Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lead Generation Tips – If You're Gonna Go Political, Don't Take Sides

Do you really feel that your marketing and lead generation strategy is just irrelevant and out of date without playing the tune of the election season? Do you honestly feel that, despite all risks of a major PR suicide, you want your own business to have a voice in politics?

Well, if you insist then go ahead. Go political. There is just one thing you need to avoid: actually taking a side.

Political Sales Leads Without The Partisanship

Admittedly, people who advocate politics in marketing do have one fair point: It is a powerful way to connect with your market. That begs one question though: Is it powerful enough to justify the risks?

The answer is no. Here is the good news however: You can still connect that way. The trick is to simply not take sides. There is no question that a connection formed via political appeal can generate more qualified leads from prospects who sympathize (if not, embrace) a certain ideological bent. You can generate this appeal though without necessary doing any embracing yourself.

If you want an example, look to 7-Eleven (as reported by Entrepreneur). It maybe a B2C marketing strategy but take a hard look at the core concept if you really doubt that B2B marketing cannot apply it:

The convenience store 7-Eleven proclaimed that 'politics are brewing' last month as it announced its quadrennial Presidential Coffee Cup Poll. 7-Election 2012 allows customers to indicate their presidential preference when they purchase a cup of coffee -- a blue cup imprinted with a donkey for President Barack Obama or an elephant-emblazoned red cup for Mitt Romney.”

But of course, you cannot be wrong for wanting the finer details of how this works for B2B. A key element in this strategy is understanding the link between politics and work place culture as well as viewing this election season just like you would any other season. In short, it is a form of seasonal marketing.

Related Content: Tips For B2B Telemarketing – Seasonal Myth Busted

Like regular seasons, elections are a theme in of themselves regardless of whether you subscribe to any worldview (or make it a part of your business identity). Your marketing just has to align itself with this theme just like 7-Eleven. That is not the same as aligning with any faction but just mildly tailoring your sales lead generation process accordingly to your prospects' political tastes.
  • Use prospect's opinion to line up with an objective need. - Your business is meant to fulfill objective needs. How do you align them with political opinion? You simply listen. Make a connection with their views with whatever solution or service that you could provide. 
  • Avoid raising the subject yourself – Do not forget that you are not alone if you want to avoid politics. Other business owners are not necessarily eager either. Stick to a neutral image first and wait to see if your prospect is starting lean away. If not, good news. You can now market as normal. 
Related Content: Professional Telemarketing – What Great Leaders Can Teach About Great Communication
  • Make a note so sales can carry on the conversation – Your markers cannot keep up the conversation forever. That is why they are supposed to just qualify and let salespeople make the close. You cannot just pass the baton though without letting them know what you are passing. 
So it would seem that you can appeal to the political side of your prospects without necessarily taking it. The best part is you now have both supplying you with B2B sales leads!

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