In BizzBee Solutions, the nurture starts when someone responds to the automated campaign. The primary purpose of the automated campaign is to push the ideal client with different hooks. And then see which one gets the most conversions. But once someone responds, they are removed from the automated sequence and moved towards manual nurture. In this chapter, I will go over the process of manually nurturing B2B prospects.
I’ll tell you all about how to move a cold prospect from responding to an automated campaign to scheduling a meeting.
I have to say that this is the hardest part of the outreach. What I mean is, up to here, you have a pre-planned target, prepared messages, and some tools that help you automate the outreach. But from here onwards, you are manually answering any question or comment the cold prospect has. You are nurturing B2B prospects. I have personally seen many outreach campaigns implode, with the sole reason being bad nurture. If you rush the prospect or offer a solution without first understanding that there is a problem—it is just a waste of time, for both parties.
You have to consider this process as a set of obstacles. You can exchange one message or 50, but you can’t go to the next obstacle until you overcome the previous one. An easy prospect will run smoothly through the funnel. A difficult prospect will require a lot of guidance. Some prospects will even be offended that you are writing to them.
Throughout the funnel, you will surely receive a lot of “no’s.” Otherwise, this would not be shaped like a funnel, but rectangular. Interestingly, a “no” has a completely different meaning at different stages of the nurture process. A “no” at the beginning probably means that the respective prospects don’t want to engage in a relationship. On the other hand, a “no” at the meeting stage means that they are still not convinced that you can help. These two examples should be approached differently – actually, each “no” has a different approach, depending on the stage in the nurture process.
Another aspect you should consider is that “no” is feedback. Someone made an effort to write “no.” And in sales we love feedback. When someone says “yes,” “no,” or “maybe” – we are pleased, as that is feedback on how to proceed with that particular lead. The worst is if they ignore your message. Then you can’t follow-up, as they are not interested in engaging in any conversation.
Interestingly, the lower down a prospect gets in the funnel, the easier it is to transform the “no’s” into “yes’s.”
Another crucial aspect of the nurturing B2B prospects process is marketing support. How fast a prospect will move down the funnel depends on the quality of the nurturing process, but also that of the marketing support as well. If you have testimonials, case studies, white papers, or if you are positioned as a guru in the field—it will make the transition as smooth as possible. So when planning an outreach campaign, you should have the marketing support in mind. And that support is different at each stage of the nurturing B2B prospects process.
When handling responses, you should have another thing in mind. LinkedIn responses must be very different from email responses. The best practice is keeping to a chit-chat style on LinkedIn, and longer paragraphs on email. Never, I mean never, do it the other way around.
We have developed a methodology that can help you move cold prospects easier and faster down the funnel. For lack of a better term, at the moment we call it T-shaped outreach messaging. It’s based on obstacles that the prospect needs to overcome to come to a meeting. You need to look at the nurture as a funnel—you can’t really expect that everyone that you have approached has the problem you offer the solution to, or is ready to buy.
In this blog post, we will go over each of the obstacles. We’ll also cover the ways you can move the prospects down the funnel:
- Response obstacle – if the preparation for the cold outreach was properly done, there is nothing to worry about here. If you have identified the right problems to your ideal client, and you have created resonating messages, you will get responses—a lot.
- Problem obstacle – many of the respondents will get stuck here. You cannot pass this obstacle until the prospect has clearly stated that they have a problem, or are actively looking for an improvement. There is no point, really, to pitch a solution if the prospect does not agree that they have a problem.
- Solution obstacle – once you confirm that there is a problem, there are usually plenty of ways a single problem can be solved. You need to know how to present your solution as superior to the alternatives.
- Meeting obstacle – after they realise that your solution can help them—and only then, can you start bringing up the meeting.
- Marketing support – how fast a prospect will move down the funnel depends on the nurturing quality of the B2B prospects, but also that of the marketing support as well. If you have testimonials, case studies, white papers, or if you are positioned as a guru in the field—it will make the transition as smooth as possible.
Within each obstacle section, I will show you how to handle “no’s” at that particular stage, so that you will have everything necessary to overcome that obstacle.
Receiving a response is the first obstacle. It also represents the transition from automated outreach towards manual nurture of B2B prospects. I’ve added it to this nurture blog post so that I can add some additional opinions on it.
