How To Win B2B Sales Conversations Via Messaging And Text
Reading Time: 11 minutes
Conversational marketing is all about using the messaging the platforms people are already using to connect to each other: texting, messengers, etc. But while it may be easy for many of us to use with buddies, we trip when it comes to using it for business. We’ll explore how we can improve this situation.
Let’s talk about it:
There are times, where you say to yourself,
“Why couldn’t I see that coming?”
It was 2010 and I had been writing a rather moody niche religious blog. And as an avid Facebook user, I would share my latest post with my friends, hoping someone would share it further.
Somehow, Facebook contacted me to let me know they were opening this brand new thing, Facebook ads and they would give $50 free to test it.
So, I, naturally, wanted to share my blog with the wider world — and ran a campaign promoting it overnight.
When I woke up the next day, I had 70 people who had “liked” or shared my page — when the night before there were 0.
I celebrated. And that was it.
I didn’t think about the implications, about how I’d tapped into something phenomenal, or all the money-making opportunities that had just been made a reality. I just went on with my life.
Looking back, I would love to say that I saw the potential of what I could accomplish with this awesome tool. But I wasn’t even business-minded back then, just another academic thinking about poetry.
We can’t always see the next big trend coming. But, if I may, let me help you on this one…
It’s conversational marketing.
What Is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational marketing, as I’m using it here, is meant as more of a blanket term for sales that happen over messaging platforms such as
- SMS text messaging
- LinkedIn messenger
- Chatbot messaging
Why use conversational marketing? The idea behind conversational marketing is that we, as B2B sales professionals and executives, should operate on the platforms where people find value and communicate how people choose to communicate.
Goals for conversational marketing
The goal for engaging in conversational marketing is to get sales leads to take the next step in the sales journey. This is likely to be a meeting or demo. At its most advanced, it’s also great for lead nurturing or getting leads once interested in doing business with you back in the realm of your influence.
Typical Problems Business People Have With Conversational Marketing
Typically, it takes the average business-type crashing and burning before they realize conversational marketing is a different beast than, say, your more traditional mediums: flyers, landing pages, and advertisements.
I’d rather help you get up to speed regarding some problems to avoid with conversational marketing.
Focusing on your products
The problem with focusing on your products and services in your messaging is that you do not know whether or not the person you are chatting even sees the problem, let alone your company || product || service as the solution.
Remember that people who are on the journey toward a solution-decision are typically in one of several states,
According to the buyers’ journey methodology:
- Awareness – figured out they have a problem.
- Consideration – are certain they know what the problem is.
- Decision – have chosen who is the best bet to help solve that problem.
According to the micro-moments methodology:
- I-want-to-know moments – when people are researching solutions, seeking information and inspiration.
- I-want-to-go-moments – when people are looking to visit a local business, they may be considering a purchase.
- I-want-to-do-moments – when people want help getting things done, seeking instruction and tutorials.
- I-want-to-buy-moments – when people are ready to make a purchase.
Assuming you have hit people at that precise ready-to-purchase moment is not the best use of your time. Your messaging space could be better spent making an honest human connection.
And when talking about human connection, I am not referring to the B.S. about entertaining people online or some other foggy directive. We’re still talking about getting people to a sales decision, we’re just taking the scenic route to get there.
After all, at best, we’re guides to people on their own heroic journey.
At worst, we’re pushy prodders just driving people away. Here are some ways we can do that, if we’re not careful.
Getting caught up in your business story
You are subjective about your business, whether you’re an executive or business owner. You spend loads of time creating services, creating products, solving customer problems, solving people problems, and handling the operations of today while trying to anticipate the future of your industry. It is insanity — and you probably feel insane from time-to-time.
Makes sense to me.
But because of all the time you spend in the business, you get caught up in your business story. This most often expresses itself in being unable to explain your business simply.
It reminds me of the marketing executive who was trying to sell data to insurance people using a geographical interface. After listening for 10 minutes, I offered,
“Oh so you’re like Google Maps for the insurance industry.”
I was wrong, she retorted. Then went on for another 20 minutes showing me examples that used Google Maps’ technology.
Too many details
Have you ever met someone at a party who really couldn’t get into telling their story because they got lost in the minor details? Your business and how you pitch it to people is the same, it’s a story you tell yourself and others.
Depending on what you do, your business could also be really abstract. All that to say, don’t get hung up on the itty-bitty details of what you do beyond what is needed to get sales leads to the next step.
Thinking your business is sooo different
You can take comfort in the fact that you are not the only person in your industry || situation who is having to break down their complex explanations and jargon into mind-numbingly simple bite-size morsels.
You’ve read the reports about shrinking attention spans and about the need to update your business technology-wise; getting conversational about how you explain and pitch your business will help you with both situations.
How To Create Conversational Marketing Messaging
Conversational marketing is not “rocket surgery,” there are just a few tips I’ve found to make it as effective as possible. These tips will help you connect while maintaining an appropriate tone.
Focus on the benefits for them
While this might seem obvious when other people message us, it is to forget when it is something we are doing for our business or company. Lead with the benefits for a particular person in your messaging whenever possible.
Mentioning or even bragging about your business is fine, as long as it relates to a benefit for the sales lead or reader of your message.
Here is an example, derived from a real-life successful message we use:
“At Saint313, We’ve helped B2B companies make sales with better sales leads. We share how in the Ultimate LinkedIn Sales Lead Gen Guide.
Can we send it to you? ”
Keep messaging as short as possible
Use paragraph spaces for clarity
Stay away from large blocks of text whenever you write anything that a human is asked to read via the internet. Break up your blocks of text for better readability.
Speak from your personality
Let your brand (a.k.a who you are in business, your main super-power, trait, etc.) shine through all of your communication. Example: if you’re a wisenheimer, add in a tongue-in-cheek line at the end of your emails.
Likewise, if you are known as an energetic person, sprinkle exclamations into your emails to better express that. Remember, that with writing, you may need to be a little ‘extra’ in order to get the same point across, as you lack the totality of conversational tools at your disposal, namely,
- Body language
- Voice tonality
Focus on the next step
Over-communicating or drowning your sales leads in non-essential information may also be a symptom of poor focus.
Your sales leads do not need to know everything about your business that is available on your website. They just need to know enough to take the next step. Try your best to share no more nor any less.
End with a question
It helps to focus your message on a single point. It also guides leads on how they should respond to your message.
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