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If you’re a fan of The Prompt, a Prompty* so to speak, then you may only know me as a writer. It may surprise you to learn that my lukewarm takes and irreverent prose are not the products of my primary career, and that I must actually work for a living.

* = Should we make this a thing? No? OK.

I have never been a fan of defining myself by an occupation, and I cringe when a social situation kicks off with “So what do you do?” While I respect those who are passionate about their careers I find it hard to vibe with someone who feels that the most notable thing about them is which firm or fund they work at. That is why “Account Executive for a Marketing Agency Serving IBM Business Partners” is pretty far down on the list of my talking points.

With that said, my job takes up most of my life and pays for the rest, so I thought it might be nice to provide some insight as to how I approach my day-to-day. And no, marketing isn’t quite the “Ten Crack Commandments,” but no matter what you do from 9-to-5, these principles are important.

Today, let’s look at what “Big Poppa” can teach us about marketing.

Most of these *competitors* think they be mackin’ but they be actin’.

Whether you’re trying to woo a new client with a bomb ass presentation or, like Biggie, trying to pick up a hottie in a bar, you need to be aware of your competition. It’s easy to be intimidated because typically the only thing you know about your adversary is the polished look that they put out publicly, whether it be their website or their expensive outfit.

Remember that marketing is difficult, and if the donkeys at the other firm had their shit all figured out, they probably wouldn’t be sitting, waiting, and sweating in the same lobby as you.

Be confident in what you bring to the table and be yourself. In the long run it’s better to keep a client than win a deal. The one who pretends to be something they’re not, just to get the handshake, usually ends up being a disappointment. It’s only a matter of time before the fraud will slip and show their true colors.

Step 1: Ask them what their interests are, “Who (they) be with?”

Getting to know your prey — what they expect, want, and need — is the foundation for a successful pursuit. Develop a buyer persona (demographics, behavior, motivation, and goals) and tailor your sales approach to the prospect.

No one actually likes to be “sold,” but people, in general, like to talk about themselves. So, if you do your job right, most of the conversation should be asking intelligent questions and determining their current situation. Listen first, and when you have a better understanding of their pain points and frustrations, they’ll be more likely to believe that you get it. That maybe you can help them. That you can deliver.

Step 2: Things that make them smile, what numbers to dial

Once you know who you’re trying to please, it is time to please them. If they are looking to grow their business 3x in the next 18 months, then show them a detailed plan of attack. If they like gin, order them a Negroni. And get the contact info. ALWAYS GET THE CONTACT INFO.

They’re not going to call you, it’s your job to follow-up.  Connect on social, shoot off a Thank You email, and then use that old school feature on your phone that allows you to speak to another human being. Nobody wants to get into bed with a robot. Please use your voice.

Step 3: You gon’ be here for a while? I’m gon’ go call my crew…

Here is where we divert from Biggie’s Meet Market analogy; this piece isn’t about a gang bang.

As a marketer you’re only as strong as your team. You rely on subject matter experts and technical wizards to implement ideas and strategies that you barely comprehend. As soon as you have confirmed the prospect’s interest you need to bring in your crew, have them bring in their crew, and rendezvous in a meeting where you can communicate your vision and win their trust.

At this point the only thing left to do is deliver results… or watch a movie in the jacuzzi and smoke Ls…you’re on your own from here.

Mike Stiriti

Mike Stiriti once dreamed of anchoring SportsCenter back when that was a thing. Now he just tries to be funny.

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