Getting this far in the outreach process, you have a general idea who the automation tool sent the messages to. You have targeted your ideal client with well-crafted hooks, and they have started to respond to the campaign.
An essential switch needs to happen here. You are no longer talking to an audience. You are talking to a single person. That particular person is a human being, with their own emotions, fears, struggles and desires. You can’t make assumptions that all the people in this target have this particular problem or behave in this way. That helps when you’re addressing an audience—but when talking to an individual, you need to ask. If you don’t make this switch here, you will not be able to engage with that individual.
Now that you’ve made the switch, try to understand the person. You can check out their LinkedIn profile, their company website, anything that can help you to understand them better. Remember, you are building a relationship, so work hard on getting to know them.
No’s – Response obstacle stage
So even if you have the perfect message hooks, there are always people that will be direct in stating that they don’t want to have anything to do with you. At this stage, there is not much you can do, since you are at the beginning of the nurturing B2B prospects process. They don’t know you—but they don’t even want to know you.
And that is OK. Some people don’t want help. It will take you 20 times the effort to convert one “No” at this stage, than in any of the other stages. So, honestly, it’s not worth it. You don’t need to curse them out or remove them from your network. You should craft a polite answer, just for the sake of ending things with good manners, rather than just ending it with a “No.”
If you are using LinkedIn outreach, you can keep them in your connections list. This means that they can still see your posts, and eventually they might change their mind. On the other hand, you can also see their posts, giving you access to their thoughts and problems. So a broader nurture strategy with frequent social posting can help here.
If you are approaching over email and they are not interested in entering a relationship, you can add them to your database and try to send a few cold emails once in a while. This way, they can be reminded of you over time, and get in touch when ready. Of course, if they opt-out, there is not much more you can do at this stage.
Successful prospect: “I am curious.”
Overcoming the problem obstacle is usually the hardest part. You’ll probably lose most of the prospects at this stage.
When someone responds to your campaign, the next stage is to get them to admit that they have a problem. It doesn’t always have to be a problem. It can be an affirmation towards a desired future state.
The hustle: you can’t assume that they have the problem, and you can’t ask them directly if they have it.
Remember, assumptions work with a broad audience—not with individuals. I recall the saying “assumption is the mother of all mistakes.” It was originally crafted by political scientist Mr. Eugene Lewis Fordsworthe, and it definitely hits home. Especially when you try to make assumptions based on demographics. It is so stereotypical. Just because I am a busy male company owner, it doesn’t mean I don’t want to cook for my family. So instead of making assumptions–you need to ask.
On the other hand, you can’t ask a complete stranger a complex, profound question. You really can’t. And I see people do that every day on LinkedIn or email. Would you answer these types of questions from a complete stranger?
- What is currently holding you or your business back from success?
- What are your biggest fears?
- Is your company succeeding/struggling?
- What are the main problems you/your business are facing at the moment?
- What is your current revenue?
I would certainly not answer. And yet, people ask them—directly.
So back to the hustle. You certainly can’t assume. And you certainly can’t ask a direct question like that. But what you could do is start building a relationship where people would be more open to answering simpler questions, before moving to more complex ones.
Imagine you are meeting someone in a bar for the very first time. Would you ask them any of the questions above? Of course not. You would start with some small talk. The weather is usually the most general and neutral topic. Sports is another one. A current happening is also another general topic. At the moment of writing this blog post, COVID-19 is a big thing, so it is an excellent ice breaker. A simple question like, “How was your day?” could provide you with a lot of information.
But how would you feel if someone approaches you in a bar and starts asking all these questions, like an interview? Weird, of course.
So if you want to really build a relationship, you need to start sharing about yourself as well. Yeah, it is called a conversation.
- You say you have kids—they say they have kids as well = you have a great topic to chat about;
- You like surfing—they don’t = you stop talking about it and move on to another topic;
- They like cats—you don’t = you are going to say you like cats as well. 🙂
I rely on the bar example since it represents the most basic relationship-building process.
