“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” ~ Zig Ziglar
One of the most effective marketing strategies you can be utilising is ‘reciprocal marketing’ also known as the art of giving.
But how do you give when you are a bootstrapped startup?
Most business people, when they think of reciprocation, think too much about the expense of giveaways. For example a branded Mug company may feel giving away branded mugs to customers would be far too costly an exercise and, well, people are just greedy and will take and not give back in return.
Think about how much stuff is given away freely at trade shows and exhibitions and how difficult it is to see the return on investment this brings. Smart business knows that this is branding and is a karmic value for people who are in Business for the long term.
One of the world’s most effective, yet ethically immoral marketers are drug pushers, they always start in a new area and give away samples of their product free, that’s because they know their product will hook their users and they will be back for more.
You need to ask yourself; if you gave away your product would people be back for more?
I blogged a while back on the Groupon models, why so many businesses failed with this and how it actually harmed their brand.
The deals model is where you offer a number of your products or service at a ridiculously low price just to get the people to know about you. However many companies could not come back from the price conditioning. I mean you have to have something very special on the level of hallucinogenic drugs to get people to come back from a 5 dollar haircut to pay 25 bucks for the same trim!
The give does not have to be your product as such it can be your time and or your expertise. Every now and again a well-known magician will reveal how a trick is done, and we marvel in the ingenuity of it all, yet we don’t think; well that’s it now, no need to go see them again, no, you think how clever was that and how much more can he dazzle us with?
The most effective form of reciprocal marketing is one where you engage and demonstrate to the client your unique selling points and not your price.
We at Biz-find have offered any type of business in the 8 countries we operate in a free page on Biz-find for their business and we then, once published share their business listing to our 500,000+ social media reach on all the top sites. We laboured at this for free for over 4 years until we had enough companies, enough subscribers and enough traffic each month to actually bring the next step in; B2B leads.
When we contact our members it’s never a cold call, we help them to make sure their page is well presented and that they have filled everything in so to educate potential clients of their USP’s and services.
We then we ask them what they want to buy for their business or for themselves, this actually saves them calling around for suppliers and helps them get competitive quotes for the things they are sourcing.
Note that the call is all about them!
We then call companies and tell them we have vetted leads for them, and that call is always a pleasure to make!
It’s also important to ask yourself what is a lead?
A lead to us is: Someone who is actively looking for your products and services and the customer(s) are in the area you operate and have the decision making power and money to buy NOW!
Our business model is all about GIVING to the customer, never about us.
We sell the leads to suppliers and that in turn gives us revenue as a fortunate side effect of our efforts and that’s how any business should operate!