I was perusing my listening station this morning. Reading blogs that were identified by my google reader account as pertinent to the keywords which I had chosen. I came across one that was a very interesting read, discussing the presumptive notion, and the cliche parallel, between the classic movie, "Field of Dreams" and sales strategies.
The original contention was that the age old quote, "If you build it, they will come" which was spoken by a ghostly sounding voice coming from the cornfields of Iowa, to baseball fanatic Ray Kinsella(Kevin Costner), is what sales people believe, or have believed. Otherwise translated to, if you build the right product it will sell itself.
Through many references, the resulting contrarian view stated by the writer was, that you must also prove value for them to come.
So the secret to sales is build something, prove value and voila, they'll appear!
Lead generation could very well be the easiest it has ever been right now, and yet major corporations continue to struggle with the amount of MQL's(marketing qualified leads) they are fed from their marketing initiatives. The ability to generate more leads has been an age old problem, and I am not contesting that the problem will evaporate. Quite the opposite. The need for qualified leads has never been greater, with companies rebounding from dips in annual revenue, budget cuts, and hiring freezes. It is a race to capture these leads.
We are experiencing a marketing perfect storm right before our eyes.
1. Decision makers are searching for solutions in the same forums that you and I access each day.
2. Not only do we access them, but we have permission to access them. We can follow on twitter, we can be friends on facebook, we can be part of their network on Linkedin.
3. The only thing these opportunities cost us is time.
If you could spend 5-10 hours of each week, branding your company, positioning your product or service as a solution, and being in the forum, discussion, or google search, that people are looking for solutions, then you have just found the eye of the storm.
This doesn't happen overnight, but with some concerted effort, each and every one of us can brand ourselves and our companies to get our message out without going door to door, or sending out direct mail.
Whoever embraces social media now as a platform for branding and lead generation will be ahead in the race to grab market share for the next decade and beyond. The ROI will not be measured in terms of dollars and cents. Not this year anyway. The cycle length is long, but this is about being front of mind when someone needs you to solve their problem.
The most memorable and equally forgotten quote of the movie spoken by Terence Mann(James Earl Jones) was, "They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack."
If you build it, provide value, AND find the people looking for peace, they will come.
search twitter for #virtualcoffee