Once you establish a basic relationship and have exchanged some basic mutual information—you can move toward more targeted questions to better understand if they have a problem you can solve. “How are you currently doing something?” is usually a great way to move towards business talk. Now, this really depends on the target (CEO, HR manager, financial director), and the solution you offer (leads, HR SaaS, accounting services). But the questions should be more general, and then narrowed, based on the responses you receive. And still, don’t forget to have a relationship, you need to tell them about your business as well.
Only at this stage, is a cold prospect no longer a cold prospect. They are a friend, a colleague, a fellow businessman. And you can start defining the problem with them as you are no longer a stranger.
Not all prospects will get to this stage. And honestly, not everyone you approach will have a problem or a desire to change something. And that is not to be taken harshly. It just means that at that moment, they aren’t ready to hear more about the solution.
Once you get a problem confirmation, only then can you move to the next stage. You can even get responses from the prospects with a question like, “What would you advise?”—which is an opening for the next stage.
No’s – Problem Obstacle stage
Receiving a “no” at this stage means that the prospect fails to acknowledge that they have a problem. This negative answer here is far better than the previous one, as you can work with this one, and hopefully convert it into a “yes.”
What works for me here is that after a “no”, I have an opportunity to ask an open-ended question. That will push them to explain in more detail—which helps us to understand their position and obstacles better, so we can address them more adequately.
“What do you mean?”
“Why do you mean that?”
“Can you elaborate on that?”
0r a simple “Why not?”
These kinds of questions are a gateway to a more insightful answer. An answer that will help you raise better questions.
Successful prospect: “I have a stated problem.”
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Now we have a stated problem, or a desire to seize an opportunity, do you think that now you can make your pitch? Well, not yet. You only have a stated problem. You are still missing some other aspects before you can get on to your pitch.
The hustle: how can you make your solution type look superior compared to the alternatives? As usual, there are multiple solutions to a single problem.
For example, my problem could be that I want more leads to grow my business.
There are so many ways to get more leads—SEO, content development, social media, paid ads, cold prospecting, event organization, participation in conferences/exhibitions, and plenty more. And each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. So, how is your channel, or approach, better than the alternatives? How should your cold prospect choose between all these ways of solving the same problem?
If you ask the right questions, you can easily understand at which stage the prospects are. Here are a few questions for this particular example:
“Great to hear that you are interested in getting more leads.”
- What have you tried so far when it comes to lead generation?
- Were you satisfied with the results?
– (If yes) What kind of results have you achieved?
– (If no) What went wrong?
- Have you considered other ways of generating leads?
These kinds of questions will actually tell you what the prospect has tried, or is curious to try. If they haven’t tried any lead generation solution, you can see if they have considered other ways of generating leads. If they attempted cold prospecting, you are surely interested in hearing more about that. Whether they are doing it in-house or are outsourcing. Do they think they can do better, etc.?
Just remember, you are not interviewing the prospect; you are building a relationship. Which means you also need to share your experiences, positive or negative. Following the lead generation example, you can go on by saying you’ve tried paid Facebook ads, but it didn’t work, so you are wondering if Facebook ads work for them. Thus, you are opening an avenue to get the prospect’s input, opinions, and thoughts.
The goal of this section is to ensure the prospect that your type of solution can work specifically for his business. You can show some reports, statistics, or even case studies of how a solution like yours has helped similar companies to theirs—as the goal is to convince them that your type of solution is superior to others.
No’s – Solution Obstacle stage
This means that they are aware that they have a problem, but they disagree that your type of solution is the best for them. In other words, they need more convincing.
But again, a “Why?” is an open question that can give you some insights. Perhaps they’ve tried it before and got terrible results. Maybe they simply don’t believe that this type of solution will solve their problem. Or maybe they don’t understand/know that solution works and are afraid to try it. Pay close attention—these 3 answers require a completely different approach to address them properly.
If they’ve tried a similar solution before, it is your duty to convince them that just because they’ve had one bad experience, that doesn’t mean they should quit trying. And you should show plenty of good experiences just to overcome that one.
If they don’t believe in this type of solution, you need to use a lot of statistics, case studies, examples, to prove them wrong.
If they don’t understand the solution, you need to patiently educate them on the subject so they can understand the value.
But none of this would have happened if they said no and you just left the conversation without asking why.
Successful prospect: “This solution will work for me.”
Now you have the prospect engaged. They are aware that they have a problem, and believe that your type of solution can actually solve it. Now they are actively looking for a solution for their problem.
