I don't know about you, but I see a lot of B2B companies losing out on a huge opportunity when they follow up with people who download their marketing content offers.Just in case you never answer your phone, or delete all your email unread, here's the norm:You fill out a form to download a content offer that sounds appealing.
You get a call or an email from the related company that makes it so easy to say the equivalent of "Not interested" that the caller/emailer leaves your mind instantly.Here are some examples of how B2B follow-up becomes forgettable:
Example 1:[Company] Hello, I'm calling to follow-up on the white paper you downloaded from our company.[Prospect] Um, which white paper would that be?[Company] Well, I don't know, but our system shows you downloaded it a couple of weeks ago.[Prospect] I don't remember. I download a lot of stuff.[Company] Okay, well the reason I'm calling today is to see if you need any more information.[Prospect: If I have no frickin clue what I downloaded, what information would I want?] No, thanks. I think I'm good.[Company] Okay, I'm going to email you my contact information in case you think of something I can help you with.[Prospect] Oh, yes. I'll certainly keep you in mind. [click, buzz, delete]
Example 2:[Company] Hello, This is Sam from [Company]. I noticed you downloaded our paper on whiz bang issue 57 and I'm interested in helping learn more about how we can help solve your problem.[Prospect] I'm just researching.[Company] Well, do you have a project planned that we can discuss?[Prospect] No, I'm just doing some research. [I knew I shouldn't have answered the phone.][Company] Okay, I'm going to send you some product information so you'll have it on file for when you need it.[Prospect] Thanks. You have a nice day. [click, buzz, delete]
Example 3: Email follow-up message - Thank you for requesting the [Recognizable Name] white paper. As you may know, [Our Company] is a leader in [whiz bang whatever] and we sponsored the white paper.I'd look forward to learning what initiatives you're working on to see if [Our Solution] is a fit. I'd like to schedule a fifteen minute call to discuss your goals in [whiz bang whatever]. Please let me know when is a convenient time to talk.Do you see anything in those examples that sounds familiar?Did you see anything that was valuable to you? Or only stuff oriented around the company's goal of asking you to expend more effort on their behalf?
This is such a waste of time. Approaches like these do absolutely nothing to elevate your company's trust level or credibility. Instead, you're seen as self-serving and, ultimately, forgettable.In order to get positive results from your B2B content offer follow-up, you need to think about why you're doing it.The goal for follow-up is to extend a dialogue based on the interests expressed by the prospect's behavior.With that in mind, your follow-up needs to deliver value that extends the interest captured by the original content download. In order to do so your communication needs to be relevant and valuable to the recipient. [And, by extension, to you.]Your prospect has already paid you with the time and effort they expended downloading the original offer.
Now you need to give them a reason for continued involvement.Here are some ideas on how to improve the response to your follow-up:Have a business reason for the follow-up. Just touching base isn't good enough.Have an additional offer ready that builds on their expressed interest. An exclusive report, an article not publicly available, an invitation to a webinar on a related topic, etc.Know exactly what they downloaded and be specific to help them make the connection. People are busy. They download a lot of things. Expecting them to remember yours when you call/email out of the blue is just silly. If your follow-up is in relation to content you sponsored, they likely downloaded it because of the source, not you. So have something compelling to say if you want their interest to transfer to you.Follow-up promptly.
Waiting a month means you're likely forgotten and someone else now has their attention.DO NOT:Ask them to educate you.Put them on the spot.Be ignorant of the interaction that prompted the follow-up.Push product information on them.Lead with "blah, blah, blah" about your companyUse buzz words and jargon in the description of your company.Forget to use a value proposition for the communication that's all about them, not you.The key is to get the prospect to take another step with you because you've got something valuable to say or share that they need to know.
If you don't have that, then you need to develop a follow-up strategy before you dial the phone or hit send.Follow-up is just as important, if not more so, than the touch point that leads to it. Do not treat it as a smile-and-dial experience. That approach won't create movement through your pipeline. In fact, it can do more to lose prospects than to help them choose to do business with your company.
Link to original post