Are you aware of how insanely popular Pokémon Go is?
(If you're trying to snag a Zubat as you read this, you know.)
According to Time Magazine, the game is
[b]igger than Tinder and on its way to smashing Twitter’s 'daily active users' ceiling. That’s how nuts this Pokémon Go augmented reality experiment has become since it was unceremoniously loosed on the iOS and Android app stores on July 6.
In fact, it’s become so big that, according to NBC News, police departments country-wide are issuing proactive warnings in order to protect the safety of players. People are walking into the streets and exploring all sorts of dangerous places to find the elusive Pokémon.
What does this have to do with sales? On the surface, nothing. Your first reaction might be “the heck with that -- I’m busy making my calls today, thanks.”
But wait a second. The hardest part of the sales process is prospecting, according to HubSpot's 2015 State of Inbound report.
And this is where things get interesting. You can use Pokémon Go to bring leads to you! I know it sounds crazy, but it works.
Here are three tactics you can try this weekend to increase sales. (And if you do, please share your stories in the comments section.)
1) Create a “lure” to bring people to you.
For a small cost you can create what is known as a "lure" near you, or near your place of business. Lures essentially attract Pokémon ... who then attract customers.
Here’s what one store manager wrote on Reddit: “PoGo is amazing. SO. MUCH. FOOT TRAFFIC. Time to invest in some lures.”
If you’re selling in a store, automobile dealer, restaurant, etc., go and create some lures.
But what if you're not in retail? Steve, a sales buddy of mine, told me that he had been trying to break into an account for some time with limited success. He decided to create a Pokémon lure in his office's parking lot, and watched people congregate to play Pokémon Go during lunch.
Guess who he chatted with? The CFO of his target company. Not bad considering that he couldn't even get him on the phone before!
2) Go to Pokémon gyms with your products.
A Pokémon gym is a place where you can fight other users’ Pokémon to make your pack stronger. These fights are a way of advancing in the game, so gyms are a place where a lot of people have been gathering since the app launched.
Find a gym near you in the app, and network with the potential buyers engaged in Pokémon battles. Virtual fights, real connections.
3) Create some Pokémon-friendly messaging.
Maybe you’re rolling your eyes and saying “my prospects don’t care about Pokémon,” but consider that as many as 9.5 million of the U.S. population is playing Pokémon Go every single day.
You surely have a prospect who's playing. So why not insert a line about the Pokémon phenomenon into your next prospecting email? Your line about capturing a Caterpie might just help you build rapport and expand your relationship. Hey, crazier things have happened.
You might also consider testing the Pokémon waters on social media. Walter Chen suggests “tak[ing] in-game screenshots and post[ing] them on the social media platforms where you’re active. Use hashtags like #pokemongo and #pokemon to get the message out to your potential new customers.”
No doubt the Pokémon craze will fade away, so take advantage of this trend while it’s hot.
(Pssst -- there's a Rattata right behind you. You're welcome.)
Editor's note: This post originally appeared on the Spiro blog, and has been published here with permission.