In my previous articles I have written about creating a strategic marketing plan that includes generating leads for non-defined and defined target markets. It must also include using marketing tools that continue to educate your prospects and customers after you have made the initial determination they are candidates for what you sell.
Lead generators have already weeded out the people who are not qualified candidates, so these tools need to be clear targeted messages that educate John Smith through the educational spectrum of your product or service until he is ready to buy.
Marketing tools educate your prospects without relying strictly on salespeople. In fact, if you do your job well with marketing tools, your salespeople become free to be “closers” and “order takers,” making them more efficient.
The problem with relying on salespeople to manage leads through the prospecting process is that they are often considered unwanted solicitors. The fact is most prospects are resistant to the sales process. The only exceptions are lonely people who just want someone to talk to or people already on the far right end of the educational spectrum and are ready to buy.
Marketing tools include anything that will educate the prospect. They include brochures, websites, audios, videos, on-hold messages, signs, scripts, reports and more. Depending on your business and prospects, delivery of tools may be done in different ways. Surveying your existing customers to find out the best ways to deliver your messages is extremely useful.
If your initial lead generation has given you qualified leads with a telephone number, email address and physical mailing address, you can deliver them in one or all of those ways. Just be sure your delivery gets attention with the proper “interrupt” so that it gets read, listened to or watched quickly after they receive it. One of the most powerful tools is “on-hold” scripts that educate while people wait to talk to someone.
I have found reports to be one of the most powerful marketing tools because they build a case for why you are the obvious choice in an objective way. Stating facts and making comparisons in the report are vital to helping John Smith understand why you are different and better than other choices.
To get started, think of your industry and where it fits. The service industry is called the “Standard Bearer” – the report should describe standards and how you meet them. Mass retailers use “Consumer Reports” that educate with categories. Professionals use a Cliff’s Notes type of report with a short version of what you know and do.
If you have been following my articles you will remember our conversation about the “master letter.” Your reports will include the facts you created in that process, and expand it to include specific details that compel John Smith to ask questions. The rest of your marketing tools should be created to answer those questions.