Now is the time for your pitch. But instead of a pitch, you need to structure it as an answer to their problem. How is your solution solving their problem?
The hustle: How is your solution better than all the competitors’? I am sure that there are cheaper and more expensive ones. I am sure that there are competitors with more or fewer features, or with more value provided. What makes you stand out from the crowd?
One major advantage is that you have already established a relationship, which means you have exchanged a lot of messages, and you know each other. So, they are more likely to choose your solution. Knowing your USP (Unique Selling Point) can also help here, as you can pitch your uniqueness—something that your competitors don’t have.
When talking about the solution obstacle, having marketing support comes in handy here. Especially assets like testimonials, references, and case studies. If you have examples of companies similar to them, that works like magic. If you came to me, and showed me how you’ve solved my problem for companies that are very similar to me (even competitors), then I’ll be assured that you can help me as well.
Now they’ve reached the bottom of the funnel. You are friends with them. They shared their problem with you. You have assured them that your type of solution is the best for them. They are convinced that your solution is the best.
Now you can introduce the meeting element. You can also add some scarcity or urgency elements.
An excellent example of scarcity is that you have limited capacity. Although you want to help, you have a restricted capacity in your schedule. This makes them desire to be fitted in.
A good example of urgency is that you are planning on starting a group of students in the next 3 days, or there is a discount that ends in the next 48 hours.
These tactics will only increase their desire to cross the meeting obstacle and to schedule a call with you faster.
No’s – Meeting Obstacle stage
So they’ve agreed that your type of solution is the most appropriate, but are still not interested in talking to you specifically. You probably didn’t establish yourself or your business as credible enough. Or they still don’t trust you to handle their problem. A simple question of “Why not?” will give you insight into what is going on in their head—what concerns or fears they have that are preventing them from moving forward.
Another way is to transfigure the meeting as free value. Instead of offering a sales meeting, you can position it as a free consultation or a free audit of their existing systems. This way, they might reconsider, as they will benefit from the meeting.
Successful prospect: “You can help me with my problem. I want to set up a meeting.”
Transfer obstacle (Optional)
If you are holding the meetings, you can simply skip this step. However, if you are an agency or working as BDR/SDR and someone else needs to do the actual meeting, then there is another obstacle that you need to overcome. It is the transfer obstacle. As you could bring a prospect to this stage, and then lose them when you mention that you’ll transfer them to another person.
If you are working as a white-label agency, you are still not affected by this obstacle. You were using your client’s LinkedIn or email, so when a prospect expresses interest in a meeting, it is the client that shows up, so they have no idea that you were involved in the process.
However, I’ve added another stage to address the problems to sales support agencies and SDR/BDR people. So this section is for them.
The hustle: You have a prospect interested in scheduling a meeting. How can you transfer the meeting to the client (for agencies), or how can you transfer the meeting to a senior sales representative (or SDR/BDR)? As they built the relationship with you, some will decline the meeting once you tell them that it is not with you, but with someone else.
There is only one way to do this. You need to introduce the new person as superior to you. It is the only way someone will accept having a meeting with another person.
You can make the introduction in various ways.
The simplest way is for you to be present on the call and introduce the new person. You can easily connect with the prospect, and then introduce your colleague/client as someone with more experience, or someone that has worked with similar companies and that can better address their needs. That always works, as if you tell me that there is someone better suited to the matter, and I trust you, I would definitely want to get help from that person.
The harder way is if you are not present on the call at all. Then you need to convince the prospect that it is in their best interest to get on a call with your colleague rather than with you. But the transition must be perfect, otherwise, you’ve lost a prospect that you’ve worked hard to bring to this stage.
The examples below are just ideas on how you can make the transition smooth and conversational rather than a request for approval.
“I just had a chat with my colleague about your problem, and they made a few fantastic ideas on how we can help you. Perhaps it is better to connect you with them so that they can present them to you? I promise you they are the best in our company.”
“I just talked with my CEO about you, and I got them excited about your business. This is a rare case, but they wanted to get on the call with you, as they have 2 ideas that can help your business.”
