In the bestseller, Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen, Donald Miller compares pursuing customers to asking them to marry you. For some high stakes purchases, it can feel like it's that serious of a decision. For others, not so much. Still, there are ways companies can use marketing to show prospects and customers some love, get them towards a commitment a bit faster and help them feel more confident in their decision.
To Know Your Customers is to Love Your Customers
Compatibility is critical in any successful relationship, and the buyer/seller relationship is no different. As businesses offer their product or service to potential customers, they will need to understand who their buyer is and what will resonate with them and inspire them to purchase.
Imagine that your organization has a customer dating app at its disposal – only instead of scrolling through the profiles of potential dates, you were able to scroll through different buyer personas. Buyer personas are representations of target audience groups that can include information such as their demographics, needs and desires, pain points, social media presence, personality type, etc. With each swipe, you'd choose who is and, just as importantly, who isn't your ideal customer.
For example, if you sell cloud solutions to c-level IT executives, you'll want to swipe right on people in those positions and even their surrounding network of influencers and brand evangelists, while swiping left to pass up everyone else. After all, if they're not your "type" it's better not to waste your time and effort trying to ask them out.
Don't Get Too Personal Too Soon
Imagine you're on a first date. You’re at a nice restaurant sitting across a candlelit table. "So..." your date says, leaning in, "How much money do you make a year, before taxes?"
Asking questions that are too personal too soon can immediately send up a red flag. It's a turn off when people do it to us - and it's also a turn off when marketers do it in a contact form. Don't scare your prospects away with probing questions. The depth of your form should be proportional to what the prospect will receive once they fill it out.
That means understanding the value of your content and what your prospects will be willing to "pay" for it. If they are registering for a webinar or downloading a piece of content, they are "buying" access to the resource for the "price" of opting in and giving you their contact information. They may be willing to "pay" more (providing more personal information in a longer form) if there is enough value in it for them.
Still not getting that second date from prospects (aka they're not converting)? Try implementing these four tips to make your web forms better.
Keep the Romance Alive
After a couple has tied the knot, should they stop going on dates? It’s Valentine's Day, so I hope you all answered "No" to that one. Spending quality time with your spouse after you get married keeps everyone happy and keeps the relationship healthy.
Similarly, just because your prospects have successfully traveled down the buyer's journey and made a purchase doesn't mean you have permission to stop building your relationship. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Consider the last time you recommended a product to someone else – why did you do it? In most cases, the answer is that you tried the product yourself and trusted that it would also be a good fit for others in the same situation. But, what if you're not a satisfied customer? What if promised, regular communications from a vendor taper off and eventually cease altogether, leading you to drift apart and eventually forget about the vendor altogether? What if it's complicated to purchase and implement an upgrade? What if a company's customer service and support system is staffed with cold and dismissive agents? Plenty could go wrong and sour the relationship after a sale has been made.
When customers feel left out or unappreciated, they are less likely to recommend your product to others, less likely to be repeat buyers and more likely to cut ties altogether. By contrast, according to HelpScout, on average loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.
Be Patient / Be Persistent
As you court prospects down the buyer's journey towards a sale (and beyond), remember that not every sales cycle will go the same way. Not every buyer will respond to the same marketing messages at the same pace. That's why it's important to keep up the communications and remind them of your existence so that you stay on their minds when they are ready to make a move.
Here are a few marketing "valentines" you can send your prospects:
- Update your website with new and engaging content (like blogs or new pages) to keep prospects coming back.
- Add transitional calls to action (download this useful content, watch this video) throughout your site so it's easier for customers to move forward in small steps before making a bigger commitment.
- Use email drip campaigns to nurture prospects and continue the relationship.
- Communicate with your prospects by increasing the frequency and quality of your social media posts and engagement.
If you take the time to get to know your prospects and show them some love, they'll be more likely to reciprocate with affection of their own. We absolutely love nurturing customer relationships, so please drop us a line if you'd like some help wooing your prospects.