Marketing toolkit for ambitious companies
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To bring in more sales leads and turn them into real sales, you have to make people love your product and want to be your customer. It's all about mystique, intrigue, emotion and logic. Here are some strategies for closing more business:
1. Offer less.
Sheena Iyengar of Columbia University tested this at a grocery store sample booth. On the first day, she offered twenty four jams. Sixty percent of customers stopped to sample, but only three percent of that group made a purchase.
But on the second day, she offered only six jams. Forty percent of the customers stopped and thirty percent of them bought jam. It seems counter-intuitive, but the more products or services you present for evaluation, the easier it is to overwhelm the buyer and lose their attention.
2. Tug on some heart strings.
To get their attention, you may have to try a different approach. A clothing company recently released a video of strangers sharing a kiss. The few minutes of video, which made no mention of clothing, went viral getting over seventy million views on YouTube.
The company, in turn, reported a mass increase in sales. Appealing to emotion instead of pitching the product made the company more likeable and attracted more leads which led to those sales.
3. Make some enemies.
Apple bases whole campaigns on the difference between Mac users and PC users. While you may never have a Microsoft-Apple level rivalry, there is value in standing by what you do and how you do it.
Your product or company won’t be everybody’s cup of tea. And if you try to please everyone, you may end up with a generic product or service that helps no one. Target your ideal buyers instead.
4. Get back in the classroom.
It’s a good idea to make friends too. Where you work and what you do is a natural part of the conversation in a classroom setting, whether local or online in a webinar.
Whether you teach or take a class from someone in the industry, it’s a way to network that establishes your credibility and allows you to hear what your potential customers care about. When they need what your company does, they’ll think of you.
5. Ask for a referral.
Recommendations carry a lot of weight with buyers. You can ask your customers to refer others to you or to recommend potential customers for you to seek out.
Social media has made referrals even easier. Ask customers, new and old, to use the social media ‘share’ buttons on your content and landing pages to share what you have to offer with their network.
6. Engaging content.
You probably notice when an article receives extra attention through shares or comments, but you might not have time to figure out what the draw was and how to put that element into more of your writing.
But information available online can help you learn, plan and generate effective content that gets shared without having to test the waters. Of course, there are firms that make it their business to know the why and how (and would be more than willing to help!).
7. Conduct an interview.
And speaking of content, an interview is valuable content for your audience. It’s a way to give your readers information that will propel them forward in their search for a solution.
A case study with one of your already loyal customers will give leads someone to identify with. Or, simply sharing information from another authority in the industry is a way to offer valuable insight.
8. Testing, testing.
You should test how your calls to action perform on each page. You’ll be surprised how the background colour, placement, wording or text colour can affect click-through rates.
Conduct tests by placing the same call to action on your page, but with a different variable. Measure how colour, text and placement affects your click-through rates and act on those results.
9. Listen first, talk later.
Keep in mind, people think in-your-face selling is invasive. If a salesperson were to mention your product or service every time they spoke, it would be a huge turn-off.
In sales and marketing, be certain you understand the exact problem that person is trying to solve. When they ask you how your company can solve that problem, that’s your segue. It's your responsibility to make the company appear credible and likeable enough for them to ask.
(Hat tip to Nina Matthews for the photo)