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With customers becoming more critical and dismissive of ads, you’ll need to adjust your marketing approach to stay competitive.
Value marketing is promoting your brand by talking about your prospects and what they need. Also known as customer-centric marketing, this marketing style proves that you are capable of helping your customers achieve their goals by demonstrating how well you understand where they’re coming from and the challenges they’re facing.
Let’s talk about how you can instantly showcase the value you can offer to turn your prospects into clients quickly.
Understand Your Client’s Business And Industry
The value that you can offer as a business will always depend on the impact that you can provide for your client’s goals. You need to make your clients’ customers happy –this is how you make your clients happy.
To do this, understanding your client’s business and industry is a prerequisite. What are their goals? Does your proposal affect them? Go beyond what’s written on your work order? What are their true needs?
Align your KPIs to what matters to them instead of bombarding them with big numbers that barely affect their business objectives.
How To Study Your Clients’ Business And Industry
The easiest way to jumpstart your research about your client is by going through the information available to you: a quick Google search, skimming the documents and profiles they provided, etc.
To deepen your understanding of the industry, look into their competitors. How are they different from your client? What do customers like or don’t like about them? So on, and so forth.
Once you have your preliminary findings, sit down with your client and ask questions. The key to understanding their situation and challenges is asking the right questions. Be sure to establish good rapport before anything else. Consider meeting in a place where the atmosphere is comfortable and candid so you can get honest answers.
Talking to nontraditional marketing stakeholders such as sales and customer success is also a clever way to get on-ground information.
In her interview with Forbes, Lindsey Groepper shared: “...the founder and marketing lead can provide insight, but sales has the pulse on timely conversations with prospects regarding why they buy and, equally as important, why they don’t. And the customer success lead can provide insight on where the best customers are seeing value in the product or service.”
Finally, why not engage with the customers themselves? Jump into forums and online social pages and analyze their sentiments. What are their pain points? What are their perceptions of your client’s brand?
These key areas will help you get a multi-faceted view of your client’s business and put you in a good position to determine the best ways to provide value.
Prepare Relevant Case Studies
Case studies are detailed accounts of results that you have successfully delivered in the past. It sheds light on your situation, challenge, solution, and results.
Case studies can effectively demonstrate that you’re not all-talk when talking to new prospects –you have results! By showing them the value you’ve given to your past clients, you’re encouraging them to imagine the impact you can offer when they decide to work with you.
Done right, your case studies will also give your prospects a glimpse of your thought process and execution capabilities. They’re critical assets in communicating that your services are of top quality.
How To Maximize Case Studies In Client Conversion
While case studies are impressive, bombarding your client with them can be overwhelming and useless to your cause. When sending your client case studies, be selective. Pick the case that resembles their situation as closely as possible and includes a note when you send them over.
Why did you pick this report? What similarities does it have to their current situation? What concepts may apply to them? Pique their interest to justify why they should pore into the document.
The most important details you need to be clear about in your case studies are what you did and what value you contributed. Solutions can offer different types of values: functional, economic, social, or psychological.
Functional value is all about the utility of services or the performance of products. Economic value is how well it made the most out of its monetary price or how well its execution maximized the resources involved in creating it. However, some products and services offer a different type of value involving public perception or customer delight –this is called social value. Finally, if products or services can make customers feel good or express themselves, it has psychological value.
Identify what’s important to your client and try to provide a case study where you were able to produce the type of value they are looking for.
Stay Abreast Of New Trends And Tech
In the past few years, you’ve seen trends and technology change the marketing game –think Tiktok, influencers, conversational marketing, interactive content, etc.
If you want to develop relevant campaigns, staying updated is vital. And keeping up with all of them is a massive job. So massive that your prospects likely won’t have time for it. Surely, they’ll be VERY appreciative of people who do. Wouldn’t it be nice for that to be you? ;)
New technology can alter many parts of decision-making for marketing and business. Considering them will allow you to think on your feet and spot more opportunities for your clients.
How To Keep Up With New Trends And Tech
Involving yourself in community activities and social listening are great ways to keep an ear out for incoming changes.
Identify thought leaders in your industry and follow them. Social and search algorithms give you more of the same types when you consume content. As you discover more people and pages, engage. Allow yourself to meet more people in your industry.
Be open to new information while practicing critical thinking. Ask yourself how these findings affect your industry’s current state. What possibilities?
While riding trends may seem like an unstable approach to marketing, it really isn’t. Leveraging trends can allow the brands you handle to grow with their customers and be ahead of their competition. And if you can help them get there, they’ll surely start seeing you as a secret weapon.
