marketers in September?
- Email – There’s a whole industry built around sending out emails, more and more and more of them. How to increase open rates – this means, I assume, that people don’t open them. I for one, create rules so the emails just automatically go into a junk folder.
- Cold calling – There was a time when you could easily generate a lead a day from cold calling. Not so much now. People get annoyed by interruptions. Add to that the notion that a senior executive will take a cold call and invite you in for a meeting is pure fantasy.
- Advertising – All of the evidence suggests this doesn’t work anymore regardless of the 30% rise in adblockers. I talk to so many people who say they don’t look at ads anymore.
So how are you going to do it?
The industry is based on the following notion:
- I am the market leader.
- My product has the following five benefits.
- The following companies use it.
- Based on that you want 30 minutes of my time.
This template is exactly the same for every company that emails me or calls me up.
People talk about “content shock” which is the assumption that we are in a place where there is so much content that everything grinds to a halt. The fact of the matter is that the content is all the same. It’s created off the back of “Social Media Examiner” or “MarketingProfs” articles. Formulate, cookie cutter and do the same as everybody else. It just gets ignored.
So Here’s A Thing
Who is most likely to buy from you? Your friends and family, and a close network of people you trust. Where are they? On social media.
You wouldn’t be surprised to discover that this cross section of society on social media is replicated many times. There are, after all, 2 billion people on Facebook and 500 million people on LinkedIn.
On the basis we know our customers and prospects are on social media, (and not reading your email, taking your phone calls or clicking your banner ads) why don’t you go and talk to them?
I know talking to strangers is scary. Our parents told us not to do it. But let’s be rebels.
But social takes ages, right?
No. I contacted a managing director of a global US organisation on a Wednesday, the following Tuesday I was pitching to him, his head of PR and head of marketing.
So, why aren’t you?
OK, I’m a best-selling author, but we all have to start somewhere. Even if you were 10 or 20% as good as me you would be better than your competitor, right?
In our social selling training, we see people getting meetings and leads after the second session. Not six months away but to a timescale that could impact your Q4 close.
Just think, getting the pipe in September, crushing your number in December and creating a lasting legacy of lead generation.
No more feast and famine, no more “where are my leads” a process that delivers leads all year round.
You might even get that promotion?
Why don’t you give me a call and we could see if this might fit your organisation.
Or of course, be like the guy last I spoke to recently who said he was too busy sending out newsletters to talk to me. Which reminded me of a sales guy I knew who told me he was “too busy running around to plan”.
Digital Leadership Associates: We are a Social Media Agency. We do three things: Social Media Strategy, Social Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.