While it’s true that the internet changed the way businesses connect with customers, we seem to have settled into a few routines. As it turns out, not all the high-speed technical innovations have been for the best. We are more distant and impersonal than ever before.
Your customers are still people, and not surprisingly, they want you to treat them in a personable manner. That’s where conversational marketing comes in. It’s a technique that builds a relationship through dialogue. It enhances your existing marketing strategy while simultaneously qualifying sales leads.
Consider the standard purchasing journey your buyers go through once they discover your website:
- Read Your Sales Copy — They sift through the text on your website for relevant information.
- Locate Your Sales Forms — They click enough links to find your contact information.
- Fill Out Those Contact Forms — They type in their personal data and trust you won’t abuse it.
- Wait for You To Respond — They screen their calls and only respond to compelling voice messages.
Site visitors often give up and leave. This behavior is particularly common for complex products and services. It is too slow for customized items, specially engineered solutions or technical services. These blockages in your sales cycle ultimately cost you.
When executed correctly, conversational marketing moves your buyers through your sales funnels faster. Instead of leaving the customers alone to figure it all out for themselves, meaningful interactions begin right away, and the conversation qualifies buyers ready to move forward.
HelloSells is a lead capturing and marketing service that helps you make the most of your marketing budget. We’ve seen first-hand how conversational marketing enhances results.
The Basic 3-Step Philosophy of Conversational Marketing
Conversational marketing is about building a relationship with the customer. It is a people-first, customer-centric philosophy.
Step 1: Be a Good Listener
It’s the golden rule of selling. A good listener is also a great conversationalist. Customers do an excellent job of telling you what they want and need, but you must be ready to consider their input.
When customers visit your website looking for information, a chat dialogue invites them to tell you what they need. Responses vary, but it’s essential to capture and understand their reactions like any good listener would do in a face-to-face conversation.
Step 2: Identify the Needs
Once you establish contact with a prospect, ask a few qualifying questions to move the interaction along. This first conversation allows you to identify the best path to solving the customer’s problem. Flexible yet informative answers tailor the experience to each customer.
Step 3: Meet Those Needs
The initial conversation qualifies the buyer, and then your subject matter experts take over. Your sales staff may focus time on the leads that make the most impact on your business by assisting customers who require their expertise the most.
Four Immediate Benefits and One Bonus Advantage
Speed is essential to your success, but your processes can get bogged down. Conversational marketing is an accelerator that removes waste from your sales cycle. That waste often manifests in the form of missed opportunities, mis sold solutions, and unhappy customers.
Conversational marketing provides a number of key benefits:
- Quicker Response Times — Engage your customers right away and let them know they are essential to you.
- Shorter Buying Cycles — Expedite your best leads through your sales process.
- Personalized Services — Deliver the personalized experience that customers demand.
- Increased Loyalty — The relationships you create foster brand loyalty and referrals.
The bonus advantage: Conversational marketing is an approach, not a technology. Therefore it can be integrated with your current website and sales forms. It’s an easy enhancement to your existing processes.
Techniques for Conversational Marketing
Implementing a conversational marketing strategy isn’t difficult, and there are some standard tools and techniques.
These tools automate the initial interaction with the user. A window greets your site’s visitors and prompts a response. An AI interprets the response and filters the prospect through a series of questions before connecting with a live representative.
Chatbots run 24/7 and reduce your reliance on human staff, but there are disadvantages. Many buyers dislike conversing with an impersonal bot. Depending on the quality of the AI, some might have a terrible experience and quit.
The alternative to chatbots is to employ a live operator to interact with your website’s visitors. Genuine conversations make the best impression, but staffing costs add up.
Many businesses outsource the initial conversations to a marketing company. These businesses follow the scripts you provide and direct qualified leads to your team. They provide the live interactions your customers want, but you only pay for the actual services you use.
These scripts are common responses to typical inquiries. Scripts guide the sales process and help channel prospects toward the best solutions. For unique challenges, a manager handles the customer’s concern.
Scripts should be thoughtful and designed to direct your customers through the sales channel. Know your market and products well enough to anticipate the most likely questions, concerns and objections you may encounter.
A conversational marketing campaign continues even after the first conversation. With email, you can keep in touch with your prospects and build the relationship over time. Customize your customer’s experience by sending specific offers and updates.
This technique requires some care and attention to detail. Most consumers dislike and ignore spam emails. That’s why serious marketers avoid sending out junk emails and focus instead on thoughtful messages.
What To Do After the First Conversation
Once you’ve started, the conversation never really stops. You continue the dialogue with your customers long after you’ve closed the sale to encourage repeat business. Build relationships using email campaigns and social media tools.
Conversational marketing is scalable, meaning that it grows along with your business. You may eventually add additional sales staff to respond to a growing volume of leads as more and more buyers respond favorably to your efforts.
Getting the Conversations Started
At HelloSells, we have live customer service representatives working around the clock who connect with your customers. We can help design your scripts and respond to initial customer contact to get the conversation started so you benefit from this powerful marketing technique.
Contact us today to see how easy it is to start.