How to Get your Boss to Embrace Inbound Marketing
So you’ve read through my site and like what I have to say (Of course!). You’re really excited to introduce to your boss the concept of Inbound Marketing but you’re not sure how to approach him with it.
Before you bust into his office (or chase him down at the golf course) screaming that you found the Holy Grail to solve all your marketing problems, take a breather. Your boss, if he is anything like me, is probably tired of getting pitched. He’s probably skeptical too, as he should be. And he’s probably short on time. We all are.
Don’t worry. Your six-figure promotion is still within your grasp. My advice is just to approach it a little differently than you would with most things. Forget the hard sell. That’s old school, like outbound marketing.
I’m going to suggest four more effective ways we can get through to the big man – or woman. That’s right, “we,” because I’m going to be your partner in this effort because nobody wants you and your company to succeed with inbound marketing more than I do.
Your First Attempt
I’d suggest dropping him a simple email -- nothing more than a few sentences encouraging him to check out my site. Make sure to touch on things that might pique his interest (more leads, better ROI on marketing, media coverage, etc.). And make sure he understands I’m not your run-of-the-mill internet marketing geek. He’s probably seen enough of them.
He might blow you off at first. Again, he’s a busy guy. Give it a week or so to marinate. If you still don’t get a response, either he didn’t bother reading your email or he just wasn’t interested enough to investigate it further.
Don’t Give Up Just Yet
Let’s go to Plan B. Try approaching your boss again, but this time in person. I would suggest doing it casually. Try catching him in the parking lot or the break room. Again, be low key about it and be brief. Something like “Did you check out that inbound marketing site yet? Looks like we could grow our leads by 50%” should do it. (Or whatever is a hot-button issue with him.)
Still No Bites?
OK, so that didn’t work or it’s not your style? Let’s try a third option -- a more indirect route. Share my site (and your excitement) with a few of your peers, people who are seen as thought leaders in your company or those who might have the boss’ ear. Again, no need to pitch them; just let the website content sell itself. Once you’ve got several people excited about inbound marketing and talking about it, the boss can’t help to finally check it out.
Our Last-Ditch Effort
Shoot me an email telling me what you’ve done and who I should contact and I’ll reach out. Maybe hearing from an actual business owner who’s succeeded with inbound marketing will get his attention. He might have even heard of my company, U.S. Waterproofing. We’ve been in business since 1957 and waterproofed over 300,000 basements. I know a thing or two about how to make the phone ring.
I’ll give him a pitch -- Not a hard sell, but I will talk to him at his level, as somebody who knows about running a business and can relate to the demands on his time. I’ll tell him, as I’ve told others, that inbound marketing can make him money, lots of money, and it requires his leadership. I’d also share with them your excitement and initiative (which most bosses love). If he won’t listen to that, well then, he’s probably a lost cause. I’m fine with that, as we’ve done just about everything we can. Some bosses are just too important (just ask them!).
Look, I’ll be honest with you – if your company thinks that (1) the cutting edge of internet marketing is a website that reads like a sales brochure, (2) you can build quality traffic and leads by paying an SEO company to acquire links (3) email marketing is your path to prosperity, there’s a good chance your company won’t be around in another five to ten years. Worse yet, If your company is satisfied with honing their Yellow Pages ads to perfection or looking for the best postcard-mailer program, take my advice and go to work for a company where they’ve flipped the calendar over to the 21st Century.
If you have a different approach in mind, I’d love to hear it. Put your thoughts in the comment box below and I’ll be quick to answer.
And by the way, the image above is Bill Lumberg from the movie “Office Space”. A cult classic. Check it out if you haven't already.