Inbound’s Inverse: A Customer’s Perspective
I am your potential customer. You sell something I need, although I don’t yet know exactly what that is. A service, perhaps? Unfortunately, I’ve never heard of you. I can certainly tell you that if you find me and email me cold, I’ll delete it. I really don’t like speculative emails. Who can tell the difference between them and spam?
Actually, I don’t want any sort of sales pitches. What I do want, is to find you the way I find the best external hard drive, or decide on which movie or restaurant to go to this weekend. If what you sell isn’t reviewed on Yelp, rottentomatoes, Amazon, TripAdvisor or CNet, I need to find you through my searches. I’m quite adept at long tail searching and can typically find most things I’m looking for.
Here’s the thing. I don’t know you. I don’t trust too many social media ‘best blog’ lists as they seem so subjective, so I’m unlikely to find you through one of them. I WILL NOT BE SOLD TO! I will not be talked down to. If you make wild claims or are negative, I’m outta there.
Don’t call yourself an expert. Few people are accomplished enough to deserve the moniker. As with “cool”, this is a something for others to call you. I will not be able to take you seriously if you call yourself either!
I am me, not a persona. I’m aware enough of the “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” form of reciprocal endorsements, that I know to ignore many.
Oh, if only there was a Yelp for B2B businesses. But honestly, as compelling as the idea sounds, who could trust it with the cronyism that’s so rife? (Ooh, did I just talk about that which all know but none say?)
But all of that is of little consequence, because I’ve never heard of you. And for all of your best efforts, I can’t find you.
How might I find you?
Nothing earth shattering here. Just write about your areas of expertise. If there’s an overlap with what I’m looking for, I will find you.
What I will say though, is that I need you to be likable. That means, again, don’t talk down to me. And please realise that if your main goal is to prove your brilliance, you will immediately go into my mental “ignore forever” bucket.
A brief sidestep here: In my programming days, I came across a few people who wrote code of such complexity, that it was clear their intention wasn’t so much to write a working program, as it was to have people who looked at it proclaim their genius! I hated those people. For me, the genius was always in tackling complex problems in such a way that others can easily follow. Please write your complex subject matter in the same way.
And please be authentic! Here is my entry into the competition for the shortest blog post ever competition (which doesn’t actually exist to the best of my knowledge.)
How To Be Authentic
Seriously folks, if you need to read an article on how to be authentic, you can never hope to connect with real people. To put it another way, Stop hiding behind your online persona unless you are only trying to connect with other personas.
The bottom line is, I’m a Human. I want to like you. In my Baby Boomer naiveté, I start with a positive outlook towards everyone and everything, yet have built up a by now lengthy checklist of turnoffs. Real people, whose goal is to help others, with never hit that negative checklist.
Originally titled “I May Need What You’re Selling. Help Me To Find You!” and republished here with permission.
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