This blog post was originally published March 20, 2016.
Surprisingly, great marketing has a lot more to do with exclusivity than you might think. This probably seems counter-intuitive if you’re used to casting a wide net into the pool of prospects. However, think of it this way: if you're doing more work up front to be selective, you'll reduce the amount of time wasted sifting through and reaching out to unqualified leads later that are not a fit.
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How targeted are we talking here? The more specific, the better. Gleanster research reported that just 25% of leads are legitimate enough to make it through to sales. That means the goal is to get the attention of the prospects that make up that 25%. They’re the ones who are genuinely interested in hearing more about your product or service, or even better, are ready to buy.
Set your sights on your target and really hone in on your focus so you can attract the leads that will generate sales. Ready to get started? Let’s go over the steps.
How to Attract More Qualified Leads in Your Business
Step 1: Develop Strong Buyer Personas
Who is your ideal buyer? What problems are they trying to solve? And more importantly, how does your product or service solve those problems? Write out the answers to these questions and develop a persona for your ideal buyer that you can reference throughout the marketing and sales process.
All customers are not equal. You want to attract more customers that look like your best customers. Establishing buyer personas will help marketing deliver a relatable message to that specific market segment. The goal is to speak directly to this group’s wants and needs, even if they seem narrow. The more targeted you make the message, the more recognizable it will be in the sea of generic, mass-appeal options.
The strongest buyer personas are based on market research, as well as insights you gather from your actual customer base through surveys, interviews, etc. Depending on your business, you could have as few as one or two personas, or as many as 10 or 20! But if you’re new to personas, it is best to start small. You can always develop more personas later if needed.
Pro Tip: Don’t stop at the messaging. The information you gather about your buyer personas (you can have more than one!) should translate in your interaction with them throughout the prospect lifecycle, from lead scoring to direct conversations with your prospects.
Step 2: Tell a Story Through Marketing
Your priority in marketing should be telling a story. Why? Storytelling is a part of the human experience that not only unites people in a common interest, but in a sense of relatability, driving stronger and more meaningful connections. In the world of marketing, storytelling enables you to create these deeper connections with your specific audience—your customers.
Donald Miller of StoryBrand has developed a helpful approach to developing a story for your business. Think of it in terms of an elevator pitch—you need a simple tactic you can use to quickly sell yourself while creating a story. The first thing you need to do is hook their attention with a problem. Then, you can use your business as the resolution. You want to stick to two powerful principles—empathy and authority. By showing your prospective customers you understand their pain points, you’re making your story more powerful with empathy. The authority comes in when you show them you care about them and can provide a solution to their problem.
Not only is this a good way to have your customers engage more in the learning process, but it can be an important strategic and tactical tool to invoke greater interest in your product. You can use the buyer personas you create to develop targeted messaging that tells a relatable story about how your service or product alleviates that buyer persona’s unique pain points.
Seth Godin’s book, All Marketers Are Liars, sheds some additional light on this concept. By liars, he actually means “storytellers.” The fact of the matter is, nobody wants to listen to someone else who only talks about how great they are—so don’t let your company only talk about yourself and why you're so great. What they’re interested in is the story. If they see their story reflected in your messaging—that’s the relatability factor—your business will stand out like a beacon.
Step 3: Use the Right Marketing Channels
Older technology can’t keep up with your customers’ changing needs. Similarly, how you capture their attention needs to evolve as well. So, how then, do you capture their attention?
The key is in knowing your audience so well that you know where to find them—and show up there! Whether it’s in person at tradeshows and industry events, or online on industry websites and social media, knowing where your customer base lives and breathes will give you the ability to exclusively target people more likely to do business with you.
Furthermore, using digital marketing (also referred to as online marketing) enables you to open up your business to a global customer base. Your services can be delivered remotely, no matter where you or your customers are—so why limit your reach to only local customers?
Another tried and true way to reach quality leads is by utilizing a referral program that capitalizes on word of mouth from your current (happy) customers. A referral might prove to be one of the most high-quality leads since it came from a trusted source within their network instead of your company tooting your own horn.
You may have heard the phrase before, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” This idea holds true for your marketing efforts. Attracting more qualified leads isn’t difficult, it just requires a little more time to learn what works at the start.
If you are willing to test, measure, and optimize your marketing strategy, you’ll be able to repeat the process with future success. With an open mindset upfront, you’ll be surprised at just how much it pays off.
Ready for the next step? Check out our blog, 4 Time-Saving Tips for Qualifying Leads, to learn how to further vet the quality of the leads that your marketing efforts bring in.
Read the Ultimate Guide to As-A-Service: Sales and Marketing to learn how to shape a global sales strategy.