What used to be a more linear journey leading up to a transaction has evolved into a complex experience. Gone are the days of every buyer fitting into a box and following the same process. Now, you’ll find people at all different stages of that journey. Some may not even fall into one of the three stages just yet. Or maybe they’re in between two because they’re having trouble getting the necessary answers.
So, how do you successfully engage that prospect? With a targeted approach, or what we call inbound.
Cater to The Buyer’s Journey
When someone visits your website and fills out a form, you’re going to without speaking to them. What they download, the forms filled out, and the content viewed are all bits of information you can use to get a better idea of where they are within the buyer’s journey and the type of solution they’re seeking.
This lead intelligence will help you cater directly to their needs. For example, if someone is in the awareness stage, they’re identifying their challenge or problem. It likely wouldn't bode well if you were to present them with content on how to get started with a business like yours.
Instead, you want to follow up their inquiry with content that aligns with the challenge they’re exploring. This way, they see you as a resource interested in helping them figure out where to start. Rather than immediately jumping in trying to close a deal.
The same goes for the consideration and decision stage. Using targeted content that falls in line with the characteristics of each will help build credibility.
Tailor Your Conversation Around Their Interests and Needs
When following up with a prospect, the language must be tailored to their interests and needs. We’ve all been on the other side of this situation where a salesperson is reaching out to us. Whether you made a serious inquiry or were just downloading a resource, if their follow-up is about something completely different, or they forget to personalize their outreach, it’s a turnoff.
The initial communication from you to the prospect should be individualized. The stage they are at in the buying process should dictate your follow-up. For example, if someone downloads one of your most popular eBooks at the top of the funnel, you should reach out to have any questions about the resource and send over another piece of content around that topic.
If someone has filled out a bottom-of-the-funnel form indicating they are closer to possibly deciding, you should formulate a response that includes relevant content. In addition, researching who they are and what their company does to mention could be why you get a response.
Tailoring your conversation around personal details and target content will help the prospect feel seen while building your credibility.
Keep the Conversation Going
As you nurture a prospect, you want to keep the conversation going. This can be done by including targeted content in your correspondence. For instance, let’s say they send over a question, whether it be more general about their problem or specific to what you offer. Rather than typing that all out in an email to send back, direct them to additional content on your website that has the answers.
Again, this will increase credibility while showcasing that you all have thought through these challenges and have experience solving them. Keep the prospect engaged with personalized communication and targeted content that brings them back to your website.
Solidifying Thought Leadership as a Salesperson
It’s essential to look at targeted content from the lens of helping educate people on their options rather than it being the selling point. Prospects want to feel they have unbiased, educational information to help them make an informed decision.
As a salesperson, when you begin nurturing the relationship and focus on providing well-educated content, you’re building your thought leadership. You want the prospect to know that you have the knowledge and experience to help remedy the issue they are tackling.
*Editor's Note: This blog has been updated from its original publishing date.