by Jeanne C. Zepp, Director, Mid-Atlantic Region
Of all the questions that my clients pose, by far the most frequent is: “How can I generate more customer leads?” There is no simple answer to this question, especially now with such a challenging economy. Simply put, prospering in a down economy is no easy task.
Yet, there are certain critical steps that your PR team can help you take, in concert with your in-house marketing and sales staff, to optimize the conditions for your business success.
Branding and Positioning
Here, your PR team’s interviewing skills and industry knowledge and experience will be invaluable in helping you understand who you are as a company, what value you bring to the marketplace and what differentiates your firm from your competitors. Then, applying their distinct brand of skilled writing, the PR team will develop messaging that captures your unique value proposition and communicates that message consistently across all media, including your website, marketing collateral, email, social media and more.
Internalizing Your Messaging
While effectively communicating your message to extrinsic audiences is important, it is equally imperative that company sales and marketing personnel internalize this messaging and incorporate it within their sales presentations. Involving sales and marketing in message development is only half of the process. The other component is training and coaching personnel. Once again, your PR team can make an invaluable contribution by assisting in training material and sales pitch development, as well as providing constructive feedback in mock sessions. Your PR professionals are experts at picking up on subtle and not-so-subtle body language, verbal missteps and other cues that can undermine sales efforts.
Fact-Based Evidence to Support Messaging
Providing fact-based evidence supporting your marketing messaging is the next phase. Your PR team can apply a wide-range of techniques that not only establish your executives as thought leaders within your space – and your firm as an industry leader – but also share the successes you’ve achieved as a firm and those you’ve attained in concert with customers and partners. Nothing breeds success like success.
Creating Dialogue with Customers
One other vital component is creating dialogue with current customers and potential business prospects. It is critical for current and future clients to know that their input is sought, valued and acted upon. Here, your PR team can advise you on successful ways to create dialogue and mechanisms that will assure customer-based communications do not fall through the cracks.
Just as in all arenas of life, it comes down to the fundamentals. Get the basics right and the business leads will follow.