Over the weekend, one of the principles at Driver Please Systems, Mike Dumke asked me what Business Opportunities or sectors of the Business Franchise Opportunity industry that I thought will be popular in 2015.
I thought he was going to ask about leads because it seems many sites for various reasons are having a very hard time generating quality leads that turn into prospects aka ROI. Further, Mike asked what trend I felt didn't work in 2014. I really had no answer since I don't do a whole lot of 'Cold Calling'. Also the sector is very large, making it difficult to narrow that to a one-sentence answer. This conversation left me wondering how I do things in a fresh new way. How can I reach more people, faster who have a real interest in buying the product or service I'm offering in 2015? Hummm...
After some research, it turns out that no it wasn't Kim Kardashian's spread in Paper Magazine. My friends, the least popular trend in 2014 it turns out was 'Cold Calling' and I'm not shocked. Cold calling being least popular is really no shock to anyone one wouldn't think. What I did find shocking is that only 5-10% of 'Cold Calls' made were actually picked up by a real person in 2014. That percentage is one of the lowest on record and I suspect it will only drop further as the years roll on. So, why is the drop happening? In my opinion, people are scared and tired of hardcore sales people who apply the pressure to close sales when they do risk 'picking up'. On the other hand I think too that at least half of all business opportunity shoppers sign up for way to many opportunities at one time and some have no intention whatsoever of ever buying anything. They get overwhelmed when sales people start calling and then they get upset when those sale sales people won't stop calling.
So, the trend that I think will be working well into at least the first half of 2015 will be a combination of two things in my opinion, customer-centric (adjective; placing the customer at the center of a company's marketing effort, focusing on customers rather than sales) content marketing along with a dash of highly effective permission-based email marketing will lead the way as not only he most popular method to reach a desired customer, but also one of the most effective marketing combinations.
My suggestion is to set up a comprehensive Email Lead Generation Software program and make 100% sure you stay away from buying lead / email lists that are non permission-based. This is one way to get your email marketing and lead generation programs off to a really bad start. iContact, Vocus, MailChimp or any of the big guys software reduces the risk of your email campaigns becoming banned, blocked or suspended because you’re sending emails to permission-based lists.
So, in 2015 turn your focus on your customer and get to know how they think, take some surveys of them via email, find out what they want, find out how to reach them with your message to let them know you have what they want in a new way using more email that phone power is the way to go in my opinion. Moreover, company or personal agility is what psychologists call ‘sense and respond’ – we sense what’s going on (e.g. with a customer or in the market) and we do something about it, real fast. In 2015 if you sense and you don't respond quickly you'll be behind the trend for sure.
Last, the key to cut through the clutter of messages bombarding each one of us each day is to be truly unique, creative and reach people in new ways while staying true to your core business. Think about it - you get smashed with ads all day long and how many DO YOU actually pay close attention to?
Carpe Diem My Friends!