Overselling – The Keyboard Vs. The Mouth

Overselling today is a symptom of holding on to what does not work anymore.  Traditional marketing and sales creatively interrupted people.  The message was about talking about how great you and your products or services are.  This is what advertising, direct mail, and sales teams were used for.  Today, it misses the buyer.  They don’t need you to figure out what you do or offer.  They can find it for themselves.

The Mouth

It is expensive to hire a large sales team, much less train them and ensure performance.  This was the norm for the complex sale in the industrial age.  However, their job has become less relevant as information has become widely available.  Buyers can self-serve when it comes to finding what they need to educate themselves.  Google is pretty easy and powerful to hone in on what we are looking for.

They typical salesperson is at their best if they are in person and can read the buyer’s body language.  They have the art of persuasion.  They need close range to use it effectively.  Lots of calls and interruptions create a feeling of busyness.  It’s easier and feels like selling if they pick up the phone and can get you to talk.  It’s also overselling if it is not welcome.

So, if you have salespeople, how many times can they call a prospect in a week?  Once?  Twice?  More?  They would have to make up reasons if they are too frequent (this happens often).  They “are just following up” to check on if the person is ready, right?  The buyer is turned off by this.  They know what the salesperson is trying to do.  We have all been sold.  We don’t like it.

Furthermore, every call is a lost opportunity.  It’s not worth much.  Time goes by in a day and it’s a low probability day.  Perhaps some activities are captured in some emails or a CRM system.  Either way, there is nothing to show of lasting value, but activities which are in a private system.  It’s a one and done.  Overselling the buyer can also risk your credibility and opportunity.

The Keyboard

The customer is not looking for you to sell them something.  They will decide for themselves when they are ready and will pick you or your competition.  What they are looking for is valuable content which helps them understand your market, value proposition and competitors.  They are looking for answers to problems.

Helping them articulate their problem is part of their quest.  If you can help them with such value, you are positioned in the mind of the buyer when they are ready to buy.

What if your sales process was transformed from the mouth to the keyboard?  Instead of the busy work of interrupting and foraging for the hot lead, provide value for everyone and build a digital pipeline.

The tendency of most salespeople is to pick up the phone and waste their one call for the week.  It’s a losing proposition.  You are in the begging position.

Instead, pick up the keyboard and share your knowledge.  Create content which connects for your prospective buyer.  Publish it.  Distribute it.  Position it.  Persist in it.

This is how selling is done today.  Credibility comes from a give and take in value.  You provide knowledge (assuming you know something) and the buyer responds digitally.  Every click, open, share, and page visit can be measured and trigger next steps that make sense.  Follow-up becomes congruent with what the buyer is doing, not what your itchy sales side wants.  It becomes about helping and buying rather than bugging and selling.

The keyboard builds you an asset.  You have content which lives and is a renewable resource and durable asset.  The phone can work a bit, but it is based in getting past caller ID and catching people with attention and desire.  It’s a tough sell without an asset to show for when all is said and done.

Your buyers are ignoring you if you don’t understand the new rules of marketing.  Stop wasting their time and yours with outdated approaches.  There are more cost effective and beneficial ways.

What is holding you back or what have you experienced from changing your strategy and sales approach?

 



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Niche Marketing Strategy For Inbound Marketing

If your offering is not a mass market appeal, then your niche marketing strategy needs to position your brand for a specific, narrow and identified buyer.  There are brands that appeal to the mass market.  GE light bulbs, Xerox copiers, Dell laptops and the New York Times are focused on the masses.  If brands like these are not your competitors, then you are a niche.  You are part of the long tail.  Your strategy is completely different.  There needs to be a narrower focus to connect with your market.  As an inbound marketing firm, we work heavily with niche marketing strategies.  Our customers have a specific offering for a specific market.  Here are strategies to keep in mind as a niche player to drive revenue with your niche.

