9 Ways to Keep Leads and Prospects Engaged

Sometimes the usual phone call or email is just the complete wrong way to follow-up with leads.  While tempting, keep in mind that you may catch them at a bad time, lead them to feeling like they’re “being sold,” or have them ask you to stop attempting altogether.  How can you spark action and interest into that lead without a hard sell?  Simple!  Here are 9 types of information you can send to your leads to keep their attention:

Recorded Webinars

Webinars are a convenient way of educating a large audience with minimal costs associated.  What is also great about them is that they can be recorded!  If you’re going to deliver a great presentation that highlights your expertise, make the most of it by saving the recording and using it as a sales tool for future leads and inquiries.

Recorded Sales Demonstrations

In sales, you may come across a situation where you have to deliver multiple demos for the same company before you can close the deal.  While every point of contact is an opportunity to get closer to the lead, make sure they don’t forget you (and can show you off to colleagues) by sending them a recorded demo.  That way, they can refer back to it at their convenience and never forget the greatest parts of your software. For example, check out our drag-and-drop demo for our mobile website builder, iFlyMobi!

Digital Company Brochures

If you have a fantastic printed brochure, turn the original PDF file of it into an electronic sales tool!  It’s a great way to sum up all of your company’s benefits and services into one well-designed package, and your leads can then save it on their desktop.  Be sure to share this via a software that handles electronic fulfullment so that you have a history record of sending it.

eBooks

Educate your audience with an enticing eBook that includes interesting facts about your audience’s pain points, and the solutions to those problems.  You can subtly promote your services and products within them, but have this eBook act as a reminder to all that you’re the answer to their problems.  Take a look at our eBook, “Guide to Selling Marketing Services” for inspiration.

Videos

Position yourself as the expert by giving tips, best practices, and a summary of services in 1-2 minute video clips.  Send this along to your prospects as a conversation starter, and let them get to know you through creative videos.

Podcasts

If you have team members who are fantastic speakers, podcasts may be the best approach to take when trying to capture their knowledge.  You can get away with longer podcast sessions as opposed to videos because the listener can listen in the car, at their desk over lunch, or on their morning run. Invite educational guests and keep folks coming back monthly for more knowledge!

Infographics

If you have a great graphic design team, and some captivating statistics, highlight both of these resources in an infographic (like this one).  They’re interesting, fun to look at, and share-worthy.  You can share information about the industries your target audiences are in, how you have increased success for clients, or how you’re keeping up with new technologies.

Service and Product Sell Sheets

Perhaps your leads don’t need the entire brochure, all they may want is a one-pager that goes over key benefits of one service or product they may be interested in.  Think real estate; they’ve mastered the 1 page sell. What’s great about having electronic sales sheets of your various offerings is that you can send a mixture of them depending on what your lead needs, and not clutter up their mind with too many ancillary services that don’t suit them.

Surveys

This sales tool is beneficial for two big reasons.  If you deliver a survey with weighted questions, you can customize the end results of what the survey would say based on the lead’s answers.  It also helps you qualify the lead in finding out what type of offerings would best fit their needs.

The bottom line?

The sales process doesn’t always have to be direct.  Take more of an inbound marketing approach and let them come to you. Sometimes the best way to keep the conversation going is to send educational and informative materials that will captivate your leads and get them excited about what you have to say so when they are ready, they come to the expert first (pssst…that’ll be you!)

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Need a reminder of these great tips? Print this handy cheat sheet:

Marketing: Channel and Media Review in the Airport

One of the ways that I measure the use of marketing items is when I am roaming the airport before my flight.  Yes, that’s right; I watch the humans and observe the channels and medias in use.  I want to know exactly what channels the travelers are using, whether it be Print, Electronic, or Television at that precise moment while at the airport waiting.  I also look into what medias in that channel they are using.  For example, in print, it may be newspapers, magazines, or books. In electronic, it may be mobile, laptop, net books, e-readers, iPods, and more. In television, I want to see what station is on, and then I try to gauge the interest of the people watching.  I do a quick count of the folks in a specific area and get a rough number of the audience.  Then, I do a quick count on the channels and medias so that I can report via Twitter and Facebook.   It is very interesting to see how things have changed over the years, but even day to day or the time of the day makes a difference.

