You've made the initial connection with a prospect. But in the early days of any relationship, there is a divide that exists. The vast space is the absence of trust. A well-functioning sales and marketing team will work in tandem to keep the prospect engaged, interested, and comfortable, establishing an atmosphere of security that will support the prospect as they consider taking the leap over the cavern into the waiting arms of sales. However, we all know the challenge. Trust must be built – it can't simply be requested. Your prospect doesn't know you yet, and to win the honor of a new client, you must actively change that dynamic.
Trust-building is work, and it encompasses two key activities:
Reduce the space between you and your prospect by exhibiting that you understand their industry and specific challenges.
Build a relationship and provide value and information that entices your prospective client to listen and learn more about who you are and how you are focused and equipped to help them solve a problem or improve a current situation.
These two activities will help make the jump into your arms be less of an 'Evil Knievel shooting over the Grand Canyon' extravaganza and more of a small pleasant leap. This is the work that must be done, and content marketing is a perfect way to support the process of reducing the space and making the leap seem like a no-brainer.
Incorporating quality content marketing to support your prospect's buyer's journey is like tossing a grappling hook to their side of the cavern and dragging it a little closer. Providing quality content will assist your sales efforts as it builds familiarity and helps the prospect know you better, and develop a clearer understanding of the many ways you will help and support them. These activities can be time-consuming and perhaps a little tricky because good content marketing is more than stringing words on paper; it takes market knowledge, consistency, relevancy, and accessibility.
Below are six content marketing tools that, when used strategically, will support relationship-building efforts and improve trust:
Case Studies – Demonstrate trust provided by similar client types.
Informative Blogs – Present your knowledge and unique perspective related to the subject matter.
Infographics – Illustrate your ability to explain the subject or challenges easily and quickly.
Videos – Create a visual connection that helps you become known and familiar.
Checklists – Deliver tools they can use to achieve helpful change without asking for something in return.
White Papers – Provide education, proof points, and data that validates your understanding of the industry and challenges.
Work with a content marketer familiar with your industry and develop a treasure chest of available content tools to quickly access and deliver useful knowledge and proof points as needed. A variety of helpful material will help make each interaction interesting and inch your prospect closer and closer, giving them the confidence that you will most certainly catch them when they are ready to jump.
Catherine Valyi, President of CV Strategic Marketing Solutions | Marketing Coach | Co-Founder of Women with Dynamic Purpose | Author