If you’re an entrepreneur facing uncertainty in these crucial times, you’re not alone. Many entrepreneurs are facing similar challenges, and they’re all trying to innovate and thrive in this environment.
Our goal is to share practical strategies and tactics that you can deploy immediately to make it through this pandemic and come out the other side even stronger. While COVID-19 has generated confusion, it’s also created the opportunity to build resilience and expand your reach.
Sales and marketing are the lifeblood of any business, and there’s still tremendous opportunity to capture new clients. When it comes to digital selling, there’s a massive shift happening; a vast majority of consumers are making a buying decision before they ever contact a salesperson.
So it’s important to understand this concept of closing before you convince. What exactly does that mean, and how can you ensure you’re putting it into practice? Let’s break it down.
The Buyer’s Journey
Here’s the reality: 64% of buyers have already decided which company they want to do business with before they ever speak to a salesperson.
It may sound surprising, but think about your own buying journey in the B2B or B2C space. Chances are, you’ve already been exposed to the company. Maybe you’ve heard about it through word of mouth, or you’ve done your own research and seen their work. Prior to reaching out to that company, you’ve likely formed a positive or negative perception of them.
If your perception is negative, you’ll find all sorts of reasons why you don’t want to do business with that company. Conversely, if your perception is positive, you’ll look for reasons to praise their work and reach out to them. The same is true for your prospects. Before they even reach out, they already have formed a solid impression of your company.
Close Before You Convince
The key, then, is to close the customer before you ever speak to them.
Before they ever land on your website.
In this fast-paced digital age where people are the media, and connected consumers have access to an abundance of information at any given time, constructing a positive impression of your company prior to the sale is vital.
Let’s look at three strategies you can implement to boost your digital sales, advance your business, and effectively close before you convince.
#1 Be Customer Focused
While it’s important to invest in quality customer service, when we talk about customer focus, we’re asking: what does doing business with us allow our customers to say about themselves?
You see, the #1 reason people use social media is not to connect with friends and family, or to have a sense of community—people use social media to showcase their own identity. So what does that mean for your business?
It means that customers aren’t just buying your product or service, they’re buying a statement about themselves. So what does your product or service allow your customers to say about themselves? Are your customers buying a better future? Peace of mind? A lack of regret?
Especially in times of such difficulty, it’s crucial to understand your customer.
That understanding and empathy will translate into consumer trust. Right now, customers are pivoting toward companies they can trust. They want to do business with companies they can rely on to guide them through this crisis, and stick around after the dust settles.
Focus On ETC
Today it’s become increasingly difficult to beat your competitors in traditional ways, but there’s a myriad of ways to out-educate them. If you want to win the digital sales game, focus on ETC: education, transparency, and choices.
Create and curate content that’s valuable and helpful for your customers. Demonstrate thought leadership and post your content on relevant platforms. Today, anyone can access information; it’s your job to be an intelligent filter of that information.
Customers have come to admire and value brands that are transparent. Consumers don’t expect you to be perfect, but they do expect you to be a proactive communicator. If you’re experiencing difficulties, let your customers know.
Many businesses have found humorous and sincere ways to ask customers for help during these trying times and customers are more than happy to support their favorite brands.
People have varied preferences when it comes to how they want to connect with a brand. Some people like to respond via email, while others would like a phone call. Don’t be rigid in your communication style; give your customers choices in how they can connect with you. That means in addition to sending out an email nurturing campaign, let customers know they can connect with you on social media, or call now to talk to a consultant.
The ETC strategy will help you take your focus from what you’re offering, to what customers need.
If you’ve traditionally ignored your numbers, now is the time to form a crucial new habit: pay attention to your analytics. Agility through analytics will help you become more effective, efficient, and profitable.
Did you know that 99% of the content a company creates is wasted? That means less than 1% of your content is getting the majority of views. If you’re not familiar with your analytics, you don’t know what content is performing well, where your leads are coming from, and how effectively you’re converting.
You don’t have to download any fancy software. By simply taking a look at your Google Analytics, you can gain a better understanding of where your leads are coming from, if they’re being converted, and how you can optimize your content.
Video content is looming large, and it’s not going anywhere for the foreseeable future. Leveraging video content to connect with customers, land referrals, and close deals is a terrific way to ensure you get the most out of digital sales.
There is a great selection of video recording and editing software to choose from, and many companies are offering this software to entrepreneurs at a discounted rate. So if you’ve always wanted to pick up video, now is the best time to do it. In fact, 66% of people who watch a video end up buying something.
Video is captivating, which is why a vast majority of people will finish watching a 30-minute video clip, but only 24% will finish reading an article. Think about your own viewing habits. Have you ever been engrossed in an infomercial, only to be interrupted by someone who says, “what are you watching?” This is the power of video.
If you’re in B2B sales, LinkedIn is a great place to utilize that power. Post video content consistently to win the digital sales game and connect with prospects.
#4 Bonus Strategy: Curate
When it comes to digital sales, curation is the simplest tactic you can employ, but it’s still effective.
For example, Pinterest is a social networking site, but it’s also a filter for people to be able to share their interests and content. No matter what topic you’re interested in, whether it be cooking, decorating, fashion, or business, there’s a Pinterest board for it.
You can implement this same strategy into your business. A client in the education space has curated all of their content to provide helpful resources that school districts and educators can turn to for guidance during COVID-19 including trackers, articles, and tools.
This strategy can be implemented immediately, and will increase your traffic, leads, and sales. So, what can you curate for your customers that would be of interest to them right now? Now is the time to play the long game in sales.
Remember, the goal is the close before you convince, and you do that by implementing these key strategies.