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Graceful Interruptions are Key to Marketing and Sales Success

by Hank Barnes  |  November 3, 2015  |  Submit a Comment

A couple of weeks back, I read Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount.   Given that I am not a sales rep, I found some of the motivational portions of the book less engaging (for me), but the heart of the book is outstanding.  I highly recommend it for anyone in a sales or marketing role.

One of the highlights for me was Jeb reminding all of us that a prospecting call (or e-mail) is an interruption.   The customer was not planning for that call to happen or to have to give time to review and e-mail.   You could apply that thought process to most marketing activities (e.g. ads, registration pages) that are trying to drive engagement.    We are interrupting the customer.  Interrupting their thinking.  Interrupting their day.

A beautiful young blonde executive using a mobile phone in a hi-tech surrounding.

Now, think about the last few times you have been interrupted.  When I think about it, it certainly does not conjure up happy thoughts.   But, in thinking more about it, I either don’t mind (or it bothers me less) when the interruption is about me–a situation or issue that merits my immediate attention.

But usually (as I highlight in #FridayFails) the interruptions we impose on our customers are about us.  “Let me tell you about my company.”  “Our products help you create content faster.”  “Me Me Me.”   No wonder customers get frustrated.

What would be an “ideal interruption?”

  1. It would be relevant to me and my situation
  2. It would be short and to the point.   I could tell quickly whether I should care about it.
  3. It would offer a clear next step–for when I have more time (unless immediate action is truly needed).

It would be graceful.

Are your marketing and sales efforts graceful?  Do you interrupt in an “ideal way?”

If not, maybe it’s time to rethink your approach.   (Fanatical Prospecting can help).


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Category: future-of-sales  go-to-market  

Tags: interruption  messaging  prospecting  

Hank Barnes
VP Distinguished Analyst
6+ years at Gartner
30+ years IT Industry

Hank Barnes explores the dynamics, challenges, and frustrations enterprises face when buying technology products and services. Using that customer-centric lens, he advises those responsible for marketing technology products and services, general managers responsible for product portfolios, and startup CEOs on next practices to drive success for their customers and their business. Read Full Bio

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