The Party’s at Your House — Are You Inviting Your Prospects?The Party’s at Your House — Are You Inviting Your Prospects?
In the context of our personal lives, there are many ways that we meet, interact, and build relationships with our closest friends. We might meet friends through our kids’ activities, for instance, or maybe we build relationships through work or various other extracurricular activities (church or community groups, book clubs, sports leagues, etc.).
December 5, 2013
In the context of our personal lives, there are many ways that we meet, interact and build relationships with our closest friends. We might meet friends through our kids’ activities, for instance, or maybe we build relationships through work or various other extracurricular activities (church or community groups, book clubs, sports leagues, etc.).
Regardless of how those connections form, however, our closest relationships are cultivated when we invite people into our homes (or step through the front door of someone else’s home). After all, our homes are the places where we can more intimately engage our friends and allow them to see who we really are and what we’re all about.
In business, the same is true of your company’s website.
Yes, it’s true that your company’s site isn’t the only place to form and cultivate relationships anymore. In fact, it’s become absolutely critical for businesses to expand their prospect engagement horizons beyond their website, interacting with customers through outside channels such as social media, email marketing, blogs and industry forums. After all, those channels can be excellent places to meet with and engage prospects, find out more about what makes them tick and lay the groundwork for a future sale.
But your website is still your home—the place where your sales prospects can find out more about who you are and what you do, and discover why they might want to build a deeper relationship with you.
Why Inviting Prospects into Your “Home” is Important
Now, I don’t mean to downplay the importance of social media and e-mail as prospecting tools. Those channels are (and will remain) critical components to any business’ prospecting strategy. But if you are interested in taking the relationships you establish with prospects through those channels to the next level (and who wouldn’t be?), then you must begin looking at those forums as more than just lead generation sources.
Those channels are conduits that allow you to direct prospects to your website or blog to continue the conversation, increase engagement and build deeper relationships.
After all, your website is the hub where the most impactful content typically resides. If you’ve already built a relationship with a prospect through an external channel (such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, for instance), redirecting that person to your home base gives you a far greater chance to further cultivate a prospect’s interest in your offerings—all without having to deal with much of the noise and distraction that external prospecting channels often present.
What Should Prospects Expect When They’re Invited to Your Home?
Of course, just like when you host a dinner party for your closest friends, inviting prospects to your website or blog will be largely meaningless if you don’t have anything prepared to host that party.
So, what kind of content and information should you greet prospects with when they arrive at your website or blog?
For starters, this is where you should house the educational information that allows prospects to learn more about the trigger events and issues that you’ve brought to their attention through other lead generation channels. You should also deliver the kind of in-depth product, services and solution information that illustrates your company’s ability to understand and address those prospects’ most pressing problems and pain points.
Ultimately, your website and blog—just like your home—is the one environment you can fully control.
So, while you interact with your microsegment through a variety of online channels, you always want to incent prospects to eventually come into your home. Doing that encourages them to better understand your world, and that almost always gives you a better chance of developing the kinds of relationships that convert followers, fans and e-mail subscribers into actual paying customers. And isn’t that really the point of an online marketing strategy?
Kendra Lee is a top IT Seller, Prospect Attraction Expert, author of the newly released book, “The Sales Magnet,” and the award winning book, “Selling Against the Goal,” and president of KLA Group. Specializing in the IT industry, KLA Group works with companies to break in and exceed revenue objectives in the Small and Midmarket Business (SMB) segment.
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