Before you get the wrong idea, Cupcake, from looking at today’s “stalking” title… no, we are NOT about to review the best places to hide in people’s bushes or which telephoto lens get you in close for those elusive sunbathing shots.
Rather, let’s dive into a hot-off-the-presses piece sent over by our pal Chris Marlow, the famous career coach to copywriters the world over. I’ll let Chris take it from here…
When stalking pays off
by Chris Marlow, the Copy Coach
Have you ever met your perfect match… in a client?
But they barely know you’re alive?
You’ve studied your market like your should.
You know what your ideal client looks like. And this potential client meets every criteria… and then some.
You love their product… maybe you even use it. Perhaps their office is right next door!
But their copy is crap. You could do so much better. You could make money for them!
The company grosses well over $5 million a year and they have a marketing director.
They don’t have a copywriter on staff nor do they have an agency they work with.
No one’s mentioned an entrenched freelancer. The door should be wide open!
But your calls aren’t getting through and your letters haven’t produced.
What in the world is wrong with them?
It’s time to go into stalker mode
Now before you call the marketing cops, what I mean by “stalker mode” is that you simply adopt a “don’t give up” strategy. (Some others may call this stalking.)
Because if you truly believe that you can do wonders for that client — if they’d just give you the chance — then you owe it to them to be persistent.
Remember: if you don’t do the grunt work of finding them, then they have to do the grunt work of finding you.
By contacting them, you’re doing them a favor! This is always the mindset you should have because it is true.
Believe me… your marketing directors and business owners would agree with the statement: by contacting them with a perfect match, you’re doing them a favor.
So the logic goes:
** Don’t give up quickly on a perfect match
** Don’t be an annoying pest and badger them weekly… every three weeks to monthly works best
** Have something new to say or offer each time you come back
** Know when to fold ‘em (my own personal threshold is not more than 7 months of contacts — after that I delete their database entry with great relish because the fools — they so missed out!)
Combine stalking with flattery
Flattery combines really well with stalking.
In fact, in marketing circles it’s acknowledged that “Flattery will get you everywhere.”
And for whatever reason, flattery works really well with those who hire copywriters. They are human, after all.
In my “get clients” coaching with copywriters, we’ve found many ways to effectively flatter the prospect.
One of my favorites is to say something to the effect of, “I’m looking for one very special client to round out my roster of clients. I’ve studied 250 websites over several months looking for just the right match. I’m writing you because I believe I’ve found it in your company.”
Now first of all, there is no lying. My students do look at between 250 and 500 websites to compile their customized target list.
But do you see how flattering it is to let your prospect know how hard you worked to find her? And by saying you’re looking for one very special addition to your client list, you don’t come off looking like you’re flat broke with no work.
Rather, you look like you’re busy but smart enough to take the time to do your marketing.
The flattery is such that potential clients want to know more. “Really?”, they say. “How is that?”
The right kind of flattery can open a conversation that starts off on the right foot, because this type of flattery carries with it a strong dose of curiosity. They want to know more. “What was it about our company that…?” You’ll notice a tone of pride in their voice… which lets you know that, as a copywriter, you’ve hit a hot button.
There are other ways to flatter a prospective client, but this approach has been a winner for me most of my copywriting career and I’ve shared it with many students as I copy chief their letters.
It’s such an effective approach that it’s now standard in all of my prospecting letters, in one form or another.
There’s a famous direct mail letter written for Newsweek that used the same principle of flattery to sell millions of subscriptions:
“If the list upon which I found your name is any indication, this is not the first — nor will it be the last — subscription letter you receive. Quite frankly, your education and income set you apart from the general population and make you a highly-rated prospect….”
Yes… flattery will get you everywhere if used correctly and direct response history shows that to be true.
So the next time you market your services, think about adding a bit of curiosity-building flattery and for ideal clients, a bit of stalking. You’re likely to close a few more deals.
Great advice, as always. And an interesting take on a thorny problem, especially for new writers.
By the way, if you want more of Chris’ wisdom — and why wouldn’t you — you out to check out the free webinar she’s giving next week, on June 4.
It’s a full hour of her revealing exactly how lots of top freelancers fill their calendars with new work. Oh, and there’s a Saturday, June 7 option if you can’t swing Wednesday. Plus, it’s free.
Take a look here for details: http://chrismarlow.com/free-training