No’s – Transfer Obstacle stage
So they want a meeting, but don’t want to have a meeting with the new person you are trying to introduce. This only happens if you formed a relationship with them that is really good so they don’t want to move away from you. Or you didn’t present the new person as far superior to you and show that it’s in the prospect’s best interest to talk to them, rather than you.
Successful prospect: “I am happy to do the meeting with someone else.”
Nurturing B2B prospects can be hard. And it mostly is—trying to approach a cold prospect and convince them that your product can actually help them. How would you feel if a complete stranger approached you and offered you a pill? A pill that will solve some of your problems. You’ve never met the guy, you’ve never heard about the brand, and it is expected from you to pay a significant amount of money. Feels kinda shady to me.
This is where marketing support comes in. The scenario is the same. But, you know the brand of the pill, and you were looking for that particular pill as you’ve heard a lot of people were talking about it; friends have already used it, and it did miracles for them. So, when someone approaches you and offers you the pill, would your response be different than the previous example? Probably.
In this section, we will look at marketing, and how it can support and make the outreach and nurturing B2B prospects easier. Marketing can’t do miracles. However, if someone is in the consideration phase, marketing can be the extra push needed to make the prospect respond positively. This is, of course, at each stage. However, at different stages, you need different marketing support.
Have in mind that marketing is just a booster, the more you have of the things mentioned in this section—the better. You could still have successful nurture without the marketing effort, but it will be much harder, and with less success. Although there is not a clear outline and these marketing efforts do overlap, we will go over several here that could significantly improve your outreach campaign.
There is a famous quote that keeps going around: “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” So make it count. During cold outreach, you are approaching complete strangers. And believe me, they won’t spend hours or even minutes to check you out or to understand your background. You have a small window of a few seconds to make a good impression.
Of course, if you move past that, you will have plenty of opportunities to prove your value and expertise—but if you failed, it is hard to go back.
When approaching using LinkedIn, the first impression is your LinkedIn profile. When someone sends me a connection request, I look at the invitation message—but I also have a quick glance at their profile—the image, the title, the description. Less than 30 seconds effort. And within that time-frame, I decide if I want to accept their connection or not. So if you fail to build an engaging LinkedIn profile, you will miss out on a lot of opportunities.
When approaching via email, the first impression, beyond the copy of the messages you send, is the website. If I am considering responding, I will have a quick look at the sender’s website just to screen it and see if I understand what it is about. So, if your website is outdated, or it fails to communicate what you are doing—you will lose a lot of prospects.
These are the basics for outreach, as first impressions do count. Would you like to be perceived as a professional or an amateur? Well, your LinkedIn profile and your website are the main factors in this.
Blog posts are the most common assets that you can share during the outreach sequence, or after someone shows some interest. Your marketing team can create articles that are highly targeted and specific. This will give some value to the cold prospect, which can, in turn, make them consider responding to your campaign.
“How can [your ideal target] get [their desire] without [obstacle]?”
e.g. How can high-ticket service providers get new leads without paid ads?
“The [X] best ways to get [results] without [obstacle].”
e.g. The 3 best ways to get leads without spending a fortune.
These blogs can be shared via email (as news), directly as a LinkedIn message (a relevant article you think it can help), or as a post on your social media. In any case, having several highly valuable articles can significantly improve the response rate.
When considering blog writing—have one thing in mind. Which obstacle are you trying to overcome? Only one obstacle per article. If you are trying to convince them that they have a problem, don’t push them toward your solution—it feels very biased. If I read an article stating a problem that I have and in the end, it tries to sell me their solution, it loses credibility. Of course, they will claim that their solution is the best.
Let me tell you a short story. A few weeks ago I went out shopping for new jeans. I went into a well-stocked jeans shop. As I am plus size, my options are quite limited. So instead of asking for a particular cut, my first question is about size availability. Then I focus my evaluation on the ones that have my size. No point in liking jeans only to realize that they don’t have my size of that particular design.
Anyway, I liked one pair, so I tried them on. The jeans looked awful on me. My wife agreed, and she has far better taste than me. But the saleswoman was so flattering. She made a lot of comments on how good the jeans fit me. If I was having doubts—she might have convinced me. But, I was absolutely sure she was lying. Then it hit me. She doesn’t care if the jeans look good on me or not. She cares about making a sale and getting a commission. So her advice is not in my best interest. How can you get honest advice for a problem from someone that is trying to sell you the solution?
