If I only had a dollar for every time someone hides behind a cliché to explain their abysmal approach to marketing and selling. Maybe it’s a lack of understanding of the process? Perhaps it’s their way of justifying (in their minds, anyway) poor strategic planning? Perhaps it’s simpler than investing the time necessary to get educated. Far too often, sales are viewed as simply a numbers game. Regardless, you probably have a recent interaction that may resemble mine.

My Latest Example

My office telephone has been receiving one specific automated telephone call regularly. These are the usual cheesy attempts to sound friendly, local, and competent, with a profound understanding of the challenges small business owners have to face and a value proposition we cannot ignore. That, and a local area code and phone number to add to the sense of familiarity.

The problem is, they didn’t attempt a smidgeon of research. Instead, they took the easy path and bought a telephone call list, set up a pre-recorded message, and began spamming everyone on that list. Unfortunately, the voice mail was long enough to be interruptive and annoying, and the odds of success baked into the tactic- few and far between. And (sadly) my ISP voicemail cannot delete a message before listening to it, so I sloth through it each time.

Further, this stupidity is evidenced by their pitching one of my agency’s services. Talk about a low probability to close!

“It’s a Numbers Game”

My motivation is helping small businesses, sometimes even lazy ones. So I called the provided “local” number and asked to speak with “Bob Hanson,” who supposedly left the spammy message. I wanted to share some marketing insight with Bob in the hopes that he would become a better marketer and also so he’d leave my people alone.

According to the woman who answered, Bob was on another call but would call me back “within a few minutes.” And in fact, my phone rang soon after, but it wasn’t Bob, it was his “brother” who also works in the business.

I explained the purpose of my call was to help build a better understanding, so they improve their sales efficiency while avoiding pissing people off. And the response when I informed him we were, in fact, competitors, and he was wasting his efforts? “We’ll take you off the list.” And when I pressed, the response received was, “you know, it’s a numbers game.” Well, for the record, it isn’t. Not if you want to build a successful, sustainable business.

Besides, does anyone ever take you off the list when you ask them? I ultimately believe I’ll be getting this same pre-recorded message very soon. That not only makes them poor marketers but bad liars also.

My motto for life

Quality over Quantity

There will always be companies looking for the cheapest, simplest, dare I say laziest, way to make a buck. But as far back as 2017, we have written on this paradigm. But, unfortunately, there is no silver bullet in marketing, no “one and done” approach that will lead your business to the promised land.

But there are many paths to failure and bankruptcy, and all of them are pretty easy.

According to my family, my grave marker will one day read “He preferred Quality over Quantity,” my motto for life (and especially for single malt whisky). For any SMB, this means:

  • A proper focus in identifying your target audience through the creation of personas.
  • Planning the journey, from suspect to prospect to client or customer.
  • Providing constant re-engagement and information.
  • Be authentic and respectful to your clients, customers, prospects, and even the suspects.

Even if your product is a commodity, go beyond making it a numbers game, with a marketing plan that will improve your sales and marketing efficiencies. Ultimately it will improve the bottom line and reduce the stress on your sales team.

The end result will be a sales funnel less congested with more wheat and less chaff, significantly greater KPIs (especially conversion rates), and you’ll reduce your marketing spend over time. You’ll also have more time to dedicate to delivering your work product.

Do not disturb registry screenshot

There is a Federal Law

Every reputable marketing agency knows something Bob doesn’t. Bob’s approach to marketing violates federal laws against cold calling numbers placed on the Do Not Disturb registry.

Here is how to get on the registry: https://www.donotcall.gov/ If you haven’t already done so, get registered today.

Hey Bob! There is a mechanism for reporting unwanted calls! And I am pleased to report that my complaint was accepted.