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Blog posts tagged good content

How to use content to follow up sales and maintain top-of-mind awareness

July 31, 2009 by Sonja Jefferson

In his article 'Why 8% of sales people get 80% of the sales' Donut expert and founder of Marketing Wizdom, Robert Clay reminds us of the importance of good 'follow up'. His research shows that only 2% of sales occur at the first meeting; the other 98% will only happen once a certain level of trust has been established. Incredibly, only 20% of sales leads are ever followed up - that's a shining pile of potential opportunity lost without a trace. For small businesses, what is the best way to keep contact with prospects after sales meetings? What communications strategy can you employ to show customers that your proposed approach is the right one for them? Effective follow up does not mean pushy closing and constant demands for orders or appointments. It's a different mindset: an ongoing dialogue; gently building rapport and proving your expertise, not bashing down doors. At the heart of this approach is good content - meaningful, useful communication that helps to build trust in the eyes of your potential customers, keeping you top-of-mind. Here are 5 examples of useful content you can send to prospects when following up sales meetings:

  • Articles: get your expert opinion and ideas down in writing - on the web, in magazines, on blogs (your company blog and/or other well-respected blogs in your field). Write for your customers: write articles that show them how to solve their business problems.
  • Educational case studies: show how other customers have benefitted from the type of approach you're proposing. These powerful sales tools help you capitalise on past success. They turn your claims in to evidence and open the reader’s eyes to what is possible if they work with your company.
  • Whitepapers: somewhere between an article and an academic paper, these persuasive documents contain useful information and expert opinion, promoting your company as a thought leader and helping solve customer issues.
  • Newsletters/e-newsletters: inform and educate your contacts on a regular basis with valuable content - news, views, research and case studies that they'll find of interest.
  • Third party evidence: send your prospects articles and research by others that back up your proposed approach.

This is where marketing can really help sales. Produce powerful, customer-focused, helpful content that your sales teams can use to keep contact with customers until they are ready to buy.

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