I do it for fun, but if you were marketing to an audience in the airport it may be helpful to gather this sort of information.  I actually did a count several times, in the same way, while on the plane.  Some airlines have planes carrying Direct TV which changes the game, but typically the amount of printed material rises dramatically while on the flight.  On one trip I was really blown away by the amount of e-readers in use.  Now, Wi-Fi on board is finally making the push– something I have been waiting for a long time.   The ways to reach the target audience in the airport and in flights is changing.  As always, Marketing must remain flexible. 

See you at the airport.  – John

Twitter Basics For Marketing Services Providers

If you haven’t already checked out Twitter and created a profile, what are you waiting for? Twitter is an excellent micro-blogging platform for you to spread the word about company news, special events, discounts and more. Want to connect with prospects? Want to display your expertise? In 140 characters or less you can “tweet” tips, coupon codes, links to press releases…the sky is the limit. Here are some tips on how you can set your marketing services provider business up for success on Twitter:

Setting up your profile

Make sure you complete your profile. You want to have it represent your company and further your brand, so upload your logo to use as the avatar. Choose a Twitter name that is either your actual company name, or an easy to understand shorter version of your company name. Your one line bio allows for 160 characters only, so try to use keywords that make your profile searchable, rather than a vague tagline or slogan. You may want to create a custom background for your Twitter page that utilizes your logo in some way and clearly shows the url address to your website.

Finding people to follow

After you set up your Twitter profile, you want to “follow” other Twitter users. This allows you to see their tweets from your home page. As you follow others, you will find that many follow you back. You want to build up your list of followers, because these are people who will be able to regularly see your tweets as you make them.

Finding people to follow isn’t difficult. Some of your customers may actually invite you to follow them, by placing a twitter badge on their website or adding their Twitter profile url to their email signature. You can also click on the “Find People” link at the top of the Twitter page. From there, you have four options: find people on twitter via their name, business name, brand, keyword or twitter handle; find people via other networks such as Google, yahoo or AOL; invite people via email; look at suggested users.

After you begin following people and businesses you already know of, your best bet may be two-fold: One, check out the followers of those Twitter users you admire. If you are following someone or a company and you like their tweets and admire the way they handle themselves online, then it makes sense to see who they are following and do so as well. Two, use the “find people” search option and use keywords that your target market would use in their twitter handles and profiles.

Tweet responsibly and responsively

You’ll find you have to be creative at times to get your message in 140 characters or less. In fact, you will want it to be shorter so that others can “re-tweet” your message…getting it more exposure. It’s okay to toot your own horn, but try to make sure your twitter stream isn’t a constant barrage of sales pitches. And make sure to keep an eye on your messages. You may receive private messages via the “Direct Message” system, or you may receive a public tweet when someone includes your twitter handle in a tweet. You should respond in kind when appropriate – no one likes a tweeter who only tweets about their own stuff. So keep in mind that Twitter is a conversational tool, not a one-way onslaught of your promotional tweets.

What to tweet about

There’s plenty to tweet about. Here are some ideas:

  • Links to your blog posts
  • Links to your video or audio offerings
  • Links to other online information (stats, blog posts, news articles, videos, etc.) that you feel is relevant and useful to your followers
  • Company announcements – from employee of the month to hitting your latest sales goal
  • What you are currently working on
  • What you are currently reading
  • Events you are attending or organizing
  • Retweet other tweets to cultivate relationships and help disseminate useful information
  • Answers to questions that relate to your business, products/services
  • Ask questions and invite commentary

The importance of self-promotion

At a recent MFSA (Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association) chapter meeting, nearly all attendees present expressed their interest in offering marketing services. However, when asked if they were currently involved in efforts to market their own company, the response was, well… a bit less. There is no better way to ensure future success than to start marketing your company and services now. If you are a print, fulfillment, or mail services provider, and are looking to add marketing services to your offering, running a self-promotional campaign can assist you in two ways that you might not have yet realized:

  • Develop your internal campaign building team: if you have recently invested in a marketing software package, there certainly may be some training needed. By running your own campaign, your staff will become familiar with your new tools, and will also learn the ins and outs of running a successful campaign. (Some might also say that it’s safer to learn on your own campaign!)
  • Support your sales staff: To sell marketing services, your sales staff needs help… With a self-promotional campaign, you can help educate and energize them. As the campaign runs, they will learn first-hand what your company’s marketing services can do. Each time they see a lead come in, they will not only be excited by the pipeline increase, but they will be able to better describe to others just how your company can help them close the sales loop.