The attention span of the average buyer is getting shorter. There is so much content being thrown at them that it requires brands to figure out more creative ways to stand out if they want a successful sales and marketing program.
All parts of the machine should be optimized. For example, if your sales team is not up to par, a sales competency assessment married with excellent sales training and sales coaching will help create an excellent sales force. Likewise, marketing efforts at the top of the funnel should also be tweaked if performance is sub-par.
Which of these efforts should you focus on? The following are some actions which, if done with care, can help you gain more traction from web visitors.
Review and refresh you branding at least yearly
The rate at which brands go stale online is more rapid than ever. Previously, a website might have stayed fresh for two or three years. Nowadays, many businesses are opting for refreshers every six to twelve months. This does not mean they completely redesign their websites at that frequency, rather they review the articles, images, and videos on their websites and social media profiles to delete or revamp anything which seems outdated.
Some best practices:
- Review your analytics to identify the top-performing blog posts and beef them up with more content if possible. If your blog is full of 500-word articles, consider expanding a few of the best ones to 1,200 or even 2,000 words to increase time spent on those pages (an important Google metric) and provide even more value to readers of your popular content. This has SEO value as well, as search engines love fresh content.
- Replace dated stock photography with updated images. If you have been using free stock photos to date, consider using a paid photography site such as https://www.dreamstime.com/ to find images which aren’t overused by others, as many free stock photos tend to be.
- Many B2B businesses really don’t understand how to use Instagram and will post randomly. Go back and archive posts which 1) have low likes and comments 2) don’t fit into your overall theme.
- Consider choosing a cleaner theme if your website is cluttered or full of distractions, such as parallax scrolling, which is soooo 2017 : )
Increase emotional triggers
We cover emotional decision making extensively in our seminars, blog, and online training videos. Basically, if you do not target the buyer’s primitive, emotional brain, they will be incapable of making a decision.
There are six activators which stimulate this part of the brain and capture attention:
1. ME focus. Make your website about them and their needs, not your features or accomplishments.
2. Simple ideas. Reduce confusing offerings from your home and landing pages. Instead put them in sub-menus for those who want to drill down deeper.
3. Beginning and end. Make a big impact with imagery, sounds, fonts, messaging at top of a landing page or sales letter, and at the end.
4. Clear contrast. Make obvious distinctions between offerings, or buyers will remain indecisive and click away.
5. Images. If you can show it rather than say it, do so. But don’t go overboard. Keep lots of white space around images (another form of clear contrast).
6. Excitement. Sprinkle more emotional words in your text, such as “thrilling,” “satisfying,” “enriching,” “record-breaking,” etc.
One last thing regarding emotions: a sales competency assessment will identify candidates who can empathize with others. If they also possess a high drive to succeed, these can make excellent salespeople because they connect emotionally and therefore attract more attention from buyers.
Up your social media game
A sales competency assessment will identify gregarious, outgoing people who work well as outside sales hunters. These also make excellent choices for running your social media profiles. This makes sense if you consider social media in the same frame of reference as live networking events.
If you only post occasionally and without much thought, it is akin to setting up a table at a trade show, spreading out a few brochures, and taking off instead of talking to passersby. This sounds wild but I have seen this happen with my own eyes and wonder why they paid hundred of dollars for the booth.
Successful networkers communicate a lot. They show up and engage with whomever is in the room. And that is the best way to gain traction on social media.
- Comment on customer posts as well as those of others in your industry. You can even make friendly comments on competitor posts, as this will expose you to their followers. Don’t be long winded — the occasional thumbs up or smiley emoji can be sufficient to keep you on the radar.
- Don’t be fake, like paying syrupy compliments to people you barely know. No one likes glad-handers in face-to-face meetings, and this applies to social media as well.
- Currently, the best trick to gain followers quickly is to follow accounts yourself. When you follow this up with likes and comments on their posts, you can expect a certain amount of follow-backs (10 percent is a typical number). After a while, unfollow those who have never follow or engage with you, unless they are industry leaders or VIPs.
There is an art form to success in social media. You will do just fine if you treat it as a daily networking event where the most active salespeople and marketers win.
The tried and true
Finally, a quick roundup of classic items that have worked for decades in cutting through clutter and getting buyer attention:
- Limited Time Offers
- Celebrity endorsements (nowadays known as: Thought Leaders or Social Media Influencers)
- Flashy colors and graphics
- Images of babies, cute animals, and food
In conclusion, when you blend salespeople who are well-vetted (through use of a sales competency assessment) and well-trained (through courses, seminars, and coaching) with attention-grabbing marketing techniques as covered above, you have a shot at closing a great deal of business – even in a crowded marketplace.