In today’s world of marketing and sales, a significant key to generating leads is a company’s ability to get potential buyers to find them. There is an entire industry dedicated to inbound marketing and social media management with companies such as HubSpot, Marketo and Pardot.
If you go to their sites you will find an endless number of free products and services that help drive potential buyers to your website, your blog, and any social networks you might be using. My good friend Pete Caputo at Databox also has a company which provides a dashboard that helps you make sense of all the data collected. All of this is important but the systems and processes don’t stand-alone when it comes to driving internet traffic toward your online resources.
Powerful messaging is still needed; Messaging that captures the attention of the market. Messaging that helps the market become aware of one or two things:
- A problem or potential problem they were unaware of, or
- A growth opportunity or positive outcome that is available.
Mark Roberge, in his book The Sales Acceleration Formula, describes this first step in a prospect’s buying process as the Awareness Stage. Effective marketing helps create awareness. But there are many stimuli, which aren’t internet-based, that would cause someone to buy, change behavior or take action:
- A friend suffers severe water damage in their 25-year-old home, hires a company to repair the damage and relates the story to you– you call the company to inspect your basement to head off potential problems.
- A co-worker talks about completing a financial plan that will help them secure their future – you want to know who they are working with and you call that advisor to set up an appointment.
These “leads” for the movie, the basement sealant company and the financial advisor take place because of great reviews by current clients. These informal introductions/referrals have always been, and probably always will be the best way to get GREAT leads. But what else should you be doing, must you be doing to generate leads that don’t come from personal introductions and referrals?
You must have your own message that stands alone; a message that when read, heard or seen causes awareness that takes a buyer from passive to active. The question becomes – “What must that message say to procure this transition?”
Let me start with something that George Emmons, former president at Key Community Bank, described as a ‘blinding glimpse of the obvious’.
There isn’t a single marketing message that will tell a prospective new buyer:
- The company’s products are very expensive,
- Should you need support after purchasing, the support will be poor,
- Should the product fail to perform or should it break, there is no guarantee,
- The people you will be talking to are not competent, are biased in the approach and do not have experience
No one communicates to the market place the negative aspects of their products. Everyone has:
- Top of the line products,
- Great pricing,
- Unparalleled service,
- Guaranteed or your money back,
- Professional and courteous sales associates who care only about you and your family
With that as the back drop, the question becomes “What is the one thing I can do to get the market’s attention?”
The answer? “Deliver a message that doesn’t look, act or sound like everyone else’s message. Communicate in such a way so that people instantly think ‘This is different’.”
- The elevator pitch
- The value proposition
- The 30-second commercial
- The Unique Sales Approach
- The brand promise
The message has many names, but it should communicate, in a brief, appealing and effective manner, how the company and product will work for the end user.
Apple – “We make great computers. They are beautifully designed and easy to use.”
The Late John Savage (Insurance professional) – “I deliver buckets of money when people need it the most.”
Geico – “15 minutes or less can save you 15% or more on your car insurance.”
Anthony Cole Training Group – “We help organizations close their sales opportunity gap.”
Your compelling message should elicit one of the three following responses.
- “Tell me more.”
- “How do you do that?”
- “That’s me (us). How can I fix it?”
The best way to create a powerful message is to listen to your message as if you are a prospective buyer. When you deliver your message to you, do you look, act or sound like everyone else? If so –change your message.
You want it to cause people to react— “Tell me more.” “How do you do that?” “That’s our problem. How can we fix it?”
If your message is not having this effect, change the message.