The sad story of the lonely database
It is true in any sort of campaign – be it military, sales, political or some great expedition to the edges of human achievement – that ‘preparation is everything’. You simply cannot be successful in any sort of sizeable, complex endeavour without first having a goal, working out a plan of how you can reach that goal and then breaking it up into smaller, manageable chunks.
Fortunately for me, and I assume for most of the people reading this blog, we do not need to get involved in planning military campaigns and our daily activities do not require us to put our lives on the line on a regular basis. Likewise, I am not a frequenter of political rallies or one that plots a course to the North Pole all that often. But I do spend a fair bit of my working life, at least, getting involved in sales campaigns – either my own or usually those of my customers.
Because marketing is my business and online sales campaigns in particular I am a great believer in the mantra ‘preparation is everything’ and I absolutely stand by it. But just like all foundation principles and immovable words of wisdom, there is always the possibility that people will misuse, misjudge or simply hide behind the truth that they represent.
And all too often, small business owners make this massive, marketing mistake…
You see a lot of them are world class at getting ready. They are so intent on preparation and making everything absolutely perfect, that they never actually get round to sending anything. At the root of this behaviour lies a simple, yet powerful, symptom. One that is not unlike the feeling a general might have when executing his well-formed plan, or the adventurer when he sets off on the first stage of his great journey…
It is fear!
You see most people know in their logical, business mind that sending a sales campaign will generate more customers – but they are afraid to send it for whatever reason. Perhaps this is fear of upsetting their prospects or the fear of not achieving the desired results, but it is fear. And the saddest thing of all is that it creates another emotion amongst the people within their database.
Loneliness, and the feeling of being neglected or unloved… seriously it does!
As true as the mantra ‘preparation is everything’ is the fact that prospects will become customers faster when they feel loved. Feeling loved is the opposite of loneliness, and if you have a database that you never connect with then your inactivity itself is actually sending them a message. Your fear is telling them that you don’t care about them, you are disinterested in their needs and that you are happy for them to choose someone else over you.
The truth of the matter, therefore, is that ‘preparation’ is only ‘everything’ once the ‘start’ button has been pressed. And, in most cases (unless your marketing is really dire), sending ‘something’ is far better than sending ‘nothing’. So what is stopping you taking hold of your database today, engaging with it, preparing a message or two (even if it is simply a ‘hello’ or ‘remember me’) and sending it out. You never know… you might even end up making a sale, reviving an old relationship or finding a new customer altogether.