Nobody likes stereotyping. But for all the hate they get, the attitude towards them can create opportunities in your lead generation campaign. Some of the negative traits attributed to some stereotypes belie problems your business can solve.
Is it simple as it sounds? Maybe not. You don’t want prospects catching on. Not to mention, there’s the actual problem to be discussed. Therefore, consider trying these steps:
- Step 1: Avoid profiling and let it come naturally – The safest way to touch on stereotypes is when they’re coming ‘inbound’ so to speak. You don’t directly bring it up. You let it come on its own. For example, when a prospect decides to discuss their problems that coincidentally affirm some popular ideas regarding their industry, job position, or even things like gender. This means none of the typical profiling that they might offensive.
- Step 2: Focus on the problem, on the opportunity – Remember, the association is something that just happens in your head. As you engage the prospect, focus on the problem and keep it as the main subject matter. For your prospect, it’s clear that they’ve made the associations themselves and would definitely like to be rid of the problem as much as you do.
- Step 3: Research with discretion – Say you stumble upon something that actually confirms a particular stereotype (such as this one on Chinese financial literacy). Be very careful about citing it. If you can, don’t cite as much as just act on it when you uncover a problem being wholly connected with a particular stereotype.
- Step 4: Don’t milk it – Finally, you don’t want your lead generation campaign caught trying to make money off a particular stereotype. That may work for certain segments of the entertainment industry but not all industries.
Negative connotations around stereotypes get a lot of nasty emotions riled up. It’s normal to freeze up when you find something that either confirms it or at least touches upon the subject. But as normal as it is, you’re much better off seeing the opportunity to provide something to another business. Don’t be biased but don’t avoid pointing out a problem if it means you have a solution.