Ask SUCCESS is your place to get questions answered on how to market more effectively. In each issue, marketing expert Bob Serling is joined by another expert to answer your questions. Have a question you’d like answered? Just email it to email@example.com.
Today’s question, submitted by Dolores Sheets: What is the best way to attract prospects?
Yanik Silver: The key part of that question is the word “attract.” In order to attract, we need to be attractive. A lot of business owners think that if they don’t offend anybody, then they’ll do better, or they shouldn’t voice strong opinions and not be polarizing in any way.
That’s really not the case. People want to be attracted to a company, a person who has a point of view and a philosophy that they can really resonate with and get behind. Putting a personality into your marketing and having a strong opinion has a real purpose and role in business or brand appeal.
Companies can do just that. Let’s look at Mini Cooper. They’re attractive as a company. They repel people who want a big SUV—but that works for them because they’re attractive to people who want that quirky, fun, zippy personality. They do a great job with that.
The other key to attracting prospects is creating reasons for them to “raise their hands,” to jump in and get involved with the business. When I was first getting started, I used to teach cosmetic surgeons and plastic surgeons how to grow their practice. They were going at it a bit backward, almost like asking a girl to marry them on the first date instead of first giving their prospects reasons to put up their hands—reasons to accept the proposal.
For those clients, and for any business, offering free information is one of my absolute favorite ways for getting people in the door. And the more specific we can be in the title of what they’re getting is the key to attracting the right people, the people we want to help increase our businesses.
Recently, I was talking to a really high-end financial planner who’s part of our Maverick 1000 network. They used to deal only with people with $100 million-plus in net worth, which is extreme. Now, they’re changing the way they do things; they’re looking for $1 million or $2 million-plus net worths, which is a bit different.
I gave them the advice to put out a report that shows “the 8 biggest mistakes people with investment portfolios of $1 million or more make that ruin their return”—or something like that. The title is what attracts the exact people you’re looking for. Then we can turn the spigot, open or close it, based on the title and how we want to attract people.
Bob Serling: That’s great. Let me just add one other facet to that. I completely agree with you, especially today when there is so much information available online and offline, too. If you truly want to attract the right prospects, you must stand out as different from others.
You can do that by taking a contrarian attitude, like you said, or by being quirky and exciting like the example of how Mini is different and sensational.
Another way to attract prospects that I love is really what this column is based on. I hitch my wagon to other people who are very attractive. As you said, if you want to attract, you have to be attractive. So with this column, I hitch my wagon to other people who are attractive.
Instead of the column being just my advice, I always have another expert collaborate with me on answering our readers’ questions. Now, the readers certainly benefit from this, but I also get the benefit of being seen as working with many well-known experts. And that was an intentional way of differentiating myself.
This column is different than most marketing columns for another reason. When I approached SUCCESS, I offered a different slant on the column. Almost every business magazine has a column on marketing, but I looked for that one little gap that wasn’t being served, which was, “How do people get their exact questions about marketing answered, rather than just getting advice on a topic chosen by the columnist?”
Nobody was doing that. And this gave my column another strong differentiating factor that increased its ability to be attractive.
So my point really circles back to exactly what you said. You’ve got to find some way to make what you have more attractive than what your competitors have.
Yanik: Yes, I love the way that you said it’s different. That was my third point, was that having that unique hook or angle. You have to find that gap in the marketplace. If you’re not different, there’s no reason why you’re going to stand out at all.
Bob Serling helps business owners and entrepreneurs generate more traffic, make more sales, and do both more often. Get his free ebook of interviews with 30 leading experts, including SUCCESS publisher, Darren Hardy, at www.ProfitAlchemy.com/success.
Yanik Silver has successfully bootstrapped 8 different product and service ideas, hitting the million-dollar sales mark from scratch without funding, taking on debt or even having a real business plan. He is passionate about catalyzing and connecting innovative 21st century entrepreneurs to co-create new business breakthroughs, enhance their happiness and provide greater meaning and impact through their ventures, documenting it all at www.MaverickMBA.com.
You want to attract prospects to help your business grow. So why do people buy? Find out how to get them to buy from you on SUCCESS.com.