How B2B Demand Generation is Just Like Finding a Spouse

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Every business needs quality sales opportunities. Without them, no deals close and no revenue comes in. Quality sales opportunities are the life-blood of business.

But how do you find qualified sales opportunities? As the right thinkers at Marketing Experiments said, “It’s a lot like finding a new spouse.”

Think of yourself as newly divorced and you may unlock the key. (We’re writing this from the point of view of a man, but it works for women too.) The way you go about finding a new spouse is exactly the way your business finds new customers.

The first thing you need to do when your divorce is finalized is to meet eligible single or divorced women. This means you have to make decisions about where to find them — do you go to bars, restaurants, sporting events?

By the same token, Get Found is the first thing your business needs to do, too. Social media, events, search engine optimization, etc. — you go meet prospective customers where they “live.”

Okay, you’re in a restaurant and a lady about your age is sitting at the bar, nursing a drink. She’s pretty and she has no wedding ring on her finger.  Screwing up your courage, you walk up to her and use your best pick-up line. In your business, you need a pick-up line too – a way of engaging visitors. That’s your “Call to Action.”

Let’s assume she responded positively to your pick-up line.  You need to earn her trust. That means dates and time spent in conversations. Over time, trust and mutual respect is built.

Your business needs to build mutual respect and trust too. That means sharing information of great value to prospective buyers. And just like a recently divorced man, you need to “read the tea leaves” and know when she is ready to move forward. In business, that is called Lead Scoring — watching behaviors to determine readiness.

There are more and more dates and slowly but surely the relationship starts to blossom. By the same token, your business is looking for “micro-decisions” — opening emails, clicking on landing pages, watching your video — which mean it is moving forward.

Finally, you determine that trust is established and she is ready, so you ask her to marry you.  Assuming the steps were done properly, she says “Yes” and the deal is consummated.

Notice that you cannot short-cut the process. You cannot walk up to her in the bar and ask, “Will you marry me?” But too many businesses try this by moving too fast — when they deliver “product pitches.” Don’t do it.

Get Found, Engage, and Earn Trust: That is what B2B demand generation needs to do in your business. Find prospective customers (Ideal Customer Profile), engage them (Call to Action) and earn their trust over time (Lead Nurturing and Scoring). Think of the process of finding and engaging new customers for the business like looking for a new spouse and you’ll have a good handle on the process.

Lead nurturing webinar: Attend Jeff Ogden’s upcoming webinar on December 4, 2012, 2:00 p.m. ET — Nurture Leads and Sell More: How to Earn Buyers’ Trust and Grow Your Revenue.

Jeff Ogden, president of Find New Customers and the creator and host of Marketing Made Simple TV , is an award-winning B2B marketing expert. He was named a top 25 Sales Influencer for 2012 by OpenView Labs. He was also named one of the Top 50 Most Influential in Sales Lead Management by the Sales Lead Management Association. And his blog was named the top B2B blog of 2012 by BuyerZone.

 

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