In today’s digital marketplace, marketing professionals and consumers alike are facing a growing overabundance of text ads, display ads, and ineffective strategies aimed at growing sales and cutting costs. From increasing PPC budgets and fighting for conversion rates on Google AdWords to agonizing over traffic metrics on Google Analytics, the digital marketing arena has become incredibly overcrowded and competitive.
What if I told you that you could easily reach interested clients throughout your industry without having to worry about daily ad spend, impressions, or even the bounce rate on your website? Sounds crazy right! Believe it or not, some of the most effective marketing strategies used by professionals today involve no ad spend and are based around building real relationships and opportunities with clients.
To help clients and professionals just like you, we’ve compiled our list of top relationship-based marketing strategies that help foster on-going projects and can grow your business.
Transactional Based Selling vs. Relationship Based Selling
When putting together a strategy to build relationships with clients to grow your business, it’s important to keep in mind your client’s unique needs and how your company fits into achieving their goals. One of the best quotes I’ve ever heard that can relate to building relationships and professional sales is
“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”
– Theodore Roosevelt
As straightforward and simple as it is, this basic principle can be applied to so many areas of your business and affects how you approach both potential clients and opportunities. Instead of simply trying to push products/services and industry knowledge on to potential clients and focusing strictly on sales, you need to take a step back and first understand the client’s specific needs and goals.
For B2B applications, taking time to have a thorough process where you research the client’s company and understand their common “pain points” or daily challenges is key. Knowing the who, what, were, why, and how of their main processes and understanding how your products/services meet their current and future goals will help you develop a stronger strategy and understand how you can help this potential client achieve their long-term goals.
Once you understand this potential client’s unique needs you can begin showcasing your portfolio of recent projects of clients who have similar needs or products/services you believe are the best fit. Testimonials, reviews, case studies, and sales literature are always great tools you can use to reinforce your messaging and help build dialogue in the future.
Industry Tradeshows & Conferences
Ever wanted to connect with hundreds of interested buyers from across your region or across the country? Industry-specific tradeshows and even some conferences offer a great opportunity to connect with interested buyers and sellers in industries ranging from manufacturing to professional services.
As you probably already know, industry tradeshows and conferences have been around for decades. Featuring everything from tradeshow booths to speakers and workshops on industry topics, these events can range in attendance size from a few hundred to a few thousand. Attending these events and capturing the interest of potential clients can be a challenge.
Rather than pursue every potential client attending your local or national tradeshow, you need to keep in mind the Pareto Principle. In marketing and professional sales, the Pareto Principle simply outlines that 80 percent of your sales come from 20 percent of your customers. Rather than pursuing all of the potential companies and clients at a tradeshow, focus your efforts on clients that fit your portfolio.
If the tradeshow has an online registry with an RSVP list, reviewing this list for potential companies that would be viable candidates for cultivating a relationship with is a great idea. If there is no active RSVP list, doing some basic research on companies who attend the show yearly is a good alternative.
By performing research on companies attending the tradeshow or conference, you can begin to narrow down your efforts and focus on reaching key companies to convert to clients. With a list of “hot prospects”, you can begin to tailor your strategy, sales materials, and approach to the specific needs of these clients. With that, you can lay a strong framework for opening a line of communication and potentially a relationship.
Cold Contacting Prospects
If you’re like many professionals, you probably saw this heading and thought “There’s no way cold contacting prospects is effective”, and unfortunately that couldn’t be further from the truth. Believe it or not, reaching out to potential leads over the phone is making a strong comeback and the results are incredible.
When you think about some of the most popular and competitive mediums for generating sales and new business, things like email marketing, social media, and even PPC Ads are at the top of the list. These mediums have grown in popularity in recent years and because of that the number of companies using these methods has grown as well. This growth has led to an overabundance of ads on these mediums and has diminished the effectiveness overall.
Cold calling might seem like an outdated and ignored way of reaching potential leads but in recent years the numbers have become hard to ignore. Compared to email and PPC, the conversion rate for cold contacting is around 2%. Depending on your industry for PPC, conversion rates might by anywhere from .15% and above depending on things like daily budget, quality score, etc. This is a significant difference when you factor in the cost of ad spend vs. time dedicated to a call.
If you build your call list of potential leads carefully and research these leads ahead of time, the likelihood of capturing the interest of professionals on the other end of the phone is phenomenal. Staying away from scripted calls and avoiding selling something over the phone are solid methods for getting an in-person meeting and laying the groundwork for additional dialogue.
Bolstering sales and growing a business is an ongoing challenge. From leveraging online advertising mediums like email marketing and PPC to leading a dedicated salesforce of professionals, staying ahead of the curve and standing out in a crowded marketplace is essential. We’ve seen clients over the years using a variety of methods for generating leads and driving traffic to their businesses. If you’re interested in developing a new strategy for your team but aren’t sure where to start, we’re here to help.