How My Dog Helps Me Convert Leads into Sales – And How It Relates to Content Marketing

Until three years ago, I had no idea what it was like to own a dog. The way he loves me, the way he cuddles, the way he finds my favorite shoes and eats only the insoles. I could go on…

But that’s not why you’re reading this. You’re reading this because you’re interested in closing more leads for your business.

So…what does my dog have to do with my job in sales? And what does that have in common with content marketing?

As it turns out…a lot.

[ctt template=”4″ link=”ud8gl” via=”no” nofollow=”yes”]Learn how your hobbies and interests can help you create personal bonds with sales leads and readers. #contentmarketing[/ctt]

Your Hobbies and Interests Are Sales Assets

Traditional sales advice is that you should find any possible thread of connection between you and a prospect: A mutual friend, a love of certain sports teams or a shared passion for the outdoors can all help connect the dots in your sales funnel.

I’m not telling you not to do those things. Connections aren’t a bad thing, but forcing them based on possibly common ground may not be necessary.

Online marketers talk a lot about organic connections and their importance in branding and engagement. As sales pros, we can also foster organic connections by letting certain aspects of our life and personality show through. You — your interests, hobbies and personality — are some of your best sales assets.

A while back, I added a picture of me with my dog to the auto signature at the bottom of my emails. Ever since, my conversion rate for appointments has increased significantly. And it’s not just other dog lovers who respond — it’s everyone.

People trust me more because of that little picture. The responses I get — the walls that collapse when people see my dog — it’s jaw-dropping.

The really good news?

You don’t have to be a dog person to get the same response. All you need is something — anything — to show people you’re a regular person.

Related: Is Your Content Helping or Hurting Your Sales Funnel?

Personal Bonds Get People to Drop Their Defenses

It’s true that I’m Meghan McKenzie, enterprise sales manager at Crowd Content, but I’m also much more than that.

I’m Meghan McKenzie, world traveler, karaoke singer, alpine skier, lover of boats and the outdoors and — yes — owner of the sweetest dog you’ll ever meet.

When I interact with prospects, I try to establish a real, human bond. If they see me as Meghan, “dog-lover” or “lover of the outdoors,” we bond a little as people. When that happens, we’re no longer adversaries. It’s not them vs. me fighting over terms or the price. It’s them and me, together, working to solve a problem or improve results in their business.

And This Has WHAT To Do with Content Marketing?

Back in September, I attended INBOUND in Boston. One of the biggest takeaways I had from that conference was that authenticity works. You have to be true to yourself and your company when you communicate and work with other people, whether that’s via a sales call or in your content.

In 2016 BrightLocal reported that 84 percent of survey respondents said they trusted online reviews as much as recommendations from people they know. Why? Because they’re perceived as authentic and honest — even if they’re not.

On the flip side, sales people can be perceived as not authentic — even when they are! By opting to include a picture of my dog in my emails, I’m opening up about me and who I am. I’m being honest and authentic. And it works.

Including the same type of honesty, authenticity and integrity in your content opens the door for consumers to trust your brand. Instead of preaching to your audience about how great your products or services are, craft stories or share human elements with them. Trust me — they’ll listen.

[ctt template=”4″ link=”wPX3e” via=”no” nofollow=”yes”]In today\’s digital word, you have to be authentic to be noticed. #contentmarketing [/ctt]

People Buy from People They Know, Like and Trust

If you care for a dog or a cat, add a picture of you and your animal friend to your emails like I did. If you have a vintage automobile, kids or you just ran your first marathon, the same strategy can work.

You’ll be shocked at how many people will ask about your hobby when you talk to them later in the sales process. Even if people don’t share your specific passion, they will see — and respond to — the energy you share in relation to it.

Sharing a personal interest is the fastest way I know to get people to engage with you, but forcing it doesn’t work. Instead, let your humanity and personality shine through in little ways, like an adorable snapshot of your favorite furry companion.

Meghan McKenzie

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Meghan heads up Enterprise Sales with Crowd Content and comes with 10 years of sales and marketing experience. She loves selling awesome writing services that are proven to work, because she'd rather express herself through eating cheese and drinking wine and leave the writing to the pros.

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