Dear Espresso B2B,
I get the whole inbound marketing thing and we’re pretty good at generating interest in our products. Problem is, it’s hard to get face-to-face meetings once we’ve generated initial interest. My boss “Greg” is really on my case to get meetings with these guys, but they keep pushing back. Is it okay to keep sending them white papers and stuff, or should I follow “Greg’s” advice and “ kick down the damn door” to get to these guys?
Meetingless in Memphis
Greg sounds like VP of Sales that I worked for. You could almost see the steam coming from his ears as he huffed and puffed around the office – but that’s another story. If your leads are reluctant to meet, it could be that they are still in research mode. Today, 80% of buyers say that they prefer to research products and services before agreeing to meet with a buyer. For example, well over half of the CIOs in a recent survey spent time in online discussion groups keeping themselves informed and educated before agreeing to a face to face meeting. When they are ready they’ll meet; but not before.
Your buyers may feel that it’s too early to get together. You’re not alone; this is a common reality today. But, to continue to push for that meeting may be doing more harm than good.
Consider reaching out to them through email, or social media. Support them in the quest to learn about products and services on the market. Make the interaction informative and meaningful – not an ‘in your face sales pitch’. Point them to relevant pages on your website, or share an industry white paper. Remember though, your prospects are in the early stage of the sales cycle – they are most likely researching solutions to solve a specific issue. So hold off on the testimonials and company specific materials – that’ll come in handy later in the process.
As for “Greg”. He may continue push you hard to get those meetings. But you may be able to soften his views on “knocking down doors” by demonstrating progress in your sales cycle engagements. Perhaps you could suggest that you are meeting your prospects – but on their terms, not yours. Remind “Greg” that at the end of the day, it’s closed business that counts, not just time in front of a prospect.
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