Stay Narrow On Your Buyer Profile

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” – Bill Cosby

Heed Billy Cosby’s words.  A niche, by definition, is exclusivity.  There is a select crowd.  Everyone is not part of it; only a select or self-selected group are part of it.

Trying to please everyone dilutes your brand and muddies your message.  Ensure that your buyer profile is specific and targeted.  Your messaging must be tightly communicated to this specific person.  The narrower your message is, the better your brand will stick.

The temptation is to appeal to everyone.  Stay away from this.  Create new brands.  But don’t try pleasing everyone.  Your marketing strategy needs to focus only on the people that fit your offering in taste, personality and requirements.

One-to-One Marketing

Putting out a broad message only convolutes.  Treat each message as if it were to a specific person, namely the one in your buyer profile.  Create a personal tone.  Use highlights of successful customers.  Help your buyer see themselves in the accounts of your success stories.

One-to-one is the strategy to pursue rather than the one-to-many message.  If you make spicy sausages for Asian food lovers, use language and stories that connect with this specific buyer.  Be personal.  Be sensitive and use the language which connects.  Make it completely relevant to how this buyer thinks and considers based on what you know from your past customers which are similar.

Lead With Your Offering As The Best

Be the best.  If you are not the best for your niche, redefine your niche or enhance your offering.  There is nothing more powerful than being positioned as the leader.  Go to the grocery store and you will see examples.  There are lots of cheeses.  Which is the best?  Best in what category is the better question.  Best cheddar might be different than best aged Swiss.  The brands are likely totally different.  They are both cheese, however, their differentiation in categories causes us to reconsider brands in our decision making.

Define your offering in a way that allows you to lead.  Rally around this and be relentless in your communication to your buyer so that it is without question that you are the leader.

Choice Is Driving Niche Marketing

The internet has opened up the world of choice for all of us.  We can consider more options.  Your position in a niche and the perception you have in the mind of the buyer requires you to be specific in your approach.  Marketing automation which filters your incoming leads into the right conversation are important for presenting the most personal and relevant information.

Using systems which help you qualify your buyer up front are critical in your marketing process.  Success comes from being undisputed as the leader in your category.  Ensure your niche is well-defined and that you connect with the ones that matter.

How can you get narrower to grow your opportunity?

Why Buyers Avoid Your Sales Process

Your sales process is about you, not about your buyer.  How soon did you want to talk to a salesperson on your last major purchase?  It was likely much later, not sooner.  The reason is that we all know once we engage a salesperson, we are going to be harassed.  This is by design.  The salesperson is executing their sales process and their function is to close anyone that makes themselves known.

What if I am not ready to be closed?  When we first start buying, we are not ready to be closed.  We are looking for information and we are wanting to find that information to help us feel comfortable, educated and aware of our need.  We may not be able to articulate our need just yet.  Talking to a salesperson prematurely only highlights the awkwardness.

Make It About Buying

If it was the old days, I would tell you to get out there, woo prospects, educate them, follow up and close them.  They gave you permission.  You were the keeper of special knowledge after all.

Today, that is both disruptive and awkward.  Information is free for people.  They expect to find it with a few searches and clicks.  The internet has allowed a complete self-service model which empowers buyers to learn before they decide.  There is plenty for them to consume and they will take their time until they become close to as knowledgeable as you, Ms. Salesperson.

Here’s how you can help them do what they are going to do anyways – avoid salespeople, educate themselves and decide on their own – and pick you when they are ready:

  1. Create Smart Decision Trees – Build logic and autoresponders which are intelligent to serve up the right information based on your buyer decisions and indecisions.
  2. Package Content – Use multimedia and content strategically delivered and marketed for consumption and download.  Make it count.  Put it on the web on your domain.
  3. Measure Every Movement – You should be able to see everything the buyer does.  There is a lot of action they are taking apart from calling you.  It’s data that tells you whether they are ready or not.  If you are flying blind, it’s because you have poor systems and are not understand what marketing automation is.  Get smarter.
  4. Position Your Leadership – Always, always, always lead.  Help.  Think ahead for the customer.  Be more valuable than anyone else.

