Attract and keep customers with relevance

Jim Logan, chief marketing guru at had some useful comments recently about interruption marketing that relate perfectly to what we talk about here at First, he debunks the myth that cold calls are always a bad thing. He does this by focusing on the reason for the call rather than the delivery channel. His example is priceless:

“If you’re woke in the middle of the night by someone at your door and it turns out to be Publisher’s Clearinghouse awarding you a $1 million check, that’s hardly an interruption you’d find revolting. “

If you offer your customers something relevant to them, they’ll be interested. Even better, they’ll stick with you. Relevance means it’s something that helps them accomplish what they want.

Notice what is MISSING.

This is not about selling them what WE want to sell them. That’s when marketing becomes an interruption. That’s when it fails to be effective.

Yet customers experience this every day. Whether it’s buying books, having lunch or renting a movie. Companies are more aggressive than ever about pitching their products to customers at the point of sale.

What they forget is that often these sales pitches are not relevant. They are not based on any information or evidence that the customer wants what is being pitched. They are based solely on management wanting to sell more of a specific product.

They are scripts not suggestions.

When you do this, you are guilty of interruption marketing. And whether it’s in a retail store or in a restaurant, it’s no better than cold calling. Customers find it intrusive and annoying whether it’s done by phone, email or at a cash register.  When this happens to me, it feels like they are simply trying to get deeper into my bank account. It rarely every feels like they are trying to help.

The solution? Make your offers relevant to your customers.

Better yet, encourage your employees to have real conversations with customers. Teach them to use these conversations to discover what their customers want. Then enable your employees to make offers based on what they learn about their customers. develop those skills and you’ll build a powerfully sustainable organization.

When you script your employees and force them to make unsolicited sales pitches to your customers, you are creating robots. Customers are typically not loyal to robots (or the companies that create them). But they ARE attracted to organizations filled with people who try to help them.

As a customer, pay attention to the sales pitches you get. How relevant are they to what you are trying to accomplish? Do they feel genuine and helpful? Or do they sound scripted and robotic?

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz