That cold calling or sending out batch-and-blast messages aren’t the most effective tactics probably doesn’t surprise you. But in a time when our prospects are more educated and emboldened, how do you go about winning them over?
Content, of course. More specifically, try content prospecting. Using this tactic, you pull in prospects by appealing to them as thought leaders (and to their egos). Interested?
I break down this new concept in more detail in a short video. Check it out and happy prospecting. (Transcript below.)
Hello, Marketers. It’s Toby from Kapost and I want to share with you today one of our secret tips of the trade. We call it Content Prospecting. Why it’s so exciting is that it enjoys our patented quadruple win. That is, it’s not just a win-win, it’s a win-win-win-win. Let me explain to you why.
Content Prospecting is a new take on prospecting. Let’s think of the old take. Let’s imagine a call. I’m a salesperson, you’re their buyer, and I’m giving you a call. “Hello, Mr. Buyer, this is Mr. Salesperson. I would be interested in selling you something today. Would you like to have a conversation about that?” That essentially is what our typical cold calls are about. Those are our outbound prospecting efforts. As you know, they usually don’t go very well. You get a lot of phones hung up in your face.
So let’s try a new spin on that, in the Content Prospecting strategy.
Again, I’m the sales guy and you’re the buyer. “Hello, Mr. Buyer, this is Mr. Sales Guy. My company has been noticing you, what a genius you are and what a real thought leader you are in our industry. We have this blog and we would like to feature you and tell our audience about what you do. We’d like to set up an interview with you, really short, but then write a whole blog post about you and all the great things that you’re doing. Would you be interested in talking about that?” That’s how a Content Prospecting call goes.
As you can imagine, that kind of call has a much better success rate than the typical call that just tries to sell people. The brilliant thing about Content Prospecting is that everybody involved here wins. Who all wins?
Sales wins, because their old prospecting outbound cold-calling efforts didn’t really go so well. With this new effort they are psyched, they’re breaking through, they’re getting good relationships built with the prospects they want to talk to.
Marketing also wins, because marketing is now doing the Content Marketing thing and they need to generate all this content. Some of the best content that we can generate isn’t just talking about our topic in theory, but bringing to life the real-world examples of people out in the marketplace.
This is a great assist to marketing, who has to create this content to really interact with these thought leaders and customers and people who are doing things well in whatever our market is, and feature them in a content piece.
Our audience wins, because they’re looking for great content like this and they want to see examples of how different people in this industry are doing things, so they benefit from this content. And our prospect wins, because they’re human and they want to be famous and they want to be recognized for the great work that they do. They want to be well-known in whatever our topic and our industry are.
So everyone is winning here. It’s that quadruple win. Everyone benefits. But this is not just for the top of the funnel on going after prospects. If you act now, I will show you how it can be used not only at the top, but at all stages of the funnel.
Let’s look at examples. Here at the bottom, this isn’t a prospect anymore. This is a real sales opportunity. Let’s say there is someone holding out in the company that you’re trying to reach. You’ve got three or four people who are bought in, but there’s a certain group that’s digging in their heels and are a little resistant, and you haven’t gotten to know them as well. Dial them up and say, “Hello, Mr. Buyer. We would love to feature you because you’re doing such a great job on this and that, and make you famous on our blog. Would you be interested?” It works well there in terms of engaging that holdout buyer and getting them going, and getting your deals closed here at the bottom of the funnel.
It even works post-sale. Let’s say you have a customer and they’ve already bought things from you but you’re trying to up-sell them or make sure they renew and they haven’t been engaging. This is also a great way to reach out with them, break the ice, and do something that’s helpful for them but is really helping everybody involved.
So Content Prospecting. You might still be doing outbound and you might be doing prospecting. We all do. But do it in this way, where you’re going to be more effective from a sales perspective, Marketing is going to get great content published, your audience is going to be happier because they are going to need this great content, and you’re going to make your prospects famous. Everybody wins in Content Prospecting, so please go out and give it a try.