Here’s the naked truth for B2B marketers:
- Consistent results requires consistent action (heavy lifting)
- Better results requires more work (heavy lifting)
A story that Rob Johnson shares during his sales training classes is how he used to keep his list of prospects on him at all times. He’d print it out and carry it around so that whenever he had a down moment, he could make a call.
He tended his list. By having it with him all the time, he could make a call if he arrived early from a meeting. He could make a call waiting to board a plane. He could make a call driving to and from where he had to be. As a result, he made more calls during the course of a week than if he didn’t have the list with him at all times.
Making 150 calls rather than 40 calls is heavy lifting. Heavy lifting is the difference between slogging to survive and wild success.
I am always surprised to discover that most B2B business owners do not have a list that is being worked constantly. Rather, leads that came in years ago may have been contacted once and then forgotten. Later, when a decision is made to do some marketing, because there is no list, a list must be purchased and is full of strangers for whom your marketing message is cold.
A cold list means it will take time and multiples touches to move the people on that list through the Marketing Hourglass spectrum of Know>Like>Trust>Try>Buy>Repeat>Refer.
But if you’re constantly working the list, you’ll shake some business loose every month. If you’re constantly working the list, you’ll discover the information that prospects need to progress through the Marketing Hourglass and you can create white papers and blog articles that give qualified visitors to your website reason to pause and learn more about you.
Improve your B2B Marketing: Make the commitment to develop a list of 100 names.
1. Create the list
This list should be comprised of organizations that on paper fit your ideal customer profile. They serve a particular industry. They are of a size that can afford your products and services. They are accounts that you would love to have as case study.
2. Keep tabs on the list
Set up Google Alerts for each of the companies and begin to learn more about them. Catch them in the act of doing something good (being named to the Top 25, opening a new office, participating in a community event, etc.) and congratulate them. Send them a post card or a hand written note.
3. Research the list
Research these 100 companies. In addition to Google Alerts, use LinkedIn to see their affiliations (school, associations, groups, companies they worked for in the past) and to see if you have any connections in common that might be able to facilitate an introduction.
4. Work the list
This will be a list that you carry around with you and look at every day. And in your down moments between calls, or first thing in the morning, just after lunch and before you leave for the day – tend the list. As you disqualify or convert contacts, be sure to add new contacts to your list.
5. Convert the list into customers
By tending to your list, increasing your intelligence on the contacts, making regular and meaningful contact with the people on the list, you will help them move through the Know>Like>Trust>Try>Buy>Repeat>Refer stages of the Marketing Hourglass and convert them into customers and raving fans.
6. Referral partners on the list
All of us have seen the value of business referred to us. Your list should include your referral partners. Staying in front of them increases the chances that they will mention you if a referral opportunity presents itself. And, it works the other way – keeping in touch with referral partners is a reminder for you to refer them if you discover someone who could benefit from your referral partner.
If you execute these six B2B marketing steps, you will see results in 90 days if not sooner. But you must tend the list. Why not begin now and position yourself for a strong start to the new year?
I highly recommend reading Robert Early Johnson’s book (affiliate link) Kick Your Own Ass: The Will, Skill, and Drill of Selling More Than You Ever Thought Possible