Creating a lead is a whole world of work and pain for many business people, followed by another, converting the lead into a transaction.
Too often I see the process followed as an aggressive “close at all costs” mentality. That approach rarely ever worked well for anything beyond one off transactions, and is even less effective now that digital communication has revolutionised the way we create, conduct and nurture relationships.
People like to buy from those they like and trust, basic human nature.
It follows therefore, that to make sales, you need to demonstrate that you are both likable and trustworthy, as well as being in a position to address the customers need and deliver value at least as well as alternatives.
Following is a three stage process:
- Humanise you marketing, you are selling to people, not “organisations”, people!
- Track relationships. Have a metric, and visual device that articulates the existing relationships with people, such as the one following.
3. Explicitly set out to build relationships, recognising that sales will follow, rather than the other way around. Having a visual representation of the state of a relationship, and an objective of moving up the pyramid, by understanding and acting on the drivers of a relationship will deliver mutual benefit, and a return on effort.
Each relationship, whatever its status, is an individual thing. It will have a range of parameters that will direct its development. How we met, what we look like, how we conduct ourselves, the mutual stories we have, how authentic we are, how consistent as are in the engagement and interaction, and the degree to which we are proactive, and generous in that engagement, and so on.
Managing the inputs to those parameters is a foundation of marketing success that was not possible just 20 years ago because we did not have the tools, but now we have, so there is no excuse.