Reality Today

The reality is that organizations are realizing that hiring a large sales force is vanity.  There may be a lot of busy work, but the results damage your brand more than help your results.

The job of sales has been contracted because information via the internet has tilted the balance of power to the buyer.  They can self-serve and they prefer this.  If you cannot see this reality, then think about it long and hard.  After doing so, take the advice in stride and rebuild how you sell.  Skinny selling and beef up buying.  It is the winning strategy of today.

What have you noticed about how your buyers engage you compared to the past?  Feel free to comment below.

Four Brand Marketing Strategies For Your Products And Services

Your brand is far more important than your product or service. How a buyer or customer perceives you in the mind far outweighs what is already expected in your service.  We all expect quality products and great service.  Ask anyone what makes them special and the answer is typically something generic of this sort.  There is nothing special about this claim.  You are supposed to deliver on these promises or you should not even be around.  What is important is whether your brand convinces an inundated marketplace of inattentive buyers that what you offer truly is special.  Here are four brand marketing strategies to focus on today that breaks through the noise.

Define Your Category Specifically And Narrowly

Being broad in your categorization is a losing strategy.  It opens the door for comparison.  If you say you are a car dealer, then you are generic in the mind of the buyer.  If you specialize in exotic European cars, then you are in a category of few.  If you are the premier Ferrari dealer in the southwest region of Texas, then you are special.

Your category will either dilute you in the mind of the buyer or specialize you.  Being special affords you the opportunity to position with expertise.  There is not a lot to comparison shop with.  At AscendWorks, we define our category as the leading inbound marketing strategy consulting company.  We have not met anyone who puts the process of lead generation, lead nurturing and lead conversion together in an integrated process and strategy as we do.  It is a narrow category in which we are the leader.  We have mastered it over years and our customers understand this brand.

You are always asked what you do.  Be sure to use the opportunity to be specific and narrow in your definition.  If you are being compared in the mind of your customer, then listen carefully and further refine your definition.

Brand By Leadership

If everyone needs what you offer, then you better be the leader.  The leader is the perceived expert and first in the category.  Establishing leadership today is done with content and PR.  Are you talked about and are you written about?  The reason is that our fingers do the walking today.  We search for what we are looking for.  We are looking for authority, credibility and leadership when we buy.

The world is not fair or balanced.  It is highly imbalanced.  You do not recall who took fourth at an Olympic event, PGA golf tournament or Grammy awards.  The first place winner is disproportionately lauded and celebrated.  First is the brand leader.

Thus, if you define your category narrowly and you are the leader, then your position in the mind of the buyer affords you disproportionate attention.  This is even more important today.  With the internet, the imbalance is further wedged between number one and two.  Facebook, Twitter and Amazon get to take the spoils of their respective categories.  They are first.  Second is not even known well.  Their leadership amplifies their winnings.

Likewise, your opportunity to be the leader should be a primary strategy to position your brand.  Leadership is not cheap.  It is hard work and a relentless push towards positioning with authority.  The prize is worth it.

Provide Meaning For Your Brand

When I say your brand, I should have clarity about its meaning.  We use phenomenal brands in our vocabulary.

“Pass me a Kleenex.”

“Can you Xerox that?”

FedEx it to me today.”

Millions of dollars have been spent to use these simple names as part of our lexicon.  They become verbs, adjectives and proper nouns.

as-cend-works [uh-send-wurks], n. the leading inbound marketing strategy consulting company.

Everything you do in your marketing is to create meaning for your brand.  The colors, content, work, service is to drive the shorthand definition in the mind of the buyer and help your customers tell others the meaning of your brand simply.

It used to be that marketers could throw dollars at you to drive this meaning.  Today, your market will respond with your hard work in content, social media and relentless work on your systems for driving your brand definition.  Consistency and clarity is key.  Your products and services merely reinforce the idea you germinated in my mind.  Ensure your marketing systems are set up to position you and define you specifically.

