As B2B marketers or business owners trying to promote a service, we tend to try to create brand identity when what we’re trying to sell may seem like there's no brand. New Destiny is selling “growth;” you are selling “cleaning.” Let’s face it, it’s not like we’re selling the must-have latest iPad or some other hot product.Additionally, we must come up with a steady flow of marketing-ready leads to drive our sales process. These factors combined make it more difficult to develop methods that produce our desired goals.
However, while your potential customers may not get excited about things like cleaning, they understand what it’s like when their facility is not clean. Because there is a certain finesse in attracting such B2B service-related customers, I want to share 5 of the top marketing tactics for commercial cleaning companies that will work for you.
B2C companies have been using some of these for years. All 5 tactics are easy to implement.
Many of the potential leads coming to your website aren’t ready to buy. They’re just aware they have a problem. You’ve encountered that kind of prospect, right? They may be aware their current company is not doing a top notch job, or they’ve been trying to clean using their own employees.
If your website is set up so that you try to close such a prospect at this stage, you may not lose them, but you won’t get them into your funnel either.
Tempting isn’t it: “Here are the 50 reasons to buy from us.” Customer: “I’m not ready to buy. Bye!”
We use the 3 to 1 rule for our social media posts, especially with Twitter, where people are looking for quick bytes of information. For every 3 posts about some helpful link or topic, we’ll post something about ourselves.
With our blogging, we’re almost exclusively about solving. Very rarely will we write a blog article about how great New Destiny Media is (although we think we’re great!).
Draw upon your knowledge and write educational pieces that will intersect your potential customers at their pain points. That way, you build trust and perceived capability.
2) Identify Your Audience
As you publish all that great educational content on your website, make sure you keep your target audience in mind. Who is your audience? You may have to search to find out.
Go online and start entering search terms just like one your potential customers would. See what pops up. You’re looking for forums and user groups. Check out some of the questions they’re asking. To your horror, you’ll find out not every "expert" knows what they’re talking about. Fodder for your blog! This really is the key to publishing online: Find that narrow little niche everyone else has missed and share some helpful information about it.
Next, head over to social media. For B2B, LinkedIn will have loads of user groups. Go to your LinkedIn page, type something in the search field, then use the dropdown to the left of the search field and select, “groups.” I entered “commercial cleaning” and found 228 groups. Join at least one of them.
To refine your audience even further, you can ask yourself some key questions too:
- What are their pain points? What problems are they struggling with that you can help solve?
- What experience are they looking for when seeking out products or services like yours?
- What does a day in their life look like?
- What is their job level or level of seniority?
Answer these questions, and you’ve have done a little bit of persona research. You’re now on your way to writing targeted content.
3) Simplify your Buying Process
Successful B2C companies have this down really well. Go online to your favorite retailer, find a product, click “add to cart,” checkout, done. Many online B2Cs even save your credit card information making it ever so simple to buy.
If you’re quoting to large corporate entities, they’ll love a clean and smooth look to your sales process. Just because you’ve always done it one way doesn’t mean you can’t change.
What’s your current buying process look like? Do you have scary looking proposals or equally scary contracts? Consider this: What if you put your contract or TOS online and just have a checkbox on the form like iTunes does? I’ll bet your attorney would think you’re a genius.
4) Give Something Away
Have you ever bought a bottle of wine after tasting some of it? Personally, I love “supermarket grazing.” I think the local Sam’s Club has this hands-down. Sure, some people get annoyed, but if Sam’s wasn’t successful at the practice, do you think they’d be giving product away and paying people to give it away?
Here’s a cleaning supplies vendor who's giving away some product – Procyon. If they can, you can. By giving something away you:
- Look like a hero.
- Build trust.
- Educate your customer about new products.
- Sell your service along with using the product. Make your vendor happy too.
Did you check out the link to Procyon's offer? Look at the information you'd need to give away to get their give-a-way. Ding, ding, ding. Once your prospect fills out your submit form and gives you all that information, you have a marketing qualified lead (MQL). What’s a good lead worth to you these days??
You’re probably giving away free inspections now, right? Giving away product takes your commercial cleaning marketing program one step further.
Lastly, make it easy for your lead to get your product. Have a drop down giving them a choice of receiving it by mail or one of your sales agents dropping it off. And if it’s a drop off, don’t try a hard sell. Instead, try to come up with a nurturing line such as, “Thanks for trying out our product. We have other samples from time to time. I’d like to stop in again with something else.” See if your nurturing chat produces a qualifying conversation and then you’ll know if they really are good lead or not.
5) Relate at a Human Level
Today, business people are looking for solutions more than the services you’re providing. So you need to be able to interact with your prospects at the level of their goals and needs throughout the entire sales process – the first seven seconds of your first touch being the most critical (source: Forbes).
There are two things we need to get into of our heads: 1) We’re not selling mundane services and 2) Our customer’s needs come first.
Your front-line people need to be happy, cheerful, and ready to help – Think McDonald’s. Want to know the secret sauce to McDonald’s recent success? Empathy. How to you acquire empathy? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Would you hire you to clean your place? If your answer is, “yes,” then you win. If, “no,” then you need to seek some new direction.
Humans are not machines; they have this sixth sense that tells them whether or not you care. Your employees have that too. I’m not saying you need to take every Friday afternoon off and have a social event, but that the human factor is something that no successful business person can afford to avoid.
What do YOU think? Please share any comments or questions in the form below!
Key take-a-ways from this blog post:
- Knowing who your visitors are, and targeting them at different stages of their buyer's journey creates successful marketing campaigns.
- In today’s world, simple is better.
- Focus on solving for your customer first, selling second.
- A give-a-way can create wins for you where other tactics will fail.
Get a free analysis of your website against that of your main competitors’ websites!