Don’t Get Shifted On
Sales have changed so much over the last 30 years that people that have not made the adjustments seem to be struggling unnecessarily. They are not using the changes to their advantages.
Yes, there are 5 times as many mediums coming at your target clients, yes there are 5 times as many businesses going after the same dollars, yes people used to return calls and e-mails and they don’t anymore. . . but the difference between getting shifted on and riding the shift is simple.
Be Relevant, Be a Solution and Be Persistent with Value.
Here is what I mean about being Relevant. Your targets don’t care one iota about your business until they believe you can are about them or their businesses. Just talking about it doesn’t cut it anymore. The power in content marketing is that you can speak to their lot. You can show that you understand what they are going through because you have spoken right to it. You can speak into their lives “virtually”, no pun intended. Caring just doesn’t mean gushing on them with kindness. It means doing your research, strategically and critically thinking about their situation and offering suggestions.
If you have perspective of understanding about your target market’s business then you can take the next step, which is designing the solution. So many times we as service providers, consultants or professional services in general are afraid to do “free” work, but I am firm believer in Seth Godin’s Take Your Best Stuff and Give it Away. Today people want to know the quality of your thinking before they hire you. Business is about problem solving and if you can solve problems, people will literally beat a path to your door. If you think well you can demand your price. Provide real solutions in selling situations using their numbers and talk to them in the mediums they dominate in so they can hear you. If they are phone people, be great on the phone, if they are e-mail people, write great e-mails, if they are social media people, embrace these new mediums.
Persist with value. Being persistent makes you a pest. Persisting with something of value makes you a desired resource for the client. I can’t tell you how many times clients have told me they were just about to give up on a marketing or sales strategy, then we persisted with value and everything starts to pop. Relationships take way longer to develop than sales people really want to wait for but when you invest in persistence with value you build crops that return year after year rather than just one time and out.
Persisting with value could be helping a client get to one of their target clients, could be helping them find their key VP of Sales, etc. You always have permission to persist when helping them with their problems.
This is a brand building and reputation strategy not enough sales people execute.