Keep Brands Separate

Zappos sells shoes.  Apple sells consumer computer devices.  If Zappos starts to sell what Apple sells and vice-versa, then there is brand confusion.  They would both be disadvantaged.  In our minds, we know Zappos for what they do and Apple for what they do.  If they wanted to enter into new markets, it is better to narrow the category and create a new brand, otherwise, they dilute the power of their own brand in our minds.

It is a lot of work to maintain many brands, much less just one.  If your products or services compromise clarity about one brand offering, then do not meld them together.  Protect the definition of your brand and build a new one.

Think about the buyer.  Buyers think simplistically.  We use shorthand and stereotypes.  Grasping something like a hybrid motor scooter and bike only compromises our own thoughts.  It is heavy like a scooter and light like a bike?  It is great at nothing, then.  Your own brand is that important.  It needs uncompromising focus, definition and leadership to win in the mind of the buyer.  Don’t compromise.

Branding Is The Strategy

You want both – a quality product or service offering and a remarkable brand.  They’re not a trade-off.   There are numerous stories of great products and services that fail.  Look at the reason.  It is a poor brand.  Being great but not being perceived as great means losing in business.  Being the purist and insisting on your intrinsic value misses the customer completely.  We can’t make prospects buy.  They buy based on their perceptions and emotions when they pick you or your competitor.  They buy the brand.

What is your brand and how would you like to be known with your customers?  Feel free to comment below.

Adaptive Marketing As The New Reality

There is a pulse to your market.  Plugging into the whims and trends of your customer requires an adaptive marketing strategy.  The attention economy has us moving along the fast currents of a collective conscience in social media and the blogosphere.  To remain relevant requires real-time marketing that continually responds to your buyers and their behaviors.

Structuring Agile Systems

Your systems for monitoring and reacting to the marketplace need to be able to change quickly.  It is likely your website will be outdated in a year and your message today has less potency as it once did.  Cleaner design, concise copy and convenient processes need to be continually updated.

On the back end, what you are measuring needs to be in dashboard that allows you to take action quickly.  Triggers to your sales team and process drive speed in reaction.

The process by which your buyer starts, consumes and finishes has to be without awkwardness or hitches.

All these factors are the heavy lifting of organizations that understand today’s economy is about reinvention, adapting and refinement.  In the past, we could rely on systems that did not require change.  We don’t have that choice or luxury today.  Too many people are pushing the boundaries of messaging, value and content.  Ensure your platforms for doing business allow for quick change.

Tapering The Buying Funnel

If your systems are set up to do business with continual adaptation, the feedback from your market in interest, awareness and opting in will drive a tighter buying funnel.  Each of the conversion steps can be carefully analyzed.  Look for where your buyer is dropping off and make adjustments to test for new pathways to gain their compliance.  If they show disinterest on a landing page, redesign the call to action and watch the metrics carefully.  If there is a drop off from a purchase page, then reexamine the process to see how you can eliminate steps or confusion.

Continually simplify and remedy the issues in your funnel.  It is the hard work of inbound marketing.  As you continually adapt, you will find the points of automation which speed up the buying process.  The reward is a tighter and predictable funnel.

Inbound Marketing Strategy

Assume that everything you have set up will change.  Assume that buyers are fickle and their attention will continue to decrease year over year.  As a seller, you are competing with many other sellers to hone in on maintaining relevance and attention.  Ensure you are set up to continually refine and adapt your marketing.  The content, decision points, design and systems need to change.  There’s no such thing as arriving.  There is only keeping up with the buyer, who is always changing.

What are the challenges you are finding in keeping pace with buyers today?

