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 Are You Attracting or Repelling Prospects?

There are basically two ways in which you can either attract or repel prospects. I call these Attraction Marketing and Repel Marketing.

You can either attract or repel prospects in your traditional marketing activities…such as: networking, direct mail, your web site, your brochure, your business graphics, your product or services, etc…

You can also attract or repel prospects in your invisible marketing…such as: the way you present yourself, your attitude, the tone you use, subtleties in the way you run your small business, your thoughts, your actions, your motivation, etc…

Think of a person who is cocky and a know-it-all. “I am great, I am the best, I have the most experience, I am the one you should work with. You would be crazy not to work with me, hire me, pay me, my advice is right, you’re wrong, you don’t know what you’re talking about”…and on and on and on…

Turns you off, doesn’t it? Kinda makes you sick, hu?

Big case of Repel Marketing. Essentially you are repelling the prospect just as this know-it-all person repels you.

Now, think of the person who’s empathetic, who listens and cares…whom you can call at 2:00am with a problem to find understanding and a listening ear. When that person offers advice, you listen because you trust them. They know how to help since they have heard you instead of trying to force their ideas on you.

Makes you feel important, doesn’t it? Kinda makes you want to spend more time with them, hu?

Great case of Attraction Marketing. Essentially you are attracting the prospect just as the empathetic, listening, caring person attracts you.

Obviously, Attraction Marketing is the way you MUST market your small business.

By incorporating Attraction Marketing, your prospect is attracted to you. Your prospect wants to be around you. Your prospect trusts you. Your prospect feels comfortable with you. And your prospect buys from you.

If you are not attracting clients or customers, you are probably being a Repel Marketer.

I hear you saying, “Who me? How could I possibly be a Repel Marketer?”

It’s actually easier to be a Repel Marketer that an Attraction Marketer.

Being an attractor takes empathy, listening, concentration, care and concern. Being a Repel Marketer is easy…just be lazy and do everything half-hearted and I can guarantee…your pretty much there.

Let’s discuss Repel Marketing in some detail. If you avoid these “guaranteed repellants”, you should be able to make sure you are more of an attractor.

Repel Marketing
Most small businesses that are repelling clients usually don’t know what’s going on or why they aren’t getting more business. The problem can be very hard to notice, because it is usually invisible or at least very subtle.

For example: How do you present yourself for face-to-face meetings with prospects? Do you look professional? Or, do you look like just crawled out of bed? No, I’m not talking about wearing a three-piece suit here…unless, of course, it’s appropriate for your industry or area of expertise. What I am talking about specifically, is that you MUST be professional in your appearance and look appropriate for your industry or you will repel rather than attract clients.

Are you on time to your meetings? Or, do you keep the prospect waiting? When something makes you late, do you call to let them know you are on your way, or do you show up 20 minutes late and offer an excuse? Everyone’s time is valuable. Being even 5 minutes late can be seen as rude to some. Are you repelling rather than attracting by not treating your prospects time as a priority?

What’s your telephone demeanor? When you talk business on the phone, do you focus all your attention on the caller? Or, do you talk to others at the same time, place the caller on hold indefinitely, shout into the receiver, drift away inattentively or type an on your computer? Are you repelling rather than attracting by being distracted and unprofessional on the phone?

What about the noise factor on the telephone? Have you ever tried to talk business with someone only to be interrupted by distracting sounds coming from their end of the line?  Sounds like screaming kids, a roaring vacuum cleaner, loud TV’s, or retail announcements of what’s on sale on aisle 5. Are you repelling rather than attracting by trying to do business around chaotic noises?

The examples above are invisible or subtle ways you may be a repeller. But, there are obvious ways that you may be repelling clients too…

For example: The Internet—sad, but true—offers small business owners a great way to repel customers. How does your web site look? If your web site looks like it’s just been thrown together, then that’s how people see you and your business. It’s not a very flattering much less, a professional image.

A worldwide audience sees your web site. What does yours say about you? Does it show people that you’re too cheap to hire a professional to design it or too cheap to even care how it looks?

What about your web site’s content? Is it informative? Is there enough information to give prospects a reason to move closer to doing business with you? Or, does it talk all about you—not the prospect—and give superficial information about your services? Are you repelling customers and not attracting them, by having a sub-par web presence?

How does your brochure speak to prospects? Does it address the prospect’s questions of “So what? Why do I need this? Who cares?” Or, does it just focus on how great you are and how many years you’ve been in business?

The content—or lack of it—in a web site or brochure can be a big repeller.

Attraction Marketing
There are 3 key concepts that you must incorporate into both your traditional marketing and invisible marketing to make sure you are an attractor.

1. Listen to your prospects.
Understand their problems. Empathize with their fears. You should listen 70% of the time and speak no more than 30% of the time. Aren’t you attracted to people who listen to you?

2. Speak directly to the prospect’s issues and concerns.
Talk about them, more than you talk about yourself. Answer the “so what’s, who cares and why should I make a move?” Aren’t you attracted to people who don’t make life “all about them”?

3. Let the prospect know exactly how you can help them.
Articulate clearly. Let them know exactly what they will get and what they can expect. Aren’t you attracted to people that don’t spring unwanted surprises on you?

You already know if you’re attracting clients. Now you know some of the reasons why you are repelling them.

If you’re not an Attraction Marketer, then take an honest look at yourself as a small business owner—both in your traditional marketing and invisible marketing. Look at things from your prospect’s point of view. Would you genuinely be attracted to doing business with someone like you? Or, would you be repelled at the thought of spending money with a business like yours?

If you have to give this even a second thought…then, it’s past time to stop being a repeller. Your work is cut out for you here—and, you don’t have a minute to waste.

This Sales & Marketing article was written by Jeanna Pool on 6/16/2005

Jeanna Pool is the author of the soon to be released book Marketing Made Easy for the Small Business Owner: Simple, Proven Strategies for Generating Stellar Results. Her firm, CATALYST creative, inc., helps small business owners who are really good at what they do, but struggle to market their services and attract more clients on a consistent basis. For more information about how Jeanna can help your small business generate stellar marketing results, visit her website at: or call 303.380.9100.