Timing outreach to generate demand for new products, upgrades, and additional quantities can be challenging. Is your sales cycle working for you? Are you chasing leads for your new products, finding that many potential customers don’t respond to ads and trade show contact followup? Do they just reach out when they identify a need in their company? Your company’s expertise may be the bait which lures in customer interest and keeps customers returning until you make a sale.
Growing Sales Through Regular Messages
Sales can grow organically from an ongoing relationship with your customers. While sales calls are great for personal contact, sharing information with your customers on your website and in newsletters can keep their focus on you between purchases. Some of what you have to share from your company’s wealth of information include these:
- Trends and news from this year’s big trade show
- International industry trends
- Academic research
- News of company growth
- Informal announcements of company research areas or product development
- Short bios of non-management personnel who make the company special
- Information on company philosophies and community outreach
- Basic information about your products and industry
These messages, put forth in a frequent “blog post” (an online, usually informal “rolling newsletter” of short articles) or included in a newsletter (or both, as some customers prefer one or the other) help customers to get to know your company as they do during sales visits, but on more frequent basis, and at a deeper level.
You Have Authority in Your Field
From multinational manufacturer to niche services firm, your brand speaks to your authority. You can be a source of expertise in existing technology or a “thought leader” who is the go-to source in emerging research technologies. Education is your pre-product — what you can give away to increase the value of what you sell. We can help you give away your expertise in a way that leaves customers wanting more.
Give Them Something to Talk About
Your content can be the source of educational broadcasts from your customer’s managers to their staff, or quoted when they are building their sales story for their own customers. Write well, both interestingly and informatively, and you never know how it will spread. Every day, people connected by everything from Facebook and LinkedIn to IEEE membership lists and Mensa forums quickly bounce links to their favorite articles and blog posts. Some of those should be yours.
Word of Mouth is now Exponential
Each one of your readers forwards links they like, and on it goes, geometrically. Because sharing links in a variety of online media is so easy, both your “hot” posts and “evergreen” material that provides excellent background information will spread over time.
The more your content is written in ways that the search engines know how to read, using “keywords,” phrases, and even ideas that it can classify, the more people searching for your topics will find your articles at or near the top of their search results.
Take the Burden off of Sales
Instead of sell, sell, sell, sales can field calls generated by keeping your contact info ready in your outreach material. You might not have much time for cold calls! Ads and other unsolicited material that had low response rates will now ride on recognition your content has generated. You can also reach out to say “have you read our latest blog post on ‘x’? When we last talked, you were thinking in that area I believe…” Your sales personnel, instead of being your company’s information gatekeepers, can use your Internet education efforts as a door opener and have an interested customer from first contact.
Reputation, the Underlying Benefit
While your blog posts and newsletter articles put forth information about you, industry sources are also discussing your company and its products. There may be information published and circulating that needs clarifying, and your Internet presence gives you a way to skillfully present your company, its mission, and its products. There are many Internet-savvy ways to ensure that people who search on your company find not only your marketing voice, but a source of public relations information about you that is fresh and persuasive.
Reach Out! And Be Found
Many companies still leave it to marketing to get the word out. By developing a content strategy, you can involve the entire company in presenting your products, your mission, and your identity. You can develop your reputation as an expert source or “thought leader.” Whether your products are unique or competing in a tight market, whether your company is large or just starting out, you can help yourself become an informative, reliable “name” in your industry by leveraging the Internet both to reach out, and to make sure that seekers find you.