GUEST: Todd Hockenberry, Top Line Results
B2B companies are missing out on a huge opportunity.
They’re either not paying attention to it or don’t know how to apply it to their specific situation: Using inbound marketing principles to influence and grow their existing clients.
Chew on that for a moment.
The most limited resource you have is not your time or your money, it’s your customer’s attention.
So, if that’s true, if you’re most limited resource is your customer’s (or potential customer's) attention, and you already have the attention of your existing clients, why wouldn’t you leverage that?
Why would you go out looking for new clients rather than nurturing the ones who’ve already entrusted you with their attention? By the way, they have so much to offer you as well. If you’ve built up goodwill with them, you can learn from them, ask them questions, and look for other goals or outcomes you can influence in their business.
One of the first things Todd asks his clients is, “How do you interact with your clients?” He usually follows that up with, “How often do you promote new content to them like send them emails during milestones, reach out to make sure your products are still working for them, or just share videos with them on ways to troubleshoot if they run into a problem?”
More than 90% of companies he works with don’t do any of that.
They’re reactive. They wait for the phone to ring and then they respond. Sure, being reactive is necessary, but if that’s your default, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to deepen your relationship with your existing clients by expanding upon the value you can deliver to them.
You don’t have a relationship with a customer until you’ve proven you can deliver value.
Everyone loves to talk about having relationships with their customers.
Just making the sale isn’t building a relationship. The relationship comes as you expand and prove you’re continually delivering on your promise. If you’re not delivering value to a customer after a few years, they’re not going to continue working with you.
Your relationships with your customers will not be based on how friendly you are with one another. It will be based on the value you brought and continue to bring. Period.
“You don’t have a relationship with a customer until you’ve proven you can deliver value.”
People too often mistake the features and the specifications of their products or services as the value, but that’s not the value.
“The opportunity is to use inbound tools, technology and thinking (which is around content) to be attractive, helpful, and share information before you extract value. That’s the fundamental core of inbound is."
That’s why we all need to be:
- Sharing helpful content.
- Sending our customers useful videos.
- Sending them checklists.
- Checking in to make sure they’re getting value out of our product or service.
- Proactive rather than waiting on the phone to ring.
The reality is, when you win a sale, you’ve now opened the pathway to a relationship.
So, let me ask you: Are you spending time and effort with inbound ideas and talking to your current customers? One of the most powerful things you can do with your inbound marketing is to ask these questions:
- Did you know...?
- Are you aware of...?
- Have you thought of...?
- Have you ever...?
Ask your customers these kinds of questions and then share content around the answers!
The worst thing Todd ever heard from a customer who had just purchased a product was that they had no idea they also sold another, different product. And that’s the problem you can solve if you use inbound marketing principles with your existing customers.
It’s time to change your focus. If you believe in the 7x principle (It costs you seven times more to get a new customer than it does to keep an existing one) we talked about earlier, then just go with what the math says.
“The most limited resource you have is not your time or your money, it’s your customer’s attention.”
Todd has a challenge for you:
How often have you uttered the words: I’ve “closed” a sale?
The reality is, when you win a sale, you’ve now opened the pathway to a relationship. You’re opening the opportunity for a relationship and the opportunity to continue adding value to that customer. You’re not closing, you’re opening!
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