What is Inbound Marketing?

“Is Hope a Sales Strategy?”

Every business needs flow of new customers to continue growing and one of the most cost effective ways is to start sharing your knowledge that will appeal to your target audiences, sharing is seen as caring about and for your customers. This information can be in the form of video content, articles, blogs or newsletters online or offline. The information you share with your target audience just like I am doing in this article helps to engage with potential customers be it B2B or B2C business you are running.

I remember at my last seminar, I asked “how many people depend on incoming sales calls” and the response was about 90% of the attendees hands went up. The next question I asked of the 90% was “how many are pro-actively doing some form of marketing to generate incoming sales” surprisingly only 7% that was about 14 people out of a crowed of just over 211 people. The only words that came to my mind were “hope is not a marketing strategy” because these people were waiting for the telephone to ring and bring in sales without doing much but maybe creating a advert in Yellow Pages, let me tell you “Yellow Pages is not a strategy”.

Inbound Marketing Means Trust

You need to start creating rich content for your potential audience and start working on converting suspects to prospects. You see every person who reads information about your product or service is suspicious, you need to demonstrate you care and understand their pain they are going through and what your product or service will do to relieve that pain and how much happier they will be after buying your product or service.

One of the most important things about inbound sales is that there is a certain level of trust which the customer is placing in your company which is impossible to have with outbound sales. If a customer decides to come to you for his/her products and services or eve just to add their names to your mailing list. That is a huge step that puts you in a very enviable position because you already know that the customer is doing one of the hardest things about the sale process which is trust trusting you with their email address as a start. Now you have moved the individual from a suspect to a prospect.

Why A Mailing List Is So Important

The first step to getting inbound sales is to get visitors to your website, once on your website persuade them to join your mailing list in exchange for a newsletter or a report, so that way you now get to move them from being suspects to becoming prospects. It is so important to get them in the pipe line on your mailing list first, at this point it would be very dangerous to try and sell anything to them or they will not trust you. The next step is to build trust and credibility with them through your newsletters. This is your opportunity to educate them about products and services without trying to sell them anything by providing them rich and relevant content.

Starting Your Mailing List

To ensure that you have a good flow of new leads for your mailing list you need to give your customers and potential customers a reason to sign up as indicated above. Your website or presentation must be engaging so that they want to come back and know when there are interesting updates or new products available. You should also encourage them by reminding them that they can get special discounts if they sign up. Do not just promise the special discounts; make sure that you deliver them from time to time so that they stay in your mailing list. It is always better to under promise and over deliver than the other way around.

You Are An Important Source

Your mailing list and the inbound sales that you are able to generate make you a reliable source. The customers will start looking for you and your products like they would other big brand companies, provided you keep providing value for your customers, the moment you don’t they will just delete, unsubscribe or put you in to the spam folder. You are providing them with rich and relevant content and genuine offers with the customer in mind. Today’s selling is all about engaging with your target audiences.

Are Inbound Sales Better?

Yes in my opinion inbound marketing or inbound selling has a much higher close rate than any other method provided you stick to the rules of engagement first by providing them with rich and relevant content and good value.

Why The Difference?

The main difference when it comes to the closing rate of inbound sales has to do with the trust and credibility you get to build up by not trying to sell to them and by providing them with rich and relevant content. The customer feels they are in charge and not being pushed in to a sale. Imagine that someone comes to you on the street and offers you a great mobile phone package. It sounds great, but the truth is that there is some hesitation on your part because you do not really know that person. On the other hand, if you had known that person and you were aware that they had this amazing plan and you went to them to ask them about it, it would be a lot more likely that you would end up making the purchase. There was no difference in the person or the plan being offered. The only difference is that you knew about them and that is what happens with inbound sales. You get to build trust, credibility and get to influence then before trying to sell them anything.

Customer Already Interested

Another thing that influences the closing rate of inbound sales is that your customer already has a certain level of interest in the purchase. An outbound sales specialist needs to create the interest while a mailing list or advertising promotion already has your customer looking forward to knowing more. Even if a customer decides that right now it is not the time, it does not mean that the sale will not be closed in the near future. The interest is there so all that it will take is the gentle persuasion to move them from being a prospect to a paid customer. This is the way I work with all my private clients helping them build a client attraction system and I also teach all my mastermind groups the same and they all get results, every time.

Moe Nawaz: Author - Speaker - Strategic Advisor & Mentor to FTSE 100 Leaders