I talk to many professional services subject matter experts and technology salespeople about ways they can use self-written content to drive their business and help them hit their sales targets.
In the past, I have talked about account-based-marketing and immediately I see them disengage as they think 'oh good' the nice people in marketing are going to do this for me.
I have started to talk about account-based-engagement and they realise this is something they should be part of. After all, they engage in client meetings, prospect pitches, lunches, phone calls and events. They understand client engagement. They understand if engagement is all about how much they know their clients' needs and challenges and how much they can help them find solutions it is something they can and should write about.
As soon as we say marketing - even to those who should know better - client facing 'fee earners' and subject matter effort often think its nothing to do with them.
Very much in line with this is a phrase I heard for the first time yesterday - Relationship Pipeline. If we reinforce our reputations as trusted advisors we build the relationships that result in us as individuals being front of mind when people are thinking to purchase services we offer and provide us far greater opportunity to receive referrals which for many of us are the lifeblood of our business development.
So my hint this week is to talk about engagement and relationship building rather than marketing if you are trying to get more online activity out of the experts in your business.
While often misused by vendors, the concept of engagement endures because it describes something fundamental about the customer’s connection to your brand. Higher degrees of engagement mean a deeper commitment. It means more emotion and a more meaningful relationship. It begets activity, such as buying and advocating. Above all, engagement is about time. Before someone spends money with you, they’ll spend time with you. The more time they spend, the more interest they’re showing in doing business with you.