Five tips to stop pitching and start connecting

Written By Nicole Cendrowski on February 23rd, 2016

I chuckle when I read about Millennials because, according to some definitions, I’m in the club (born 1980). One reference that stood out to me is that Millennials aren’t comfortable with pushy, old-school sales tactics. That certainly applies to me, but then again, who really wants this at any age?

A high-pressure sales approach makes just about everyone uncomfortable, whether it’s made in person, on the phone, or in an email. I encourage you to evaluate your content marketing for such rapport-killing tactics.

I believe that the most impactful engagement is face-to-face, no matter what the outcome; however not every client is ready for that…especially one who visits a website once for 2.2 seconds, then ignores the multitude of emails and voicemails that follow from that company.

Drip marketing (sending pre-written messages to prospects over time), when done well, can complement your prospect’s journey. Consider these five tips to stop pitching to them, and start connecting:

  • Be in the present. There’s a beautiful balance between staying top-of-mind and being annoyingly available. Think about creative ways to share content through each step of your new client-development process that’s timely and relevant and might also spark deeper conversations or brainstorming. Content examples include social media posts, blogs, news, events, or visual assets like infographics and videos.
  • Share what you’re learning, not what you already know. This educational approach will inform potential customers about what’s in your wheelhouse, trends that may apply to their business, or stories about other clients’ experiences. This could come in the form of stories, case studies, whitepapers, testimonials, or other forms of social proof in written, recorded or filmed form.
  • Re-engage with fallen-away clients and prospects. It’s OK to re-connect with people who’ve fired you, people you’ve fired, or the Glengarry leads who went M.I.A. It’s always interesting to learn what’s changed in their business and in their lives. If you learn the truth about why they left and make improvements, you might find the leaving had little to do with you—and you may be able to make a fresh start together.
  • Have fun with the competition. While you may not think you have competition because of your abundance mindset that there’s plenty of business to go around (I play here, too), prospects may not have the same beliefs as you—so they may want competitive advantages clearly spelled out. Create drips to educate prospects who are with competitors about how you’ve helped other clients similar to them. Your message may resonate and open the door to a lively conversation.
  • Offer to help. Training content can help bring on new clients who want to learn ways to engage with your company and gain valuable, actionable insights. Share tips and tools that could help them enjoy their work more. This could lead to meaningful conversation about working more closely together.

Please give some of these approaches a try and let me know how it goes. A word of caution, though: assume that content alone will not sell for you. Have tools in place to be aware of who’s engaging and respond to them accordingly. Selling is a contact sport. At some point, you’ll need to leave the comfort of your computer, find out if the prospect is ready to engage, get on the phone—and better yet, if you can, get together, in person, for a real connection.

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