marketingGuest Post by Jack Vincent

Effective marketing

Marketing is most effective when it pulls qualified leads into your pipeline, and that’s all about attracting.

Most psychologists agree attraction is an emotion. Emotions should not be confused with feelings. Feelings are a blend of thoughts and emotions.

Emotions are spontaneous. When something attracts us, in those first few seconds, we aren’t conscious of that attraction. However, our curiosity is piqued, our vision narrows and, often, our heartbeat changes.

Simplicity triggers emotions. Complexity thwarts emotions.

How can you hone your marketing messaging to its most compelling and simple form? What is it specifically that will impact your ideal customers’ hearts and minds?

When you nail this, you generate qualified leads online (and offline). These prospects are motivated to learn more, so don’t demotivate them by burying them in complexity. Make their vision narrow, make their jaws drop, make their hearts skip a beat. In essence, seduce them!

Early in a first conversation, it’s still important to attract. So we could call this marketing. The transitions from one phase to another are never hard and fixed, but they are real.

Perhaps you plant a seed of vision as to how you believe they can improve their business or how they will benefit by being part of the community. Perhaps you cite a successful example, a simple case study, of how you helped one of your existing clients achieve success.

Keep it relevant to their business minds, but find the hot button, the trigger, to keep seducing them to go deeper with you into a conversation.

Open with something that is going to appeal to their minds, yet impact their hearts.

Now it’s time to go deep.

As I write in A Sale Is A Love Affair – Seduce, Engage & Win Customers’ Hearts, the killer app in building trust is listening. The best way to do that is to ask good questions.

Prospects will, of course, want to learn about you. That’s a conscious expectation they have.

But what they also want, consciously or not, is for you to understand them. They want to feel your love. Humans have a need to be understood, and this is where trusted lovers win hearts… and it’s where customer-focused salespeople win hearts, as well.

Many sales have been lost by talking too much. Few have been lost by listening too much.

For the truly customer-focused salesperson, for the trusted advisor, the purpose of opening a meeting is to earn the right to ask questions. In fact, when you leave a first meeting, a good exercise is to reflect back on the meeting and ask yourself, “Who did more of the talking? The prospect or I?”

If the prospect did 60 percent of the talking, you’re doing well. And if the prospect talked a lot about their challenges and opportunities, you’re doing very well.

And how did you get them talking?

In a discussion with the CEO of a startup or a branding agency, for example, I might phrase my questions in my authentic Woodstock style. “What’s keeping you up at night?” or, “Are your prospects falling in love with you at first sight, and are you keeping the love through to sleeping together? Are they staying in a committed relationship with you? Or are you getting a lot of one-night stands?”

If I’m speaking with the CMO of a major corporation, I might rephrase to, “What are your biggest challenges?” or, “What opportunities do you want to capture, but are challenged in doing so?” or, “When you lose a deal, what’s the number one driver? Why do you think that happens?”

When your prospective customers or community members answer such questions, resist the urge to throw a solution at them right away. Instead… show them the love!

Keep going deeper.

You got them talking, right? Don’t forget, you’ve earned that. So don’t throw away what you’ve earned by talking too much. Keep listening, and keep asking good questions.

We all know how important it is to earn the status/title of trusted advisor. Listening and understanding is the best way to earn that status. Be a resource during the sales process, not just once you’ve earned the right to send invoices!

I have a five-step questioning model for different phases of the sales process, which fall into two question types:

  • Questions whose answers reveal facts, and
  • Questions whose answers prompt the prospect to see things differently, or to see things more clearly

This second type of question is where you become a resource. This is where “trusted advisor” status is earned. This is true customer-focus. This is love.

Keep it simple in marketing. Go deeper in sales.

Image: Dennis Skley via Flickr, CC 2.0

Jack VincentJack Vincent is a sales advisor, speaker and trainer who divides his time between Woodstock, NY and Luzern, Switzerland. His book, “A Sale Is A Love Affair – Seduce, Engage & Win Customers’ Hearts” is now available on Amazon. Subscribe to his blog at or follow him on Twitter