Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Will Your Telephone Ring Tomorrow?

Tomorrow just might be your day.

Tomorrow could be the day when a prospect calls or e-mails you and for some reason or another wants to buy the product or service you sell. When that day comes, the odds are close to 96.2% in your favour that you can make a first sale and perhaps create a long-term customer.

The reason?

There was something your customer heard, saw or read about you that piqued sufficient interest that you might be the one to turn to solve their current problem. In other words, your "brand" registered as being tops in their mind.

But, tomorrow may have to wait as you pound away at your desk today, making your required 50 cold calls. Odds are that 96.2% of them will end up somewhere between a polite “I'm not interested” or the harsh "click" of hanging up in your ear. And of the select few that displayed even the mildest form of interest, one may eventually end up buying. But not before you walk them through a sales cycle that includes relationship building, needs analysis, product demonstration, proposal writing, follow-up cartwheels and hopeful handstands.

See if this makes sense.

You make the sale 96.2% of the time when a prospect calls you.

You lose the sale 96.2% of the time when you call them.

A "brand" is a story embedded in the mind of the market and your brand is among the thousands competing for that mindspace each day. That being said, what "story" is surfacing in conversations about you that take place when you are not there? And has your brand attracted enough attention to even warrant being discussed?

Few understand "brand" the way Bolivar does.

Several years ago, Bolivar noticed common patterns emerge from observing Harley-Davidson rallies, Star Trek conventions and Jimmy Buffett concerts. He then got together with his pal Matt Ragas and wrote a book offering razor sharp insight into the underlying triggers of human emotion to help frame successful brands in the 21st Century. Through meticulous research and scores of interviews Ragas and Bolivar "BJ" Bueno uncovered the remarkable and oft-untold stories behind nine very successful cult brands, including Oprah Winfrey, World Wrestling Entertainment, Apple and the Volkswagen Beetle.

Today on TSB, the co-author of "The Power of Cult Branding" offers these insights to help strike a new deal for tomorrow when prospects start calling you. In these videos, BJ Bueno set out to educate the Newspaper Association of America, but feel free to scrape off that label and see how his message applies to your business.

In a cluttered marketplace, fully stocked with plain as vanilla brands, occupying top shelf space in the mind of a customer is extremely challenging. Fear will prevent most of your category from doing anything remarkable enough to attract attention since it is much safer to do what everyone else is doing. But, in the world of branding, you often discover the only fear is fear itself.

The future of your brand is in your hands.

Whether you built it by design or default, it will either grow or die.

There’s no in-between.

Have you crafted a brand story so compelling that prospective customers want to call you or are you just another cold-caller begging for business?

What will you do today to make your phone ring tomorrow?

"The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today"


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