Stop Closing, Start Courting


Happy new year, everybody. Thanks for all of your encouraging (and, occasionally, disparaging) e-mails.

If I’ve learned anything since launching this blog 16 months ago it’s that everyone thinks differently. The era of the “18-to-34-year-old” adult is over. We can no longer be characterized by meaningless demographic buckets. Get used to it, or get out of the business.

I won’t bore you with yet another “Top 10” list to end the year. But I can’t resist a resolution: We all need to get a lot better at courting customers in 2009, rather than always trying to “close” them.

Erik Qualman just wrote a short piece for SearchEngineWatch.com that reinforces that point. According to Erik, marketers who use social networks need to stop pouncing on prospects if they want to succeed:

It’s analogous to meeting a pretty girl within a bar and asking if she would like a drink. When she responds “yes” rather than ordering a drink from the bartender, you grab her and throw her into your car and drive her back to your place, since after all, you have beer in your fridge. This is not a sound courtship strategy, nor are analogous social media strategies employed by companies “courting” potential customers.

OK, the analogy gets a little creepy mid-stream, but Erik’s point is on the money. Stop trying to capture hot leads and instant sales and start wooing customers in 2009. It’s time to change the infamous Glengarry A-B-C soundbite from “always be closing” to “always be courting.”

Photo by andreakw on Flickr.com, (cc) some right reserved.