Lead Generation Strategy You Ought To Look Into and Here’s Why
Selling professional services is a personal business.
How can you create an impactful experience for your target audience and communicate the value of your service tangibly? This has been a challenge for professional service businesses – to sell something a customer can’t see, smell, touch or taste. Therefore, it involves a personal and psychological approach to selling. What makes it so is because there is one thing unique about the professional service businesses – the seller and the deliverer is the same person.
Buyers who engaged with these professionals by the person who is serving as well as their services. Which means professionals would have to sell themselves first! The client buys not only the content expertise of the professional involved but also their personal judgment, interpersonal skills and character as well. Besides just the expertise and personal characteristics, professional services cannot run away from dealing with other variables that present themselves during the selling process. These variables include the high risk-return ratios and the high levels of uncertainty about results for the price the clients are paying for the value of the services.
From the client’s perspectives, it can be a huge commitment to invest and their status could be at stake – the risk of failures. If things don’t work out well, it could be made public to a certain extent, especially to people who know them! As such, it can be a stressful situation for the client. On one hand, they may be looking for solutions to their challenges, on the other, there is a high price they have to pay for the uncertainties involved.
Because of that, it is a natural mechanism for the clients to seek control, deny uncertainty or just to avoid appearing ignorant by turning to tangible, expertise-based content and not talking about their deeper fears and concerns.
Hence, selling professional services is a very personal business because it involves not just the subject matter expertise and the professional’s character, but also those real psychological aspects as far as the clients are in concern.
What do all these mean?
Selling professional services, in those sense as mentioned above, is a business build on a high element of trust, especially so for professional services. Buying a professional service isn’t simply a rational process in problem-solving – it is a response to the perceived risks involved. This is due to the fact that it encompasses uncertainty where the stakes are high and the range of outcomes can be wide and unclear.
Apart from just the financial and business risk, there is also a degree of emotional and political risk as well.
Trust cannot be established from a one-dimensional approach by simply proclaiming your expertise on an informational level(which is a common pitfall we have seen in many professional services). It consists of various components. Especially for professional services, trust comes from the ability to convey to the client that they know what they are talking about (credibility).
It also requires the ability to implement what has been proposed (reliability).
Moreover, the capacity to manage the professional relationship; that got to do with safety, security and being client-focused, plays an important role as well.
Thus, selling professional services requires an open, engaging, relational as well as a dynamic process.
What would lead generation strategy best suit professional service businesses?
In marketing terms, the first touchpoint to generate leads for most business would be what is known as a “lead magnet.”
A lead magnet is something which you offer (usually for free) as an exchange for their contact information such as their name, email and/or phone number. The key to success is to offer something of such high actual and perceived value that it will be a no-brainer. Only then, the prospects are motivated to give you their contact information.
A great lead magnet consists of these factors:
- Be highly specific
- Rapid consumption
- Shifts the relationship
- The ONE big thing that gives immediate gratification
It has to be specific to a problem that your target audience is facing and how you can help them. Vague lead magnets will just prolong hesitation on the prospects’ end.
Therefore, newsletters are the poor form of lead magnets as the scope of the content is wide and not really targeted.
You don’t want to set up unnecessary barriers for people who just know you, especially so for your potential clients. Therefore, it should be something that your prospects can consume or experienced in 5 mins or less.
Therefore, ebooks and books don’t really work well as it takes the prospects more time to consume.
A great lead magnet goes beyond just informing and educating your prospects. It has “pre-frames” built in to help shift & “prime” the mindset of your prospects to a certain extent.
This would then helps to lead your prospects to engage in business with you later on.
First, begin by asking yourself: “What does your market really want?”
Then, work around offering a lead magnet that delivers that one big thing that fulfills your market’s desire and hunger, instead of a lot of little ones.
The kind of lead magnets that will work well depends on the type of business.
For an e-commerce business, vouchers, free gifts or coupons would fit well.
For a software business (Saas), free trial and demo would fit best.
For professional services, typically, these are the various means of lead magnets being used:
- mini-courses via email
- white papers and reports
- video mini-courses
- Podcast and audio recording
- Free webinar
- quiz, personality test, and audit assessments
A lot of professional services we noticed focus mainly on giving a sample of their expertise on an informational level such as white paper, reports, even videos or podcasts.
The problem is, they are usually a one-dimensional approach.
Meaning, you, as the expert, don’t really know how your prospects are responding to these lead magnets or whether they really consume it in the first place unless you have a system to track their online behaviors, gather feedback and nurture them as a follow-up.
Even with the tracking and follow up system in place, it still lacks the human touch of deepening trust on a personal, emotional and relational level, unless these lead magnets do carry a certain degree of your charismatic personality.
Having that said, these lead magnets still serve a purpose of conveying your expertise.
But in order for your leads to travel down a buyer’s journey with you, it has to be more than that.
Coming back to the points as mentioned above, what would really make a difference, is to create an opportunity where you can qualify and engage the respective prospects on a personal and intimate level.
That is why we find that quizzes, tests and basic audit assessments work well because they are highly specific and quick to consume (unless you are giving them 100 over questions to fill in, which we don’t encourage even though it conveys a lot about your expertise, because it is just too much barrier upfront for the prospects to bear).
It is also attractive because psychologically, people are often drawn towards knowing more about themselves.
Most importantly, they:
- give the prospects a good reason for you to come into a personal engagement with them and for you to deliver the promise/solution being offered to a specific problem.
- allow you to legitimately gather the vital information you need to qualify your prospect.
- give you a “frame” which you can expand on, to help shift the relationship from a prospect into your client, later on, depending on how you set up the structure and design of the psychological frame.
- give you the opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with them to deepen the trust that is needed in selling your professional services.
An example of a great assessment type of lead magnet is Sally Hogshead’s “Fascination” personality assessment.
It is something that John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing System and ourselves would like to recommend.
This is great for individuals as well as business teams who want to identify their unique brand advantage to communicate their highest value and proposition that elevates them as the obvious choice!
The reason why it is so successful is that of the amount of credibility and reliability it has established through their system and the psychological framing built around the theme of fascination, which they seem to own it!
Moreover, it has a compelling hook and an open loop that inspire prospects in wanting to close the psychological loop – by defining their unique voice and getting results with people.
More importantly, it offers multiple “call to action” at the end of the report, that leads to her higher premium programs and services.
How does it work?
In a nutshell, it starts with an opt-in box that leads to a form or a page to start the assessment, test or quiz.
In order for the report to be generated and send over to the prospects’ email, there will be a prompt to ask for their contact information such as email address and their first name. You can even ask for their phone number with the reason to offer a complimentary consultation as a follow up to the report.
Tools available to set all these up
There are several tools we found to be useful and powerful that help to automate the process from setting up the landing page to generating a customized report as well as to integrate with your email autoresponder.
- Leadpages – an easy way to build a conversion optimized and mobile responsive landing pages.
- Clickfunnel – similar to lead pages in terms of building conversion optimized landing pages, just that it offers more options to customize the landing pages.
- Dilogr – a software to build interactive content, which includes a quiz, assessment, personality tests, images, video, and slides. It allows integration with the following platforms as well.
- Interact – it is a platform for creating quizzes to engage customers and generate leads. [/list]
Besides boosting the opt-in rates, assessments, tests or quizzes offer an attractive transition from online to offline engagements, where both parties can assess each other’s fit by getting down to a whole human interaction.