It’s no secret that we’ve been banging the Don’t Sell drum for quite some time now. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be getting out there and proactively starting new conversions. What do you need to be successful in creating demand?
Here, we take a look at the fundamentals of getting your demand gen right the first time. But be warned: it takes time, preparation, research, and patience.
Who are you even talking to?
Before you can even begin to think about your tech stack or messaging, you need to understand who you’re even talking to. There’s no point diving in with the fanciest tools blasting out thousands of messages if you don’t even know who you should be talking to.
ICPs are key. Identify who your ideal customer is and then understand exactly what they need from you – if anything at all. From job title to company headcount, it’s critical that you understand who you’re talking to. That includes their needs, problems, and all the things you’ve no doubt woven into your proposition and sales strategy.
The personas you come up with should be specific, but also empathetic. You need to nail down precisely what your audience is looking for before you can start the next steps in your outreach. Further, you should be able to empathise with what your audience is feeling.
You should be able to walk in their shoes and really understand what it feels like to experience their pain points and market challenges. That’s why actually getting out and talking to your customers and potential clients is so important.
Without understanding who you’re talking to, you can’t work out how you should talk to them. Are they creative, and a bit zany? Are they super corporate and direct? Whatever it is, the persona should drive the words you use.
Work on the words first
So you know who you want to talk to. Now you need to work on how you’re going to talk to them. It’s crucial that you develop your tone of voice to reflect: a) Who you are as a business – and as an individual (People buy from people, after all) and
b) What your audience wants to hear.
As mentioned above, your tone should be real and authentic – in a way that appeals to your audience. There’s no point filling your outreach messages with jargon and long-winded sentences because no one will read past the first line.
Find a way to display who you really are, whilst talking to your audience on their level. You should also be giving away some kind of value at this stage, too.
Further, the words you choose will vary depending on the channel you choose. For example, you’ll go harder on email than you would on LinkedIn. We tend to use a ‘Sales Score’ to gauge how forthright we might be in a campaign.
Email campaigns will score higher on the scale, as you’re sending more messages so can afford to be more direct (but not too direct!). On the other hand, LinkedIn is all about building relationships and the ‘Don’t Sell’ philosophy. This means that your campaigns on LinkedIn will naturally score lower on the sales scale.
The goal is to always add value on either channel, but there are different ways to go about it. For example, on email it might be more appropriate to go straight in with a case study. On the other hand, it might be a whitepaper on LinkedIn – something that’s not too salesy or forthright.
It’s naturally harder to build a relationship over email purely because of the scale and people’s attitudes to email targeting, whereas LinkedIn can be more casual and relationship-focused.
A lot of the time, you should be selling the thinking behind your product or services. What you want to achieve is ‘buy-ability’, a feeling that (if there was one) acts as the secret sauce. You want to be the kind of person that your audience wants to do business with.
Choose your weapon
Finally, once you’ve got your house in order, you can start thinking about your tool(s) of choice. There are a multitude of tools available to help you scale your outreach, but we would urge you to ensure that the tool you use does not harm the personal touch of your outreach.
From LinkedIn messaging tools to email segmenting and targeting tools, there’s a tool for everything.
We’d recommend picking one and trying it out on a small scale to begin with in order to find your feet and get comfortable with the process. After all, you will inevitably receive replies at some point meaning that you need to be prepared to respond to them in good time.
Once you’ve trialled the tool and found your groove, you can begin to scale your outreach infinitely at a pace that suits you.
That’s all for now
Ultimately, your outreach process should be steeped in preparation and research. From talking to real customers to getting personal, you need to be as natural as possible all whilst leveraging the tools available to you.
Don’t forget to take a good amount of time to understand your personas, too. Otherwise, you’re operating blind and just spraying and praying. Outreach should always be heavily targeted and specific.
And, above all, don’t sell. The outreach you conduct should be real. Don’t barge in and start selling everything you’ve got to unqualified prospects. You need to get a foot in the door first and then sell from the inside. Don’t sell, build relationships is the philosophy that has served us well, and we’d advise you adopt the same mantra.
If you need a hand not selling on your path to scaling up, drop us a line and we’d be more than happy to have a chat and see how we can help.