Touch Points to Trust PointsSince my first advertising class in college, I have heard it takes 7 touches to get a new client.  This was a number the direct mail companies would use, the radio sales executives, the local TV ads and even the “cold calling” experts. Now, that number has gone up, way up. I have read dozens of articles citing studies that say upwards of 36 touches to get a prospect to interact. But these are very passive interactions and typically not very impactful. I believe we can bring that number way down, even below the original 7 touches.  What do these touches look like?

  1. Identify your target market. Simple right? Well, your target market needs to be really drilled down. Not just a CEO of small to mid-sized company, and not even a niche industry is enough. You need to know your target market all the way down to what they need or care about right before they need or want your services. So, if you sell office furniture that sells to small business owners, your target drill down may include:
      1. Currently hiring new staff
      2. Moving locations
      3. Merging or acquiring new business
  2. Understand what it is they are reading, “liking”, sharing, commenting on and searching before they need you. Sharing content that speaks to them before they even know they need you allows you to engage them where they are, and be the voice that sets the standard when they are ready for your products or services.  Let’s stick with the office furniture scenario:
      1. Need new staff: they are most likely posting job ads on the internet boards or working with placement agencies. They may be reading up on how to conduct a good interview, or onboarding tips.
      2. If they are looking to move then they may be hiring a Commercial Real Estate Broker, working with IT cloud providers to move their servers, discussing telephone options, hiring moving companies and the list goes on.
      3. Are they looking to buy a new business, they are probably speaking with a M&A company, a business attorney and/or CPA. They may be reading case studies of successful mergers, industry trends or strategies on how to blend 2 cultures. They are probably not researching furniture yet, but they will be, so be sure they know who you are when they are ready.
  3. Find content that talks to your target market where they are now in the process.
      1. First, be sure that the topics and blogs you choose fits their “before they need you state of mind.”
      2. Next, Re-Tweet or share content your prospect has already shared. This is a win/win/win. Your prospect is thrilled they you have acknowledged their post, you are on their good side and you have shared content that most likely will will enjoyed by people just like him, in other words…your ideal prospects.
      3. Read it, really. Don’t share anything that you have vetted out. Make sure it is aligned with your values and belief system
      4. Be sure to add you own commentary before you share other peoples’ posts. Share your opinion – it shows that you are the thought leader, not just the author of the article.
  4. Develop content that talks to your target market.
      1. Use their job title in the title of your blog or article. That draws them in and knows you are talking to them directly.
      2. Educate only. Do not solicit in the core message of your content. Your offerings can however, be in call to action after you have provided meaningful content,
      3. Use great images that tell the story of your blog. People are drawn into strong visuals.
  5. Share the content directly to your target. Don’t just throw it out there hoping and praying that a prospect finds it, reads it and connects with you. Target it to your primary market.
      1. Tweet your blog with a mention to a targeted company. By mentioning them, they will receive message both in their email and twitter with your blog link. They are likely to click through and read it, as mentions are infrequent but come across as very personal.
      2. Be sure to have a call to action at the bottom of the message ie a download, a video to watch or even invite them to connect with you on LinkedIn. Be sure to have a follow-up message with them when they do connect.
      3. Find your target marketing in LinkedIn groups and send them a message:
        1. Dear XXX, As a fellow group member I wanted to share you this blog my company posted on “The Top 5 Critical Cost Saving Steps CEOs Need to Know Before Moving Locations”  . I invite you to share your feedback and connect with me on LinkedIn. (Office furniture can be mentioned as 1 of the 10 and it should be an educational tip such as: Make the most out of your current office furniture. Take inventory and measurements and identify what is worth moving. When purchasing new furniture, be sure to work with a company that will buy your old furniture, pick it up and even give you credit toward your new purchase)
  6. Get the opt in, the download where they have to give you their contact information to have access to your value added content. Be sure to have the download form connect directly to your email provider, We recommend Constant Contact. This is the call to action that is critical to qualifying your widespread target and drilling down to the professionals that care about what you are talking about.
  7. Have a consistent drip marketing campaign with new and relevant education that will create brand awareness. Through Constant Contact we can report on who is opening my content, who is clicking through and determine what interests them. I can also see who is interested NOW.  This is intelligence that can truly provide hot leads that may be ready to take action.
  8. When you are providing content that is meaningful to your prospect, your touches convert to trust or brand loyalty. Even if they are not ready today, they haven’t opted-out, they are seeing your name and brand on a consistent basis and will click through and reach out when they are ready.
  9. Engage those who clicked through your messages, left comments or shared your content directly. Pick a number of contacts that is an attainable goal, like 10 prospects a week that have interacted with your content. Reach out to them to set up a time to talk, learn more about them and even offer some more meaningful insights. It is not a sales call, it is an educational call, one that will leave your prospect with ideas and strategies that they hadn’t thought of before.  The close of that call would be “Ms. Prospect, have you found some of what I shared with you today pertinent and valuable to your business needs now?” If yes, “I am glad I was able to add value to you, next steps might be that we set up a time to talk further about your XXX and explore ways I may be able to help you out further, how does next Tuesday morning look for you? – If you sell on the first call, they may feel as if it was a bait and switch, and that does not build loyalty.
  10. Put a solid daily activity plan in place including content calendar, a social sharing plan, a follow-up plan and all the moving parts in a very simple to follow checklist. If this seems overwhelming and you don’t know where to begin, (here it comes…) CLICK HERE to schedule a 15 minute call with me and I guarantee that you will leave with actionable insights that will turn your Touch Points into Trust Points.