I had lunch last week with a friend, colleague and client, Sean Fenlon, who runs a very successful lead transfer business, Double Positive Marketing Group. They are a first generation “live” marketing company. They find qualified leads in a variety of industries and transfer them live via telephone to their clients for a fee. They’ve actually already leapfrogged over the whole nascent pay-per-call movement, since they qualify/screen the consumer prior to transferring them to a sales professional.
During the meal he described to me that at the end of the day his company is really selling a personal experience, an interaction. Albeit by phone, in the context of our conversation, his point was that they are selling a direct human experience, and not trying to reach someone while they are deep within the realms of the online world, (i.e. the Matrix). One of the obvious advantages to this, I think we can all agree, is that the online space can be very crowded and seem cluttered to many people, especially when it comes to marketing. When you go one to one, literally person to person there is a different dynamic that takes place.
Sean described to me how he believes that people change when they go online. We talked about how we become different people, but yet conduct ourselves within the boundaries of our own personality traits. When you consider what your perspective truly is when your online, there are many things that involve interactivity, and it is that interactivity that allows us to alter our behavior from the way we conduct ourselves in the “real world.” Think about it, there is email, instant messaging, social networks, shopping sites, photo sites, all the way down to pornography, etc. People do act differently online, than they do if they are on the phone or better yet face to face with others.
As a result of our lunch, the question arose to me, out of pure interest, was just how differently do we react to direct human interaction, versus being “sold” to in the Matrix? Although it may be on the phone, that interaction takes people away from being able to hide behind the walled garden of cyberspace, and takes them out of their own pixel based mind castle? Are we that different as consumers? Do we buy online easier than we buy on the phone? Or do we prefer to buy in the store, and what roll if any does the online world have to do with it?
In the context of my lunch conversation, its important to understand that Sean is focused solely on the outter edges of the said matrix. Meaning that he wants to market and connect with people right when they come out of the matrix, not too far though. Close enough to keep some things “digital” but not the person.
After some discussion, I saw it clear that most people are in one state of mind when they enter the matrix, and in another when they exit on the other side. This state of mind is speculated to be one that is primed for a multitude of marketing messages, not only open to additional information on products and services, but maybe even a closed sale. Consumers can express interest in a specific product in the matrix, but be sold easier by a human once they leave it or are pulled out of it.
The matrix analogy is a powerful one, and one thats quite accurate. I think the fact that Sean’s company is transferring hundreds of qualified leads a day to his clients who are paying on a per transfer basis and having great results, is a good sign that his concept is right on.