Do you hate cold calling? How content marketing can get you sales more effectively

Posted by Matthew Parker

Call.

Next call.

Next call.

We all know the life of many sales people.  It’s one cold call after another.  It’s a constant slog to get new prospects interested and then to keep in contact with them.

But there is another way.

Printers should use content marketing

Cold calling can be hard work.  Here's another way to contact customers

Cold calling can be hard work. Here’s another way to contact customers

What is content marketing?  It is a way of keeping in contact with customers by giving them useful information.  Information that will interest them.  This can be done by newsletters, mailers blogs or e-mail to opted in prospects.

Print companies that use content as a way of keeping in touch create constant relationships with their prospects.  The prospects buy in to the information that is sent to them and this engages them with the printer.  Because they are engaged they are more likely to buy when the time is right.  So printers who use content to keep in touch have more control over their sales pipelines.  They are more likely to achieve the sales that they need.

Many printers don’t use content as a way of keeping in touch.  They have to work a lot harder to achieve their sales targets.  They have less control over their sales pipelines. This is because they don’t use this easy way to engage with prospects.  They have ignored an easy way to create a relationship with their prospects.

Here are three reasons why content works so powerfully to engage prospects and turn them into customers.  The first is all to do with timing.

Content keeps you in the prospect’s mind

You don’t know when the customer is going to buy.  Occasionally people are ready to make a decision straight away.  However, most of the time a wait is required until they are thinking about a print project.  It is almost impossible to time cold calls to coincide with a customer starting on print projects.  Even follow up calls are not an efficient way of doing this.

Using content means that the prospect is constantly reminded of your presence.  So when they are ready to buy, you are in their mind.  Content achieves another important purpose connected with this.

Content makes the competition’s job harder

How many times have you spoken to a customer, just to find out that they have placed work with a competitor?  Many customers will place work with the company that is uppermost in their mind at the time.  Providing regular content means that you are constantly in the prospect’s mind.  Unless, the competition has contacted the prospect recently they are much more likely to be out of the picture.

Content also puts you ahead of the competition in another way

Content demonstrates your expertise

Content is a great way for you to show a prospect that you understand their market.  And that you understand the business challenges that they face.  It’s a great way for you to show how you are the right company to solve these challenges for the prospect.

That brings us to an important point about content.

Content should not just be about print

The quickest way to ensure a customer does not engage with your content is to tell them lots of technical information.  Most prospects are not interested in your presses or your processes.

You need to make sure that your content focusses on their businesses and how using print will help them.

However, no matter how relevant the content, some sales people are not convinced that it is worth using it.

Doesn’t content marketing take up too much time?

Compare the number of customer touches that you can make with content marketing compared to calling.  You’ll quickly come to the conclusion that content marketing is an efficient way to make customer touches.

Content marketing doesn’t replace the phone.  But it does enable you to achieve much more than if you just use the phone.

Here’s how it worked for one print company

This company sent out a number of targetted mailings to a very specific market sector.  Each of the mailings had content that was useful to their prospects.  As the mailings continued, the company found that prospects were contacting them.  It was the prospects who initiated the discussions.  The company was able to turn a number of these enquiries into good business.

I hope this has inspired you to think more about using content marketing.

Here are some action points to get you going

  1. Work out who you want to connect with
  2. Build a list
  3. Plan your content

Content marketing is not generally an overnight change.  But you should find that it starts creating new opportunities for you.  However, you may still be worried.

How do you create content?

That’s what I’ll cover in my next article.
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P.S.  What are the right messages to send out in content marketing?  Find out how other print companies are managing this successfully by signing up to the Profitable Print Relationships newsletter right now.  And you’ll get a free copy of  “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them”.

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5 Responses to Do you hate cold calling? How content marketing can get you sales more effectively

  • Steve Counts says:

    It amazes me the number of ‘printers’ that do not have a printed newsletter. Dan Kennedy, whose information has been credited with making more millionaires than anyone except Napoleon Hill, says that if he could only have one marketing strategy it would be to have a printed newsletter.

    What he has to say and teach about this one subject is incredible. Of all the people who should have a printed newsletter because we print the dang things are printers. It floors me that most printers do not have a newsletter. If you want to build a fence around your herd nothing does it like a printed newsletter.

    Of course there is a knack to it and like you say Matthew, people do not want to know about printing, that’s why they come to us. They really want to be entertained and have a relationship with someone they can rely on. Part of that is just keeping in touch with helpful content and also entertaining content, even about you. It’s crazy but it works.
    The part of my newsletter people like the most is my “News from the Farm” article. Tell me what that has to do with ‘printing’. Nothing, but guess who my customers think about when the subject of printing comes up?

    Matthew if anyone is reading your stuff; it’s good and like anything else requires some effort. About like anything of value in this world, it requires some effort.

    Steve Counts

    • Matthew Parker says:

      Steve, thank you for your kind comments. You make an excellent point about the newsletters. I receive two from suppliers at the moment – it’s hardly any considering ho many printers I know!

      Matthew

  • Lucia Leahy says:

    Very Interesting and makes a lot of sense…

  • Pingback: How to create killer content: three ways to make sure your customers stay engaged with you (without cold calling) | Profitable Print Relationships

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