This post is based on a podcast with Logan Lyles. If you’d like to listen to more #FlipMyFunnel Podcast episodes, you can check them out here and listen to this episode below!
Deals don’t come easily.
The days of cold-calling and spray-and-pray emails are quickly fading.
What’s a salesperson to do in today’s climate of increased noise, and decreased acceptance?
He’s the director of partnerships at Sweet Fish Media and has over a decade of experience in B2B sales. Since hopping on board at Sweet Fish, he’s been crushing deals, and he doesn’t do cold outreach.
He gave his 3-step process to stand above the noise, build customer relationships, and close deals.
We captured it all right here:
1) Engage your ideal customers
This idea of engagement gets thrown around a lot in the B2B space. Let’s explain exactly what it is, and what it’s not:
Engagement isn’t opening an email. You don’t have engagement just because someone accidentally hit reply to an email. “Engagement means you have an open door to a relationship,” said Logan.
You have to provide value to your future customers. That’s another idea people discuss. A lot. What’s something you won’t hear much about? How to actually lead with value.
Here’s how Logan does it: He uses #ContentBasedNetworking to collaborate with his clients on content. Logan works at a podcasting agency, and he co-hosts various podcasts, so podcasting is the most natural for him. But there’s a myriad of ways to collaborate with your clients on content: Webinars, e-books, white papers, videos. It doesn’t matter how, but when you collaborate on content, you are providing real value.
Instead of saying “Can you give me 15 minutes of your time?” You’re saying “I know you’re an expert in your field. I’m writing a blog series that relates to your expertise. I’d love to feature you.” Boom. Now they’re interested. Now your future customer is on board.
You’re leading with value by highlighting them, their expertise, and even their company. You’re stroking their ego, advancing their career, and giving them a PR platform.
Many people pay PR companies to find ways they can be featured on podcasts, videos, etc. So save the PR company the trouble, and go straight to your future customer.
2) Nurture relationships
Logan does this in a very specific way. He re-engages with his future customers around the content. He combines some automation and templatized approaches with personal sales techniques.
So, specifically, he emails his customers telling them when the show goes live. He emails them if and when marketing re-purposes the podcast content into a blog or social media material. He asks them if they’d be interested in writing a review for the show, which will boost their own audience.
At each of these touchpoints, he’s nurturing a relationship around genuine value for the customer.
Quick tip here: Ask calibrated questions. Regardless of the medium, if you are collaborating with a future customer, then ask questions that give you inside information. Detailed questions not only create fantastic content for your audience, but it provides you the information you need for the sale.
3) Close: turning a future customer into an actual customer
Sometimes, immediately after collaborating, it makes sense to initiate on the spot. Other times, you read the conversation, and wait, nurturing along the way.
At some point, you offer your product or service, but when you do this depends on the situation and the customer. Use your sales acumen.
Logan often re-engages other individuals within an account. It works brilliantly. Consider an account who’s sales leader is a guest on his podcast. If the deal hasn’t moved since, the interview, Logan will invite the marketing leader back on.
Finally, when it makes sense, you tell them what you do, and offer your service. The difference is fairly obvious: 1) You already have an actual relationship. 2) Your relationship hasn’t been built on your product or service 3) You now have extensive knowledge of their company, their pain points, and the decision-makers.