Silent Marketing is the Wave of the Future

Introduction

You can change the world by thinking of others before you think of yourself.

I’m sure you’re familiar with traditional sales and marketing.  They’re based on the premise of the ‘gift of the gab,’ coercion, interruption, shouting, and broadcasting.  There’s lack of trust.  This is, in my opinion, passé.  Silent marketing (listening) is the wave of the future.

How did we get to the mistrust?

In the business world, sales and marketing is justifiably perceived by many as sleazy.  As a result, by the time a prospect gets to your website or starts to interact with you they’re already very weary and sceptical.  Well, can you blame them?  It’s no wonder that prospects believe no one.  They’ve experienced being conned, yelled at, interrupted, bullied, tricked, deceived, manipulated, and sold many times.  And they’re tired.

What is (and why) Silent Marketing?

Silence is golden.  Saying nothing is preferable when you’re trying to know and understand your prospects and customers.  Silent marketing is the perfect answer.  It focuses centrally on the interest of the customer.  And it is not as dumb as it might first appear, even though it is counterintuitive.  It obeys perfectly our capitalist market economy’s fundamental law.  You will only get what you want if you help others get what they want. Your first task is to ask great questions and listen silently to your target market (prospects or customers) to find out what they want.  And then offer it to them, on their terms.

Listening is very important.  When you listen, you understand.  When you understand, you can empathize.  And when you empathize, you’ll discover the real meaning of service.  Silent marketing demands empathy.  It is not about sleaze, blowing your own trumpet, or the gift of the gab. It is about listening attentively with care, understanding what the market needs and wants and giving it to them.

This is why Silent Marketers are great interviewers and listeners.  You cannot be a great marketer unless you’re a great listener.  And you cannot be a great listener until you learn to be silent.  Learn to listen – really listen.  And when you’re listening, you’re silent.  People love that.  It shows that you care and respect them. Well, don’t you?

My mother used to tell me from an early age, “Silence has the loudest voice.  You scream loudest when you’re silent.  You must be silent to touch souls.”  Sometimes saying nothing says the most, and you learn at the same time.  You don’t learn new things while you’re talking.

The Insanity of “Shouting” Marketing

One form of insanity is doing the same thing but expecting a different result.  I saw a brilliant bumper sticker recently in America, which says “Honk if you hate noise pollution.”  I love the sticker because it sums up the lunacy going on in marketing and advertising today.  Marketers and advertisers know that we’re all fed up with the marketing noise everywhere and want to avoid it.  Rather than find a solution to remove the noise altogether, many marketers are looking for ways to “out-shout” their competitors.  They want to shout the loudest.  It is madness.  You will always find someone who can shout louder.  The smart strategy is to do something totally different.  Why not do the opposite of what annoys people – i.e. shut up and listen?  I’ve only ever met one person who likes advertising and he’s an advertising agent.  Silent marketing brings sanity to business.

Let us (marketers) be silent so that we can hear the whispers of the market.  It is difficult to find your ideal customers amidst the current marketing noise.  Customers (that’s human beings, in case we’ve forgotten) prefer silence.  I love this quote from Ausonius, “He who does not know how to be silent will not know how to speak.”

Here’s my take on it: Your speech will be right on target after you’ve carefully listened attentively to everything the person has to say.  If you’ve listened well, you’ll know exactly where the person is coming from and what they really want.

Selfishness versus Market focus

Traditional marketing comes across as selfishness.  Silent marketing is market focused and puts the interests of the prospects and customers centre stage.  Talking is about meeting your needs – selfishness; listening is about meeting theirs – market focus.

People (that’s you and me) hate being sold but they love to buy.  If the heart buys, the head will follow.  But you can only engage the heart through empathy and emotional bond.  Silent marketing is your fastest route to developing strong empathy and emotional bond with your market.

What do you think?  Please share your thoughts with the world below.  I, for one, value your comments.  Thanks.

