Marketwired Blog

Selling to crazy-busy people



At the inaugural DemandCon conference, recently held in San Francisco, willing volunteers were called upon to role-play in a day-in-the-life scenario of a potential buyer. I raised my hand meekly, but was not chosen, primarily due to my conditioned response not to volunteer for an assignment that would add to my existing heavy work load. My real motivation, or lack thereof, was based on the fact that I really didn’t want to spend the time. It was then that I realized my reaction must be similar to that of our own potential buyers.

I also noticed that more than 50% of my colleagues, in any given conference session, were either working on their laptop or iPad or checking their phones for messages. I knew that if I spoke to our sales representatives, they will tell me the same story: Their clients are extremely busy, have short attention spans, are faced with internal and external challenges and are reluctant to spend time on anything other than what’s on their immediate “to do” list.

As author Jill Konrath advises in both her two books (Snap Selling and Selling to Big Companies), marketers need to develop strategies to “sell to crazy-busy people,” which was also the title of her presentation at DemandCon.

When marketing meets with sales representatives and informs them of a new product, webinar or whitepaper, most will respond with questions that not only cut to the chase, but suggest a degree of impatience: “Why would anyone care?” “Why would a potential buyer change their current vendor?” “What is the business case?” “Who do I contact?” The potential buyer has even less of an attention span because they are under incredible pressure due to increased objectives, shorter time frames, fewer resources and constantly changing priorities.

So what does this mean for marketing? Marketing needs to figure out how to create messages and offers that are innovative, inspiring, buyer-focused and have real value. How do you do that? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Recognition
    Marketing needs to step up its game and acknowledge the pressure potential buyers are under. Help sales understand potential buyer’s priorities and create messaging that is aligned with their needs.
  • Research
    Marketing programs, campaigns, emails or any other promotional ideas must be relevant to the potential buyer and contain value. To make that happen, research the businesses and individuals you are contacting so that relevant and perceived value in the form of information or data about their competitors, industry and trigger events is well received. What makes them tick? Who are their clients? How can your product save them time?
  • Visuals
    Since most people respond to visual messages, create video as a communication tool. According to a Forrester study, adding a video to an online registration form increases the click-through-rate by 200% to 300% and one minute of video equals 1.8 million words.

So, how do you sell to crazy-busy people – your potential buyers? Thoughtful and well-crafted marketing messages can be the differentiating factor that makes them stop and notice you, your company and what you have to offer.

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