Heather & Aaron Meza circa April 25, 1992

I’ll be celebrating my 21st wedding anniversary to my Jr. High sweetheart this April. Awesome, right? Yes. It truly is. We are blessed. BUT! i never got to date. So I watch the Millionaire Matchmaker. Yep! I love Patty, Dustin and is cutie pie wife. I like to watch folks transform, i like to see nice people seeking out (and hopefully) finding a lifetime love connection.

And with that, i give you the 5 things you can learn from the Millionaire Matchmaker about Inbound Marketing:

1) Let them plan the date!  Stop trying to control everything! Let the customer lead. Stop trying to sell them, instead help them get to know you and then you’ll learn if there’s something to build on.

2) No sex before monogamy. Stop leading with your dick (excuse me) product/service. You don’t want a one night stand, you want a marriage. Act like it!

3) Two drink minimum! Do you want to sound like a tool? A ditz? No! so don’t do anything to impair your judgement. Don’t let politics (and the BS of B2B especially) blur your vision. Stay focused on the task at hand. Do what’s right for the relationship, and everyone wins.

4) it’s called MATCH-making, not GUESS-making. So start targeting the right people. not everyone is going to be a match. And even if they are, they may not be ready yet. Know your audience, yes. But more importantly… know yourself. Know your company and target the customers that are ready to make a match with you.

5) This is about forever, respect it, trust it, build it. We’re not talking about “going around” like in Jr. High. We are talking MARRIAGE! Start thinking about the lifetime value of your customers (instead of just single dates on and off over the years). Invest in them and they just might invest back.

I could probably go on, and on, and on with this one. But i wont 🙂 5 feels good to get the conversation going. I’d love to hear your’s! What’s your #6, 7, 8…? Comment away!

–H

Helping instead of Selling

Content Marketing gurus have referred to the concept of helping instead of selling. It’s a phrase I use myself when talking about Inbound Marketing.

Just this week I’ve had experiences (good & bad, on & offline) to make this concept feel even more real to me.

For example, have you ever thought of a waitress as a salesperson? I never had. Well, not until this week. Now I think a good waitress is probably the BEST salesperson a restaurant could have. Businesses, their content and websites included, need to behave more like a waitress i think.

Think about it…

Would a waitress come up to you and read you the entire menu? Going on, and on, about how great the restaurant is. Of course not! She knows someone else already did their job to get you through the front door. She’s not going to repeat it. She’s going to respect that you are the decision maker and that you know what you need. AND, since you have the information in front of you (ala the menu), she knows that her job is to be there when you need her, answer your questions, and ultimately serve up the perfect solution that meets your needs (even if you dont know yet, exactly what those are). You’re happy, she’s happy.

Helping? Selling? Serving? Yes!

In the end, who cares what we call it. It’s just good business. And yeah, I know this analogy isn’t perfect, but it is something that I had fun noodling on and i hope it got you thinking. If it did, let me know!

Here are two good articles to get your synapses firing:

Helping is the New Selling.” It’s a quick read and gives some practical examples that help drive the message home within a sales meeting context.

Why Content Marketing is Not Branding” This is a longer read, but an easy one. IMHO @ChrisBrogan gets it spot on in this one.

–H

PS: that’s my boy Fox in a picture his father took while feeding him a piece of pizza about a year ago 🙂