Marketing and coffee hour

Cross posted on YO ROCKO

“Coffee is for closers.”

In the famous line from Glenngarry Glen Ross, Alex Baldwin encapsulates the cutthroat world of sales. These desperate salesmen will do anything for leads, to get a sale. All the emotional manipulation and fact fudging is fair game when trying to get that sale.

Salespeople are not trusted, not those kinds of salespeople. But everywhere I turn I see advertisements on how to do the RIGHT kind of sales and marketing.

I have something to market and sell. I have my blog, and last year I published by fourth book. I’m so proud of it! The Russian American School of Tomorrow  is beautiful and brilliant, and I want to get it in front of readers.

But not like THAT, not with bait-and-switch slimy methods. There has to be a better way.

I found this free course online from Hubspot, an online marketing company, called “Inbound Certification.”

I didn’t even know what it meant, but I wanted to learn more about marketing and it was free. I have to say, it was really useful. Not hard, and it shed some light on the spam emails I keep getting. These “free ebook” offers and, “sign up for my mailing list of free tips on X” have a strategy in mind.

There is a revolution well underway, to leave behind that hard sell “Coffee is for closers!” culture. “Inbound Sales” means people come to you, because you draw them into your sphere by providing some value (a free guide, perhaps) or some service that the potential customer wants.

Inbound sales requires that the sales and marketing team know the life and story of the customers as they come looking for what the team is offering. They call it the “buyer’s journey”, and the goal is to provide the right sort of message, service and value at the different moments in the journey.

Each step matters, and it is expected that some customers—no, RELATIONSHIPS– will slip away and that a certain percentage will become paying customers.

Retaining customers is just as important as getting new ones, so the team pays attention to delighting the buyers even after they “close.”

This is all fascinating as I work to expand my audience and create relationships on social media and in real life for my messages.

Coffee is not just for closers.

All through these classes, I couldn’t help but think…Service and value and church words.

Relationships are the whole point when it comes to a worshipping community.

And when it comes to coffee, at church the coffee is always for everybody.

I look at how things have changed in the last decade, and some people have not kept up.

I still get offers for a free weekend in Vegas if I come listen to a presentation about a fabulous time share opportunity. It’s like a time capsule.

And for church–

I would like for the church to understand the value we have. Of COURSE we have inbound relationships all the time.

This way of understanding the journey–and what message and service is required at different steps along the way–is Christianity’s specialty. It’s okay to remember that, and not get buried under the committees and session meetings.

In this post-Christendom world, did the wider world just co-opt what we’ve had all along?