A few years back, you may have seen that the Keyhole Marketing home office relocated to Colorado Springs from our previous home in Indiana. While my wife and I have relocated several times over the years — IN —> SC —> IL —> IN —>CO, we knew this process would teach us much more about ourselves and the things that matter to us. We just didn’t expect to be annoyed by some awful marketing tactics along the way.
We placed our home in Carmel, Indiana, on the market Labor Day weekend of 2018. In the weeks that followed, we opened our house several times for open house events and individual showings, receiving very positive feedback from prospective buyers on the state of the house, size of the yard, and quality of the neighborhood.
What we never received was an offer. And so, after several conversations with our realtors about the cooling of the market and growing unrest during a fiery political season, we elected to remove the house from the market and re-list in February.
And then it happened. Not long after having pulled our home off the Multiple Listing Service, we got dozens of phone calls from agents around Indianapolis wanting to list our home with them.
Thanks to them, I was reminded of the marketing tactics I’ll never employ in finding the next Keyhole Marketing client.
If your small business desires to engage customers at the right time and in the right way, consider eliminating — or never adding — the following marketing tactics from your next marketing campaign.
If you hope to genuinely connect with real people in real ways, stop using generic lists of names, phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses. These lazy tactics don’t work and should have been retired in the late 80s. These lists are not personalized or tailored to specific audiences and never seek to accurately address the needs of the consumer.
If you do happen to find such a list, do some research first. Get to know some details about the contacts on the list before ever reaching out to them — unlike one enticing realtor who took all of five seconds to scribble “Current Owners” on an envelope before sending his brochure our way. You can imagine how quickly we called and inquired about his stellar services.
If you are looking to build up your contact list, do so with integrity. Offer helpful content on your website that consumers can download by entering their email address. Or, try hosting online events that prospects can sign up for with an email address. You might be surprised how quickly you’ll be able to collect the information you need.
There’s a line in the Hamilton musical that my wife and I tell our son, Quinn, all the time: “Talk less. Smile more.” He’s young, so he gets a little more grace than the adults who continually talked over me on the phone — pushing me to choose them as their next client. Of course, the harder they pushed, the more I avoided.
If you really want to know the customers you hope to serve, take the time to listen first to their hopes, dreams, fears, pitfalls, etc. Prospects should never get the feeling like they’re being sold on something. They want a trustworthy business who hears them out and asks deeper questions to get to the heart of the matter.
Every realtor who called us led with the assumption that we took our house off the market because our realtors had failed us and that we were now on the lookout for a new agent. I could practically hear them chasing an ambulance in the background.
Furthering the point above, rather than assuming why someone needs our products or services, open the floor and create space for prospects to first share what they need. Don’t jump in to provide your own explanation in anticipation.
The best marketers are the ones who do their research and know their target audience well. They are the ones who are out in the field, having coffee with industry leaders or front-line workers. They are the ones who seek out the problem first, rather than assume they know the solution.
When I asked the agents and realtors why they cared about us taking our house off the market, they all responded that they were “just curious about the state of the property.” Right. They wanted to be my next realtor, but didn’t have the guts to come out and say it.
Be upfront and honest with your prospects and customers from the beginning. Integrating honesty into your business model isn’t difficult. It starts with a mission statement and values that your team should be sticking to day in and day out. The more you lie about intentions and information gathering, the worse you look and the less trust that prospect is going to place in your services.
While we all know some of the above tactics sometimes come with the territory, it still frustrates us to no end. I encourage you to be the business that doesn’t follow the same path as your competitors. Make your business tactics honest and better tailored to the needs of your audiences.
Looking to learn more about marketing tactics that really make a splash?