Need to nurture pre-sales relationships? Today’s guest post is by Melissa Blair, a Certified Marketing Automation Coach and techie who is always on the front end of new technology. Melissa shares specific ways for you to keep in touch with your prospects and be top of mind when they are ready to buy!
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If you’re in sales you already know that prospects are not always ready to buy when you’re ready to sell. Drip Marketing is a term used to describe an automated system that uses emails, newsletters, direct mail and postcards to continually drip out information to your list of prospects and customers. Developing a strategy for keeping in contact on a continuing basis is what will cause a prospect to buy from you rather than from one of your competitors.
Let’s examine more closely how drip marketing can increase your sales:
1. Build a relationship– Sending out regular messages to your target market allows you to share information about your business and assures the prospect that your relationship with them will not end with the sale.
2. Presell your prospects – Educate them and help them do their research. When they’re ready to make a purchase, who do you think they’re going to call?
3. Be persistent -Marketing experts recommend you have some sort of contact every 10-21 days to keep your name foremost in your prospects’ minds. Think about what information you already have that you could divide up and send to your prospect list. Brochures, white papers, manuals, FYI emails, etc.
4. Become the expert – Supplying your prospects with evidence that you know what you’re talking about will develop your image as an expert. What have you accomplished that positions you as a leader in your industry? Don’t be afraid to self-promote!
5. Be yourself -Studies have shown that prospects are more likely to make a purchase from someone they know and trust rather than a stranger who is selling a similar product. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine. Let them see that you are a real person and that you care.
6. Mix it up – Prospects are bombarded with messages every day. It’s hard to cut through all the clutter in order to get your message noticed. Use a combination of email, postcards, direct mail, automated voice messaging, phone calls, Twitter, Facebook, etc. You never know which of your messages will connect with which prospect.
7. Fix your follow-up failure – An automated marketing database will allow you to make sure that no one falls through the cracks. Think of all the people you’ve met at networking events and trade shows. What about referrals and your past customers? If you’re like most salespeople, you have a pile of business cards on your desk with the intent to follow-up. Unless you have an automated system, regular follow-up rarely happens and many sales are lost.
8. Target your audience – As you have probably discovered, your target market can be divided into various subsets. Using a database allows you to further segment your market and personalize your messages accordingly. Your prospects will become purchasers if they can relate to your sales message, which will be different for every segment of your target market.
9. Eliminate your slow sales times -Just as people are nearing the end of one marketing cycle and making purchases, new people will just begin receiving your information, thus continuing the cycle. If you automate your marketing messages – such as via email auto responders or postcard campaigns – you will have a steady stream of sales.
10. Appreciate your current customers – Now that you have a customer base that has bought a product, you can use drip marketing to up-sell or cross-sell them to other products or services you offer. Your current customers are a goldmine as they already know and trust you.
While planning a drip marketing campaign will take time, the effort is well worth the investment. Once your automated system is set-up, it will decrease the amount of time you spend in trying to manually follow-up with people and increase the amount of sales you can make each month.