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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Humble Pie

Yesterday, in baring my soul about the challenges of converting this blog's construction marketing leads to business, I inadvertently practiced one of the most effective marketing principals, in admitting my flaws.

After the posting, two readers sent some truly constructive suggestions (I will quote from their emails once I receive their permission to share their insights publicly), and we received several highly qualified leads which are worthy of follow-up.

Sometimes it makes sense to be humble in your marketing. The reason is authenticity. Most of us know no one (or almost no one) is perfect; by getting down to earth and showing our weaknesses and vulnerabilities, we ultimately are more credible. The key in describing these weaknesses is to frame them contextually so they actually highlight your strengths.

I first learned of the principal of admitting weaknesses from Jon Goldman, but think this article "Admit weaknesses to strengthen trust" by George Dvorsky in Commune: Internet Marketing Optimization, expresses the principal best.

As you can relate, prospects are naturally defensive because they know you’re trying to sell something. To persuade them, you need to gain trust. And you can’t do that with over-the-top rhetoric.

Psychologists know that trust is integral to influence. Honesty—or the perception of honesty—goes a long way to building this trust. Studies show that being and acting trustworthy—such as by showing vulnerability and admitting a weakness—is essential for marketing.

With your guidance and support, I'm sure I will solve the lead conversion problem outlined yesterday -- and when I do, I may graduate to become a full-fledged construction marketing guru. After all, if we can find the way to convert a continuous supply of "free" leads to profitable sales, we have the base for truly profitable businesses.

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