We’re all in competitive situations every day. Some we know about, and others we don’t. But, did you know that if used properly, inbound marketing helps you torpedo your competition so that you’re the obvious choice at the end?
If you consider how the human mind works and how people buy products and services (regardless of size), you’ll see how inbound marketing actually differentiates your business from your competitors.
Here are some ways to create a remarkable marketing and sales experience that makes your company look dramatically different from all your competitors.
75% Marketing And 25% Sales
In the days before the Internet, sales people were in control of the process. They doled out information and controlled the process as well as the prospects. They only gave prospects the information they wanted them to have, actually ignoring some prospect requests or talking people out of others. But, today, the tide has turned. The prospect is in control of the sales process.
Today, prospects are using 75% of their entire decision-making process to research, review, question and qualify your business before ever reaching out to anyone at your company. Then, they’re using the final 25% of their process to work with your people in ironing out the details. The sooner you understand this and accept it as reality, the sooner you’ll be able to create a process that supports the new buyer behavior and differentiates your business.
Make Them Feel Smart And Safe
People make purchase decisions when they feel safe and when their pain is acute. You have no control over when their pain becomes acute, but you do have control over how safe they feel with your company and how smart you’ve made them during your interactions with them.
You don’t want to be the smartest person in the room. You want that to be your prospect. The smarter you make prospects, the more they're going to trust you. The more you keep from them or the more you hold information back, the less they’re going to trust you. Getting them to feel safe with you and your company means they have to know, like and trust you – all three.
This is where educational content from your existing or soon-to-be-rolled-out inbound marketing program comes into play. The same content you’re using on your website to turn visitors into leads is already helping your prospects feel smart and trust your company. Make sure that continues into the sales process, too.
Get Two Steps Ahead Of Your Prospects
Once you know your prospects well, you’re going to start seeing where they are in their own journey, and you should be able to give educational information at the perfect time. For instance, we provide clients with a Reference Reel video right before they ask us for references. We know that’s usually one of the last things prospects like to get right before they ask for the agreement. By giving them what they want before they ask, you enable them to feel very connected to you and your company.
Being proactive instead of reactive also proves that you understand them, their business, their challenges and their situation. It sets the stage for the type of business partner you’re going to be. Regardless of what you sell, if you're a company who responds proactively, you're going to close more new customers faster than the company who is constantly responding to requests.
Know ALL Of Your Prospects' Questions
One of the best ways to get your marketing and sales organizations to be more proactive and thought out is to know in advance what questions your prospects are asking and at what stage in their buyer journey these questions typically pop up. This might sound challenging, but it's not.
Your sales people and your customer service people already hear these questions every single day. All you have to do is collect them and organize them based on where they fall in the sales process. Do they come early on, in the Awareness stage? Do they come in the middle of the process, in the Consideration stage? Or do they come at the end, in the Decision stage? Once you realize that there are different questions at different stages in the prospect's decision-making process, you can arm your team with the educational content they need to answer these questions before they’re even asked.
Perhaps more important, this same content helps convert anonymous visitors who are on your website into leads for your business. Right now, your website probably has only one or two ways for visitors to connect with your business: a phone number to call you and a contact page for them to send you an email or form submission. These are both bottom-of-the-funnel conversion tools. But, 90% of your visitors aren’t ready for bottom-of-the-funnel offers, so they just leave without doing anything.
This is where you start to create the experience we’ve been talking about. By providing the right content to the right people at the perfect time in their buyer process, you ensure that they quickly get to know, like and trust your company, which makes them feel very safe.
I’m going to advise you right now that, no, this isn’t easy to do. If it was, everyone would be doing it. But, the reason it’s hard is the same reason why your competitors won’t do it either, and why the experience you create for prospects will be so far superior to that of your competitors that your close rates will skyrocket and your average revenue per new client will increase, too. After all, who would pick a company that delivers a mediocre prospect experience when they can go with one that delivers a remarkable one?
Start Today Tip – To kick this off, you need to have the collection of prospect questions. Again, this isn’t hard to get. Simply ask your team to provide it, and ask them to group the questions into the three stages of a traditional sales funnel. Then, you have to look at all the aspects of their interaction with you, from beginning to end, and make sure that each step provides a remarkable interaction. These little WOWs are critical and not super hard to deliver. It just takes some thought and time. The investment you're about to make in this is going to pay off exponentially when prospects start signing in waves.
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