Are your prospects ready for your call?
Photo courtesy of Laura Monn Ginsburg
It’s cliché but true—especially when it comes to marketing budgets: Timing is everything.
My main counsel here is to do what you need to do to move 2015 along, but start looking at your messaging, database health, and revenue plan for 2016 if you really want to make sure you’re ahead of budgets like mine that are drafted in October, finalized in November, and all but chiseled into stone by year-end.
If you’re pounding the pavement no matter what, here are my top tips for approaching a B2B marketer to sell services and/or solutions:
- Keep the story short and visual. I recently had a demo where the “about us” backstory was a simple and effective infographic-style image on a slide. It impressed me without losing those critical first few minutes when you actually have my attention (you know, before you can tell I’m surreptitiously checking email).
- Don’t ask: “So tell me a little about yourself/your company/what you’re planning for2015”. I will roll my eyes on the other end of the phone and chances are good you’re asking to show interest in me and not because you’re going to vastly change your pitch. Impress me instead by asking me to confirm what you’ve learned in your diligent research of me/my business. Then, ask me thoughtful questions throughout the presentation rather than defaulting to the open-ended and vagues: “Any questions at this point? Does that make sense?”
- Have a really good story about why I need what you’re selling. Everyone’s value-add right now is a “portal” where I can do everything from monitor leads to purchase unicorns. Honestly, logging in to another site I don’t have time to learn is somewhat of a detractor. If it integrates to something I already use, all the better. If it automatically generates reports that show how smart I was for hiring you, you’ve got my attention. This won’t be true for everyone, but make sure to feel out your audience to see if you’re spotlighting a feature that’s more of a point against you.
- Don’t put an hour on my calendar, especially if it’s over the phone/web. I bet you can get your presentation down to a half hour. Try it—keep all the zing and cut out all the fluff. I bet you’ll have the best presentation I’ve seen all week.
There’s no two ways about it, selling services is hard. Taking the time to get your schedule and presentation lined up with your audience’s needs will ensure the best use of your—and your prospects’—time.