January 8, 2015

Marketing to a single person

Marketing is commonly done to single individuals, influencers and sales prospects alike. A number of my posts reflect that reality. Most comprehensive are probably my 2014 post about presentations to small audiences and my 2008 survey of many kinds of influencer. Relevant bits of other posts include:

You can’t sell effectively without listening. This is one of the basic facts of business, yet shockingly many people forget it. You can’t pitch effectively without understanding how the prospect frames what she hears, and you can’t judge that unless you listen to what she says.

from a 2013 post about “fluency”,

If you are a small startup with innovative technology, put as little as possible between your own people who can talk with passion about the stuff, and whoever you’re trying to get coverage from.

from a 2011 quoted journalist rant,

the right person to lead an important relationship is:

  • Usually somebody who can truly speak for your company, and specifically:
    • Has the knowledge and ability to respond to pushback.
    • Knows the influencer well enough to argue back in turn.
  • Occasionally an in-house press or analyst relations staffer.
  • Almost never an outside PR person.

from a 2012 collection of marketing communications tips, which also makes the point that you should flat-out ask people how they like to work, and a variety of cautionary tales of how one can bungle meetings or other relationship moments.

The above can be summarized as:

I could write a whole post on that last bullet point alone.

Here are some further tips for productive single-person marketing and persuasion.

And on that note — this post has gotten quite long, so I’ll end it here. 🙂


One Response to “Marketing to a single person”

  1. Robert Hodges on January 8th, 2015 11:12 am

    This is just me but I find it helpful go to back to Ciceronian rhetoric specifically the notion of invention (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inventio) to develop effective arguments for audiences of any size. There’s probably room for an interesting Ph.D. thesis about how to extend classical rhetoric to technology audiences. Between Cicero and Aristotle the basics are there.

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