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10 Responses to “Silent Marketing is the Wave of the Future”

  1. Silent Marketing: Silence is golden – How to become a successful marketer and sell more « Silent Marketing Says:

    […] Want to sell more and at higher margins?  Become a great interviewer.  Learn to ask insightful penetrating questions.  Then listen to the answers with genuine care, interest and rapt attention.  In short become a Silent Marketer. […]

  2. aspollard Says:

    I love the heart of what you’re saying here. In a very different context this is really what I am discovering too. Would you mind me reblogging this post? Love it.

    • Funsho Ajibade Says:

      Thank you very much for your comment Sammy. Yes, of course, you have my full permission to reblog this post; and furthermore to share the blog address with your contacts.

      I’d love it if you could please share and expand on your own perspective and different context in a follow-up comment below.

      Thanks for caring enough to comment!

      • aspollard Says:

        Thank you Funsho.

        I am a Church of Englad vicar in a commuter town outside London. Listening has been recognised over the last 10 years or so in particular as hugely important. For us, we take Jesus as our model in everything and have begun to reflect on what it meant for him to be ‘incarnated’ – for God to not sit at a distance, but to come and be one of us, living amongst us.

        Inspired by this we’ve begun to recognise the importance of not standing apart from the community that we’re in, but being fully engaged. I’m not talking about engaging with an agenda, but about simply loving people right where they are. A huge part of that is listening. So, for example, we’re a church on a High Road and I’ve been spending a fair amount of time visiting the businesses and simply getting to know the people who work where we are. Generally chatting, but also asking what it’s like for them and whether we can help in any way. This means we don’t try and assume what will bless people, but we allow the things they say to direct what we do.

        We’re not trying to make money, gather clients, or even to get bums on seats. Our motivation is genuinely and simply to love the town in the way that Jesus loves them. Listening is absolutely indispensible and I find it hugely encouraging that you’re finding the same kind of principle applies in marketing. Indeed, I would suggest it applies in every part of life.

  3. aspollard Says:

    Reblogged this on beingfaithful and commented:
    This is a really interesting post from a new friend I made over the weekend. The value of listening is something I’ve come to recognise increasingly in a church context, and it is really encouraging to see the same values playing out positively in a completely different sphere of society.

  4. aspollard Says:

    I’ve reblogged this post here: http://beingfaithful.org.

    Thanks Funsho!

  5. Funsho Ajibade Says:

    Many thanks again Sammy. I fully agree with everything you said about listening and moving into your community purely to understand what people need and want, with no hidden agenda. Except of course to give them what will benefit them.

    Silent marketing, which is the subject of my forthcoming book, focuses squarely on the interests of the prospects and clients – i.e. other people focused, rather than self.

    If you can genuinely fall in love with your customer or parishioner, and be absolutely dedicated to doing things that will make their life better, you can’t help but be massively successful. The important point is that your success is a by-product, not the focus, of your actions.

    Here’s part of my marketing philosophy: You must not be obsessed with making money. You must, instead, be obsessed with adding value to someone else (your prospect, client, customer, patient member). You must be obsessed with creating worth for them with your products or services. When you’re obsessed with doing that – i.e. when you take your focus away from making money for you, everything changes for you positively in business.

    Think about it, if I’m obsessed with making money for me, how
    can I be obsessed with your needs and interests?

    Whoever you are, move your own self-interest out of the way. Concentrate instead on whatever you can do to make your employee, customer, supplier, husband, wife, or parishioner happier, richer, more secure, more productive, more profitable, and more fulfilled.

    If you make this the core of your business and personal relationships, you’ll profit and benefit beyond your wildest expectations.

    We’re singing from the same hymn book, aren’t we Sammy? What do you think?

  6. D Says:

    I’m writing my thesis about invisible communication in the fashion industry.

    What you are writing is very interesting and helpful to my subject. I would love to do an interview with you anytime soon.

    • Funsho Ajibade Says:

      Thanks D. I’m glad you find my writing helpful. Yes feel free to contact me for an interview. I’d be happy to help you. Thank you for your interest in my ideas. Funsho

  7. EMEA MCS Says:

    EMEA Management & Consultancy Services Ltd was incorporated to provide a complete consultancy solution to the modern and fast moving business of today. These consulting services cover all aspects of the business including Management, Strategic Planning, Viability Analysis, restructuring and Project Management fields.

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