Earlier this week I had the pleasure of joining Nicci Bonfanti of Manage2Improve and her other guest, Julia McPherson of Just Ask Julia, on a webinar entitled ‘Love your prospects’.

We were addressing three questions:

1. What can you do to show the right people that you care?
2. How can you build trust with your prospects?
3. How can you keep in touch with your prospects until the time is right?

Hopefully your marketing efforts are building your list of potential customers.

But it can take time for them to feel sufficiently confident to do business with you.

They need to know that you will provide them with a solution to their problem.
They need to trust that you will do a great job for them.
They need to wait until the time is just right for them.

In the meantime you need to demonstrate your expertise.
You need to build a rapport.
You need to add value along the way.

If you ‘Love your prospects’ in this way, when the time is right it is you that they will turn to.

So here are some ideas that Nicci, Julia and I came up with that address the three questions above.

What can you do to show the right people that you care?

‘The right people’ is about having a very clear picture in your mind about who your ideal customer is.

If you are using networking to generate leads then you need to be able to articulate exactly who you’d like to be introduced to. The chances are your ideal customers are not at the meeting.

On the other hand, maybe your ideal customer is at the meeting. Either way, showing that you care is a great way to start a relationship.  You can do this by asking a great question then listening.

A great question gets someone talking about themselves. Of course what you’re actually doing is getting them to talk about an area of their business or their lives where you can help.

Once you have this insight and found out what their challenges are you can respond in a way that gets straight to the point. You can suggest how they can either help themselves or how you can help them.

Another great way to show you care is to ask who their ideal customer is and think about who you can introduce them to.

In the virtual world of networking using social media, a great way to show you care is to share information (retweeting, liking etc.) and freely giving tips and advice that are truly helpful to others.

What can you do for your prospects that builds trust?

Signing on the dotted line and parting with cash can be a step too far at first. So how can you give your prospects a taster or sample so that they feel comfortable to take the next step and trust that you will deliver? Here are some ideas.

Seminars and webinars are a great way to demonstrate your expertise. You can give something away that is low cost to you but highly valuable to your prospect.

Product samples let you try before you buy.
Can you provide a free audit? It might be a social media audit, website audit, health audit.
What about a free 20 minute telephone call addressing a particular problem?

Newsletters are a great way to build trust. If you are sending regular tips that are relevant, interesting and add value, over the months you will build trust. When the time is right you are the one that they will choose to work with or buy from.

Testimonials, case studies and LinkedIn recommendations all provide social proof. Other people have put their trust in you and received great service or an excellent product. So they can too.

How would you recommend you keep in touch with your prospects?

You’ve no doubt heard that it can take up to 12 contacts before someone is ready to buy. So keeping in contact regularly is a seriously important part of your marketing strategy. How can you do this?

I’m a huge fan of email marketing and using this as a means to keep in touch. It could be sending a monthly tip; something that is really helpful, a nugget of information that is truly valuable.

Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ are great ways to keep in touch.  However, your connections may not yet be your prospects.  In order to continue to build the relationship you will need to find ways to encourage potential prospects to your website to take further action.

The action may be to pick up the phone and call you or contact you via email. But for some there is still an element of trust to be built, so downloading a useful eBook or taking a quiz in exchange for their email, may be the next best step. These are called Lead Magnets. Lead Magnets are a great stepping stone in the relationship building process.

Everything I’ve mentioned here is about:

• Attracting the right prospects
• Automating lead generation
• Winning more sales

Nicci, Julia and I have combined our expertise in marketing, sales and IT to create the

7 Step Business Generator

It shows you:

  • How to define your niche (if you haven’t already done so)
  • Shortcut to your path to success – Know your strengths
  • How to discover your market’s problems and then solve them
  • Fifty ways to find your client!
  • Planning and automating your marketing
  • Creating your own personalised lead magnet
  • Three sales strategies for winning more sales

The 7 Step Business Generator is perfect for:

  • Business owners who are worried about leaving their business to take a proper holiday
  • Business owners who are great at what they do but not necessarily skilled or trained in sales, marketing or IT
  • Business owners who try and do EVERYTHING on their own, whether they are good at it or not!

If this sounds like you join us on 4th July at Dorking Rugby Club, Surrey for the 1 day  ‘7 Step Business Generator’ workshop.