Should you buy or generate your own leads? Part 1/7: “Is email marketing a scam?”

To be honest I hate sales.

Lol I’m serious. I hate it. I love marketing though and absolutely love copywriting and client servicing. This is why I have done so well over the years as a marketing consultant. Sure I’m very passionate about sales coaching but marketing is something that once you begin to understand it, you fall in love with it more with each day.

Sales is more volatile even with the best skills, marketing is more linear if you’re working well on staying ahead of the game.

However, being an Entrepreneur means you need to do everything and know everything.

Let me be frank here, no digital marketing agency with any level of marketing in this world, no matter how solid can drive revenue if your sales game is weak.

People just don’t get it.

Sales alone will not bag you the clients that you want. Yes it ensures the scoreboard keeps ticking and revenue keeps coming in.

But sales alone won’t bag you the clients you absolutely need to keep your business running for a long time.

For that you need the power of marketing to dig them out from a vast crowd of blurry faces and sometimes not even that. Most marketing agencies fail to understand that effective campaigns are designed around the client persona’s ‘key habits’. You have to get into their psyche and tap into what mediums they use, where they go for entertainment, what they search for on their smart phones or tablets or PCs because it varies from segment to segment

Superior marketing ensures you get your marketing messaging, your targeting and your marketing collateral absolutely right so that when you do strike a conversation with a person who fits the persona of an ideal client perfectly, you close him.

It’s that simple.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know sales people work really hard and I speak from experience because I’ve effectively been doing that in some way or another for the last 10 years at least.

The fact that sales people work so hard is what motivated me to get into sales coaching in fact because I really felt this was something I could do just by being myself. Problem though and this is what I realized mainly as a Marketing Consultant.. the problem is that the rot runs deep.

I see core sales teams in startups and growing companies that have almost kind of outgrown their startup tag and profile.. playing small.

So many startups are lulled into believing this absolute lie that email marketing leads are a viable marketing strategy to ensure your sales team is well fed.

Oh god, nothing could be further from the truth.

Just because a lead is ‘warm’ doesn’t mean it is consistent with the ideal client persona your business seeks to partner with to grow.

And yet founders are not thinking about this many times.

It’s almost like they hire sales teams and give them these so called ‘warm’ leads through email marketing just to keep them busy.

Sure as hell that is what it feels like.

No talk about client quality at all.

You’re so desperate you are ready to start work with anyone as long as they cash in.

Why so insecure? Why so desperate?

Also, am I being judgmental?

Well, if you’re building a business solely on a month to month cashed in basis you’ve got your priorities mixed up real time. I have no respect for you because if there are flimsy ways to make money, this is one hell of an inconvenient way at that!

You see, this attitude will further dictate everything around your organization.

The product/ service developers will resort to often questionable and unviable practices to impress clients as fast as possible because guess what? Clients that don’t match your ideal client profile won’t stick around for a long time.

When you create a client persona of the ideal client, you do so by focusing on lets’ say complementary strengths. It’s almost as if you’re one piece of the puzzle and the ideal client represents the other piece.

While it may not always happen that perfectly, if it does, you quickly know in which direction to expand as a trusted client will rather work with you for a new service rather than a new guy.

Yes, putting all your eggs in the same basket is never the best idea about from a management perspective. However, sideways integration and backwards integration into the product/ service is often the most popular point to start diversification for a company.

What does that mean? It means that if I sell donuts, it makes a lot more sense for me to make the dough myself as well, tailored to my needs and saving me the extra hassle of ordering from somewhere and then anticipating what the quality of the dough would be like each time a new batch arrived. This is an example of backwards integration.

Sideways integration means if I’m already selling donuts, I might as well sell coffee and bagels as people are going to probably want them together anyway.

In the same way, if as a company you’re only focused on providing your sales team with a healthy supply of ‘warm leads’ to call irrespective of whether or not they fall even broadly into the client persona that your company wants to target, you are setting your organization up for failure.

You think that you’ve done your job by hiring a reputed lead generation services company or a ‘reputed’ email marketing company but really, you’re not allowing your business to have a foundation before guaranteeing a failure.

This failure may not come within a year or even ten but the first moment that your client finds a better fit for his needs, you’re going to lose him. Market fluctuations, economic volatility, every damn factor that can have an effect on your sales pipeline will have an effect and adversely most of the time.

So what was I saying in the beginning of the article?

I was saying I hate sales.

Let me complete the sentence..

I hate sales but when I do have to sell however, I prefer it to be direct and brutal. I prefer cold calling any day of the way over calling a lead purchased from an email marketer.

Why is that?

For starters, a “Yes” makes no sense at all and shouldn’t even be considered as a sign of ‘warmth’ if it is coming to the wrong question or statement.

It’s crazy just how many sales reps out there are calling just how many ‘warm’ leads only to hear that “We never contacted you!”

Next part tomorrow!

Need help with digital marketing?

Published by Jay

Jay is a double Post Graduate in International Business Operation & Marketing. He has worked as a Marketing Consultant with companies around the globe.

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