Today, I was researching CRMs (Customer Relationship Management software) for a client. There are dozens out there, and believe me, they’re not all created equal. However, one kept popping up on my screen (due to their fantastic retargeting campaign, no doubt), so I decided to sign up for a demo.
As soon as I finished filling out the form, I received a phone call from the company. “Hey, I’m Adam from XYZ Company. I just received your form requesting info and I wanted to make sure I have all of your info correctly before I send you out some specs and facts.”
This led to a ten-minute conversation about what’s working and not working with our current CRM. Adam wasn’t at all pushy, and I have to admit, I didn’t feel hurried to get off the phone with him like I usually am with sales people. I kind of wanted to hang around and chat. “Bye, Adam. I’ll look forward to hearing from you,” I said. And I meant it.
Why could Adam feel so laid back about selling to me, his new prospect? Because his company is using some fantastic inbound marketing techniques.
What’s the Difference Between “Regular” and Inbound Marketing?
A traditional sales method goes something like this: You make a pitch and the prospect bites — or doesn’t bite. If the prospect puts up barriers, the salesperson has a list of phrases designed to break those barriers down so that the company holds on to that prospect.
Inbound marketing is an entirely different beast. Instead of spending hours cold calling prospects that may or may not have any interest in your product or service, you create custom content designed to fit the needs of your specific buyer. You might draft up a blog post on how to find the perfect new house for your family, or share a social post on the average cost of flood insurance in your area.
By the time you even get to speak to your prospect, they’re already warm. And they’ve been able to research your company at their own pace, carefully reading over blog posts, downloading e-books, watching your videos, and seeing how you interact on social media.
Sounds like a dream prospect, right? But is inbound marketing a realistic way to bring in leads for your business? I mean, what if you’re not selling trendy whiskey glasses, but your service as a construction company?
Inbound Marketing Works for Your Business — I Promise!
(That includes you too; real estate, construction, and insurance pros)
Why can I say that inbound marketing works pretty much across the board? Because the bottom line is this: whether you’re marketing to an executive, a new mom, or a thirteen-year-old girl, they all have similar behavior when it comes to finding the right product or service. Here’s how:
- They all have pain points.
- They all want tailored information.
- They all search online before looking anywhere else.
A new mom is looking for a house. That’s a big pain point – not having somewhere to live. But she also has difficulty picking out the best colors for her baby’s room. So what does she do? She hits the internet and starts searching. Right away, she finds a Realtor who not only has homes for sale, but has helpful articles on how to decorate. She starts following the Realtor on Pinterest, and before you know it, our new mom has begun a relationship with the realtor — all before ever speaking to the agent.
The same is true for other companies that you might think of as ‘non-inbound marketing’ friendly, such as construction companies and insurance companies.
The handyman husband might have big aspirations to remodel his bathroom (perhaps spurred on by his new-mom wife) so he starts by looking up information on the best type of tile for a small bathroom. Lucky for him, there’s an article on your website that gives him pros and cons about tile arrangements in a small bathroom.
Now, when handyman husband decides to have the whole bathroom remodeled, which company will come to mind? It’ll be the one with whom he’s already built a relationship.
You insurance pros also have an edge in the inbound marketing space. With so much competition in your realm, it’s critical that you keep your prospects engaged. What are their pain points? Perhaps they want to know how much their premiums will rise if they get a speeding ticket, or what the changing economy means for their health insurance plans.
In the end, inbound marketing is about marketing to people: see their needs, then relieve their pain points. And that’s something that every industry should be aiming to do.