- How to Sell to Market Research Buyers, Part 3
- How to Sell to Market Research Buyers, Part 2
- How to Sell to Market Research Buyers, Part 1
- 5½ [behind-the-scenes] Marketing & Sales Activities You Need To Do in December
- Got something to say?
- Running a small firm? Who holds you accountable?
- Marketing & Sales Success Begins with a Simple Step… Thinking!
- Your Sales Forecast Doesn’t Have to be a Guessing Game!
- Lead generation is a 3-step process.
- Measuring Sales… it’s Not just about Revenue
- 7 Selling Behaviors Seller-Doers Must Employ to be Successful.
- Can you really be “all things to all people?”
- 12 Marketing & Sales Activities you Gotta STOP this Year!
- How to maximize the impact of your marketing investment.
- Revenue Growth? Try the ‘5% Challenge’… it’s Brilliant!
- Should you ever walk away from revenue?
- Get Ready for 2017 with these 6 Marketing & Sales Activities
- 20 Marketing and Sales Concepts Business Leaders Need to Know, Part 2
- 20 Marketing and Sales Concepts Business Leaders Need to Know, Part 1
- 10 Guidelines for How to Be Successful at Sales
- Strategy Before Tactics!
- 6 Marketing & Sales Lessons Learned in our First 4 Years in Business
- The Sales Presentation: Stop Reading the PowerPoint Slides and Tell Your Story
- Content Marketing not working? Eh, don’t worry about it!
- Marketing Measurement: 3 New Methods You Have to Try in 2016
- The One Thing You Must Include in Your 2016 Marketing & Sales Plan
- Not using LinkedIn? Are you kidding me?!
- Is it OK to fire a client?
- Take Charge of Your Own Success… Stop Relying on Others!
- Getting first-time clients to take a chance on you.
- 9 Ways to Build your Business During the Summer Slowdown
- The Top 10 Ways to Build Awareness
- The 13 Most Common Website Mistakes
- The Most Important Part of Exhibiting
- Content marketing isn’t a one-time thing… it’s an all-the-time thing.
- THINKING! A framework for creating better business plans in 2015.
- Not happy with your marketing & sales? Then make just one change in 2015!
- For Beginners: Should I Tweet Daily? Yes… and here’s how.
- Got your Marketing Plan for 2015? No?! Now’s a good time to start…
- How to Connect with Booth Visitors – An Exhibitor’s Worksheet
- Not getting the email results you want? Make sure you’re following these 7 email marketing guidelines.
- 10 Ways to Get Clients to Sell FOR You (and they won’t cost a dime!)
- Do you know where you’re going? Why Strategy should drive your marketing & sales.
- 11 execution tips to help you exceed client expectations
- How to Turn First-time Clients into Repeat Clients
- 15 easy, low-cost marketing and sales tactics for 2014 – Part 2
- 15 easy, low-cost marketing and sales tactics for 2014 – Part 1
- 13 Lessons for Researchers Who Don’t Want (or Like) to Sell
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- Get it right! You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
- It’s not that complicated! A common sense approach to the marketing & sales process.
- How MR firms are blowing it with new customers: Lessons learned while secret shopping
- Management or sales… you can’t serve two masters.
- Prove it! Nine ways to convince prospects to work with you for the first time.
- Five everyday ways to grow your business
- How that ‘one great client’ could doom your firm
- Six marketing and sales mistakes MR firms make every day
- Eight proven ways to build awareness – and why you should!
- Suspects, Prospects and Clients: Is your firm focused on the right target?
