A genuine content marketing strategy
It’s not uncommon for a salesperson to mirror their prospect, be it in mood, language, posture, past experiences, or interests. And when done naturally and with completely genuine behavior—in other words, the salesperson or business professional is being themselves—it’s a good thing. Because it’s their truth.
But, when it is a game, as in the salesperson is merely playing the prospect—pretending to have the same interests, imitating their speech and posture, claiming to like the same vacation spot–it’s complete and utter bulls***.
Now, it is not always obvious.
A lot of salespeople are good actors and the game is not easy to see through, but these days a prospect can easily look you up online (LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, your blog, and maybe your podcast, and so on) and if the person they see on social media is not the same person they just met with, the game is over (as it should be). If they can’t find you on social media, they may assume you’re hiding something.
This is not to say everyone without a social profile is acting disingenuous—not at all. But the perception of the prospect may be just that. That someone without a brand, without content, without transparency is hiding—whether it is true or not.
Yes, having something in common with your prospect helps. If I sit down with someone who is trying to earn my business and it turns out they’re from Buffalo and they like the Bills, then we will have something to talk about. Or perhaps they enjoy reading about psychology and vacationing on the coast of South Carolina. Either way, I’ll feel that connection and I’ll eventually listen more readily to their pitch. That is of course, and this should go without saying, they know what they’re talking about. But if it turns out they actually don’t even like football and were pretending just to game a relationship then it’s over.
Here’s the thing. It’s totally OK not to like football, but manipulation is a major red flag.
The thing you have in common doesn’t have to be football. It doesn’t have to be any single thing. Maybe this person hates football, thinks Buffalo is in Antartica, and vacations in California, but it will turn out we both like the same kind of ethnic food or the same comedian. If you can find a point of commonality, you can use genuinely it to make a connection—but make it real.
Be real. Share your truth, both in conversation and if you are so inclined, online through social media and other forms of content.
Just be transparent.
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