I have the craziest conversations with people telling me that social media and marketing activities are a waste of time, and they don’t see how social/marketing could influence anything substantial, like their business. And when I look at their LinkedIn profiles, I see zero activity. Yet, some have hundreds of connections.
Go figure? They believe in it enough to use it as a Rolodex, but don’t believe in it enough to actually use it for strengthening their business connections.
When I talk about how they can make that valuable data work for them, they get all Negative-Nelly on me saying that wouldn’t possibly work. Some of these people even come to us as a direct result of our marketing efforts, yet still talk about how marketing/social activities are a waste of time. And then they’ll comment on how active we are at Q4i –
“We see you and Kevin everywhere!”
“Yeah, because it’s a valuable use of time.”
“Well, we don’t have time for that. We’re too busy.”
Step up and OWN your decision
You’re not too busy. You choose not to do it.
Trust me I understand. Social media pushes some (most? all?) of us to our boundaries. I don’t have a Facebook profile for just that reason. And I know I miss out on things as a result, but it’s a choice I’ve made, and I own it. I don’t say I’m too busy. I choose not to.
Alternately, I understand the value of business connections and I love learning and sharing those ideas. The rewards that come from this activity are incredibly valuable, and I make time for it.
When I ask a room of brokers, “Who feels they are effectively marketing their agencies?” I get an incredibly anemic response.
You KNOW you’re not marketing effectively. Yet, when presented with ideas of how to do it, you scoff and say:
- It won’t work – not for me, not in my market, not with my clients.
- I don’t have time for that. I’m too busy.
Busy doing what? Doing service work that you should be letting your account management team manage? Creating new ways of doing the same thing time and again because you’ve not developed any processes? Micromanaging people because you’ve not given them authority or procedures to effectively do their jobs?
You have time. You’re just wasting it on numerous inefficiencies.
Managing the whole sales process
Recognize where marketing fits in the sales process before you dismiss it as a waste of time. Sales organizations have four critical areas they need to manage to earn and keep clients – marketing is one of them.
- Prospecting is for generating interest so people are intrigued enough to want to go out and learn more about you.
- Marketing a.) supports those prospecting efforts for when people do go out and look you up, and b.) acts as a prospecting tool itself, pulling people toward you.
- Sales Conversations take place after prospects have found enough evidence that it’s worth taking the time to have a conversation with your team.
- Client Management gets to happen when sales and marketing have done their jobs well. And then it’s largely in the hands of account management to deliver on the sales promises and continuously re-sell that client on their decision to hire you.
If you’re prospecting, but not providing effective online marketing, including social activities, your prospecting efforts are completely compromised. Your buyers will go online to look you up. Whether you think they do or not, they do.
If they are not interested in what they see from you during the prospecting and marketing phases of the relationship, they have NO reason to believe that you’re going to offer anything particularly interesting during the client phase of the relationship. So why bother?
They won’t. And they don’t. Trust me, I see the fall-out from this lack of marketing all the time. Pipelines are sad and empty because agencies are doing a terrible job of moving potential buyers from prospecting and marketing to the sales conversation phase. The biggest problem is that most agencies don’t appreciate just how much their insurance agency marketing, or lack thereof, is influencing their pipeline and revenue.
So when you ask me for advice on filling the pipeline or marketing and then tell me you don’t have time, I’m not going to sympathize and help you find an alternative. I’m going to call bull$#@!, and then tell you to go fix your internal processes to free up the time to do it.
I will not be your sympathetic ear and give you permission to be lazy.
If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.
Photo by Kjetil Kolbjornsrud