Informational Marketing Produces Sales Leads
Plenty of companies have a marketing budget and staff. Leads come in slowly and are not of good quality. One recommendation is to shift to response accountable direct marketing. Accurate data can be gathered from each lead generation process. A lead database, which tracks the lead source and lead process, can report precisely how campaigns are producing. Measuring results is key. When a baseline is gathered and understood, improvements can be sharply applied. Using proven formulas, companies can experience a 100% to 1000% increase in the lead flow results. This attractive and valuable improvement will take time and can be done without spending more money. Cost per lead will go down actually and qualified opportunities will go up.
Companies that sell many products: distributors, manufacturing representatives, and dealers can err by counting on the partner or principal for leads. One can argue that this is the partner responsibility and one can argue that to be self-sufficient, or very good at lead generation, will only strengthen and provide options to the sales company. Sales companies, resellers, reps, dealers and distributors can quickly develop a “bare bones” lead generation system that is not so much built around your product lines as it is built around the selling company company and the selling companies’s expertise, ability to diagnose and provide a solution using value-added expertise, unique knowledge and special specialties.
Leads can be generated by writing articles for trade magazines. This can do two things, first, the company can be established as a thought leader, and second, the author can be positioned as an expert in the field and step over the lable of “salesperson.” Reprints of articles published make terrific leave behinds for prospects and for customers. One of a dozen different repackaging of the article can pull leads in a dozen different ways.
Investigate publications that go to your target prospects and seek out local chapters of organizations that may be looking for interesting information to publish. Often a courteous approach to the editor or chapter head can get you in the door. Press releases about interesting things are picked up by local newspapers. And it is not unusual for a paper to do an article on the “local company” for the Sunday edition. What would the average reader of a periodical find interesting about your business; figure this out and you have the material for an information piece.
It is important to know that if you get an article published in a trade magazine or in newspapers this will not generate a ton of leads on its own. The real skill is to ALWAYS offer something in the article that gets the reader to go a step further. This is something you should always do.
Always offer a free report or white paper or How to Guide describing it like this: XYZ Sales Company has just released a free report called “10 Tips To Reduce Maintenance Costs for Power Supply Systems”and it is available FREE for the asking. Just call (555) 123-1234 or email email@example.com  to receive a copy.
Informational Pieces are Golden Nuggets
Making this guide is a snap. Invite the salesteam to a brainstorm session, fuel the thought process with a pizza and some chocolate chip cookies and irrigate the vocal cords with adult beverages. (Optional) Throw out talking prompts like: “What are the prospects telling us?” and, “What customer problems can we fix? “ and, “What conversations are going on in the prospects’s heads? Think like this:If two top prospects are having a beer and talking about business, what is being said?
Hammer this vein of information and data gold will shine. Good technical salespeople should be industry and technology deep and will know how the smart customers thrive deploying technology and services.
Put the thoughts on paper and boil the the thoughts down to seven issues or ten issues. Smooth each pain point with a sentence or two and this creates the first information piece. Professionally solve customers problems and avoid platitudes and your Guide will be worth something to a prospect. “We have been in business for ever and Billy, Bobby and Francie are here to help you,” are platitudes. Prospects care less. Prospects care about persistent problems, the headaches, and how to disappear them.
The Project Manager, the elusive man with the checkbook at the biggest prospect, may need the expertise that rattles around your companies’s head. Believe this. Well thought out information pieces materialize these wraiths. You will be surprised. Now there may a toe stubber, if the company is the master of the low ball pricing strategy, if the company sells commodity products and the company does not have any technical expertise…the company is a dinasaur drone with a price book. This is most likely not true and it should be easy to put together a report using Word and run it off on the copier. There is no need for colored paper or a fancy brochure.
Turn your Information into Dollars
Go to Kinkos. Print the report for 25 cents. Printing copies of your report is akin to printing money because you can use the report to get leads in many different ways.
You can send out postcards to a list of companies in a certain Industry Group.
Tee up a Fax blast to current customers and opt in prospects.
Fire off an email to your customer and prospect list.
Highlight and advertise the report in a newsletter, yours or someone else’s
Place the report strategically on the web site.
Kick off a press release using the report as a hook.
The report can be the basis for a magazine article.
With work, the report can be the first chapter of a best selling novel.
For that matter you can use your report as a script and do an infomercial.
Make a second, and third and fourth report about other topics.
Most remarkably, if the usual marketing Ambien, like a report on product features, with 5 colors and eye scalding glossiness, with a head knocker headline like “In Business a Million Years,” is sent to 500 prospects, you will choke on your results. Now print up the thought provoking, “ Crush Your 7 Monster Pains with our 7 Secret Solutions,” in beautiful black and white, insert said guide into a dimensional mailer, a tube comes to mind, stamp this Cialis chewing lead magnet, and rocket it to the same 500 prospects—results will be exponentially better than the 5 color mail piece. The 5 color beauty is stacked high in many sales offices, attracting no leads, attracting dust bunnies. The first approach is why most direct mail does not work. Direct mail, full of product pablum and self-inflicted platitudes, is blind to prospect issues. Put the prospects’s eye glasses on and see the prospects’s vision of day to day in-efficient processes. Sit in the prospects’s chair directing your eyes outward, Solve these problems; be a thought leader and prospects will flock to you.
Please pay close attention!
Informational marketing with will get 10 times the response of traditional Ambien marketing. Mail 500 product info postcards and get 5 responses or 1%, mail 500 problem solving postcards 10% or 50 replies.
It helps if you really put some sizzle to it. Write like this:
Trouble Shooting Guide Solves Product Problems
To help manufacturers install and maintain power supply systems XYZ Sales Company is offering a Free Guide, “The Fast Trouble Shooting Guide to Solving Widget Production Problems.” Armed with this guide most people can identify and solve Widget mysteries in a few minutes. Topics include:
1. One of the most elusive widget problems, _______, can be solved using a little known trick discussed on page three of the Free How to Guide.
2. Basic installation problems that guarantee problems will be traceable and ….
3. How to determine if devices have faulty ….
The guide will also indicate which tools should be used to solve any particular problem and will tell you which problems do not apply. Tools described include ABC Company’s ____, and DEF Company’s ____.
The guide is sent free of charge to anyone who calls or sends an email with their address to XYZ Sales company, Main Street, Dallas, TX 76000.
Take exactly what is here and send it out as a press release, a fax blast, or use it in a postcard or email promotion. Put the offer on the web site, and leave the offer on the counter of your top competitor.
This is the first step in building profitable relationships with prospects and your customers. You have to earn your stripes at each step of the way. You may be saying, “Ok, now I got a bunch of leads and now I can go to town.” Careful here, this approach is the old school and will damage the new relationships you are building before they can bear fruit.
This approach will work. The work is fun and pays off.
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