Bombing the Customer


Do you like spam? Even if it is from a person or company you know and like? What about email, brochures, postcards and fliers from those you don’t know or don’t like?

Too many people and too many companies believe that keeping in touch with customers means bombing them. Like Europe in World War II, they send out waves of relatively cheap bombs, all dropped with little accuracy.  They just drop and drop and drop and figure that with enough attempts they are bound to eventually hit a target.

Email made bombing customers with advertising so much cheaper than mail and phone calls. Technology made it easier to bombard the masses. However, easy does not always mean better. If so, the military would never have spent the money to develop pricey smart bombs and laser-guided missiles. A few dumb bombs are cheap to build. It becomes expensive to produce and deliver enough of them to make sure you hit the desired targets. And even more expensive when you consider all of the collateral damage the dumb bombs create.

I see people in sales that believe everyone is their customer, so they bomb everyone with their one-size-fits-all sales pitch. They often do this without making a significant effort to find the customers that truly need their product or service. These sales people think that if they bomb everyone, those customers that want to buy will come out of the rubble to spend money. Maybe a few will, but most of these potential customers have already run the other way, fleeing the bombardment.

Selective targeting of your message may seem more expensive because it requires effort. However, I contend that failure to be selective in directing your messages causes far more expensive damage to your reputation than precision guided messages of real value.

Take the time to understand more about your target customer, target employer, or even potential date. Create a message that brings them true value, not a generic sales pitch. Make your messages so valuable they are requested, not blocked or tossed in the garbage. In the long run, this not only requires less overall effort over time, it builds your reputation as a valuable resource as well.

It is a smart strategy, not a bombardment, that helps the smart companies get the most “bang for the buck!”

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About the Author

Glenn S. Phillips works with leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. An author and blogger, Glenn is often quoted in national media, plays a really ugly tuba (it even has a bullet hole) and is a fan of dark chocolate and great puns.