In order to build rapport with the targeted business demographic we need to focus on providing value through our interaction. Too often outreach efforts are focused on getting something from the potential customer. “Can I have 5 minutes of your time” is a lead which takes from them. If instead we lead with value and focus on “giving” to the target customer, we can often breach the inherent defenses we all have against yet another sales pitch.
Finding business owners with an immediate need for your services and then engaging with them as the most difficult challenges you face in generating leads for your sales team. There are countless opinions and strategies pitching solutions to these challenges. It is possible to use available technology resources to identify and understand extremely detailed target lists and then create content and interactions the targeted audience will find value in.
The first step in that process is identifying the targeted business demographic. Use that information to develop a specific target list of the businesses you want to be your client. Depending on the size of your industry this might be a list of the top 100 on your list or it could be a complete list of every possible business with your industry. Then create business profiles from that list. Once the business list is created, create a specific target list of those CEOs and Key Executives and create profiles for each. Additionally, I would create an affinity list for each of those targets of who their potential advisors and influencers would be.
The second step would be to understand the common challenges, pain points, and purchase triggers for our target audiences. To do this I would first draw on existing clients to understand how and why they became clients. This is an often overlooked resource and can be used as a rapport building exercise with existing clients. I would want to do additional market research with the target market to understand if it is possible to identify “purchase behaviors”. I am looking for search behaviors, purchase correlated behavior, or other prerequisite behaviors. We also need to understand the possible communication channels for the demographics. Do they use Linkedin, twitter, google or do they only reluctantly use “the emails” on their office computer? We also need to understand the social groups, affinity groups and any identified specific advisors around the targeted decision makers and how these people influence our target’s decision making.
The third step is to create specific and separate campaign strategies around the identified business demographic, targeted leadership, and leadership influencers. Using the understanding developed in step two we create content and delivery strategies focused on providing value and demonstrating authority in the identified challenges, pain points, etc. It is especially important in this phase to define success criteria for the campaigns. We then run test campaigns for specific time periods and evaluate against the success criteria, iterate, and retest the campaigns. Additionally, I would create specific strategies for direct rapport building and engagement with targeted decision makers based on their profile.