These days answering a call from a number you don’t recognize seems as outdated as driving without a seatbelt.
It would be just as reckless to not send it to voicemail: At worst, it’s a scammer. At best, it’s an unsolicited sales call.
But if it’s the latter and you somehow forget what year it is and actually answer the call, the person on the other end better show you they know you.
If they don’t, their marketing philosophy is another relic of a bygone era.
That’s some of the marketing wisdom Jill Rowley shared when she came on the podcast.
Jill was Chief Growth Officer at Marketo at the time, but these days, Jill sits on the Board of Directors at Affinio and is an advisor to LoopVOC and Stage 2 Capital.
Jill shared tons of meaty MarTech tips and some personal stories about her life, career and some pushy sellers who knew next to nothing about her.
Here’s what we’re unpacking today:
- Why engagement is replacing outdated marketing philosophies
- Why it’s true that people buy from people (but only if they add value, too)
- How to use engagement to start off on the right foot
This post is based on a podcast with Jill Rowley. If you’d like to listen to the full episode, you can check it out here and below.
Marketing 2.0 and the power of engagement
Jill used to sell marketing automation — and she wants to apologize.
Well, at least to the customers who bought from her and are still operating under the same marketing principles she sold on years ago.
Now, she knows these are outdated philosophies. Nobody wants to be reduced to a faceless name on a list.
And it’s why Jill blames marketing for starting the process of killing email and sales for hammering the last nail in the coffin.
And why, now, nobody is ever excited to check their email.
The world has changed since the early industrial revolution of marketing automation and mechanization. We moved on to modernity, to the era of engagement and Marketing 2.0.
A cultural shift is happening. We have more and more data we can access and use in our marketing strategy, but the biggest successes are seen by those who are moving from a company-centric approach to a consumer-centric one.
And that means knowing your customers, caring about them and their success and, perhaps most importantly, adding value.
People buy from people (who add value)
Jill had her own issues with this outdated form of selling.
A pushy seller didn’t spend any time doing his homework. So, she had some fun with him by not sharing some crucial information he could have found easily —had he taken the slightest amount of time and cared enough to do so.
She had invested in a competitor.
So, when she said her company was already using said competitor, he confidently proceeded to badmouth their product endlessly.
People buy from people, right?
If you don’t take the time to get to know your future customers, well… they’ll just be future random people who can only be described as definitely not customers since that’s the only thing you’ll know about them.
This seller certainly did care enough to learn about Jill. And you all know the adage: Whoever cares, wins.
But… only if they can also add value.
You need people to know you, trust you and feel like you care to get a seat at the table these days. But no one wants to buy from you if you can’t deliver what they need.
So, learn your customers, get to know their needs, build trust and try to help them. But try to help them in a way that actually helps — add value!
Don’t go in blind: engage!
So, what could the pushy salesperson have done better?
Obviously, he should have done some basic research on Jill to avoid his embarrassing mistakes.
Or, rather than just sending a cold email to her workplace — which, let’s face it, usually comes off as creepy when the person opening the email wonders how you got their address — maybe he would have had better luck targeting some established relationships.
As Jill says, you need to remember your basic ABC formula: Always be connecting, because your network is your net-worth. Building relationships is how you take a long-term perspective.
Anyone relationship you build can create a customer.
Better still, he could have made a connection ahead of time and built a relationship with Jill. Maybe he could have gotten to know her by reaching out on social first. Social selling can be extremely effective.
But, okay. There could be all sorts of reasons this salesperson didn’t do that — and reaching out isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s a huge part of the job.
Well, regardless, he still needed to do some research. And the best research seeks out the infinite treasure trove of content available in our massively interconnected modern world and uses it.
Jill has been on podcasts like ours. She’s been a speaker at events. She has put out content. And all using her unique mode of communication.
The seller missed an opportunity to learn about her and her needs in the first place. But he also missed the even bigger opportunity to learn these things in her own words. And understanding the customer on their level makes everything else so much easier.
Don’t make the same mistakes he did. Never underestimate the power of engagement.