RAB Insights

RAB Research Archive

An uncomfortable question

What do your clients and prospects think of you? We've frequently discussed the importance of taking our own advice and building your personal brand. As we teach our advertisers the Four Keys of Advertising Success (reach, frequency, consistency and compelling creative), maximize the power and impact of their marketing efforts. Today, we turn that focus on you and building your personal brand. While there are many ways to deploy the Four Keys strategically, we'll share one tool today. We call it "Seeding."

For any plant to grow, you must first plant a seed. This sounds ridiculously simple. However, we constantly try to "grow" business relationships without first planting seeds. Seeds can come in many different forms: People talking about you, people reading about you or any exposure potential clients have to you in a "nonselling" mode. I want to focus specifically on the process of intentional and focused seeding. This is the practice of finding an article or information you know will be significant, relevant or interesting to your client. Bear with me, its old school, but it WORKS!

You photocopy the article.

Use a highlighter to mark a few of the key points.

Staple your business card to the top left corner.

In some white space, you handwrite a note to the client: "Kevin, I thought this article may be of interest to you.

Sign it, put it in an envelope, hand address it and send.

Handwriting is KEY to standing out. It shows you took the time to do this personally, and it wasn't some autoresponder or email database blast. Can you "seed" by email? Sure, but not nearly as effectively, and the impact is far more remarkable when you use regular mail.

If you plan your prospecting and lead development efficiently, you will get optimum results if you send three to four "seed" pieces before you make initial contact. Two things happen:

The client is already "familiar" with you.

You have a specific reason to make the call (to discuss the content of one of the articles).

A warm prospect call that starts with, "I wanted to talk to you about that article I sent about focusing on the middle third of your team for maximum growth potential," is much different from a cold call that begins with: "I'm calling today to see if I can help develop your sales team with some state of the art, blah blah blah."

Focusing on the Four Keys and starting a seeding system can be a significant first step to becoming known before you are needed. It allows us to practice what we teach our advertisers about the importance of marketing. You are the product. You know how to market, but have you ever created a strategy to market yourself? If you're willing, make a list of the top-ten prospects on your list, and seed them over the next three to four weeks. We’d love to share your success.

Happy planting!

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at Jeff.Schmidt@rab.com. You can all so connect with him on X and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, SVP of Professional Development