B2B is different.
If you convince the right decision-maker that you can improve their company’s profits without compromising their integrity, you’ll almost always make the sale. If you can’t convince them, you haven’t got a prayer.
This is why B2B leaders publish white papers, join associations, and attend conferences. You should already be using most of the tactics listed below. But let’s look at how you can tweak each of these tools so they sell like crazy.
Your First Tweak: The private VIP webinar
You might publicize your webinars online. Maybe you send an email invitation to everyone on your list. But if you want to attract your ideal clients, you need to drill down a bit.
Who are the top 10 companies you wish were your clients?
Come up with a solution to a problem these clients are dealing with. Invite the CEO and the president. Send them a personal email, and give them a call if you can. If you have any contacts who might be influential in one of your “target” companies, reach out to them, too. Be sure that everyone you invite knows this is a VIP webinar, tailored specifically for them.
Maybe only 5 people will show up, but they will be key decision-makers.
Tweak Number Two: Publish a targeted case study
This is not your father’s white paper. You’re not going to describe how to deal with a common issue in your industry. Instead, select a specific problem that one or more of your clients are facing.
A typical white paper would provide good advice on how you could solve that very problem. Your case study will do something more. You’ll give the specific details of how you already solved the problem for someone else.
This tactic has the added benefit of social proof. Like a testimonial, it shows that other people have used your solution with good results.
The Third B2B Tweak: Proactively send your best white papers and case studies to target clients
Don’t be like everybody else. Most companies have an opt-in form on their website where visitors can leave their email and download the free PDF. This is a proven tactic, but there’s a way to take it further.
Target the companies you want to do business with. Print out your case study on good quality paper and send it by FedEx to the President, CEO, or other specific leader. If you send out just 10 of these a month, and they prove relevant to the recipient, this tactic will pay for itself a hundredfold or more.
While you’re at it, there’s a proactive way to send a digital copy of your case studies. Post them on LinkedIn and send a LinkedIn message to your target recipients. Announce it to your groups, if relevant. In the end, you’ll touch your target clients three times: Once with the group announcement, once in the LinkedIn message, and once when they receive a hard copy through FedEx.
While your competitors continue to passively offer white papers on their website, your company will be doing acrobatic spins and dives on the radar screens of your dream clients.
Tweak Four: Build a deliberate referral system
You know the value of a good referral. Yet how often do you ask for one? Are you systematic about it?
Consider the benefits of consistently asking for referrals whenever you close a sale, complete a project, deliver a solution. Almost every transaction gives you at least one opportunity to ask for a referral. Develop a specific email and/or sales script for each of these situations.
While we’re on the topic, what about asking all those contacts who don’t necessarily do a transaction with you each month? Come up with a monthly email that actively asks for referrals.
You could be blatant about it, and offer a discount or other ethical bribe. You could be more subtle, tell a story, and tie the story into a request for referrals. Maybe even hold a contest.
As another part of your referral system (something I wish I did more often), give referrals to your clients. If they’re getting new business from your efforts, they’re even more likely to return the favor.
You don’t have to make sweeping changes to get dramatic results
It takes time, money and other resources to create a new level of product or service that can set you apart from your competition. And sometimes it can be an uphill battle to get clients to adopt your innovation.
But there’s always room for innovation in your marketing. New marketing tactics can set you apart without requiring any significant change in your operations.