Sunday, April 2, 2017

Can Inbound Appointment Setters Make the Privacy Problem Go Away?

More than a year ago, Snowden stirred up a storm by exposing P.R.I.S.M. A couple weeks ago, the Fappening happened. And now, Tim Cook just launched a catapult towards companies that offer personal information on users in order to sustain their business model.
So it seems like no matter where you look, there’s a lot of drama now associated with privacy. It’s a drama that creates hostile prospects while their skeptical gatekeepers probe you to the third degree. It doesn’t sound like a very good time to be an appointment setter.  Is there any practice you can engage in that’s short of never contacting prospects at all?
First of all, you’ve probably been told that the only solution has been inbound. After all, you’re literally letting the customer come to you. There’s no need to scour LinkedIn for the emails or look up their phone numbers in online directories.
But in reality, inbound marketing has its own share of problems. And other than a lazier qualification process and lack of interaction between marketing and sales, it will not make privacy problems go away. Rather, they just come in a different form:
  • You’re still asking for their information – Rather than sending them an email directly, you let them put that information in and simply (and wrongly) take it a sign that they’re ready for a sales appointment. This is still a major violation of privacy because you base a wrong assumption purely on the grounds that they read your white paper. Your freebies don’t entitle you to that right!
  • They might just game it – Face it. When you offer something for free (e.g. templates, data, trial software), some people are just going to find a way to game your model. They’ll look for a full version or download from a competitor. They’ll put in false details. Anyting that gets them your stuff while staying off your radar is regarded as the cost-efficient option.
  • Some of them may not just buy it – And of course, there’s the ever present issue of using the wrong words or sounding like something they’ve already seen flashing in countless other banner ads. You might as well sound like Billy Mays making a phone call. Because unlike banner ads, you’re human enough to quickly change the conversation.
Instead of maybe just inbound or outbound appointment setters, why not just plain, old good ones? Respecting a prospect’s privacy doesn’t have to be about whether or not you call them or they call you. It’s about the conversation you’re trying to have regardless of whatever physical elements you’re using (phone calls, emails, social media chat etc). In an age where privacy feels violated at the click of a button, transparency can win trust simply by telling folks your real name.

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