When the California gold rush was booming in the mid-1800s and people flocked there from all parts of the country, famed American philosopher and poet Henry David Thoreau had this comment, “…they go prospecting farther and farther away from the true lead, and are most unfortunate when they think themselves most successful.”
Much the same could be said today in terms of finding customer leads. Yet today, with many people still quarantined or working remotely from home, direct mail envelopes are even thicker than before. A 2017 Gallup poll suggested that direct mail was far from dead with a 1,300% ROI. So why prospect on social media?
Prospecting on social media meets consumers where they frequent and, when done right, in areas and on topics they’re interested in. With an engaging sales funnel, conversations can begin and trust developed with potential customers. Here are five steps that can help.
Step one is to Identify and know one’s USP or unique selling proposition is key to creating a message that reverberates with customers. Who is the main target audience, and what’s the USP that will motivate them to respond? What additional value might be added that is better than the competition is another issue to be addressed. Determining and even polling potential customers about their pain points can be valuable in crafting a message that resonates.
As Alexei Orlov of MTM has said, “To create interest, demand, and ultimately a contract, generating awareness or step two is paramount. But what’s equally important is the right awareness. Showcasing expertise and results sets the company apart from its competitors.”
There are numerous ways to do this. One is to blog and write guest posts in publications frequented by potential clients. Another is through LinkedIn articles while establishing relationships with industry publications. Doing interviews is also immensely powerful.
Identify and join Facebook groups that cater to the company’s target audience. This is step three. Creating learning units and engaging with followers instills confidence and establishes credibility. Consider the most time-consuming option, which is to publish a book or eBook that addresses client pain points. While this entails a lot more work, there is a lot of built-in credibilities that go along with that, and the accompanying publicity about its release will generate much awareness.
Identifying client pain points and running short, individual videos on Facebook is step four and will also generate interest and feedback. Cross-promote the other platforms and posts to maximize coverage.
Step five calls for reloading some of those same videos on YouTube and retargeting those same prospects the company is pursuing. And to make it special, consider adding something for free like a free chapter from that eBook if one was written or helpful checklists or worksheets. The added value can help create some reciprocity.
All set? Before trying to schedule everyone who seems interested, it’s important to recognize the difference between window shoppers, freebie seekers, and genuine potential clients. The process can be aided by building an application process in the booking system and doing something as basic as checking out the person seeking a consultation. Having prospects complete a short questionnaire beforehand that includes a question about being in a position to invest in their firm’s development is not only fair but also practical.