Most companies know what customers they can depend on for their business. However, it is crucial for businesses to not become complacent and always look to grow. Agreeing with these actual quotes about prospective customers will result in your business being outdone by your competition:
- “We’re so busy, we couldn’t handle another customer.”
- “The companies we want to do business with know who we are.”
- “Our salespeople know who to call.”
- “We don’t have any competition.”
- “We don’t do any marketing.”
In order to grow your clientele, make sure you are seeking out the invisible customer, which is typically a person who has never used your company’s product/service. But how do you get in front of your invisible customer?
Extensive research conducted, especially in the business-to-business (B-to-B) space, presents a rich opportunity to meet invisible customers head on during their evaluation process. Prospective customers remain invisible as they consider alternative options until they are ready to purchase. Through direct, digital and social marketing of tailored messaging, demonstrating how what you offer aligns with what they need will give you a better chance at cutting through the noise.
Consider these facts:
- The availability of quality information through digital channels has made it far easier for buyers to gather information independently, meaning sellers have less access and fewer opportunities to influence customer decisions. In fact‚ Gartner research finds that when B-to-B buyers are considering a purchase‚ they spend only 17% of that time meeting with potential suppliers. When buyers are comparing multiple suppliers‚ the amount of time spent with any one sales rep may be only 5 or 6%.
- According to Forrester research, more than half of all B-to-B buyers view at least eight pieces of content during the purchasing process, and 82% of buyers viewed at least five pieces of content from the vendor prior to purchase.
What does your invisible customer look like?
Establishing profiles, or personas, is key to understanding and identifying your potential customer’s needs. Having discussions with current clients, supportive competitors or suppliers of complimentary products and services will help to provide insight to reach your prospective customer during their journey.
When building your prospective customer personas, consider what platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) or websites (industry organizations, trade publications, etc.) they turn to for information. Also, do they want to-the-point messaging or are they expecting more detailed information, such as whitepapers or peer reviewed articles?
Once your prospective customer finds you, now what do you need? Content!
Be sure to create and follow a plan to engage your prospective customer audience on your website or through digital marketing. Giving your prospective customer what they need by delivering some value that correlates to their challenges will increase their trust and help build rapport. Developing and using a variety of content is a good place to start for this.
Technology is there to help, but it will never replace the human element of doing business. To win the race, know your audience and write as if you were speaking directly to the invisible customer standing in front of you. Provide them with specific information they need to help them complete the journey to becoming your customer.