The same is true in business. Imagine someone approaches you and tells you that Facebook ads give the best results, and then pitches you that you need to use their Facebook ads services. Is the person really trying to help you, or do they have their own interests at heart? I call that biased truth. It’s similar when it comes to blogs. So, stick to a single obstacle, don’t try to explain a problem, evaluate alternatives, and show your superior solution. It just doesn’t work. If you try to explain a problem—focus solely on the problem. If you want to evaluate alternatives—keep your focus on the comparison.
With a weekly/monthly newsletter, you are reminding the prospect that you exist. In addition, if you have a strong newsletter (by strong, I mean a lot of content that adds value), you are positioning yourself as the go-to-guy on the subject. So if they ever need something, you are the first they will call. And that can be in a few weeks or a few months.
I’ve seen a lot of newsletters where the main focus is on the company that’s issuing the newsletter. Promotions like—why you should hire us, why we are the best, and similar content isn’t really a newsletter. It is more like a leaflet sent to prospects. And of course, they respond by ignoring it, or unsubscribing from it.
When talking about a newsletter, it should be about the prospects. And only about them. Your goal is not to sell via the newsletter. Your goal is to get them curious, engaged, or for them to show interest in the type of solution you are offering. A typical newsletter should have several sections—but each should be either value providing or entertaining. When we built our first newsletter, we had the following structure:
- Header – An image that captures the attention of the reader.
- An introduction – Tell the prospects about the newsletter’s theme or topic, so they can decide whether they should read it or not.
- Main value – We were promoting our weekly blog on the subject, with some bullet points on why they should read it.
- Fun section– A meme, a funny image with the intent to make the reader laugh. We don’t want to be too serious, so the meme should convey that mood.
- Curated content section – In order not to be purely BizzBee related, we browse the latest trends, blogs, news on the topic, and we add them to this section.
- Recommendation by our employee – Depending on the theme, one of our employees recommends a tool, a book, a course, etc. that could help the reader do something better, faster, or more efficiently.
- Curated wisdom – A quote by someone that one of our employees is driven by. It gives a perspective on what we believe in and what we stand for.
If you take a look at our newsletter structure, you’ll notice that we don’t try to sell at all. We are trying to maintain our credibility and expertise by sharing curated posts, while still aiming to showcase a sense of personality.
Perhaps it is because of the purpose. Our expectations are not to get new clients from the newsletter. It is to nurture the relationships with the existing prospects, so that they get in touch with us when they are ready, or in need of our solution.
Thought leadership can be applied both for LinkedIn and email. At any stage the prospect could get exposed to your posts. This can happen on any social media platform—LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. And many new platforms will undoubtedly arise.
The reasoning is to build credibility and leadership through your social posts. You can share some of the blogs you’ve created, but when it comes to thought leadership, it goes a bit deeper.
A thought leader does not share only about their business. They have several subjects (usually top 5) and all the topics they share are around these 5 areas. When I was building this plan, I chose these 4 categories:
- Business posts – Obviously, I need to share business thoughts, posts, topics, and curated posts. This helps build my credibility as an expert in the field. Some of the posts can be mine. Some can be curated from other platforms or sources.
- Family posts – I am sharing family posts. I know it feels weird to share posts about your wife, kids, and parents. But believe me—you should try it. First, you will show that you are not all about business. But second, people will connect with you on an entirely new level. I’ve shared a photo playing with my son and crafted some intriguing copy—the engagement was fantastic. Plenty of people responded as they were able to connect with me, and as they have kids, they resonated with the post.
- Travel posts – Every opportunity that I have, I want to explore new locations. Should I hide this with my followers (or new prospects that accepted my connection)? Of course not. I want to paint a picture of a person, not a robot whose life revolves solely around work. If you do that— share your personal passions, people will feel more connected to you.
- Personal development posts – If you really want to connect to your audience, you need to open up to them. As I learn new things, I am always sharing with my community. When I decided to write a book, I made a post that actually exploded. If I learn a new thing, I always share it with my network on social media. It showcases my authenticity, and it really helps in connecting with my audience.
