It’s tempting to try and rush your cold prospects through your sales process simply because you’re keen to convert them into paying customers in as short a time frame as possible. In the business to business sector this is an inherently flawed strategy. You are not selling to yourself. You are selling to people that may well have a need for what you offer but, it’s most likely going to take more than one direct mailshot, one email marketing campaign, one telephone cold call and so on to convert them. Yes, businesses in the business to business sector are still buying but if you are to reach them and convert them, you can’t afford just to go through the marketing motions.
Take time to plan an intelligent, persuasive and engaging campaign. It pays to be a tortoise, not a hare if you want to increase your conversion rates.
Why is this so?
If you sell products or services that require some deliberation and consideration before cheque books are opened then no matter how pushy you are, your cold prospect will not buy there and then. You have not earned their trust with your ‘smacks of desperation’ approach. What’s more, what you often find in the business to business sector is that more than one person is involved in the decision to buy. Their decision-making unit and indeed their decision making process will resist being shoehorned into your ‘one size fits all’ prospecting campaign.
Where do you start? At the beginning with benefits and barriers.
You have to understand the barriers to a sale for each group of cold prospects you are targeting before you start your campaign planning. Businesses will not do business with you based solely on stuffing them with the many benefits you offer. Yes, benefits are an important part of the marketing mix but, you must also address the barriers to a sale. How do you find out the barriers for each group? Nothing, absolutely nothing beats getting on the telephone and asking a handful of cold prospects. Explain that your motives are genuine. You are not looking to sell, merely to find out what makes the person at the end of the phone buy your product or services but equally what reservations lurk in their mind blocking or delaying the sale. You’re now already halfway to building a relevant and enticing campaign. If you understand the barriers to a sale from the perspective of your prospect, you can address these in your sales letters, your website, and your emarketing campaigns and so on. Take a look at our previous blog to find out how you can use just a small amount of high quality b2b prospecting data to accomplish this vital task.
You must also understand how the person or group that you are targeting arrives at the decision to buy from you. It’s a fact that every person goes through the stages of awareness, interest, evaluation, and desire before moving to the final stage of action (purchase). However, the amount of time it takes to move from one stage to another varies depending on the audience you are targeting, the level of risk and expenditure associated with what you are offering and the number of people involved in the decision to buy. Whilst you’re on the phone ascertaining the barriers to a sale, it pays to ascertain purchasing patterns and decision-making protocols. You are now even nearer to building that exquisitely tailored and enticing campaign.