How You Can Earn The Right To Sell

Bill Faeth
Posted on December 13, 2018

You still must create value four times before you try to sell. This is just like dating if you’re a good southern gentleman. You have to get to know each other, invest into the relationship, earn trust, and become compatible. (Pixabay.com image)

You still must create value four times before you try to sell. This is just like dating if you’re a good southern gentleman. You have to get to know each other, invest into the relationship, earn trust, and become compatible. (Pixabay.com image)

Six years ago, I left being an operator behind to start my marketing agency, Inbound Marketing Agents (IMA). IMA quickly became the go-to marketing agency for companies like EmpireCLS and Grech Motors as well as smaller two to five car companies. The part you might find interesting is IMA has never directly sold its services. Let me explain.

Over the last six years, we have never had a display booth at a trade show and we’ve never directly sold our marketing service via email or even Facebook Ads.

What we did do was inbound marketing. We leveraged our team’s expertise in marketing along with my expertise in building businesses and sales to create a ridiculous amount of valuable and FREE content that benefited our potential customers.

We have done it all from free training sessions at industry shows, educational webinars, PSAs, free consulting, company and marketing evaluations, and much more. We used Facebook and email as our two primary channels for communication because the data showed us these were the two platforms you (operators) used most.

When I launched Limo University, we used a very similar strategy. The funny part is, most operators I speak to say, “That won’t work for us,” and they couldn’t be more wrong. The strategy of inbound marketing has been around for decades. It turned mainstream when Hubspot coined it and became a huge publicly traded company.

I am proof inbound marketing works in the limo biz. I became a HubSpot client in 2008 and leveraged inbound marketing to grow my business from $1.2 million to $8.8 million three short years later.

Stop Selling, Start Telling

Here’s how it works. First, you stop the immediate sell. As the title suggests, you must earn the right to sell.

You want to leverage content your target buyer will find valuable and educate them, so they can make better buying and management decisions. Remember, you are the ground transportation expert. Your clients are not. You know how to negotiate rates, how to optimize a manifest for small budgets and tight split times, and you know the best routing.

You need to invest in creating content and sharing it with your community you want to acquire as customers. By doing this, you will position yourself as a trust agent who is valuable to your community, and you will become the go-to operator when they have questions. THEY WILL TRUST YOU.

When your prospects trust you, they will buy from you.

One of the most underserved verticals in this respect is Meeting Professionals International (MPI). If you’re not familiar with MPI, they have local chapters in most medium to large cities and their membership consists of meeting planners, destination management coordinators, event managers, hotel managers, sales reps, and lots of vendors interested in the meeting, event, and hotel space. What I like most about MPI is its members are fiercely loyal to the organization, board, and membership.

I don’t see any operators dominating MPI, the meetings, and events space with great content. This is why I see this vertical ripe for an operator to dominate with inbound marketing.

Why Meeting Professionals International Is A Good Limo Marketing Opp

If it were me, I would select the meeting and event space for these reasons:
 
1. All the big guys dominate the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), so I am looking for an easier target to penetrate.
2. MPI members are extremely loyal, so I know if I can penetrate it will be harder for a competitor to piggyback on my hard work.
3. Nobody is targeting MPI with value-based content marketing.
4. MPI members manage groups and events which are profitable business for a ground transportation company.

Now that you have selected a specific vertical (notice I didn’t say corporate business), you can start to lay out a plan.

Here is the Content Marketing Golden Rule: For every FIVE pieces of content you create, only ONE can sell.

Invest In A Relationship, Not Just One Date

This means regardless of the channels you select to communicate, 80% of your content is value-based and only 20% is sales-based. The channels could be Facebook, email, webinars, monthly meetings, etc. You still must create value four times before you try to sell. This is just like dating if you’re a good southern gentleman. You have to get to know each other, invest into the relationship, earn trust, and become compatible. Then, you can ask about marriage.

Think about it this way…

Most of you are asking to get married on the first date with your sales and marketing tactics. You expect immediate results and don’t invest in the long game. This narrows your buyers who are ready to buy right now down to 10%-20%. By not investing in the long game, you aren’t building relationships and earning trust with your prospects for when they are ready to buy.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be the go-to guy when my prospects are ready to buy. I don’t want to be known as the creepy guy who is always trying to sell on the first date. Which one do you want to be?

Bill Faeth is the founder of Limo University (www.LimoGrowth.com), Inbound Marketing Agents (www.inboundmarketingagents.com), and 23 additional startups, including Silver Oak Transportation of Nashville, Tenn. As a successful former operator and active advocate for the industry, Bill continues to invest into educating and training operators on how to grow, manage and sustain a more profitable business. You can reach Bill at [email protected] For more columns and blog posts by Bill Faeth, click here.

Related Topics: Bill Faeth, building your clientele, client markets, How To, inbound marketing, Limo U, marketing/sales, Sales & Marketing, web marketing

Comments ( 1 )
  • Renzo Ormsbee

     | about 9 months ago

    Great insight!

More Stories
Article

How To Make Chauffeurs Matter More

Part of retaining your workforce is praising their accomplishments and giving constructive criticism to help guide them in their career journey.