Lead Generation – How to Build Trust with Prospects
Trust as a major contributor to a successful lead generation campaign. It takes time to build trust, but you can accelerate it by working consistently on LinkedIn using Groups or communities on Facebook if that’s where your prospects hang out.
building trust with prospects
If you are the founder and manager of a group, you instantly hold an element of respect with your group members. Nowadays, there are many opportunities to be a member of a group. People are only going to join a group or stay in a group if they feel that group delivers some sort of value. If you are providing value as the owner or leader of the group, you come across as a trusted leader – someone to whom they can turn if they have a question and importantly, someone they would trust and do business with. So, running a group is a good way to build influence.
How you run the group is another matter. This is ruled by the rules of the platform you’re using to operate over. And guess what, the rules change.
As far as LinkedIn is concerned, notifications about Group activity got banned a couple of years ago. However, they are reintroducing them. Good news because this will help you to respond to the activity in a timely manner.
It used to be the case that you couldn’t see conversations going on in your group in your newsfeed. It’s back now. Again and similar to notifications about group activity, this is useful as now all your activity feeds are in one place – your newsfeed.
We believe these changes signal an emphasis being placed back on Groups as part of LinkedIn’s current activity. Groups are a great way to build trust and let the user feel that they are connected with you in a close and personal way. If you then use a group to focus on your prospects’ challenges and problems (rather than talking about yourself), you’ll be well on your way to building trust.
Other Sources of Interest
If you run a group, what do you think people are going to do to check you out. If it’s me, there are two things I’ll do from the offset.
- I’ll check out the owner’s profile. How you present yourself to the (paying) world is key and this is a whole subject that I’ll write about in a separate article.
- I’ll check out the owner’s website. Again, we feel this is key. Having a good looking website isn’t difficult nowadays. A website for B2B Professional Service Providers needs to be clear about:
- Problems experienced by your typical customer
- Tools you use to solve those problems
- Outcomes – preferably in the form of testimonials and case studies
In addition, there has to be a mechanism for your prospect to get in touch with you (a form of some description) and a nice to have would be the ability for them to subscribe to some sort of free value add service – a mailing list for example – but for goodness sake, don’t do a newsletter. (When did you last read someone else’s?)
From my days as a tour operator (just as the internet was taking hold), there were other considerations that still hold true today.
Advertising is a big magnate and if done properly can quickly result in leads. Nowadays, its not about local or national papers, nor is it about the parish magazine for B2B stuff.
37% of all advertising is done on Google, around 20% on Facebook. I’ve predicted Amazon should be hitting us hard with advertising during 2019 and becoming the third big player.
For B2B, I wouldn’t ignore LinkedIn either. At present, it’s hard to measure success on this platform, but looking over the fence at how well you can target and measure with the two big players, I’m sure LinkedIn and their owners will be focusing on this.
Making your funnels simple and efficient is a must. You have to stand out in the crowd as being easy to deal with. I don’t know about you, but if I have to listen to an hour long video from someone providing “value” before I can buy something, it’s a real turn off.
It’s far from dead. LinkedIn Groups is a form of content marketing. The what though is another question. I’m often asked what I should be putting in to my content. The answer actually comes from your customers. If you have a following (either in your Group, or simply your connections on LinkedIn), there is no harm at all in asking them what they are concerned about. It’s also worth checking out what, in your area of expertise, is selling really well over Amazon. Then, find some content to add to your group in that genre – even recommend the book on Amazon if you’ve read it.
Don’t ignore video content. For LinkedIn video, remember your audience is strapped for time. So keep them short and to the point. An the point needs to be on point, relevant and current.
The Long Game
Lead generation is both a short and a long term game when done properly.
If you contact 100 people, probably only 3 or 4 of them will be ready to buy from you now. There’s another 6 or 7 who would consider you when they have a need. If you leave it there, you’re leaving 90% of opportunity on the table which isn’t a great use of your marketing spend.
I don’t apologise at all when I inform you that you need to invest more of your time (and if you don’t have it) your money in ensuring you remain top of mind with that 90%.
In fact, that’s not wholly true. Because 30 will know (although they won’t necessarily tell you) that they’ll never use your services. The remaining 60 though can be split in to two camps. Half don’t know that they need your services (so you need to educate them by providing them with high quality, valuable communication) and the other half are not thinking about it. So again, if you want them to cross over to your top 10 (next year), you have to give them reasons why this year.
So I repeat what I said at the start of this article. It takes time to build trust. You need to find an effective way to do it and LinkedIn Groups for B2B Professional Services providers is probably a good choice, when combined with a good profile that plays to your prospects’ needs and a good website that informs your prospects in more detail how they can benefit from you. It’s not the only source of business though. But when combined with valuable, educational content and effective methods of communication (video and email marketing perhaps), your investment will pay off this year and in years to come if you keep the fire stoked.