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The Zen of Lead Generation
By Bob Martel, JMB Marketing Group

Are you familiar with Thik Nat Han, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk and philosopher? Regardless of your religious background or beliefs...his book, The Miracle of Mindfulness, offers a unique perspective on life that you can, indeed, apply to the marketing of your business. As I recall, he wrote the book as advice to his brother Quang, based on his life's experiences living through the Vietnam War.

I’ve written previously about the mindfulness of marketing to call attention, specifically to point out that your company is merely a collection of thoughts and perceptions in the mind of customers. Indeed, the practice of mindfulness meditation can lead to prosperity and happiness in your business. In the spirit of the mindfulness of marketing, I thought this insightful experience, shared by a recent client, would be valuable to you as you contemplate your own marketing philosophy and what it means to serve your clients. (Hint: If your lead generation system is not yielding lots of ripe fruit, it may be time for you to go pick blueberries, too!)

A client called for advice about two completely different lead generation programs he was planning to launch - but he could not decide which one to choose. Frantic, and looking for an immediate answer, he wanted me to make his decision for him.

Since I know this client very well, I took a chance... and I told him to take a break and go pick some fresh blueberries and ponder the answer to his own question. (No, I have not lost my marbles). And, yes, I did charge him for this sage advice. But he saved thousands in potentially wasted marketing dollars, and he harvested an abundance of new business by making the right marketing decision.

If you have ever picked blueberries you know that you can go crazy deciding which blueberries to focus on, as I am sure you'll agree. There are berries everywhere and your brain simply cannot focus on just one berry! As your hands are picking, your eyes are shifting to the next fruit. But if you were to slow down and focus on the experience of enjoying the process of blueberry picking - one berry at a time - you'd be more mindful, and thus enjoy a relaxed outdoor experience. See the metaphor developing? The Buddhists have a saying, chop wood, carry water, which you can apply to your present marketing reality. It applies to picking blueberries, and to generating an abundance of high quality prospects for your business.

Anyway, as my client picked blueberries, I told him to concentrate on his breathing and relax as he selected which bush, and which berries to pick, and to ignore the anxiety over the fruit he is not yet picking. Those berries will be picked in future moments. Then I told him to continue to concentrate on the blueberry he was picking, taking his time to inspect each berry, and discard those that were over-ripe or still partially green. After all, he was going to make blueberry wine with these berries and only the best would do. I also told him to select a few of the best berries for immediate sampling - and to be aware of the flavorful sensations.

To my surprise, he actually did drop everything and he went blueberry picking for the afternoon! And he called me that same evening with the answer to his marketing question. Yes, the answer was in the question. Before he shared his decision, he told me about his adventure in the blueberry fields.

Each blueberry bush was filled with deep blue berries, weighing down each branch. At first he was frantically picking every berry he could grab, and after a few minutes he noticed his bowl was filled with lots of smaller berries, and many green blueberries.

His original question was "which do I launch to generate new business? A colorful, easy to launch postcard campaign to get my name out there, an email campaign... or a highly personalized sales letter with resonating copy that appeals to the prospects' deepest emotional needs?"

Of course, the answer is that they each have their place within a campaign. A lot depends on the list, the offer, the time of year, the call to action, the goals of the campaign, and the prospects’ buying process. He was looking for permission from me to take the easy path to "getting something in the mail" when he knew the more laborious sales letter approach would create better leads.

Since his objective was to develop a steady stream of high quality prospects that he could serve for many years, he decided to launch a highly personalized multi-step sales letter. Considerably more work, but better fruit, in this case.

Like blueberry picking, your marketing has to be a deliberate, unending, disciplined, and highly focused effort if you are to fill your basket with an abundance of ripe fruit. It is time to pick the ripest blueberries... it's time for you to pick high quality lead generation programs... and become more profitable.

If you believe in the power of the written word, it's easy to realize that a lot more work goes into choosing the right words for a 3-4 page letter. There's a famous saying that goes like this: "I would have written you a one page letter but I didn't have time!" Are you devoting enough time to getting your marketing message right?

Focus your mind on the right marketing strategy. Enjoy your blueberry picking!


---Source: Bob Matel is the principal consultant at JMB Marketing Group. View his Web site at Email him at with your comments about this article.









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