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Last week I contacted two different marketing companies about two different things and they approached the opportunity to do business with me in exactly the same way. I call it snob marketing. Snob marketing is when the sales person/consultant says something like, “We are very particular about the kind of people we do business with. You may not be for us.” Now, I know that that statement is designed to stir up an eager want in me. I am supposed to want to be considered worthy enough to have them take my money. Needless to say, it backfired and they really only managed to make my skin crawl.

Personally, I am only interested in whether or not a vendor is right for me. I think most customers and prospects feel the same way. I am not interested in trying to prove that I have what it takes to be someone’s customer. I’m not standing in line at Studio 54 and we are no longer living in the 70’s.

Why do sales and marketing people think they have to resort to tricks all the time? It seems pretty obvious to me that if you do anything to insult the intelligence of your prospect, you lose the opportunity to do business with them. It’s like the car salesman who makes the phoney telephone call to his boss to see if he can get approval for the price you are trying to negotiate. Then there’s the guy who tries to tell you his deal won’t be around for you later. I contend that if he wants the money (and he does), he’ll make the deal available!

Prospects and customers appreciate sincerity. The moment you resort to trying to pull the wool over your prospect’s eyes is the very moment you shut him/her down. If you genuinely believe you have a product or service that will help your prospect in some way, then say so. There is nothing wrong with saying, “I think we may be able to work together. Let’s meet and see if there is indeed a fit.” That opens doors. Telling your prospect that he/she may not be the kind of person you like to do business with is akin to erecting a 90 foot iron gate and slapping on a 120 pound pad lock!

Here’s the thing about marketing: any strategy you employ that works will only work for a little while. As soon as everyone starts to do it, it becomes completely ineffective! It used to be you could mail out a special offer and people would come running. Once everyone does that, it’s no longer special, is it? You always have to keep things creative and fresh. Here’s another example: free webinars are not as effective as they used to be. Why? Because everyone knows they are going to be sold something. Who wants to walk into that?

Honour your customers and prospects. You usually need them way more than they need you. Cut the crap and be honest with people because let’s face it: if a prospect waved a few grand under your nose, you’d probably hump his leg!

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