Convince Prospects You Can Change Their Success Rates

Is generating leads with LinkedIn proving frustrating and difficult? Probably because you’re failing at tempting prospects to click more deeply and explore what you’re all about … in ways that help capture a lead. Here’s how to provoke response—get people to dive deeper into your blog post, explore your LinkedIn profile, register for a webinar or whitepaper download, email or call you.

Is generating leads with LinkedIn proving frustrating and difficult? Probably because you’re failing at tempting prospects to click more deeply and explore what you’re all about … in ways that help capture a lead.

Here’s how to provoke response—get people to dive deeper into your blog post, explore your LinkedIn profile, register for a webinar or whitepaper download, email or call you.

Success depends on your ability to prove to customers that you can change their success rates (before they purchase and in ways that earn you a lead).

The One Thing That Determines Success
Generating leads with LinkedIn depends on creating intense levels of curiosity in prospects. You’ve got to get them hungry for more information about solutions to their most urgent situations. But not the solutions you sell.

Your first meaningful interaction with prospects cannot be one they pay for. You’ve got to give customers a “taste of success” in advance of their purchase. This gets them confident in their own abilities and trusting you.

Here’s What to Say (to Get Response)
“What do I say to prospects when they don’t want to talk about what I sell yet?”

Whatever matters to them.

The best way to start generating leads with LinkedIn is to ask yourself, “What’s keeping my typical customer up at night?”

It sounds obvious, but are you doing it?

When interacting on LinkedIn, talk about answers to your prospects’ problems, methods to avoid risks or ways to achieve goals, but in ways that don’t immediately connect to what you sell.

Whether in a LinkedIn group or private email, present yourself in a way that leaves the prospect wanting more. This part will make or break your success.

Being provocative takes practice, but it’s the only way to earn a lead when using LinkedIn.

Promise to Change Your Customers’ Success Rate
No matter what you’re selling, you’ve got to give people a reason to start a focused conversation with you. Changing their success rate is that reason.

There are three “places” to converse with prospects:

  • LinkedIn groups
  • Email
  • Your blog

In all cases your challenge is the same: Be relevant and provocative enough to earn prospects’ clicks (to your blog).

Here’s how to begin:

1. Be clear, helpful, yet not 100 percent thorough. Lay out knowledge, tips and actionable information in ways that encourage more questions. Be specific but not so complete that readers become fully satisfied. Find ways to share actionable information in ways that make readers crave more examples.

2. Bust a myth. Few things attract and engage customers more than telling them “Let’s face it. What you’re doing is popular yet not effective. Here’s the secret on what actually works. I’ll prove it to you and show you how to get more of what you want.” By using this provocative technique you’ll create more response and a distinct voice for yourself. You’ll start generating leads with LinkedIn.

3. Make a clear call-to-action. You’re not selling. Instead, saying, “I have a cure for that” or “I’ve experienced that pain, suffered and here’s my three-step system to fix it.” Then make the pathway (to get that system, knowledge or quick fix) clear. Give content away free in return for a lead. Invite contact via LinkedIn’s email system or presenting a link to your website (if allowed in the group).

The opportunity standing before you is terrific. Giving prospects a way to better understand their problem or gain confidence over it can help what you sell become the obvious next step. In this way your product isn’t something to consider buying; instead it is a logical next step in a journey prospects find themselves on. Good luck!

How to Select a Social Media Agency or Consultant

Social media agencies and consultants insist that following your customers into social spaces is a smart idea. Yet it’s actually an incomplete idea, unless you have a clear means to capture demand and convert it to sales. So, it pays to make sure you have a list of specific interview questions in hand when choosing a social media agency or consultant. That’s why I’m giving you some gems that really work.

Social media agencies and consultants insist that following your customers into social spaces is a smart idea. Yet it’s actually an incomplete idea, unless you have a clear means to capture demand and convert it to sales. So, it pays to make sure you have a list of specific interview questions in hand when choosing a social media agency or consultant. That’s why I’m giving you some gems that really work.

Remember, the answer to selling more with social media is this: Starting conversations that are worth having and conversing in ways that generate questions that you have answers to. The rest is occasionally (when relevant) connecting those answers to your products/services. This is how to generate customer inquiries using social media. Your agency, freelance provider (or employee) must grasp and practice this. Let’s find out how to make sure they do.

Question Your Consultants
Overzealous “digital rock star gurus” say the social Web has revolutionized everything. We’re told to listen to and engage with customers. But what do we do with what we hear … and when does engaging connect to sales? Does it at all? As David Ogilvy himself reminded marketers decades ago “we sell or else!”

The nature of your relationship with social media agencies and consultants should be to question. Why? Because so many are questionable in terms of the results (or lack there of) they deliver!

Be Sure They’re Producing Behavior
“You don’t sell someone something by engagement, conversation and relationship. You create engagement, conversation and relationships by selling them something,” says Bob Hoffman, (“The Ad Contrarian”) CEO, Hoffman Lewis.

Read that again and notice how it flies in the face of what we’re being told to do by most social media agencies and consultants. Notice how logical this simple truth is.

Agencies and consultants that are moving the needle are reaching beyond attracting customers for clients. They’re generating leads using three practical success principles. They’re aligning social marketing with sales by:

  • Solving customers problems with social media like Facebook
  • Producing behavior by designing each social interaction to produce it—always, without fail
  • Translating needs of customers and using insights to create more behavior, more leads/sales

It’s important to consider the current social media marketing activities of the agency or freelancer you’ll hire. Everything they’re doing to “join the conversation” (tweeting, blogging, posting updates on Facebook) must be talking with customers, not at them. They must be truly interacting. Making social marketing produce behavior is the first step. Your agency needs to understand what a call to action is and practice this approach.

Ask Tough Questions
Most importantly, press your marketing consultants, ad agency reps and employees to answer business questions first. Ask them to do it without using words like traffic, engagement or buzz. Make them squirm.
In the end you should be getting answers to the following questions:

  • Is the agency hiring employees based mostly on tactical skills or ability to create tangible results?
  • Does the agency ask the right questions of us? And are they embracing or avoiding our questions?
  • When they discuss successful client cases (in their past) are they interacting with customers intimately—or are the stories more about posting and tweeting into the ether?
  • If they’re interacting with customers/prospects is it organized and purpose-driven? Are their tactics working in harmony or apart from (competing with) each other?
  • What actionable information does each customer interaction produce and where does that information go?
  • What’s done with it (or not)? Do interactions produce actionable information? Do they connect to a lead nurturing or follow-up process?
  • Are their tactics connecting with a strategy that pushes customers down the sales funnel using the collected information?

Social media marketing is a necessary component of being online. But merely “being on Facebook and Twitter” won’t generate leads and convert sales unless you hire people who are focused on purpose-drive social media campaigns. Be sure to ask the tough questions when interviewing them. Good luck!