Are your prospects qualifying themselves out?

Do you know how many prospects you’re losing because they think you can’t help them, because they believe you’re too expensive or because they believe your solution isn’t very good.

How many prospects are qualifying themselves out without ever contacting you or giving you a chance to talk to them?

You’ll never know – but it’s certainly happening. Especially if you’re relying on content marketing and marketing automation as your primary means of lead generation. Why?

Because people have short attention spans, especially today. They make mistakes. They jump to conclusions. People are busy, overwhelmed, they make irrational decisions and use generalities and preconceptions.

No matter how clearly your content and marketing materials are, some people will fail to understand them. No matter how simply you state the benefits of your solution – ideally from the customer’s perspective – they won’t cotton on.

And let’s face it, a lot of marketing materials are anything but easy to understand, even when you know what they’re about.

Of course if people would only take the time to read your case studies, to analyse your white papers, to absorb your e-magazines, to really understand your marketing emails and your LinkedIn articles, if they would just take the time to understand them then all would be fine.

But they won’t.

They’ll read the headline, or the first paragraph. They’ll skim. They’ll be distracted. They’ll skip to the end – especially if the content is full of difficult concepts or obscure terminology. And no matter how clearly you think you’re writing, much of the time your message will be lost or distorted.

Of course you can explain things much better in a video. But how many people actually sit through any video longer than 2 minutes and give it their full attention? I know I don’t – do you?

How many people attend a webinar without multitasking – reading their emails, checking Facebook or LinkedIn or catching up with a report – while it’s on?

People have limited time and limited attention and it’s a battle to secure 100% of their attention for even a few minutes, especially when you aren’t there.

What does this mean and what can we do about it?

The best way to make sure someone understands something is to interact with them. The best way to communicate effectively is two-way, so you can clarify misunderstandings can correct misinformation.

Digital marketing is a critical component of a marketing strategy. But it has significant limitations.

The more you rely purely on digital marketing to communicate your message the more likely it is that the prospect will get things wrong – and qualify themselves out. Even if they are an ideal fit for your solution.

And when they do, you’ll never even know it happened.

What can we do about it? Use digital marketing and social selling by all means – it’s an essential part of marketing today. But don’t rely on it by itself. You need to talk to prospects as soon as possible.

Sure, you’ll end up talking to people who aren’t genuine prospects, at least not yet. But which is worse, speaking to some people who you can’t sell to or seeing a genuine prospect worth a lot of money walk away without talking to you?

Or to be more exact, not seeing them.

Digital marketing is critical, but it’s useless without person to person marketing, – and that means the phone.

John Bedwany is CEO of the Database Dept., a company that provides demand generation, pipeline management and sales and marketing analytic services to many of the world's leading technology and other companies. These include iconic and innovative organisations like Amazon Web Services, Adobe, Cisco, CommVault, Fujitsu, Google, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Microsoft, SAP and VMWare. John's passion is to help his company's clients win new customers, increase profits, protect their brand and sell more to existing customers through effective marketing, relationship management and pipeline creation. His experience helping senior executives in global companies combined with thirty years working in more than thirty countries in Asia, North America, Europe, the Middle East and South Africa has helped the Database Dept. develop their unique sales driven marketing methodologies and systems. John's experience in all aspects of business strategy along with his wide international exposure has seen him advising and educating many C level executives in some of the largest and most influential companies in Asia Pacific and beyond.

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