A few weeks ago my client and I were bouncing ideas back and forth on how to get her message out and as you do when you brainstorm, I said, rather off the cuff, “Why not start a TV show a la HubSpot?”
She thought this a great idea and after a few emails, we were suddenly the invited guests of Karen Rubin and Rebecca Corliss of HubSpot, who showed us the ropes with regard to how HubSpot publishes its weekly TV show.
While my client and I learned quite a bit, what struck me was how *generous* Karen and Rebecca were with their information, ideas and encouragement. These are two very busy women yet they sat down with us before and after the show to explain how everything worked — and even gave us ideas on how to promote my client’s new video idea.
A few days later I attended Silverpop’s B2B Marketing University — an event they hold in various locations across the US.
While listening to the presenters talk about marketing automation and content, it dawned on me that while marketing has definitely changed, how we treat people has not.
I realized that while all this new technology is a marketer’s dream, it’s the “old-fashioned” courtesy and good manners that help cement the new and repeat business.
What do I mean by old-fashioned courtesy and good manners?
1. Be generous — Share your expertise with others. Like Silverpop, you can hold free events. If you have a lower budget, you can invite your customers and fans to free Webinars. If you’re a one-person company, offer to answer people’s questions via your blog or a free teleclass.
2. Send hand-written notes — My son had his bar mitzvah recently and the best part of the whole thing was getting the response cards back in the mail. I don’t know about you, but my mailbox is empty these days and getting reply cards back from people and seeing their personal notes made me feel closer to them.
Invest in note cards and send hand-written notes to people. Tell them you saw them mentioned in an article (you can even send the article), that you enjoyed meeting them at a networking function, or just say hi and that you were thinking of them. Your recipients will appreciate your gesture — and will remember you.
3. Don’t talk about yourself (or your products) — When you meet with people face-to-face, ask them questions. What books are they reading? What projects are they working on? How are the kids and the pets? Going on vacation? Taken any good trips lately?
By asking lots of questions, you’ll build relationships with people and these people will in turn either hire you or refer you to others.
4. Introduce people to other people — As soon as I sat down at my table at the B2B Marketing University event, Mac McIntosh introduced me to others at the table — making me feel instantly welcome.
5. Be helpful — Just this morning someone emailed me to ask if I knew one of the people I was following on Twitter. I did not know the person, and instead sent along the name of someone I did know who offered the same service. It took me a bit to find her contact info, but I was happy to do it.
6. Answer your telephone — I know the phone is a distraction and I know all the productivity gurus tell you not to answer your phone except at certain times.
Ignore this advice.
I don’t know about you, but the majority of my communication is via email, so answering the phone when it does ring isn’t a hardship. When you answer the phone, say “Good morning,” or “Good afternoon” and then state your full name. Smile when you talk and add some enthusiasm to your voice.
7. Talk to customers — When I went to pick up food for a party from the caterers a while ago, I had to wait a little while while they finished assembling the platters.
The owner of the establishment came out, looked at the order in progress, and then walked right on by me — even though I was the only person sitting there! “Wow!” I thought. “How rude!” A simple hello would have been nice.
If you’re the CEO or owner of a company and see people sitting in your lobby, stop and introduce yourself. Or, do what Grasshopper’s CEO does — have dinner with your customers. People will love for you it.
What “old-fashioned” marketing tips do you have? Please share them.