While writing their marketing content, a request I commonly hear from financial and real estate professionals is to ramp up the “salesmanship” of their content so that they get more committed clients calling them on the telephone.
They want their marketing content to sell their services so that more people go “wow! I want to hire that person to help me find a home” or “wow! I want to hire that person to manage my investment portfolio“.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
It takes A LOT of marketing content (sometimes over a substantial period of time) to convince someone who hasn’t heard of you before to become your client. (It’s not impossible… but it probably won’t happen in a 500 word article).
Instead, your marketing needs to accomplish just one action… and it’s not “become my client“.
The action needs to be a painless next step that the curious would take (perhaps fill out an online form or pick up the phone and call you) rather than a big step that the committed would take.
See the difference?
People are afraid of commitment and don’t want to get locked in to a bad thing (like working with the wrong professional). So they’ll willingly do non-committal things, such as filling out an online form or picking up the phone to call… and THAT is when you sell to them.
They will eventually make a commitment to become your client but they need far more convincing than marketing content on its own can often perform.
HERE’S AN EXAMPLE
Take my business, for example. My marketing rarely asks people to become my client. Rather, it asks them to get in touch with me. That’s because my over-the-phone close rate is nearly 100% while my written conversion is much less. So my goal is to get people to call.
The concern that some of my prospective clients might have is: Won’t I get more crackpot callers? You might. (And it’s a reason that my close rate isn’t exactly 100%!). But you won’t get that many more because here’s what’s really going on…
When you use marketing content that tries to convert a cold lead into a client, that content has a lot of work to do and the client may come up with objections that the content can’t address. And, the content can’t capture your entire personality and pre-qualify clients. So you get lots of cold leads reading your content and deciding for themselves whether or not they should hire you… and many will not call because they don’t want to make that commitment based solely on the marketing content they’ve seen.
But when you use marketing content that only tries to move a cold lead into a warm prospect, that content has a lot less work to do and can therefore be far more effective… at pre-qualifying these people and at convincing them to take the smaller, easier step of picking up the phone (instead of making a commitment). And, YOU can then share your personality with your client (hint: that will be a huge selling feature for you) and you can handle their objections.
Result: Your marketing will qualify your clients (weeding out most of the crackpots) but it will also get more of the good prospective clients to pick up the phone.
By using this model of focusing your marketing on a painless, no-commitment action, you can get more people calling you and you can convert more of those prospects into clients.
We’ve also seen a similar shift in selling digital download products (like ebooks). It used to be that you could put up a sales page and have a buy now button at the bottom and get clients. And some people still do that (and it still does work sometimes but not as much as it once did). But today, the more effective squeeze page offers a link to something free and valuable (an ecourse or videos, for example… something non-committal!) and then the sales letter comes later. Thus, there’s the first non-committal step followed by the more targeted, harder-hitting commitment.
For more information about getting your leads and prospects to do less, learn how to identify the steps in your sales funnel stages. Or, if you’re still thinking about how you want to market your business, check out this first in a series of sales funnel 101 blog posts.