Inbound Marketing Strategy With Value And Content First

It is harder than ever to build trust today, thus, you have to focus on positioning.  Bring value through content first.  How you are perceived by your prospective buyer can be affected by the work or the lack thereof you do before you meet with them.  While many salespeople are trained in outdated ways of prospecting, there are new approaches which resonate with how we like to be approached as buyers today.

How We Regard Content

The internet has placed the power in the hands of the buyer.  We instinctively search, research and self-service with regards to educating ourselves about products, services and people.  As a salesperson, you are a product as well.  How you are displayed, perceived and positioned is entirely up to you.  The hard work comes in building the appropriate systems and carefully thinking through every mouse click and experience your prospective buyer will have.

If you are outbound in your sales process, here is a simple framework for connecting with credibility rather than low trust.  Trust is the key.

Focus On Your Prospect

There is something you would like to say with your prospect.  Typically, a salesperson would rather pick up the phone rather than write.  Second, it’s expedient to email.  Both tactics lose the strategic value which could be captured in building a system.

Your prospect has some kind of problem they are seeking to solve or are not thinking about.  Your job is to engage the discussion around the problem.  Thus, write an article which is housed on your professional blog system.  The article should be optimized for search engines so that it has lasting value.  Every article you write becomes an asset.  You are able to be found in the future and your authority and relevance will rise.  Contrast this with every email you write.  Every email becomes disposable and only consumed by one or a few people.  Though it is convenient, it does not have the same positioning.

Ensure your article connects both specifically and broadly.  Having a specific person to write for helps you focus the content.  In the meantime, there should be a dual tract in your thinking to allow it to serve multiple people like the person you are approaching.

Connect With Your Prospect

Social Media has evolved to become a new collaborative inbox for people.  Use Twitter and LinkedIn to make a connection with your prospect.  Review their tweets and posts.  Find something which connects and you are able to have a discussion around.

In Twitter, you can make a Mention of the person.  Simply use the “@” symbol before their Twitter handle, such as @ascendworks.  An example would be, “Enjoyed the article by @ascendworks on #positioning.”  Note the “#” symbol.  This makes the following word a tag in Twitter and anyone searching on that term will find your post.

The Mention will show up in the respective person you are trying to connect with.  They will likely comment back and follow you.  Once you both are connected, you have an avenue to open a dialogue.  In this go slow.  You are a stranger.  Send a message which delivers value by pointing them to the article you wrote.  Be sure to shorten the url at http://bit.ly.  An example message would be “AscendWorks, thanks for following.  I would love to connect.  I think this article would be valuable http://bit.ly/g66Mn4”

Thus, you have positioned with value.  This is a path to building trust.  Next, you want to watch for their digital body language.

Digital Body Language

A marketing automation system which gives you intelligence about what your prospect is doing with your content is critical for your approach.   You can see what they are reading and be alerted on the timing.  This allows you to have a personalized and timely engagement with your prospect.  Furthermore, you can see if trust is being built.  We call it a breadcrumb trail.  You may have several trails.  The goal is to entice your buyer into further engaging your content and get to know you.

The consumption of your content builds trust.  It positions you as an expert.  We trust and respect experts.  Our guard goes up with salespeople.  The work you do in driving a strategic approach will classify you as one or the other.  Experts work within strategic systems.  Traditional salespeople play a numbers game and abuse others time.  It’s better to approach fewer well-targeted prospects with value and precision than guess and interrupt many people.  You lose your credibility and are only building mistrust with no systems.

Syndication And Metrics

Your work is never wasted.  You are building a sales system rather just being a salesperson.  It revolves around content which is produced and proclaimed.

Within your blog system, be sure to have a search engine like Google Custom Search implemented.  This will allow you to quickly Google your own content for future one-to-one sales engagements to repeat the process.

Ongoing, you should syndicate your articles by posting on Twitter and LinkedIn to drive further inbound traffic.  Metrics show you who is coming and when to engage them.  Thus, your system creates a process for a person desiring to engage you rather than a process of interruption.

