If you don’t make it easy for your prospects to understand how your solution can solve their problem, you won’t even make the long list.
In fact, Hinge Marketing found in a recent study of professional services firms that “87% of buyers will actually rule out a service provider before even talking with them.”
How can you prevent that? Connect the dots for them. Make it clear how your product or service addresses their problem. Here’s how to put that advice into action on your website and in your digital marketing.
Organize Your Site to Attract Your Target Audience
Before anything else, you have to attract your audience. It’s easiest to do this if your website is organized to make the answers to the questions your prospect is asking as accessible as possible.
That means building landing pages focused on answering a single question as well as content hubs that collect all content related to a particular question or set of questions.
It means maintaining a laser focus on each page so that it is easy for the search engines to understand and therefore, more likely for your target audience to find.
Offer Examples and Proof
Once you’ve atracted them, you need to convince them that you’re doing more than just blowing smoke. Anyone can claim anything they want. Can you prove your claims?
Since everyone is all but buried by marketing messages, getting anyone to believe your claims is a daunting task. You’ll make success more likely by offering third-party endorsements for those claims. Even though we all know that no marketer is going to write case studies about failed projects or post testimonial quotes from clients who are anything other than enthusiastic, it’s still more credible to hear substantiation. Especially if it comes from people just like the prospect – same industry, same type of organization, same role … You your prospects to get the feeling that (to borrow the words of Seth Godin), “People like us do things like this.”
Encourage the Next Step
Finally, comes conversion. In Willy Loman’s day, this would probably be called asking for the sale. In Glengarry Glen Ross terms, it’s ABC – always be closing. We’re all better off without those tired approaches to sales, but you still have to finish the job, even if it’s in a much gentler fashion.
What you should be asking for, rather than the sale, is the next step. Maybe that step is permission to connect via email. Maybe it’s simply recommending another piece of information they should explore. Whatever is appropriate given your sales cycle and the prospect’s buying process, make that move toward getting the prospect to take action.
Guiding the narrative this way, from how prospects are introduced to your capabilities to how you nurture their interest and finally move them toward action, is critical now that the old script has been flipped and B2B buyers hold the advantage over marketers and sales teams. If you want to make the short list, you’ve got to do the legwork up front.