- A Checklist for Conducting Your Own Marketing & Sales Audit
- Learning to play the game: What football can teach us about marketing
- Differentiating your firm in a crowded marketplace
- 25 low- or no-cost ways to grow your business
- 15 Reasons E-mail Still Matters in Sales and Marketing
- Come prepared, dress the part and follow up: 10 dos for exhibiting at MR trade shows
- No rookies, no gum and no Frisbees: 10 don’ts for exhibiting at MR trade shows
- How to see yourself as clients see you
- Marketing 101: It takes Work to make it Work
- Use the 8 Ps of Marketing when Setting Strategy
- Integrate the 4 As of Marketing into Your Planning
- Size Does Matter: 4 Approaches to Growing Your Business
- The 12 Guiding Principles of Marketing (part 2)
- The 12 Guiding Principles of Marketing (part 1)
Prove it! Nine ways to convince prospects to work with you for the first time.
Years ago, Geoffrey Moore published a popular and important book called Crossing the Chasm. The book was written in the early days of the tech boom and provided a road map showing companies that had developed a new technology how to convince consumers to try it. The key strategy was to leverage the early adopters as “proof sources” to help those who followed overcome their hesitancy to buy (“Let someone else buy it first. If it works as promised, then I’ll try it.”).
And while only a few of us are in the business of providing technology or tech-based services, there is still hesitancy from prospective clients when it comes to trying us for the very first time.
How do you convince new prospects to become a first-time client… A great capabilities presentation? A dazzling proposal? A first-timer discount? A guarantee?
All of those options are good and your prospective clients will appreciate them all but what they really want is peace of mind! They want to know that if they take a chance on your firm, they won’t be let down or disappointed. Can you blame them?
Here’s an example we all can relate to: trying a new restaurant. Do you just show up at a newly-opened restaurant with your fingers crossed? Maybe, for you adventurous types. But more likely, you’ll do a little research online, talk to friends who have been there, visit their Web site, etc. In essence, before you plunk down your dollars for a meal, you want some proof that what you’re going to buy will meet or exceed your expectations.
It’s really no different for your business. Regardless of what role you play in the MR industry, your first-time clients want the same thing as those first-time diners. Confidence, peace of mind, reassurance. They want to know that their first experience with you will meet or exceed their expectations.
So what are you doing to set your prospects’ minds at ease? Here are nine ideas to get you thinking in that direction:
- Have a great Website! Nothing will make a prospect lose confidence in you more than an amateurish Web site. You only get one chance to make a first impression and it’s your Website that will do that for you.
- Provide great content on your site. Resources such as well-written articles, blog posts and e-books help you showcase your expertise and position you and your firm as thought leaders in those areas. Without that evidence, you’re just another vendor.
- Been in business a while? Have a long list of satisfied clients? Then show them off on your site. The simple fact that you have a long list is proof that you’re good at what you do.
- Clients will sell better for you than you could ever do for yourself. To make that happen, collect and show off positive quotes from clients, as well as any testimonial letters you have. How do you get them? Simple: Ask for them.
- If you have prospects who want to talk to some of your past clients, build a list of references. Ask only your very best, most loyal clients to serve as references. Test them to see if they’ll say what you think they’re going to say and then reward them for their help.
- As part of your content development, make sure to include ‘case studies.’ A case study is defined as an overview of an important project and how the client benefited as a result of your efforts. Case studies are proof positive that you can do what you say you can do.
- Another facet of content development is to write or speak publicly. For example, write for a trade journal that your prospects read or speak at an industry conference.
- Show me what you can do. If your services include the use of (cool) technology, then when given the chance, do a demo for your prospects. Remember, seeing is believing. And if you don’t have technology, how about showing them what a final report will look like?
- Lastly, where possible and appropriate, take advantage of third-party validation. Are you a Honomichl 50 firm? Did you make a list of the industry’s most innovative firms? Even something like “rated as one of Charlotte’s 50 fastest-growing companies” lends credibility. And once you earn the designation, promote the heck out of it!
Which tactics you employ will be determined by what type of firm you work for and who you sell to. But always be thinking about how you can lower or eliminate the barrier to buying for first-time clients. Make them feel good about the opportunity to do business with you.
Mitigating that hesitancy – when others don’t – will give you a huge competitive advantage.
Good luck and good marketing.
This article was originally published in Quirk’s.