In the last 4 years you have really heard me talking about the power of inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is amazing, but if you want to give it a kick in the pants, why not add offline networking to the mix. Here's the deal your website can only do some much. At some point you need to get a sales person involved and having a conversation, building rapport, and closing the deal that is unless you run an ecommerce business.
So although people should have already know this, I and many others are finding this not the case. As a matter of fact this is why we pushed "Smarketing" towards the end of last year, because sales teams and marketing teams are not working together. It is important to brings these two teams together to work for the better good of the company. How can you do that?
One way to do this could be by getting the sales team blogging. They already are in the trenches talking to people so they know what the customer needs and if they provide education content and advice, and then get their prospects to subscribe, read, comment and share their blog articles, think of what kind of relationship this would build?
You're probably asking yourself… comment on my blog, share it… why would they do this? If your content is remarkable, then they may do it because it makes them look like a thought leader to their customers and prospects. They may do it because they know, like and trust you as a thought leader in your industry. There are many reasons the might do this, but it will not happen with out a real conversation (over the phone or in person). You may need them to understand why you want them to do this. You may have to lead by example by doing it to their blog, tweet or post. If they are quality people putting out quality content, then this shouldn't be a problem and if you are not doing it already, get on it and start today!
What about the marketing people should they be having conversations with prospects and customers? You Bet they should! They need to have a better idea of who their target audience is and exactly what problems they are having. Here is the thing though, you do not want to get all salesy in these conversation. Look for ways you can truly help the other person doing a retweet here and a share there on a regular basis will help solidify the relationship. Following things they are interested in and asking, hey have you seen this article in… If nothing else they are going to know you're thinking of them.
Want a quick easy way to stay on the cutting edge of a topic like this? Try using "google alerts". I just did this this morning. I have a music promoter friend who wanted to find a craft brewer to pay for an event we are talking about doing. I jumped on google alerts and put in DFW Craft Beer and guess what… one website came up that had a directory of DFW craft brewers names and websites. I sent it over to him and he was really happy to have a new list of people he hasn't talked to yet. Think about it instead of having a sales call, what if you talked to your prospects every few weeks and said hey joe, I hear XYZ is happening in your industry. Have you read the inc article on this? Is he going to start talking your calls? Is he going to look for ways to repay your kindness? Is this going to set you apart from all the crappy salespeople that are your competitors?
This is one step to building your brand with evangelists and it only happens by useing both your online and offline resources. If you are not familiar with inbound networking and you like the idea. Maybe you should join the Inbound Networking groups started by Rick Roberge or Pete Caputa CoGrow. These guys are leading the pack on this new idea and are delivering some great connections and ideas to implement this idea to the fullest. Now get out there and find someone online and start a REAL conversation (in person or over the phone)!
Or if you'd like to learn more have your first conversation with me, let's talk!
Photo by drtreypennington