Getting prospects to notice, much less pay attention to you is a tall order these days. In my opinion it’s all about connecting. I’m not talking here about physically calling, emailing or visiting them. I’m talking about providing the right trigger(s) that will intrigue the other person enough to receive your phone call, email or visit by beginning to build trust.
There are three critical areas to focus on as you develop prospect entry strategies that connect:
(1) What you’ve accomplished – remember that buyers need to solve problems, so solution based content that focuses on outcomes (client case studies) is highly attractive
(2) What you know – these days, buyers seldom have time or energy to train someone new to their industry, so communicating a clear understanding of their business through issue based content (white papers, articles, etc.) can help you stand out as being relevant
(3) Who you know – yes, knowing the right person(s) can still be very attractive, especially with risk aversion being so high among decision makers
Of course, the closer to home each connection hits your prospect, the more powerful it will be. For example, a client case study that showcases a business in their category will be stronger that one out of category. A white paper or article that speaks to a critical issue that they are trying to solve will be more attractive than an issue that’s not on their radar. And, of course, a trusted business adviser that you have in common should carry more weight than your friend’s second cousin who works in research when you’re interested in marketing.
While this isn’t necessarily a new concept, finding and utilizing the right connections is more important than ever these days. I also believe that the areas have shifted in terms of value and importance. For example, there was a time when who you knew might have been sufficient to open a door or win business even when your relevant accomplishments and knowledge were thin. Not any more.
Try this: The next time you eye a prospect and think about a smart entry strategy, start by asking, ”What have we accomplished, what do we know and who do we know that will resonate with them?” Let me know if it helps.
Please share your thoughts about connections and lead generation, including how you’ve used connections successfully.