Posts Tagged ‘results’

Silent Marketing is the Wave of the Future

August 18, 2010

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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