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As any veteran B2B lead gen specialist will tell you, things have changed massively over the last few decades, and the pace of change shows no signs of slowing down. From the days of physical paper mailer drops and constant telemarketing calls to today’s AI chatbots, abundant social media platforms, lead gen approaches have been completely transformed.
With the B2B marketing landscape becoming so open to creative sales tactics, we’re taking a deep dive with an open mind, to question whether in this vast sea of opportunities, there may be some basic, practical tactics that are being overlooked.
It may be a simplistic way of looking at things, but in broadly general terms, many of the ways in which we connect with people today whether in business or everyday life are much more socially detached than they used to be. In your personal life for instance, how many of your friends regularly phone you for a chat? More than likely, you’ll be texting each other much more than phoning. If anything, many of us have come to the point where we almost feel it would be too intrusive to phone our friends, or that trying to arrange a meet up over the phone would be putting them on the spot. A similar parallel can be seen in the business world, where we now tend to perceive sending emails as more polite and less invasive than making phone calls.
But imagine you want to win back work from a once loyal past client who has moved on. It could be that some time has passed since you last worked with that company. Their staff may have changed. Your staff may have changed. There is likely a lot to catch up on. Making a phone call to the relevant person allows you to really touch base. By bringing the business side of things into a more personable catch-up context you set yourself up for a stronger more informed relationship than if you go in cold with an email that may or may not be responded to.
LinkedIn may also be a beneficial route here, as it can allow you to get in contact a bit more directly with the right person. And of course, potential prospects can get a flavour for who you are and what you do by viewing your personal and company pages.
There are so many beneficial factors that are being overlooked if we dumb down the potential of the telephone call, when we consider the psychological impact something as simple as hearing another person’s voice can be.
As brilliant and ingenious as more ‘in vogue’ marketing may be, there are certain things that you just cannot achieve without making personal connections. The tone of your voice, the way you greet individuals when you meet them, versus a mass greeting to a faceless video audience, the physical touch of a handshake…none of these things can be authentically replicated by technology. And after all, people buy from people.
Whether you’re hoping to reignite a business relationship, or win new work, it can be difficult to pin down busy people and compete with everything their hectic lives are throwing at them. Making a phone call may be a more direct route, but the question is, how do we move away from the potentially intrusive sales call and towards a more effective approach? We’ve outlined a few key pointers to get you going:
Maybe this goes without saying, but in short, honesty is the best policy. If you’re not genuine, people will smell a rat. Politely make it clear why you’re calling, what you want and why you feel passionate about what you have on offer.
Over familiarity with someone you’re speaking to for the first time can be off-putting in business, just as it would in any other sphere of life. Take your time to get to know personal details about the person you’re calling and make notes, for example where they are based, do they have a family or any pets? These are things that can be built upon in future conversations, and it’ll show if you’re taking an interest in someone more than just for what they can give.
Make sure you are prepared for likely objections: pre-empt these with some well thought through and valid responses. It’s important that you are able to talk ‘off script’ if you’re going to properly engage the prospect. If your pitch isn’t working, change direction, or a have a few variations to try. It can be helpful to think of your pitch structure like a good story: an attention-grabbing start, a captivating middle, and a happy ending!
Grabbing your prospect’s attention is always the first major hurdle in lead-generation. Attention spans are declining, and share of voice is becoming more elusive. And don’t forget, some of the more niche B2B sectors are often just not on the radar for many PR and marketing firms. If you’re vying to make a name for your business in a specialist sector, then warmth of a phone call from an experienced marketing specialist cannot be underestimated.
Looking for some quality lead gen support for your business? Involved in a niche sector and in need of specialist PR and marketing from knowledgeable professionals? Get in touch and discover how Allotts can help grow your business.