Most professional service firms broadcast an email newsletter to clients and prospects. If you firm is like most, you put a lot of time and effort into these newsletters. You probably track the sends, opens and clicks of the newsletter itself. But then what? What do your users do after they click through? What else do they access on your website? What pages do they visit? What other content assets do they read? Whose profiles do they look at? If you don’t know – then you have invisible users. This means you are missing huge opportunities to engage. Let’s fix that.
Imagine how much more powerful first conversations can be when your consultants have visibility into the goals of prospective clients.
The goal of content marketing is to create engagement with clients and prospects. I think of this as akin to warming up a relationship. It passes through stages. You don’t become best friends with someone you only talk to once a year. To become really good friends, you need to talk to someone regularly and about things that really matter to you, not chit-chat.
But it takes time and multiple conversations before you’re willing, or your friend is willing, to really tell you what’s on their mind – what’s bugging them. This is a defense-mechanism built into all human beings. We only trust those we know and those we know we can trust.
What’s interesting to your audience?
As professional services people, our goal is to become the trusted advisor to our clients. That relationship of trust begins long before they talk to you. It begins when they start consuming your content. Unless you have visibility into what someone is consuming, you walk into a conversation with them blindly. Is that really what you want?
I want to make you a promise. If you and I ever have a conversation, I will come to that meeting prepared to listen to you and help you achieve your goals. To be prepared for this meeting, I will take several steps.
I will view your profile from our marketing automation system. I’ll take the time to understand what blog-posts you’ve read, what webinars you’ve attended, what videos you’ve watched, what Action Guides you’ve registered for and what infographics you’ve downloaded.
I’ll also go to your LinkedIn profile and glean everything I can from that. I’ll spend time on your website looking at your products and services, your value proposition and how you’ve positioned your brand. I’ll bring all of that knowledge to our meeting so I don’t have to ask you about any of that. This will empower me to be a great listener to what you want to accomplish. I’ll bet you that meeting will be unlike almost any you’ve ever had.
Advocate or adversary?
This is the impact of marketing automation. When you can see clearly what a person is interested in, you can then focus on helping them reach their goals. This puts you and your sales team in the position of being an advocate, a trusted advisor and a friend.
This completely changes the dynamics from just a few years ago when sales people were seen as adversaries, trying to sell you something you don’t want or need, and marketing people were seen as hucksters, liars and pitch-men or pitch-women.
Helping prospective clients achieve their goals
My clients do not see themselves as sales people. They don’t even like the term sales. They see themselves as professional consultants who help their clients realize their goals, achieve their opportunities and overcome their challenges. My clients can do this because they are highly trained experts, very educated with advanced degrees and they have years of experience.
This gives them deep insights into how to help their prospective clients. I’ve noticed that when consultants deliver even one powerful idea in a first meeting with a prospective client, that prospect wants more. They convert. They deeply desire the outcomes that the consultant can help them achieve.
How marketing automation helps
Marketing automation empowers consultants to know what matters to prospects. With marketing automation, a consultant can access the profile of someone they are about to have a conversation with. They can clearly see what that prospect has been focused on: blog-posts, infographics, webinars, videos, white papers and any other content they might have accessed.
Imagine how much more powerful these conversations can be when what matters to your prospective client is completely visible to your consultants. How many more deals would they close? How much faster would the prospective client move? How much more revenue would this generate? Just imagine.
How to get started
I know that marketing automation is a daunting task for most professional service firms. But I really do believe it’s worth it. This is especially true if you are sending an email newsletter on a regular basis. If you’re doing this without marketing automation, you are putting your consultants at a disadvantage.
To help you get started down this path, I’ve created an Action Guide called 7 Steps To Optimize Marketing Automation For Service Firms. This free resource contains seven videos and downloadable tools to help you get the most from marketing automation.