The process to be executed again is:

  1. Identify and research your prospect
  2. Write a personal, relevant and timely content piece
  3. Post the content in your professional blog system
  4. Connect via Twitter and LinkedIn using Mentions
  5. Provide value with followers using your article as a positioning piece
  6. Monitor digital body language
  7. Repeat the process with Step 2 or searching on your past content to recycle

Make it a goal to avoid risking mistrust through interruption and disregard for other people’s time and attention.  Instead, build and focus your value system.  You will not only be within the stream of the new economy, but you will be building an asset which has exponential value as you become found, recognized and regarded.

Marketing Genius Is Perseverance In Disguise

Getting a customer is very difficult.  Starting with that premise helps to set the right expectations of what it takes to win a new customer.  It is a process which requires commitment.  The good news is that if you are willing to persevere and continue the process of refining your systems, content and approach you will have something repeatable and scalable.

A Tipping Point Exists For Perseverance

Natural laws seem to govern the vast majority of pursuits we undertake.  We have to push continually until the flywheel effect occurs.  A flywheel requires a lot of initial movement.  Inertia keeps it from moving.  However, once it is in motion, it has momentum of its own.

Likewise, your business will work if you can push towards the point of gaining momentum.  The sales mentality is extremely prevalent in people.  We want instant gratification.  Make enough calls, bother enough people or poster the landscape with advertising and we can settle for the less than one percent response.  It’s hope and abuse at the same time.

Look under the covers of any successful business or person and you will find perseverance.  Perseverance will help you find the right focal points and approaches in your marketing.  Our own perseverance is what allows us to serve our customers with extreme value in getting customers.

Create Content Consistently That Connects

The internet has allowed buyers to consume content at an unprecedented rate.  With content so easily available, buyers are looking for good content.  Good content builds trust over time.  Part of the perseverance of marketing genius is having ongoing timely, relevant and personal content.  Without it, you are always having to sell.  Content positions you and your brand.  It connects with the problem a seeker is trying to solve at the right time.

Your ability to be found and be consumed is critical today.  Your first pieces of content will be less potent than your one hundredth.  Nonetheless, you have to move the flywheel and write the first, second and continuous pieces to get to the hundredth.  It is a process of refinement.  Again, perseverance in disguise.

Refining Buying Systems

A buying system focuses on the buyer and the movements they make, especially online.  A selling system focused on the salesperson and making it easy for her to drive outbound activity.  The former is inbound and requires continual analysis and refinement of a system.

In our work with customers, we have a lot of upfront effort in building the systems for an inbound lead to take a purchasing step or engage in a discussion.  This has to be thoughtfully engineered and artistically engaging.  The larger effort lies in getting the last five percent right.  Creating valuable pathways for a buyer to take means analyzing the conversion points, looking at content value and a host of other metrics which need to be optimized.  The goal is to have a predictable process which creates a buying environment repeatably.

The Journey Never Ends

We all wish there was a magic on and off switch which would allow us to get as many customers as we like.  The truth is that there is a small subset of ideal customers in the universe for what you have to offer.  They are changing because everything around us is dynamic more than ever.  Thus, you have to be continually growing and remaining relevant.  Perseverance is a secret ingredient which anyone willing to work and commit to can adopt.  The successes you have had to date are likely connected to your willingness to persevere.  So goes any worthwhile endeavor.  What has been your learning to date on perseverance in your business?

How Effective Inbound Marketing Is Done

The Inbound Marketing Approach Today

You have two choices with your marketing. You can set up a traditional approach of outbound marketing. This entails contacting potential clients with mailers, calls and advertising. Or you might seek to solicit with your network.  This is interruption and today, we all have means for blocking interruption – caller id, spam filters, do not call registries, do not mail registries, etc.

