When's the last time you walked up to someone you'd never met with the intention that once you'd met them, you'd convince them to become your best friend immediately?Sounds ridiculous, right?But, isn't that what a lot of B2B "interactive" marketing experiences make you feel is happening?
In a business context, it's that knee jerk response to believe that anyone who even looks at your website or landing pages is a valid sales opportunity. My parents taught me to live the Golden Rule. You know, the one that says something along the lines of do unto others as you would have them do unto you.If you invite people to download a white paper they might be interested in and then ask them to complete a lead gen form with 18 fields - all required - what message are you sending?
How many people walk away because the focus has now shifted to what YOU want, instead of what THEY wanted?Let's say you have forms like that in place. When you go to another website to get something of interest and that type of experience happens to you, how do you feel? Are you disappointed? Do you jump through the hoops or do you click away?
Trust me. A high percentage of your prospects will move on and find other resources to learn what they want to know. You may think your content is well worth that price of admission, but you're biased. You'll lose more than you gain.Instead, think about how you become "friends" with someone. You get their name and you may ask for a way to contact them so you can follow up on something the two of you discussed. But, chances are, you don't invite them to your home right off the bat, or say - "Hey, I'm going to Scotland next week. Want to come along?"Instead, think of the progressive process of relationships. Recreate that in your lead development programs. Consider iterative relationship building:Ask for name and email only on a first download. Then ask for progressive information a step at a time as they come back for more of your excellent content. Build the profile in tune with the prospect's engagement.If you're convinced you only have one shot at getting all your prospect's information, you need to create better content that pulls them back to you for more.
In a B2B complex sale, it takes much more than one white paper download to create the transition from lead to prospect to sales opportunity. So nurture them in step with their buying cycle and build relationships naturally. You don't need to know everything at once. If your content is written with purpose, you'll design it to naturally invite your prospects to access more of your content as they direct the storyline in their minds and orchestrate how to solve their problems, overcome challenges and capitalize on new opportunities.Progression through the buying cycle is the goal, but it won't happen all at once, so stop treating people as if it's an all or nothing choice whether they take the next step with you.The results will be impressive. Your profiles will be meatier and your insights more tuned to knowing exactly where they are in the buying process. Which means your conversations become more strategic for you and more helpful and relevant for them.
And, isn't that the whole point?
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