Offer Fresh Insight
Marketing insight isn’t just data. New information allows businesses to understand their target audience's needs better.
Whether it’s a new trend, angle, or approach, its goal is to initiate innovation and improvement. Customers and sellers are all meant to benefit: customers will have access to a service or product that addresses their needs, and sellers will be able to make a profit.
As an agency, you’ve been exposed to many campaigns and brands. This grants you a major opportunity to provide new insights to your clients.
How To Get Fresh Insights For New Clients
We discussed the importance of understanding your client’s business, and that should always be the first step when it comes to insight-building. Ground yourself on available information and be clear about the challenges that you’re facing. Likewise, recognize what’s working and the resources available. From there, start asking questions and exploring h new ideas and observations.
Co-creation communities can be great catalysts to help you see things in new ways. They are groups of the most creative people in your team briefed with relevant information. Bring everyone together and be in an environment where ideas can flow freely. Listen, stay open, collaborate, and build off of each other’s input until you develop polished ideas good enough to be used.
Giving your prospects their own eureka moment can be invaluable to converting them.
Support Your Client’s Vision
Behind profit and operations, strong businesses exist and thrive for the reasons that are important enough to hold them together. This is called the business vision.
A business vision is “a vivid mental image of what you want your business to be at some point in the future, based on your goals and aspirations,” Business Queensland describes. It’s the contribution that a business wants to make to the world. Its purpose. It’s what inspires the people inside the company to work hard and brave challenges.
Connecting to your client’s vision will help you connect better with them and their business. When you make decisions, don’t limit yourself to the problems they present in their work order. Instead, think about how you can help them get closer to their vision.
How To Connect To Your Client’s Vision
To deeply connect with your client’s vision, look at their stakeholders and the community they intend to serve. Understand the situation: what problems do they encounter? Why does your client connect with their cause? How much would their situation change if your client’s business vision were realized?
The needs of their stakeholders will greatly affect how your clients run their business –from their daily operations to their long-term goals. So, diving into this, you’ll be able to add context to the campaigns you’ll propose and solutions you’ll suggest.
Talking to your client’s company leaders can also give you a glimpse of their values. How do they make decisions? What are their priorities?
Connecting to your client’s vision won’t just help you discover their purpose. It can also give your project more meaning, increasing your team’s morale and motivation.
Lead The Way Forward
Give a good impression to your prospect by displaying initiative and efficiency from the get-go.
Imagine meeting a team that you leave feeling confident at the end of every meeting because the plans and commitments discussed are clear. Action items are itemized and promptly delivered. You’re always aware of what they’re going to submit and when. If they have dependencies from you, you’re duly informed of when they need it and how it affects your project.
Wouldn’t that be lovely?
Taking the initiative in moving things forward even in the early phases of your partnership is a powerful indicator that you can be trusted with bigger things. It gives an air of proficiency, making it clear that this isn’t your first rodeo, and your prospects will be in good hands if they avail of your services.
How To Be A Proactive Correspondent
Before you can project a prompt and organized demeanor, establish systems and processes to facilitate this. Create flowcharts and templates on how your team should go about client pitching, setting follow-up meetings, and communicating requirements. This way, you’re always mindful of the purpose of your meetings, and you’re on top of what should come next.
Here are examples of checklists workflows you may want to prepare:
- A checklist of information you’ll need to ask the client before you can start crafting a proposal
- Sequence of meetings after meeting a prospect (e.g., exploratory meeting, proposal submission, preproduction meeting, etc.)
- A list of timelines and lead times for requests and administrative operations (e.g., invoices, payments, etc.)
As for meetings, always make sure that decisions and next steps are clear when you finish them. Before dispersing, go over what was agreed on and itemize what needs to be done next. Identify who will do it and when they need to be finished. If you can, send these pieces of information out via email as well to establish a paper trail.
Respond promptly. When inquiries or concerns require further thought, you can opt to respond with a simple acknowledgment message and information on when you can get back to them.
Timely replies can project a sense of priority and efficiency, helping you to build trust further and eventually seal a deal.
Over To You
Providing value from the get-go will help you convert prospects into customers. To do this, the key is to give more than what’s expected of you.
Make customers feel that you connect with their vision at a deep level. Demonstrate your commitment to helping them realize their short-term and long-term goals. Display your impeccable efficiency from the moment you start your interactions and follow through until the end. Show initiative, competence, and sincerity to build trust and deliver the value they’re looking for.
Remember: at the end of the day, this isn’t about you. If you want to succeed, your prospects need to see that you can help them succeed and that you’re 100% committed to that cause.