I’ve been compelled to write a follow up to an article I wrote a couple of years ago titled ‘It’s not about you’.
It was a recent tweet that prompted me, a brief but telling interaction that said a great deal about where the ‘Tweeter’ was in their marketing thinking.
Here’s the long and the short of it…
We ‘followed’ a company on the Twitter (we do this a bit) and their brief response went something like this:
“thanks for the follow, to find out more about us visit our website www.yadayadayada”
What’s wrong with that you might ask?
Good question. There are indeed plenty of automated response tweets that follow just that same model… (much to my dismay, as you will read).
So, what’s the problem?
Well, here’s the thing, I don’t care that much about them just yet.
Harsh maybe, but true.
I’m just seeing if there’s a fit, that’s all. Seeing if they’ve got some good things going on in their timeline that might help us or help our clients.
That’s it for now. I just reached out. Thought we might have some stuff in common.
They’re ‘size 12’ response [roughly translated] was this…
“Me, me, me…Go and find out about ME. Go and work your way through my corporate ‘about me’ website because frankly, I’m loving me and not you in anyway whatsoever”.
That’s what ‘Hello, go visit OUR website…’ says to me.
Now, clearly, I’m being a bit of a drama-queen but my point is this;
When competition for the specification of new previously untested products is high, coupled with the fact that new prospects are the hardest people to please, and the projects going around are hardly in abundance, would it kill any product manufacturer to take a new ‘approachable’ approach?
A little more tact is perhaps advisable. Easing the prospect into a calm sense of confidence in your expertise, your capabilities and your product range.
Instead of pushing people away, how about asking a good question? After all, you’ve been given an opportunity to start a relationship.
You will all know the best marketing question ever, bar none, is “Would you like fries with that?”
Well in B2B marketing the equivalent is surely a version of “how can I help?”
So, if the dedicated young chap at the golden arches drive thru can master a simple question, surely sales and marketing people can do the same?
Finding out how you might be able to help or at least let them know you’re there too help should they need it, is one of the most powerful and confidence inspiring acts of human kindness.
Put it to good use in your marketing. After all it’s not about you.
And while you’re at it here are…
7 More Sure-Fire Ways to Avoid the Sales Prevention Traps.
1. Resist talking about yourselves:
If you can switch the emphasis of your content from your awards, your swanky offices, your CEO’s ferrari etc. in your emails, social interactions and other digital marketing and focus on the challenges of your core customers you’ll immediately start to add more value.
2. Embrace your Customer Relationship Management Software:
Stop ignoring your prize possession. There is a world of opportunity within it, if you show it some love. Your database of past and current contacts – every product manufacturer that we’ve ever spoken to has some sort of a CRM system – deserves interaction in a consistent, meaningful and relevant manner.
3. Have a Plan, a Message and a Goal:
By insisting on being at expensive industry events or running expensive magazine adverts for no other reason than ‘our competitor is there, so we have to be too’ you waste money time and present a tired company image. Ask yourselves “Why are we here?”, “Whose problems are we addressing?”, “How will we know if it’s been a success?”, “What might success mean to your organization?”
4. Save Yourself Some Money:
By printing even more logos on even more golf balls (and mugs and t-shirts etc.) you are achieving what exactly? A happy Sales director? See Pritesh on this one #petpeeve.
5. Always Use Fit-for-Purpose Tactical Tools:
Ask your agency to show you how [exactly] they will measure and monitor the tactical solutions they are recommending. Ask them to show you how the ongoing ‘up-keep’ ie. new content, will affect search, usability and the customer experience before committing more budget to unfit platforms. (see random acts…)
6. Integration, Integration, Integration:
It’s a stuck record I know but continuously printing mountains of heavy literature, thick glossy brochures and the like, that don’t refer clients and prospects back to your more cost efficient and increasingly more ‘accessible’ web pages, is bad for business and your budget. Yes there is a place for print, but implemented in a way where you can monitor and measure effectiveness is best.
7. Constant Content Optimisation
Your product landing pages are one of the most important elements to your web presence. If not the most. Landing pages are there to help and guide your prospects. To build their confidence, to prove capability and to show experience. They are also there to teach you about your prospects behavior.
Not only do they need to provide information relevant to the prospect but they also need to provide information relevant to back to you too. And they should be entirely visible and jostling for position on search engines.
Pages that don’t help prospects with their challenges or, that don’t provide clear, intuitive navigation, that can’t be measured and that can’t be seen on the Search engines are a waste of money! Fact. We written tons on this subject.
There are my top seven sales prevention avoidance tips. There are countless others I’m sure, let me know if you’ve got any particular favourites.
And to think all that and from a Tweet!
Now all that is left on this post is to ask… “can I be of any more help?” (see what I did there? Pritesh’s idea in truth, but then all the good ones are!)