Be magnetic! Package your solution, offer, look, feel, price and experience in a way that's irresistible. Make your buyer feel they'd be missing out if they pass you up. Attracted buyers are intrigued and want to know more. They don't feel interrupted or annoyed that you distracted them. This also means being clear about your type - talk, dark and mysterious or blond and sporty? Screen out tire kickers by being irresistible to only those frogs that are most likely to turn into princes for your unique business. Do your homework, narrow your target market, and make everything you do attractive for that particular profile.
It's the difference between walking hand-in-hand into the sunset vs. dragging your date by the hair back to your cave. This is why most cold calls, spam, ads and direct mail don't work - they're way too "intimate" a touch, out of context, and don't invite a permission-based response. Once you catch a buyer's attention, they need to signal interest for the sale to progress. Make a small offer and let your buyer take a first step. Think of getting a wild animal (or frog) to eat out of your hand. You have to place tasty morsels far from you, wait for them to be gobbled up, and slowly place more goodies closer to you, over time. This takes patience, but make no mistake - permission creates efficiency, allowing you to focus and make better use of resources.
You won't get past a first date without building trust. Buyers must trust that you have their interests in mind over yours. That you can do what you promise and have staying power. Don't ask for access, information or buying decisions too soon. Why should they give you their phone number to download your free article? All they want to do is learn about you... to gain confidence that you can help them. Let them lurk at arm's length for a while, maybe by opting-in to your e-newsletter. Let them see if you have staying power, so hold their interest and don't waste their time. If they like what they see, you'll get their permission to interact more directly.
If you've gotten this far, you're doing something right. But commitment is a process, not an event or moment in time. Gain respect, based on solid performance and deepening trust, and commitment will grow. Start small and build from there - they might make an initial commitment to you in the form of a small purchase, but if you don't continue to perform, it stops there. Smart buyers, no matter how long you've been together, won't give you unconditional commitment if you blow it. Be careful not to violate the permission, trust, and respect you've earned.
Ignore these laws, and you're throwing marketing and sales dollars down the drain. At a minimum, your sales, marketing, and all customer-facing staff must understand, internalize, and act on them. Ideally, your whole organization gets it, with your senior management team leading the way.
Marketing educator, Kelly O'Brien, is creator of the "Create a TurningPointe!" Marketing Bootcamp. To learn more about this step-by-step program, and to sign up for FREE how-to articles and 20-page marketing guide, visit http://www.turningpointemarketing.com.