The shift towards inbound lead generation inevitably raises questions about the relevance of outbound approaches. With the advancement of digital marketing tools (email, lead funnels, adwords and social), it just keeps getting easier to lean on technology and content for lead generation. So, you may well ask, why bother with direct approaches at all?
For many, the human equation will always remain. If you sell complex or people-focused services in the B2B space, much can still depend on the process of relationship building.
Furthermore, in an age of content ‘white noise’ and millisecond attention spans, it’s actually got harder to reach some people using generic or automated tools. In fact, many of the high-level prospects we speak to directly are so overwhelmed with low-grade content, they’ve started to tune out altogether.
So, knowing when to engage with prospects on a direct and personal level has probably never been more important and, if you’re someone who wants to do more of it, here’s some basic tips around how…
001 Forget generic job criteria
In the age of innovation, smart companies are taking staff out of pigeon holes in order to think and act more laterally. To be effective, don't just assume the person you should be talking will fit the traditional job profile.
002 Create a meaningful connection
No one wants to work with a provider who doesn’t share their values, so it pays to develop a message that resonates directly. Take time to pinpoint the places in your prospects personal story where you can genuinely align.
003 Present the bigger context
Be unequivocal about how what you do will drive success for the person you're approaching. It’s great to reference personal interests, but how does that help their business grow, and how will it be delivered?
004 Don't get dismayed by GDPR
As long as contact details have been sourced correctly, you can demonstrate legitimate interest. Craft a message that resonates through research and knowledge to create personal and commercial credibility.
005 Use the right mix of skills
Look to develop a collaborative sales approach within your business. A collective of the right minds and tools will give you an understanding of the prospect’s market and an ability to connect that are critical to engaging high-profile prospects.
006 Be patient and build rapport
The best opportunities still need the salesperson to make them happen; the relationship master-craftsman able to communicate and make the right connection. This requires trust, wider team support, time and effort.