Startup in New York? Here is how to get those first sales.
HOW TO GET CLIENTS WHEN YOU COME TO NEW YORK
There’s a pattern I always see when working with startups from Israel. Everybody comes in hot, guns blazing, ready to conquer the world and start selling, selling, selling.
I love it! There’s nothing like our can-do attitude, chuzpah, and our drive to succeed.
Until you realize that it’s just not the way to do business here, especially if you’re an unknown.
Nobody minds being sold to from people whom they trust, know, or have some kind of familiarity with the brand, but nobody likes being sold to from someone they’ve just met. This is not rocket science, i’m sure you’ve hung up on cold callers and ignored salesmen well… every day.
So how do you get that coveted piece of business you’re salivating after? You learn to sell without selling.
Here are a few tips that have served me well.
1. FOCUS ON BRANDING BEFORE SALES
If you ask a million people “what is the best hamburger in the world?”, I promise you that 100% would not say “Mcdonalds”. Yet, do you know the reason Mcdonald's sells more hamburgers than anyone in the world although they have an inferior product? Or why Salesforce will keep dominating the market although other products have come to challenge it? Or why Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman will always be box office hits no matter the quality of the movie itself?
It’s because they built a brand first. They took some time to craft a purpose behind the product, a message, a desired feeling, and they made sure everybody knew about it. The more you put into your brand and creating desire behind it, the more sales you’ll get with the least amount of effort.
Yes you need to balance it with ongoing sales so you’re still in business, but always remember what drives what and where your effort should be.
2. GO “ALL IN” ON LINKEDIN AS A B2B MARKETING STRATEGY
2019 is going to be the year of LinkedIn.
And it’s the one of the best places to build a personal/ professional brand around yourself as a thought leader.
Whether it’s through the written word, audio, or video, my biggest advice for you all is to publish an enormous amount of content on LinkedIn every day.
Although distributing the content on Linkedin through ads is expensive because there’s a “floor” on pricing, but there’s a massive opportunity with organic content right now on LinkedIn.
Here’s a tip from Gary Vaynerchuk: “Just putting your profile URL in your email signature (if you’re someone who emails a lot) is enough of a “match” to start your LinkedIn content career.”
3. DIVERSIFY YOUR CONTENT AND ADS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Did you know that in a recent study, 67% of B2B buyers said they conduct research on social media. But most B2B marketers give up on social if they don’t see results within a month or 2. They run one ad for a long time, convert customers from it, and after a while, it starts to lose its effect. And on top of that, the feed gets more competitive.
How do you combat that? There is no “one size fits all” strategy, but there are simple guidelines.
Hyper Target your audience. Find and define at least 5 personas in your target audience.
Create a lot of content that is targeted to each persona. Here’s the biggest tip: Most of it doesn’t have to be high quality (that doesn’t mean it should be rubbish either). It just needs to be interesting enough to that persona you want to engage with. And remember; you might be in the B2B world and you want to close a deal with brand X, but the people you’re targeting are people. Just like you, and are interested in content just like you. Nobody wants to read another white paper….
Make sure that the content is easily followed back to your landing page.
The narrower you go, the higher CPMs you’ll pay. But your advertisement will be more specific and more likely to get your audience to take the action that you want them to take.
5. INVEST IN INFLUENCERS
Influencer marketing is still a “wild west” in terms of marketing, measurement, and discovering ROI.
But there is no doubt about the effectiveness of it if done right.
You can’t expect influencer marketing to work like PPC, which means measurable and attributable results from the get go, but it WILL give your brand authenticity and reach and will pay dividends down the line,
The strategy I wholeheartedly suggest you use is:
Map out the influencers in your space.
Out of that list, start by reaching out to “micro influencers”, those that have 1000-50000 followers but have high engagement in your topic.
They’re probably under priced and their audience engagement is probably a lot more that “celebrity influencers”.
Cast as wide a net as you possibly can. Hire hungry interns to work for free (or low pay) to DM influencers all day and map out which influencers are underpriced and which ones aren’t.
6. Bonus “Hack”: USE CONTENT CREATION AS YOUR LEVERAGE
As I mentioned in previous articles, cold calling/ emailing is a heartbreaking endeavour.
Over 90% of B2B don’t open cold emails or cold calls, but you want to grow your business and get these people to talk to you so you can offer them that beautiful product or service that will enhance their lives.
So how do you do it if they won’t answer you.
The hack is - Don’t sell.
Instead offer them something that will get them excited about you.
Create an event or content that they would be excited to participate in.
If you’re in B2B, you can host a niche podcast and email people that you normally would pitch. But instead of sending them a sales email, send them an email inviting them to be on your show. A lot of upper-level executives have tremendous insight and knowledge on their industry, but don’t have the name recognition — so they’re not frequently asked to be on podcasts.
And once you build that relationship, you’ll be stunned how much easier it gets to get their business.