Does your prospect community expect "more information" before they decide to engage at any level with you? When I hear that question, I immediately ask, "what information are you looking for?" Typically, there's a stammer and the ol' "well, like a brochure or something?" to which I immediately reply, "what questions or concerns do you have so I know what information to send you?" knowing that my job is to address their concerns or politely highlight and question their indifference instead of allowing them to take me off the scent to cast a paper net. I know that their inability to decide or understand why we're speaking for the time being constitutes a, "no," and any information from me will only give them evidence to support their rationale.
Marketing bellwether, Seth Godin, turns our heads again with the question, "I think if you're remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular, you probably shouldn't have a resume at all." Speaking in a parable about job seekers, he continues:
If you don't have a resume, what do you have?
- How about three extraordinary letters of recommendation from people the employer knows or respects?
- Or a sophisticated project they can see or touch?
- Or a reputation that precedes you?
- Or a blog that is so compelling and insightful that they have no choice but to follow up?
To which I decipher into sales and marketing context to mean if you're remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular, you probably shouldn't have a marketing brochure but instead:
- Testimonials as to what problems you've solved are always more impactful than labels, descriptions or processes
- Case studies or examples of your work are even stronger than 3rd party testimonials
- An Introduction or recommendation from someone they like, know and trust will greatly reduce their inhibitions
- Proof of your expertise, such as a blog, book, articles or newsletters -- not information about you -- will give you a second chance to impress
Being ordinary doesn't get you the sale. Doing what others may do does not make you stand out.
Great jobs, world class jobs, jobs people kill for... those jobs don't get filled by people emailing in resumes. Ever.
In other words, great clients, world class accounts, customers your competition would kill for aren't awarded to people who follow-up with brochures or information about themselves.
What would your sales look like if you had an agent, like a headhunter, providing the testimonials and making the introductions, even setting the appointments with your new prospects? Here's a whitepaper so compelling and insightful that you will have no choice but to follow-up. :^)