Blind Spots and Permission Marketing

What do you do when a key player doesn’t show up?

This morning I had two presenters for a session on presentation skills coaching but one of them didn’t show up, and we had a good 35 minutes to kill. Dismissing the class wasn’t an option, because I believe in giving value for the time that someone pays me for. So, I thought I would introduce them to the concepts of permission marketing.

Now this group wasn’t a group of businessmen or salespeople. They were government employees, veterinarians who oversaw the regulations for animal health and slaughterhouses, and had little to do with sales because their jobs are permanent (about 50% of the population has the equivalent to tenure in Spain). So what use would permission marketing be for this group?

As it turns out, quite a lot. The core of what this group needed was influence. While many farmers complied with their requests, many also did not, presenting the entire region with a vulnerability for animal health, and potentially spreading diseases to humans. In addition, they often felt that their attempts to educate were thwarted by people’s disinterest or even distrust. However, when we started talking about permission marketing in terms of the influence that they might have and giving them the practical tools that they would need in order to earn that permission, their ears perked up and they became fascinated.

The group started to see how mandates from the government were entirely useless unless they were accompanied by a relationship. They started to understand why they shop at one grocery store or another, why they buy meat from a specialist butcher with whom they have a personal connection as opposed to the supermarket, why they chose one dentist or another. Once they started to see the permission web working in their own lives, they began to contemplate how they might use it in their workspace and how they might earn the trust and confidence of both their superiors, government officials, and the region as a whole.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the concepts in permission marketing can be applied to even the most obscure parts of our world. The humbling fact for me is that it took someone not showing up in order to have me introduce the material. And I own this as my fault for not introduce permission marketing earlier. I speak for myself and perhaps many of us when I say that I have a blind spot as to who would benefit from this material and that many more are in need of it than I ever realized.

Who do you think would least benefit from this material? What would it look like if you were wrong?



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