What Has Happened, Will Happen – Tactics for Lead Generation
In our first episode, we went to the white board and put a frame around the challenge of complex lead generation for professional services. (“Complex Lead Generation – a Big List of Tactics“) In the second episode, we went into that frame and identified where to start, which is measuring what is already happening. (“How We Generate Early Stage Leads in a Complex Sales Process“) Now we’re going to the other side of the diagram and covering the next tactic to employ.
We’re going to use Content but this has been called Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, Thought Leadership, Magnetic Marketing and other terms over the years. We’ll cover the thinking behind why we move to this after measuring current activity and how it maps to the decision process of our prospects and customers.
Let’s get into it.
Content: Articles/White Papers/Case Studies/Research
When we looked at what major tactic your firm is already working on, which tends to be clustered in Outbound, it’s clear that the prospects your people are focusing on are near the end of the decision process. If we use a number line to represent where prospects are at in their decision process, your current sales efforts are good at identifying the prospects at the end of the process. The 8’s, 9’s and 10’s.
This is why we move from measuring outbound activity into capturing your firm’s intellectual property and using it to attract early stage leads. The 4’s, 5’s, 6’s and 7’s.
Let’s jump into an example.
Most firms I work with have a website, a pamphlet and something that resembles a client reference list. Those are perfect for helping a prospect who is in the late stages of a decision. I want something that aims a little earlier in the process. If the end of the process is “Why should I use your firm?” I want to be answering the question “Why does a company like mine use a firm like yours?”
It’s a good question, right? You know how you can help them and the value your profession brings to their company. They have a vague idea. Or they have some limited interaction with another firm. We need to assume minimal knowledge and provide content that will help move a “5” to a “6 or 7.”
History repeats itself
The place to start is with the questions you’re already asked. I have yet to meet a professional that can’t rattle off 5 or 6 of the most common questions they’re asked when a prospect approaches their firm. Those are the first pieces of content that we can create because you have the answers floating around your firm right now. Let’s get them down.
There’s another side to the common questions and it comes from knowledge and experience. It’s the 5 or 6 questions that a prospect should be asking. These are the questions that you would ask if you were in their shoes. It’s like my daughter considering various job offers, she has a set of questions that every job seeker is asking. But since she’s new to the workforce, she’s doesn’t know what she doesn’t know. The 5 or 6 questions that she should be asking gives her the advantage of seeing around corners as she proceeds. Those answers are floating around your offices too.
Give it some ketchup
The next step is to generate the content in a way that gives your prospects the most flexibility to consume it. The format that offers the most flexibility is video because it can be used as video (of course), the audio can be stripped for a podcast, and it can be sent out for transcription to be made into a text file. The text file can be augmented with additional content and turned into a report, or split into blog posts, or offered up as a nicely packaged report.
Then it’s ready for distribution. Your junior partners can use it when they meet prospects that are in the 4-5-6-7 range. You can use it in your newsletter campaigns, on your website, and as evidence with third party content providers that your firm has something to say.
In the next episode we’ll stick with this early content concept and use it to not only educate the leads that your people are bumping into today, but use it to drive new leads into your database.
That’s when it gets fun.