We all do get from time to time approaches from a variety of companies trying to get our attention to look at their offering, products and services, mostly with a request to engage and become a customer. In 99 out of the 100 cases the content I am looking at is not relevant, disengaging and simply too long. The standard call-to-action is to hit the delete button.
Having been in the trenches for many years in sales and consulting at a variety of companies, I learned it the hard way myself: no was the standard answer for a long time. I guess no is the best answer you can get, it makes you push harder and think of other ways.
So how can we overcome this and make sure you are able to build a sustainable dialogue with your prospective customers that gives everybody energy and most importantly nurtures the relationship towards a fruitful collaboration (which does not necessarily need to be a sale)?
Still many email campaigns have been set up to share as much content as possible. It will dazzle your prospects and do not provide the right signal. If you want to go for what I call a “grenade-fishing” approach, good luck with it.
If you take the time to conduct your research and ensure you do understand the industry dynamics, you will become more successful. Let me give you two examples. If you want to go outbound 1-1, you need to know the top challenges of your prospect. Nowadays, a lot of material can be found in video’s, blogs and articles on the internet. Read this carefully and come up with the shortlist of the top three challenges and relate it to how your product can help to make lives easier.
Congrats, your success rate has gone up with 25% as you are relevant now.
Another example is the outbound 1-many, consider applying a sector-based approach. This will make your life a lot easier as you can utilise the market dynamics and build up more expertise. Especially, once tapping into a new market, you need to continue to build on that. Research a lot, and let your customers speak and share their experiences. They are your ambassadors.
A lack of understanding and relevance is one of the most frequent pain points I came across. The time of your prospects is valuable and don’t forget your own time.
No longer than 5 lines, mention your USP and how your product/service generates business impact for your prospective customers. What is it exactly that makes your prospects smile?
Think about adding a link to a video that points out the experience of other customers operating in a similar industry. It will definitely spike the interest of your prospects. Don’t forget to properly make use of your CRM.
After having done your research and identifying which existing customer use case fits the best for your new audience, it is time to use the appropriate formats to share your expertise in the most engaging way possible. It is time to educate your audience and to trigger them. They need to become aware of the problem they are experiencing in their businesses. No, they do not have to see your product yet and all the good things it can do. Think about creating an infographic that points out the return of investment of having a revamped onboarding program.
Organise stuff, such as a webinar or invite an expert in the field to talk about his or her experiences with the challenges you are trying to solve. We used to write a lot of content with experts, those so-called whitepapers are not just marketing gigs. It is the respect you are paying to the problems your customers are facing and your persistence to make lives better.
It is the first touchpoint in the relationship, and that first impression counts! Your material needs to be of high quality. Make sure the design is impeccable and above all the content is easy to consume. Have your draft emails checked by your colleagues. That will take out a lot of errors already. At the same time just be relaxed and be confident, because you have done your research, you have spent time and you have placed your heart in this work.
The last one is really important, if you are still like mwah, I don’t know, get back to the drawing board and do not let yourself be pushed because there are sales targets to be met. Quality over quantity in the beginning. The rest will follow.
Always end it with a personal touch and ask kindly whether your prospective contact appreciates the email or not. This way the so-called frustration does not build up any longer and the big win is that you will end up with a list of qualified leads that DO want to continue to build that relationship.
Outbound sales can be fun, but a tunnel approach mixed with auto-pilot execution can lead to exhaustion quite quickly. Evaluate your outbound process continuously together with your team. No matter how big or small you are, it gives you valuable insights to improve you and most importantly keep your energy going and placing your attention on the right customers.