Heating up Your Sales Cycle with the Element of Fire

by | Jul 24, 2009

Imagine someone is on the fence about working with you. They know you by reputation, but they haven’t had the personal experience of doing business with you.fireworks1

These are troubled times. No one can afford to waste money, and no one wants to make a mistake. And with marketing budgets slashed, it can feel like dark clouds and rain all around.

Now is the time to heat up your game. Targeted marketing can help build credibility, fire up your sales cycle, and remove objections that stop potential clients from buying.

Throwing the spotlight on your business

Customers need to warm up to you before they’ll throw down a credit card. Building a relationship with prospects allows you to demonstrate credibility, consistency, and service before they ever become a customer. You need a lot of heat to build a decent fire.

But you can speed the process along a bit. Introduce more touch points. Get some sparks flying and give prospects get a chance to fall in love with your business. Here are a few ways:

Email Marketing:
Are you offering email updates to website visitors? Turn these one-time visitors into educated prospects and buyers with consistent email communications and targeted offers.

Search Engine Marketing: Are you hitting customers where they search? Google and Yahoo! both offer targeted search engine advertising. You could be popping up in front of people looking to buy.

Local Listings: Are you in the neighborhood? Mobile phones and local search have exploded the potential for reaching local buyers online. Reviews, pictures, specials, hours, and of course, a link to your site can help you reach people where they live.

Website: Does your website give visitors a reason to come back? Frequent updates and dynamic content draw visitors like moths to a flame. Deliver useful, entertaining information to keep them coming back for more.

Fan the flames to get your sales cycle moving. Multiple touch points keep your business top-of-mind when customers are ready to buy. In the meantime, you can overcome objections, and clear the way for the close. Otherwise, you are wasting time and opportunities.

Pyrotechnics: Turning your candle into a fireworks display

Again, this is all about speeding up the sales cycle. You need to target your efforts for maximum effect, and reach customers on their favorite medium. A huge signal fire on the wrong hill is a waste of effort.

Have a great sales presentation? Make it into a slideshow and promote it on YouTube. Create an audio podcast.

Is your business process impressive? Have a great event coming up? Grab a camera. Showcase the pictures on Flickr, your website, blog, and newsletter.

Have a newsletter that gets results? Seed the content to MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, and/or Twitter. Get people talking.

Are your customers raving about your business? Get those reviews on local business listings, your website, and anywhere else you can plaster them.

I can’t say enough about testimonials. Happy customers ARE your business. Period. No other message has more impact on sales. Imagine what this could do for your business.

Laser focus: Give the customer what they want, when they want it, where they want it

Think of this like starting a fire with a magnifying glass. You need to calibrate your marketing message to reach your customers.

Are you speaking their language? Do you know where they turn to for information? Do you tailor your marketing message to match? Once you have these factors aligned, you’ll start feeling the heat.

Online marketing can multiply the effects of your little magnifying glass experiment. The rules of human nature haven’t changed, the audience just got bigger. Today’s buyers demand personalization in medium and message. They will ignore you if you don’t deliver.

My mechanic sends me a reminder when my car is due for maintenance. The message is personalized with my name, and the model of car I drive. Again, laser focus. They’re talking directly to me.

This may seem painfully obvious. Yet time and time again we see companies throwing money away on sales and marketing materials that miss the mark.

Stoking the fire: Make it work

  • Create multiple opportunities to build relationships with customers and prospects.
  • Take advantage of new mediums to keep your company top-of-mind.
  • Get the full mileage out of current materials to make your business sparkle online and off.
  • Give happy customers a megaphone with online reviews and case studies.
  • Research to find out what customers really need and want, not what you think will work.
  • Deliver a personalized message in the medium they prefer.

Need some help putting it all together? Give us a call. 918-813-2609

Pictures by foxypar4 and tsuacctnt