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I can remember back in the early 90's I was working with a couple on a program Sedan Deville. They were in their late forties their last child had just graduated college. The Mrs. wanted to start to experience some of the finer things in life as their obligations had diminished drastically with this event. I had done a million dollar presentation and she was in love with the car. I knew I had a deal but the husband was still very luke warm at best. I had an objection that had not been uncovered yet.
Me: "Mr. X, you and your wife obviously like the car but I notice some hesitation on your part. Have I done something wrong?" ( Thanks Jackie B. Cooper for that one)
Mr X : "No, Paul, you have been great. I really like the car too but I am just not sure."
Me: "You're not sure about what?"
Mr X: "This car is a front wheel drive and I have always said I will never own a front wheel drive. People have problems with them."
Me: "May I ask you a very serious question?" (Zig) (smiling and almost laughing as I asked for permission to close him)
Mr X: "Sure Paul, I love the car but just am not sure about front wheel drive. We probably need to look at something different." ( he noticed my glee and was smiling and felt the close coming)
Me: "If you had a wagon at the bottom of a hill loaded with rocks. Would you push it or pull it?"
Mr. X : (Embarrassed look on his face with no reply. Feeling very uncomfortable at this point.)
Mrs X : "Answer the man, Honey!!"
Mr X: "That is a silly question Paul. Of course I would want to pull. It makes sense now."
This was just an effort to get them to the table to to finalize the transaction. They bought the car and have been loyal customers ever since. We now we joke about pushing and pulling.
Thinks about how this applies to our business today. I am not talking about bear trap closes to overcome objections. It is much deeper than that.
Traditional advertising incorporates push and pull marketing. We concentrate a huge effort to reach a small percentage of people who are in the market today utilizing radio blast and ad slicks of a current sale. This is push marketing. While any branding message we deliver is pull marketing. Letting people know we are there for them and we have what they want when they are ready. It causes people to seek us out.
Online advertising is pull marketing, if done properly. Customers only find us when they are searching for us or the products we sell. This is the best form of permission based marketing. Our message is only delivered to those that request it. However dealers spend money trying to encourage people that are not in the market for what we sell to jump in prematurely.
The results of push marketing are partially to blame for the down turn we are in now. After 9-11 the manufacturers pulled out all the stops to encourage people to jump into the market faster than they planned to. We are feeling the effects today. - Gilbert Chavez
If your best customers are the ones searching for what you have to offer or you directly, why do we spend the majority of our advertising dollars on push marketing. When we can receive a greater ROI marketing to those that want what we have. One of the old paradigms in marketing is "Encourage the customer that does not want what you have to buy your product". That is the largest base of customers out there and most expensive ones to move into action.
Spaghetti marketing, slinging stuff against the wall and see what sticks, is a waste of time and money. Why participate in it?
Why not make it easier for customers to find us an our offers?
When customers find us online they have already given us permission to sell them on contacting us. Otherwise they would not be looking at our offers. Our job at that point is to convince them to take action. We can accomplish this by using effective copy writing, online merchandising and building trust with our audience.
The Internet has made it easier and cheaper to reach the best customers out there, the ones who want what we sell. Concentrate on solving your customers problems and it will solve most of yours, become visible and transparent at the same time and stay in the game!!
Stop pushing those rocks, pull them and enjoy the ride.