Selling is tedious.
When you’re dealing with an unsophisticated customer it can be tough. They don’t know what they don’t know, they’re not sure which questions they should ask, and they don’t know what they need.
They’re relying on you to flesh that out for them ahead of time, which is where industry specific review sites come in. Industry specific sites tend to attract customers who are more sophisticated.
These sites reward customers in turn with information that goes above and beyond the traditional review site.
Most of the time, customers expect you to do the vast majority of the work, up front. What’s worse, if you’re an experienced marketer you know what it’s like to nurture and cultivate prospects, to spend a lot of time educating them only for them to turn around and choose a competitor.
It’s a frustrating problem with an obvious solution.
It’s obvious, you need sales-ready prospects
You need sophisticated customers who have done a significant portion of the work up front, on their own. That’s significant because in the long run, these prospects are far better for your business.
Aren’t all leads the same? I mean sure, you have your cold, warm and hot leads, but they’re all the same, right? What makes these prospects so “effective?”
Sales-ready prospects aren’t the same as your average prospect. They exhibit a very different set of behaviors.
1. These prospects are conscientious. They’ve taken the time to learn about their desires, goals, fears and frustrations. They typically have a general to specific idea of what they need and when they’ll need it. Their project is important to them. They’ve taken the time to figure things out.
2. They’re invested in the outcome. If a key influencer or decision maker has taken the time to research, plan and prepare, they have buy-in. That buy-in means these prospects are less likely to fight with, ignore or harass you. They have skin in the game so they’re less likely to disappear.
3. Sales-ready prospects recognize value. They understand the value of the products and services you bring to the table. They’re typically aware of the difference you can make for them, so they’re less focused on arguing a particular point and more focused on getting things done.
4. They’re ready to buy, quick to act. Sales ready prospects have done the upfront legwork they need to make an informed decision so the sales cycle is typically much shorter. That means your prospect is more willing to take risks, less focused on objections, and less fearful.
5. They’re aware and confident.Inexperienced prospects have lots of questions. How much will it cost, can I get my money back, what am I getting for my money, etc. A large part of the sales process is filled with can I, will you and what ifs.
This all sounds great, doesn’t it?
Just one problem. Where are you supposed to find these sales-ready prospects?
Go where the sales-ready prospects are
Where do sales-ready prospects spend their time? On industry specific review sites! Here’s why industry specific sites are so helpful.
Sales-ready prospects are sophisticated and they’re often looking for answers to very specific questions.
Let’s look at a few examples:
1. Girl & the Goat
The Girl & the Goat is a casual dining restaurant in Chicago, IL. They’ve received rave reviews from more than 19,003 customers. Is there a way to differentiate between average and sales-ready customers?
Take a look at their Yelp reviews.
Jeff S. left a five star review. It’s an excellent review that briefly offers prospective customers insight into his experience. His review is helpful but it’s also fairly standard. Nothing wrong with that, right?
Now, let’s look at a review on Zomato, an industry specific restaurant website.
Can you see the differences between these reviews? They almost jump out at you, don’t they?
DineoutGal, shares very specific information showing that she’s a sophisticated customer whose standards are higher than the average customers.
- “Waters were always filled, dishes changed and food was at a good pace.”
- “Brioche was dry and the butter was just ok.”
- “Super thin sliced and tasted very clean and had such a great vinaigrette that just complimented it.”
- “A refreshing cocktail that was very balanced.”
She sounds like an amateur food critic, doesn’t she? This demonstrates the point though – sophisticated customers tend to frequent industry specific review sites. What’s also interesting is their approach. They’re looking for very different things.
Does this mean sophisticated customers don’t use general review sites?
Not at all.
Let’s look at another example:
2. Smart House Remodeling
Smart House Remodeling offers custom bathrooms,kitchens, basements and full home renovations. They state their projects are always on time and backed up by warranty.
Let’s look at the differences between their customers.
First, let’s take a look at their Yelp reviews.
Kelli O wrote Smart Home Remodeling a glowing review. It seems customers reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Kelli seems to be very pleased with the quality of their work.
Now let’s look at a customer review on Thumbtack.
Can you see the difference?
Nicholas T. goes into an incredible amount of detail in his review. His glowing testimonial goes on and on and on. There are some incredibly detailed specifics he leaves in his review.
- He’s an engineer so he’s detail oriented.
- The project included recessed lighting, HVAC vent installations, drywall work, soundproofing and plumbing – this customer is very knowledgeable.
- Yosif is willing to redo work that’s not done to the customer’s satisfaction, that’s unheard of these days.
- Nicholas trusts Yosif completely, allowing him to be in his home alone.
- The job site is left clean and tidy.
The detail in this review is astonishing. What’s more astonishing is the fact that this customer was so pleased with Smart House Remodeling he decided to leave his review on multiple review sites! This clearly demonstrates the sophistication sales-ready customers bring with them.
What about the healthcare industry?
3. Michigan Avenue Primary Care
“Michigan Avenue Primary Care offers compassionate, cost-effective, and convenient care in the Loop of downtown Chicago.”
The reviews they’ve received have been overwhelmingly positive, due to the excellent care they provide and their outstanding bedside manner.
Let’s look at their Yelp reviews first.
Rachel shared her incredible and very specific story in her review. It was detailed, well thought out and even included specifics on her roommate’s skin condition. So, what are reviews like on an industry specific site like ZocDoc?
Let’s take a look at Raina’s review.
There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of difference in depth between these two reviews, what gives?
The problem is education.
Specialized industries – accountants, attorneys, physicians – these are highly specialized, highly regulated industries that require a significant amount of education. What does this mean?
The vast majority of your customers will be unsophisticated.
These customers don’t have the ability to invest in the education required to acquire the level of sophistication they’d need to be a sales-ready prospect.
Does that mean industry specific review sites are worthless?
Not at all.
It’s fairly common for industry specific review sites to provide expert reviews on their sites. Take Avvo.com for example. It’s a review site that’s specifically geared around attorneys.
How do they account for the lack of education?
They fill in the blanks. They share customer reviews, but they realize that these reviews may not be as helpful due to the gaps in a customer’s education. So, they add in their Avvo rating, they share details on an individual attorney’s practice areas and current standing.
What about agencies?
Same thing. They provide details on the company size, the number of clients, services and client mix – the general information prospects need to determine whether they should reach out and request a proposal.
These industry specific review sites do the educating for you. It’s a great way to attract the kind of knowledgeable, sales-ready prospects you need.
Attracting sales-ready prospects comes at a price
Average prospects are more easily impressed. They’re easier to mold, guide and direct for one simple reason. They don’t know anything.
With industry specific review sites, their biggest advantage is also their biggest downside.
These customers are sophisticated and far more knowledgeable than the average customer. That’s wonderful if you’re actually the capable and knowledgeable expert they believe you to be. If you’re not, these prospects will notice, and they’ll walk away immediately.
Their newfound education means they have higher standards.
Selling doesn’t have to be tedious
As we’ve seen, industry specific sites can deliver the sophisticated, knowledgeable, sales-ready customers you need. When you’re dealing with an unsophisticated customer it can be tough.
These amazing prospects do the vast majority of the work, up front. They see the value in your products and services. They’re well aware of the value, the results you can provide. They only downside? They expect more, much more from the organizations they work with.
The good news? You can deliver.
Direct your happy and satisfied customers to these industry specific sites. Ask them to share the specifics and details of their situation. Dig deeper, looking for ways to extract value from their interactions with you. Send a steady flow of happy customers to these industry specific review sites, and they’ll send sales-ready prospects to you in return, qualified customers without the tedious selling.