Would you agree to go out on a date with someone who you did not know and called you out of the blue?
Of course not! You’d expect a little flirting and romancing first, right? And, you’d want to have an idea who’s asking you out too.
Well, B2B decision makers expect that same flirting and romancing before they agree to a first appointment with you – even if you promise you can save them money, make them money or fix a problem you think they have!
I bet you are are breaking the rules customer courting and losing business to your competitors, who are romanticizing your quota attainment away!
Research Tells You That You Need A Social Selling Strategy
Assuming most initial B2B contacts start with a phone call, email or chance meeting at an event, here’s a handy breakdown of the odds of making a successful contact with your customer.
- Only 2% of cold calls result in appointments. With only 2% of cold calls resulting in a sales appointment, 98% of your time is wasted; your target audience does not know you who are and will not allocate their precious time to receive your pitch. Spend some time establishing your brand so your customer will take your call and invitation to your first appointment!
- It takes 8 attempts to make a successful connection (or an appointment.) You can spend those early contacts with phone calls or emails intruding with your pitch, which will likely be met with rejection. Or, you can find a way to make a meaningful connection earlier in the buyer journey to increase your chances of meeting earlier with your contact.
- 92% of B2B decision makers want their sales reps to be subject matter experts. As food is the key to many a man’s or woman’s heart and attention, so subject matter expertise is the way to a decision maker’s heart – and a place in their office!
What does this research have in common? It supports the need to adopt social selling. Like trying to seal the dating deal with the first call, this B2B research indicates the unlikelihood you will secure they big first appointment on your first call.
With so many touch points challenging your customer’s attention – competitors, communities, and social media – you need to invest the time and creativity to get their attention.
What’s The Social Selling Lesson To Learn?
You should invest more time engaging and ‘flirting’ with customers with knowledge, expertise and content to show you can help them. Some people call this activity social selling. Spend time developing why customers should be interested in you and then how you can help them before you try to sell to them. Use content and social networks to professionally ‘flirt’ and get on their radar.
Oh, let’s be clear about one thing. You still need to ask for the first appointment. However, by you can increase your odds of meeting success by using your subject matter expertise to flirt with your customer. Get on their radar first – with socially delivered content, retweets, comments – and you will have greater success to secure that first meeting!
P.S. Your Next Steps! I am the author of MarketingThink.com, a social media and social selling coaching blog. Please sign up for email delivery of my posts and pass this sign-up link to your friends and co-workers, who you think might benefit from reading these ideas.
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