So, what happens if you start posting using these 4 categories? In short, miracles. First, you will start to get comfortable in sharing pieces of yourself with your target. Second, people will not feel like you are a scam or a fake. Sharing your stories and journey makes you authentic, and people feel that they can connect with you and trust you.
Don’t forget that thought leadership’s primary purpose, as it’s marketing oriented, is to actually soften prospects to connect with you, to want to engage and work with you.
As a person that has already published 7 eBooks and 3 digital assets, I can let you in on a few things. You are trying to show that you understand your prospects and that you’ve made an effort to summarise your key findings into an eBook or a PDF file.
Digital assets are an easier route. First, you need to understand what your ideal target needs, and then create some kind of marketing asset for it. It can be an extended blog post. What are the top 10 tools you can use for lead generation? This can be a blog or a digital asset. Or 13 Excel formulas or lead generation, or any other title.
With digital assets, you are not expected to deliver miracles. They should sum up a few insights that you’ve figured out and you want to share with the world. As such, there are no big expectations.
Once you create the title, if people find it relevant, they will subscribe to get the information. But they don’t expect 50-100 pages of content, just a few tips and tricks.
The harder route is crafting an eBook. An eBook is a mini-book on how you actually solve a particular problem. Having highly targeted eBooks could really help your prospecting process, as writing an eBook requires experience and process thinking skills. I’ve seen several companies that outsourced the eBook writing process. And it failed big time. When you outsource an eBook, someone else will do the 5-10.000 words, and it will have the right structure, and the right title, and the right cover. But when you look at the depth, you can’t really expect someone with basic knowledge in your industry to provide in-depth insight. And what insights can you expect from an external person?
When writing an eBook, you still need to choose what your goal is. Similar to blogs, if you are trying to educate people on your subject, then it should be within the response/problem obstacle. Usually, it is “how to” eBooks. On the other hand, if you are providing expert insights, based on experience, or are covering a niche target for the eBook, then you can use it as a credibility booster.
You will get to a stage when the prospect asks—why you? It is your opportunity to pitch, your opportunity to show how your solution has actually helped plenty of businesses. For a mature company—this is a great opportunity to show its references.
The simplest method of social proof is a testimonial. Companies use your services. Not all of them are happy, but for the ones that are, you are obliged to ask for a testimonial. A testimonial from a company says that you have collaborated and they are thrilled with the process or the outcome.
If the marketing department manages to get testimonials from businesses similar to the ideal client— things get easier. If a supplier tells me that they have done the same work with a company similar to mine, or my competitors, then I know that they have the industry-specific experience and that they can help me.
So, it is up to the marketing team to generate testimonials that will support the outreach process and increase the response rate. You can avoid testimonials if you are new or don’t have testimonials, but believe me, the response rate would significantly improve.
A case study can be considered a deeper level of testimonial. A case study should reveal the whole story. How a company similar to the prospect’s reached out to your business. How you’ve managed to identify their problems, and helped them get back on track to their desired growth rate.
If a cold prospect sees one, two, or three case studies of similar businesses and the type of results you’ve managed to achieve—that would definitely help the conversion process.
One time offer (OTO)
Throughout the nurturing process you might get to a point where you connected with the prospect, and you are on the right track. At this stage, you need to move them towards a meeting. But how?
So, a common way to do this is to either show them they need the meeting or introduce a promotion that we call OTO—a one-time offer.
The purpose of the OTO is to move all prospects that are considering whether to move forward or not, to push them towards a meeting. For this purpose, we need to create several offers that have limited expiration dates and limited availability. Seems obvious, but scarcity and urgency are by far the two most superior driving forces for people to take action.
I truly hope you enjoyed this guide as much as I enjoyed writing it. I don’t think that one formula fits all companies. We tried to outline the framework for nurturing B2B prospects that we use in BizzBee Solutions, hoping you can use the same framework—adjust it to your business and start experimenting to find out what works and what doesn’t.
I WISH YOU A SUCCESSFUL OUTREACH!
Danco is a serial entrepreneur, founder and CEO of BizzBee Solutions, proud father of a 3-year-old and a burger enthusiast. He is inspired by growth and goes above and beyond to make it possible – whether it comes to his 300+ clients or his people. Eager to learn more? Follow Danco on LinkedIn and Facebook.