Get in your prospect’s comfort zone: The right offer at the right time
“Will you marry me?”
This offer will get you a chilly reception from someone you’ve just met. You’d sound half-crazy popping the question unless you nurture the relationship at the right pace and offer what the other person is looking for.
Same thing goes for B2B marketing. Sure, a salesperson can get lucky with an occasional prospect, but counting on the magic happening instantly isn’t the way to build a stream of sales-ready leads. Build trust by developing the relationship.
“Will you go out with me?”
Here’s the “first date” of the sales cycle. You’ve just identified a prospective customer and you need to provide background information and answer the questions that are important to that specific customer. Offer educational materials such as case studies, white papers, how-to articles and decision-maker kits until they’re ready to go to the next level.
“Here’s what we’re really like.”
In this “middle date” stage, the interest has been shown and you can move into more details. A self-assessment tool, technical white papers and webinars require more participation from potential customers, but they also target the solutions to each prospect’s situation. Show you’ll be there for them to help build a sales-winning relationship.
“So how about it?”
When the prospect gets comfortable with your company, start to make more serious advances: offers or calls-to-action. Although it’s not time to pop the question, smaller commitments move prospects toward choosing your company. For instance:
- Invite them to all-day seminars delving into implementation details.
- Offer demos or low-cost or free needs assessments.
- Ask whether your salespeople can meet with their decision makers to present customized proposals or quotations.
- Consider making “buy now” deals offering discounts or additional products or services bundled in for a lower cost.
What if you don’t know where prospects are in their buying cycles? In that case, make offers appropriate for every stage and let people find their own comfort zone.
How to propose
What makes a good offer or call-to-action?
They must be genuinely enticing.
They must move the buying process forward. Satisfy prospects’ key concerns.
They should be “self-qualifying.” Don’t offer something anyone would want. Provide what a qualified prospect is looking for.
How do you put them together?
- Repackage or update the information you already have.
- See if your suppliers have white papers, evaluation guides or other materials you may use.
- Join forces with your suppliers to provide combination sales pieces or newsletters.
Prospects must clearly understand what they’ll gain from choosing your company and its products or services. They need to believe that what you’re marketing will help them achieve their goals, and they must trust your company to deliver on its promises.
Getting to that point requires making the right offers or calls-to-action for each stage of your prospect’s buying process, from awareness and inquiry to consideration to purchase. You’ll build strong, valuable relationships with your customers that will last for many years to come.