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Closing the Cause Marketing Deal: Thinkers

Closing the deal with cause marketing prospects involve one of three types, Thinkers are analyzed here. The mainstays of thinkers are facts, figures, and logical arguments. These folks pour over numbers, analyze graphs, ask how you collect your data, and are most interested in the bottom-line return cause marketing has to offer. Thinkers are also the first to cry foul if your arguments aren’t passing the smell test.

A lot of marketing directors are thinkers, which isn’t surprising. They constantly have to show their bosses how a campaign has achieved a particular goal, driven sales, or met a particular return-on-investment.

The overriding question you may need to answer for a thinker, although they may never ask you directly, is “Does cause marketing make sense for my business?”

Here are three suggestions for making yourself crystal clear to thinkers:

  • Present your arguments logically. A thinker isn’t the right person to have a wide-ranging discussion of ideas. It’s best to let them clearly understand the progression of your argument.

    Rely either on a point-by-point approach (for example, “Our first point is that cause marketing should be an important part of your marketing mix . . .”) or a problem-solution approach that first addresses an agreed upon issue (for example, building a stronger connection with customers) and how cause marketing can solve it.

  • Present evidence from sources they know and respect. An added edge in giving a thinker the facts and figures they want is obtaining them from a credible source. How do you find out who a thinker respects? The authoritative trade publications within her industry are a good start. Try Googling her to see whether she’s quoted in the media or has her presentations up on YouTube or SlideShare.

    You can also check social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter, which would allow you to check out her followers and give you clues to her business connections. Depending on the person, you might just want to ask her who she respects.

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    Persuasion occurs through identification. When you can identify with the needs, experiences, beliefs, and attitudes of the prospects, you’re more likely to ignite the spark that leads to closing a deal.

  • Present your arguments with creativity and passion. Don’t forget to balance logic with other appeals. For example, during the first year selling a Halloween event, an agency bidding on the project presented their proposal inside a Book of Spells, shown in the following illustration, which they had hand-delivered by the Grim Reaper himself. (Okay, maybe someone dressed up like the reaper!)

    While the agency knew they were dealing with thinkers that were ultimately interested in their ability to get the job done, their creativity and obvious passion for Halloween gave them an edge and eventually the business.

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