Last week, I heard Dr. Robert Cantu, chief of neurosurgery and director of sports medicine at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Massachusetts, speak about sports-related concussions — “More Than Just a Bump on the Head ” – and new diagnostic tools he’s developing. About 40 coaches, parents, and athletic trainers showed up eager to learn, eager to hear the talk and ask questions.
Suppose Dr. Cantu’s manager had asked him to cold call 500 athletic directors, coaches, and trainers and teachers to say, “Listen, we’re going to be in your area next week making a presentation and calling on high school coaches and trainers and I’d like to talk to you about concussions and our new diagnostic tool.”
You’d laugh, right? Not only would that be a supremely inefficient use of his time, I suspect that many athletic directors, coaches, and trainers would say (if they didn’t delete the voice mail message), “Thanks for the call, Doc, we’ve got that covered, can you email me something?” And he’s a nationally known expert!
However, this talk was sponsored and promoted by a respected third party – a community group whose publicity team made phone calls and blanketed the local area with publicity about the talk and the speaker’s credentials. Dr. Cantu showed up and gave his talk to 40 people who wanted to hear his message.
So would you rather cold call 500 people or use that time to develop yourself as an expert in some aspect of your clients’ challenges and position yourself to speak to groups who will bring prospects and networking resources to you, eager to learn, eager to hear your talk and ask questions?
I’ve met a bank branch manager who is become expert in church financial issues. Starting from her base – her contacts in her own church congregation, she has developed her expertise and network to the point that she is invited to speak to congregation leaders and clergy in other churches. She doesn’t need to cold call to meet her goals. People know her and she knows EVERYBODY.
I’ve met a bank small business banker who has become expert in challenges facing women business owners. She has made connections with academic as well as business organizations focused on this issue. She speaks throughout her region of the country. She doesn’t need to cold call. People know HER. She is an expert. They seek her out.
“Oh,” you say, “I could never do that.. I’m not an expert on anything. I don’t know how to make contact with organizations to speak to their members. I’m not a good public speaker. That just isn’t done in my industry.”
I’ve met sellers of eyeglasses, food, jewelry, computers, coaching services, and other products and services who use this approach. These are all learnable skills. Every industry you’re calling on has conferences and many have regional or local chapters of industry organizations or other groups your prospects belong to, business related or not. You can become an expert if you invest some time to study. (95% of people don’t.) And you don’t have to talk strictly about “business” issues related to your product to attract their attention and start conversations.
The question is: Do you want to continue banging your head against the wall making cold calls (OK, concussion joke) or do you want to invest in yourself and a personal marketing program that brings people to you, HAPPY and INTERESTED?
For more information about personal marketing programs, email Nickmiller@clarityadvantage.com .
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