Communication that leads to new clients

Sales is a psychological conundrum. Its role is vital within organizations and businesses. No sales means no business. It never ceases to fascinate some of us. You can read the same book on sales over and over. And every time have an ‘aha moment’, only to forget about it again the other day.

We have to keep in mind that many actors are involved in the buying decision, and many elements influence it. I say this because the sales team often feels like they carry the burden alone: The lead is not responding anymore. Have I said something wrong? Did I put the emphasis wrong? Should I have approached it differently? It’s enough to drive someone mad.

Before you go any further, please consider that some factors are beyond your control. Factors such as:

  • The financial status of your prospect.
  • The organisational structure and dynamics of your prospect.
  • The intentions and motivations of the person you’re dealing with: For example, did they already find a solution and only want to check whether the pricing is right?

There are certainly ways to figure out answers to some of these questions. But my intent here is merely to address that sales isn’t easy.

Ways to improve sales

Time to focus on what you can do. In my blogs I will share with you my experience in sales and give you tips and advice on how to convince new clients.

Figure out your client’s needs and concerns

Our initial approach to sell a product or service is to focus on the features of our product. We start explaining everything we can say about it. Hold on a minute. A hard truth I came across early in my sales experience is that the person you are trying to convince only cares about 1 thing: What’s in it for them.

Classic example: Slides 2 and 3 of your presentation explain how your business has grown over the span of 50 years… You may get some interest, but most likely you are boring your lead already from the very start. It’s an element you should add at a later stage, if you want to convince them you’re a reliable supplier.

To figure out your client’s needs, you better do some research. You can start by talking to people you know. People who are active in your target market. Talk about their business. What’s happening in the market? What problems are they facing. Where are there hurdles?

Make a buyer persona of these conversations. Check who influences or makes the buying decision related to your product and gather their problems and needs. Once you have that information, we can begin tailoring your message to address any objections your prospect may have.

Use data and evidence to support your points

Gather all information within your organisation on the features of your products and services. We will need those to build trust and credibility with the client. The best B2B salespeople are experts on their own products and services. Because they can relate to their clients and answer to any questions with the correct feature information: The data and evidence you have gathered.

Next blog: Benefits and storytelling to convince leads and clients.

What do you think is the first step to convince a lead? Leave a comment if you think there are elements that should be added or where you want to put more emphasis on.

tworking and generating leads

The most business-focused platform out there, boasting 500 million users. Crucially, around 90% of B2B companies use LinkedIn. And there’s a very good reason for that – it’s the most effective social channel for generating leads.

Why? Because people are there for work purposes only. No cute cats or pics of the kids. Everyone is there to network and do business better – which means everyone is open to connecting with people who can help them do just that.

Twitter: Use to be seen and increase engagement

With around 326 million monthly users, Twitter is great for the awareness stage of a campaign, and this explains why it’s used by 87% of B2B content marketers, according to the CMI.

Twitter is the ideal platform for getting your brand out there and starting conversations with prospects and experts. Tools like Twitter polls also make it really easy for people to engage.

Of course, ‘being seen’ and ‘being seen by the right people’ are two different things. Using hashtags relevant to your audience and sending personalised messages will help filter out some of the noise (and there’s a LOT of noise on Twitter).

And keep in mind to avoid automated tweets. The whole idea of social media is to humanise your brand – who wants to respond to a computer-generated post?

Facebook: Use to increase traffic and customer support

The mother of all platforms in terms of number of users, Facebook is for many the channel of choice for personal sharing, but it still has a role to play in B2B.

Not least because it’s cost-effective, particularly for small businesses. Setting up an account is free and you can start interacting with customers and prospects. However, to really reach your target personas, paid advertising is a must.

Facebook is also a handy customer support tool. If someone posts something negative about your product – they might be struggling with one of its features – you can reach out to them and address that issue. Offering proactive support goes a long way in building long-term relationships with customers.

Instagram: Use to humanise your brand and customer advocacy

The visual nature of Instagram makes it ideal for creating a window to your world. Whether you post a video tour of your new office or pictures of your summer party, followers can get a feel for the people behind your brand.

Instagram is also a great vehicle for enabling your staff and customers to act as advocates for your brand. Every time they post a picture or video using your product, your brand reaches all their followers – and if they re-post, that reach grows exponentially.

One more (important) thing…

Clearly, whoever runs your social channels needs to ensure your brand is an authoritative voice in the marketplace.

Industry knowledge alone, however, isn’t enough.

They also need to understand how the different social platforms work from a B2B perspective. The different audiences they attract. The different content audiences respond best to.

And, of course, your posts’ tone-of-voice needs to be on-brand and the messaging consistent with your other communications.

So, you might want to consider recruiting a social media specialist or appointing a social-savvy B2B agency.

Want more on the power of social media?

We recently did a communication research on how B2B professionals consume communication including social media. You’re just a click away from the full report – download our white paper and discover the channels B2B professionals like you turn to when making a purchase.