Generating new opportunities is crucial to the growth of your business. The temptation is always to try to go too far, too fast and with too much detail. So what should you be thinking about when trying to engage new prospects?
Focus is the key. You need to present the prospect with clarity and quality. Rather than overwhelm them with too much detail, think about how to engage them. Think about how you start new conversations.
It’s easy to be so deeply entrenched in what our own business do. After all, it’s what we spend most of our time obsessing about. However, this leads to a tendency to describe the mechanics in fine detail. However, it’s important now to lose sight of what matters to potential customers – not you.
There are clear and compelling reasons that people should engage with your company. You need to focus on them. Unfortunately, they often get lost in a desire to ‘put it all out front’ to make sure no-one leaves without knowing about all the great things you could do for them.
Beginning a relationship
The reality, of course, is that too much information just blinds the viewer. When you first meet someone, you don’t do a brain dump of everything about you, starting at A and working through to Z. You pick some highlights that you think might be most interesting to the other party. You try and make them relevant. You try to find reasons for them to engage.
You’re probably the best salesperson your business has. But the challenge for your marketing is that you’re not there. No one is, except the potential prospect. All they have is your website, your content or your social media account. So you’ve got to structure the message, be succinct, get to the point and think in headlines.
It’s not like a meeting or a conversation but you need to create some rapport. So you need to focus on what’s most likely get that reaction. What’s more, you don’t have much time to get your message across. Everyone’s too busy. Too much to do, too many emails, too much information, too much advertising.
How do you cut-through?
Study after study highlights the sheer volume of media we consume and advertising messages we’re exposed to. Cutting through that takes real single-minded focus. You need to take a fresh look at your business and zone in on your purpose. What problems do you solve? Who are you best-placed to serve? What problems do they have? Can you show them you understand their challenges and can help? What do they pay attention to? Can you prove it?
Five mistakes businesses make when trying to engage new prospects
Don’t just tell people about your products or services
Perhaps the most common mistake is just telling people what you’ve got and what it does. It takes time and effort to develop a product or service but it’s a mistake to think that your marketing should just attempt to broadcast this information.
Don’t overload the reader
Not only do they tell them what they’ve got, they (try and) tell people everything about everything they’ve got (but they’re not actually listening). They do this because they want to make sure there’s not a box that’s not ticked. If they tell them about everything, they think that the prospect will take the time to figure out which bits to buy.
Make sure you know the why
Companies typically engage a new supplier or partner because they need to change their business in some way. Make it faster, smarter, or cheaper. So, while the propositions might make it clear what the products and/or services do, they haven’t been connected them to prospects’ business objectives. So they don’t resonate or inspire.
Don’t forget to provide evidence
Most people think that salespeople will say anything and marketers will put a positive spin on anything. You need to provide evidence to back up your claims. Case studies, testimonials, videos and insights back up your position and give you credibility.
Give them a natural next step
People are rarely ready to commit on a first date – but it’s tempting to try and race straight to a close. So if all they offer is a ‘call-me-back’ form, it’s usually asking too much too soon. Give the prospect the opportunity to make a smaller level of commitment.
So start with them in mind
Think about the process from the perspective of a prospect. They don’t want to read lots and lots about your products and what they do in minute detail. They might do, eventually, but you need to structure your messages and content so it draws them in. What kind of business are you? How will it help? What will life be like if they become a customer? There’ll be plenty of time later on to take them through all your products, how they work and so on. First, you need to get started.