Ever heard of your prospects saying to you: “you’re too expensive”?
If so, how do you deal with the objection?
- Move on
- Find a way to make a “comeback” on the spot
- Follow-up and add value consistently
It’s easy to become a business that falls into the background, especially when your marketing campaigns are similar to your competitors. If you’re offering the same products or services as a competing company, the only factor a potential customer can compare is the price.
But what if you don’t want to offer a product at the cheapest price? Especially when you’re providing better quality? You need to communicate that quality, and you need to communicate your brand’s image and mission. Most of all, what can your business bring to the table that benefits the prospects, and how can you wow them?
Customers know businesses exist to make a profit, but they want to be assured that what they’re buying is worth what they’re paying for, and if they’ll experience the stated benefits of the products they’re buying. So how can we communicate all of this effectively?
Engaging with customers early
The key to getting action out of your customers is to create a relationship with them. Some important ways to interact with customers include:
- Delivering value first
- Picking up your phone
- Systemising your buying process
Delivering value first
When prospects reach out, it means they have a problem they need you to solve. In the meantime, they also have options to reach out to others, a.k.a competitors.
The speed of response is a critical factor to impress your prospects. A study from Inside Sales suggests that if you follow up your web leads within 5 minutes, you’re 9 times more likely to convert them.
On initial engagement, the focus is to listen and understand their issues rather than selling.
Often, businesses focus too much on selling without understanding prospects’ needs well enough and turn the opportunity away. The goal is “how can we help?” rather than “how can we sell?”. Enquiries aren’t just numbers but are opportunities and relationships.
Imagine when you go on a first date, and that person proposes to you immediately afterwards. How would you feel? Creepy? In this way, you don’t want to creep out your customers and scare them away.
So, how do you deliver value first?
- Give before you ask: what can you help with? vs.
what can you sell?
- Listen to their needs/problems first vs.
sell what you have
- Focus on the benefits (that is, what’s in it for them?) vs.
what your business/product does
When trust is built, price resistance becomes less relevant.
Picking up your phone
How do you deal with online enquiries?
- Email back and see what happens
- Pick and choose which one looks “useful” to you
- Call customers back immediately
A study reveals that the odds of making contact with a new lead are extremely high if you call within the first 5 minutes of submission.
Sometimes we hear clients complaining, “The quality of leads ain’t good enough”. The first thing we ask in response is, “How do you follow up?” and they say, “I emailed back!” If you’re in a service based business and sell high-value ticket items, one email won’t simply help you close the deal. Engagement is key. Talking to prospects is the quickest way to build a “know, like and trust” relationship and qualify them.
You may be aware of this already, but mobile phone accessibility and use are on the rise. Perhaps you’re thinking, in this new digital age, doesn’t everyone prefer to hide behind the anonymity of their computers and phones, and only respond by text, email and social media? Invoca reports that 75% of consumers call over the phone to connect with businesses after a mobile search. This makes up a substantial proportion of leads – leads you’re throwing away if you don’t pick up phone!
So, get personal – talking directly to your prospects allows you to demonstrate your expertise, by helpful, and ultimately differentiate yourself from the other businesses that promise to “get back to you within 48 hours”.
Crucial tip: don’t put your phone number on voicemail and expect prospects to call back. This is bad practice and makes it harder for your business to stand out.
Systemising your buying process
Marketing and sales go hand in hand. Without a strong sales process in place, no matter how many enquiries or calls come through, leads are going to fall through the cracks. Here’s a quick breakdown of the buying process – it involves 5 steps:
- Problem/need recognition
- Information search
- Evaluation of alternatives
- Purchase decision
- Post-purchase behaviour
You need to be able to make links between this process, and the journey customers will experience throughout it. Here’s an illustration of that journey:
When customers recognise that they have a need, how will you attract them? As they search for information to fulfil that need, how can you gain their attention and awareness of the brand? While they evaluate their alternatives (that is, you and your competitors), how will you stand out? And after they’ve made their decision to buy from you, what will you offer to get them coming back?
There’s a lot to consider here. While you can get to thinking about the nitty-gritty, the overall solution to all the above would be: differentiation. Think of ways in which your points of contact with the customer, the offer, and post-purchase offers stand out to get you going.
Personalisation is an increasingly popular approach to marketing, with consumers now growing tired of mass media and advertising, and looking for more customised options in the marketplace.