Inbound Marketing today is effective when you make it about buying, not selling. Effective marketing strategies require a system designed to help you get found by people searching for your services, nurturing visitors and converting them to clients:

  • Lead Generation: This involves being relevant and having authority online. Your clients do what you do when you want something. They search. Your ability to be found is related to your online content relevant to their search.
  • Lead Nurturing: You must have a value proposition which helps to turn strangers into friends. Building trust does not happen immediately. Your system must deliver value up front and quickly to convert an anonymous visitor into a lead.
  • Lead Conversion: The goal is to get a consultation or connection. If you are a decent salesperson, your ability to convert based on a consultation or initial meeting should be high. If you are positioned correctly via an effective lead conversion system, your close ratio will increase. Trust will be much higher.

Given the trending and behaviors of buyers today, your inbound marketing system must be built to create a predictable result. This result comes through a focused and automated process catering to how people buy. Perhaps you have seen some frustations and successes in your approaches based on changing realities today. Feel free to share your comments below.

Iteration

There is no perfect marketing process.  But there is effective automated marketing.  Getting to perfect is a lost cause.  This would require the world to stand still and the fickleness of buyers to align with a formula.

Getting to effectiveness is a search for resonance.  It is achieved through continual iteration.  The secret to the new economy is about iteration.  Another phrase is to “fail forward fast.”  Creating the breadcrumb trail which nurtures and wins your buyers relies heavily on experience, intuition, analytics, art and science.  Our ability to decipher the digital footprint of exactly how people are moving through the buying process is a critical asset.

Thus, marketing and sales success ultimately will be found in the talent behind the system.  All the tools exist.  Using them in a way which gets a predictable and repeatable result, namely revenue, is what differentiates.

If you commit to iteration, you are committing to success.  Here is how to fail forward fast:

  • Design the decision tree thinking as the buyer
  • Look for conversion drop offs
  • Create logical next steps which engage
  • Measure and refine
  • Use sales engagement in a timely way
  • Hone in on scoring towards desired buying behaviors

We live in the age of speed.  Part of the luxury is having continuous, real-time feedback which we can leverage quickly into our buying systems.  If we are students, then we are ultimately masters of our marketing destiny.

Everyone Is Not Your Customer

Not all prospects are equal. Just because someone visited your site or store, does not mean you have permission to engage them. A portion of them will at some point give this permission based on their preferences and requests. The others will react negatively towards unsolicited marketing advances. We should know this because we are buyers, too.

The mindset of the buyer is critical to understand and capture.

The traditional marketing approach is to send a one-size-fits-all message to everyone and hope for a few responses. This is lazy, irresponsible and destroys your credibility. The ability to work with the few who truly are your customers is available today. Depending on the readiness of your buyer, it is wise to deliver the right message at the right time to nurture the relationship with your brand. With a marketing automation system, you can engage in a custom, one-to-one fashion based on the digital body language of your unseen buyer.

Different marketing automation campaigns which nurture the customer based on their digital profile need to be developed and triggered. The strategy and personalized approach with the right timing need to be developed with a sensitivity to effective nurturing.

Most people in that first experience with you are not ready to buy. Therefore, providing value becomes an important component of the marketing automation strategy. Value can take many forms. It starts with the question, “What is valuable to your buyer?” This requires a mindset shift from, “How can I sell?” to “Why does a person buy?”

The exchange of value builds trust over time. This is required in a buying atmosphere where choices are abundant and skepticism is high. Connecting in terms of value often revolves around pain or pleasure. Depending on your value proposition, it is important to get at the root of the buyer’s pain or pleasure and deliver value methodically and precisely, speaking to their emotion. A few examples include:

  • Getting promoted
  • Increasing revenue
  • Overcoming boredom
  • Feeling productive

Your product or service is a means to such an end. Your message must connect personally, relevantly and timely based on the reaction of the buyer through automated systems. When they emerge with a readiness based on your marketing automation triggers, then your sales process will effectively engage with your true customer.

The goal is to design for the few, not the many. This focuses your marketing automation to avoid the drag from irrelevant buyers and deliver value to the ones that truly will reward you with sales and loyalty.