It’s a competitive world and it’s getting harder and harder to break through all the clutter and reach new prospects in the sales process. Market leaders don’t just do more than their competition – they rewrite the rules. And one way to rewrite the rules, is to become an information resource for your clients.
Companies know that in order to succeed they need to develop a sales strategy that sets them apart from the competition. In the past, a company could increase revenue just by adding more reps, leads, phone calls, emails, letters and meetings. But now it is essential to increase the effectiveness of every customer contact – and one way to do that is to build a relationship with every target customer.
You can increase the effectiveness of every target prospect or customer contact by making your company’s sales contacts valuable to your highest-value target prospects. One very effective strategy is to include useful information in the sales pitch. Add a white paper, case histories and other material that will help your clients do a better job and be more successful.
One CEO instituted a very simple program to support his company's entry into a new market. He received a market research report from his Marketing Department about a high-value emerging market along with a recommendation that the company enter this market. The research report identified key sector trends, challenges and successful business strategies in this industrial sector. The report was intended for his company's internal use to help quantify the size of the opportunity, justify investment in the new market entry, and to help marketing create relevant collateral and sales material. The research report was carefully circulated to key executives and marked: "Confidential – not for distribution."
After the CEO read the market research report, he asked his sales team to use the data to create a white paper on trends and challenges in this industrial sector. The VP of Marketing was at first concerned about releasing all of this valuable information, but very quickly understood the concept and prepared the report. The sales team then offered this report to key prospects and clients. They also worked with the Marketing Department to put together a trend presentation and offered an on-site presentation to the most valuable prospects. The creation of this report and presentation not only created new high-value relationship marketing opportunities; it also established the company as a credible expert in a new sector.
One simple idea helped this company move from being just another player in a sea of competitors to a highly valued partner for their key prospects and new customers. The trend presentation became a relationship-building opportunity that allowed them to get to know their key prospects and understand their customers' needs and business challenges in an intimate way.
How to Create Content that has Real Value:
- The information offered must be current, accurate and insightful – and it should be new information to your key prospects.
- Make sure the report, presentation or white paper is professionally written and presented.
- Keep it exclusive and only offer it to key qualified prospects and clients. Do not offer it to anyone who will give provide an email address on your website. You can create less information-intensive whitepapers for free download to the general public.
- Design the report so that it is proprietary and difficult for your competitors to replicate quickly.
- Plan for follow-up communication in advance so you are ready to build on this opportunity and continue the dialog with new prospects and new customers.
By being a value-added information resource for your prospective clients, you build a stronger relationship with them and show that you have much more to offer than a sales pitch.
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