Inbound Marketing: Close
This article is preceded by an introduction post, inbound marketing part one: attracting visitors, and part two: convert.
In the previous posts, we covered how to attract new visitors and identify potential customers through inbound marketing. The third stage is where the actual sale happens. But how do you close sales with customers who have started the conversion process? Here are a few tips.
When you meet the woman or man of your dreams, persistence is often required before you get a chance to spend an evening with them. It works the same way in business. Even if you provide your visitors with quality content, it doesn’t mean they’ll contact you after reading your first article. Be persistent and give them time to discover your company.
Know your customer
The ideal way to provide good service to a customer is to know them well. Do this by measuring their online actions and keeping track of them in a CRM tool so that you’re not the only one at your company who has access to the knowledge. Knowing which articles interest them most, which links they click, and which pages they view frequently will certainly help you do your job. But don’t forget that inbound marketing isn’t a tactic: it’s a way of doing business.
Tracking certain metrics doesn’t necessarily mean you know your customer well. They’re just basic indicators. It’s good to have tools that help you measure and track certain things, but once you’ve qualified a customer, establish human contact with them. Go to them and find out who they are, what products they offer, who their competitors are, what makes them stand out, and what their business goals are for the years to come.
Be generous with your advice
Many people are reluctant to share their expertise for fear of being copied or their ideas being stolen. Ask yourself the following question: if you wanted to paint your car a different colour, and your auto body mechanic gave you the miracle recipe you needed to do it, would you actually go ahead and do it yourself? It’s unlikely. On the other hand, you’d probably see your mechanic as a true expert and would likely trust them for the job. By offering tangible tips, you are showing interest in your customers’ projects, and highlighting the value you can bring to the table.
Surprising your customers is a great way to seduce them. Be creative: there is no magic recipe. Being authentic is important. For example: you could thank a customer for your last meeting, comment on their recent blog post which you’ve read, or congratulate them on a mandate they just won. Take an actual interest in them.
You can also take advantage of tools that help automate recurring processes. For example, an automated email strategy can help you thank customers who subscribe to your newsletter, or wish them a happy birthday. You can also set up notifications for when a customer views your most recent service offer, and get in touch with them at the right time to share more detailed information.
In my post about tools that save me time on a daily basis, I mentioned Quoteroller, which can be very helpful. Being present at the right time is a winning strategy. Also, don’t underestimate the value of a quick call or thank-you note signed by hand and sent through the mail. Customers enjoy being seduced, and small gestures make a huge difference.
Speak their language
What could be more boring than listening to someone talk about themselves? Be conscious of this during conversations: when you meet with a client, how much time do you spend talking about your recent achievements, your new contract, your services, and your team’s expertise? What your client needs is for you to talk to them about their business challenges, their results, their goals, and solutions for them. Discuss things that will help them improve and create value for their company. Speak the same language as your client if you want them to understand you.
Closing a sale is likely the most important part of inbound marketing. Unfortunately, few people take the time to talk about it and offer concrete tips to help you improve your results. I hope this post will help you turn more visitors into customers.
Until then, I’d love to hear your tips for making people want to do business with you.