A simple form of personalised marketing to begin with is ‘thank you’ and follow-up emails. MarketingLand reported that emails that address the customer in name alone result in a 6 times higher transaction rate than those addressed to the masses in a generic ‘dear member’ or ‘sir/madam’ fashion. Despite this, only 30% of companies are actually undertaking this approach. Below we can see that personalised e-receipts show 33.7% open rate while mass emails only captures half of this amount:
Follow-up emails are sent to prospects that have yet to make a transaction while thank you emails follow a successful transaction. They’re both extra points of interaction with your audience, and go a long way, since they indicate that you care about your customers. Rather than send a simple and generic ‘thanks’ along with an invoice, go the extra mile and welcome them into your community, give them links to your social media, or ask them to join your membership rewards program (if you have one, that is). Here’s an example by Birchbox:
And if they do happen to join your ‘community’, follow up again. And again. Do it regularly and make that effort to create a relationship. You never know, what was previously a cold lead could soon turn into a loyal customer.
If you’d like to learn more how to use email marketing, check out one of our latest blog posts, here.
Improving your online presence
How do you feel about your website? Does it make you proud? Or rather, does it sell?
If not, there are a number of important trends you can consider:
- Mobile-centric websites
- Customer-centric content
- Marketing automation
- Building your tribe
While most people have a laptop, tablet, phone, or combination of them all, 70% of the general public are reported to use their phones as their main form of information acquisition, while over 25% of all e-commerce transactions are conducted on mobile. And these numbers are expected to grow.
Why does mobile work? Well, the mobility factor has a lot to play in this, of course. Mobiles are used on the go, and are checked frequently. This means mobile notifications, email marketing, and SMS marketing are all effective in gaining action from customers. Salmat reports that SMS messages have a 90% open rate, and 98% of these read them within the first 3 minutes of receiving them.
If your business has a website, it’s now crucial that they’re mobile-friendly. Content should be easy to read, to the point, and engage with images and videos. If mobile websites are easy to navigate and pages load quickly, your audience is likely to stay on the page for longer.
Ask yourself, does your business have a way of helping your prospects make an informed decision to choose you over others? And can this be done without you or your sales team?
By educating your prospects, your business has a higher chance to stand out from the crowd and become a trusted go-to expert. Customer-centric content is essential for every business. It not only gives you time leverage but also positions your business differently.
To convey this, your content needs to be informative, educational and value-added that makes readers feel like “you can read their mind”.
Ways to deliver customer-centric content:
- And more
Time is often a challenge for most business owners when it comes to creating content. If the resources are available, the best way is to hire a content manager to facilitate the work. The good news is, some experts predict that half of all content will be developed by machines (artificial intelligence), and humans will only oversee and edit when necessary within the next five years.
For now, a good brand still requires a consistent content strategy to get your business seen and heard!
What’s marketing automation? It’s one of the latest buzz-words in digital marketing today, and generally speaking, it refers to technology that does systemize your marketing activities for you, such as email and social media posting software.
If you haven’t jumped on the marketing automation bandwagon already, you may want to consider it. Why? In a word: efficiency. Instead of having staff creating all your content from scratch, getting the information out manually, and collecting data manually, you can get a software to do it for you. And this sets aside time and money that you can now spend on more crucial, strategic aspects of your business.
As an example, marketing automation is playing a huge role in the way content marketers are creating their email marketing campaigns. You can filter the contacts you want to receive certain emails, and by segmenting your email audience, you’re able to customise your emails more closely to each customer and their needs.
Read more about email marketing in a recent blog post: 7 Reasons Why Email Marketing Should Be Your #1 Priority
Building your tribe
How are you creating your community? With the Internet, the possibilities are endless. You can choose to:
- Create or participate in a Facebook group
- Connect with more people on LinkedIn
- Contribute to an online forum
You can even take the tribe away from the virtual and:
- Have regular meet-ups
- Gather your tribe at your events and workshops
It’s all about creating rich relationships with your customers. Remember the 80:20 rule – 80% of your customers will come and go, but 20% are the loyal, returning customers. So cultivate your tribe now.
Make the efforts of your customers worth their while. Create a customised experience, and in the meantime, show them who you are, what you have to offer and why you’re worth more than competitors. Spend more time creating relationships that will not only generate leads but bring back old customers.
Your Next Step
What’s one thing you can take away and implement in your business? Comment below, we’d love to hear from you.
Are you looking to grow your business online, we love helping the business generate more leads and sales online.
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