More than a year ago, we wrote a client case study about the importance of putting quality ahead of quantity when it comes to lead generation. Our client, a provider of office technology solutions to companies around the world, was using practically all means of communication to generate leads and reach out to people their sales and business development teams felt were “true prospects.” They had a highly trained sales team and savvy marketers.
Unfortunately, they were spinning their wheels.
Similar to this particular client, many of the companies we work with are under the illusion that they can identify a broad market, obtain a list of hundreds (if not thousands) of names, and watch the leads roll in as they reach out. However, in today’s markets (especially with the rapid growth and use of email and social media by companies), people are being bombarded with information. They’re barely even taking the time to read the subject line of email messages, much less open them.
It’s more critical today than ever before to have highly defined micro-segments identified, as well as clear, concise and personalized messages to grab prospects’ attention.
I cringe when people tell me – often with a great degree of gusto and excitement – that they’ve obtained a list of 1,000 people to contact! Not only is this far too large a pool to even begin to work with in a refined and personal manner, but your message more than likely won’t get past the email delete barrier of a vast percentage of those you’re trying to connect with. Most of the contacts won’t see any reason to respond because the message will be far too generic to catch their attention.
It’s impossible to write relevant content for an audience of hundreds, especially if you’re trying to grab their attention and attract their interest enough to secure a first phone conversation.
And forget about getting anywhere with a massive list of contacts if you’re planning a cold call campaign (or even “dropping-in” on them at their office, which some sales people have resorted to). One single message just won’t fit all those contacts.
Your first approach with a prospect, whether a lead generation email or a prospecting cold call, must prove to them that you truly want to connect with them and only them. It can’t feel general and “sales-y”. It needs to feel as if you’ve done some research, know their challenges, understand their type of business, and really want to talk with them.
This level of knowledge can only come by identifying a micro-segment of contacts with similar roles, in similar types of companies, with similar issues, and then crafting a highly refined message that fits that niche of contacts. Now every prospect in your micro-segment will feel like you’re calling or emailing them personally.
As our client in the case study quickly found out, by implementing a micro-segment approach, they were able to actually reach and speak to more than 90% of the people on their list and their number of new client appointments increased significantly. In addition to closing more sales, they were also able to collect more sales intelligence from their list of the more highly qualified prospects, and use that information to nurture them over time — which eventually led to even more sales.
In this world of mass communication, finding ways to effectively micro-communicate is key!