We all talk about it. Everybody wants to do it. Why? Because it works.
I’m looking at e-marketing and how it can propel your business to new heights. Whether you’re reaching your customer through email blasts, targeted campaigns, LinkedIn posts, Twitter messages or personalized emails, it’s all leveraging the Internet to better connect with your customer.
The frequency of messaging conveys crucial information regarding your company’s vast breadth of products and services. Content relevance and value proposition is what our cherished customers continuously require. Pipeline, sales and customer satisfaction are what we strive for. Digital marketing is the arena for it all. It’s the perfect touch for when you can’t be there in person.
Of course, personal touch and relationship development will always be key … but digital marketing is the avenue to an additional method of selling. It sometimes seems like a personal email, email blasts, LinkedIn posts and messages are sent into a black hole. But don’t be mistaken, although many will not respond immediately to what you’ve posted, it absolutely plants the seed for a sale.
Repetition is key. A new offer doesn’t always align with a customer’s timeline. But when the time comes, you’ll get your chance because you have shown attentiveness, consideration and loyalty. Bottom line — you’re solving a pain point.
Blackhawk Industrial Distributors is my platform for spreading the good word of how I reach my customers, prospects and OEM partners daily without leaving my desk. “Internet Evangelist” is my virtual handle, and Blackhawk inspires me to run with my ideas, sales, promos, invites, content and more.
During my first year at BlackHawk, which coincided with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I knew I needed some form of “force multiplier” to build my sales funnel. I looked at the principles of “social selling” and saw that sales professionals who commit to B2B, in addition to their existing engagement model, are far more likely to create more opportunities and close more deals.
In my first year, out of approximately 100+ sales reps, I placed 10th in the company. My sales were up almost 35 percent. Unreal, right? But with my marketing savvy, I was able to reach hundreds and connect with thousands.
Here is an action list for the new sales era:
1. Post to social media once a day, once a week, twice a week or more. It’s an added value that comes in second only to an actual on-site visit. It’s a reach where the customer becomes familiar with your tone, writing, expression and even your personality.
2. Try to post on the same day. Your contacts will get used to it and look forward to the information you want to share.
3. Grab those business cards you’ve gathered and enter them into your email blast platform. Constant Contact, Amazon SES, and Mail Chimp are just three examples. Use one of these to help spread your sales agenda.
4. Connect with as many people as possible on LinkedIn. The more connections, the more exposure. Reach nationwide proportions. Search for buyers, procurement specialists, and purchasing individuals in the companies you’re trying to reach. Send them an invite. This focuses your audience. You’d be surprised at how many will accept your RSVP.
5. Message your accepted connections on LinkedIn. Take advantage of them accepting your invitation. You just never know where the relationship will lead.
6. Start out with something exciting in the subject line of your email blasts and have fun with it! A few of my go-to examples are:
- "This promo will give you that leading edge!"
- "We’ve got what you’ve been looking for!"
- "I can help solve your questions on pricing, availability, and pain points today!"
- "Why is BlackHawk the answer to your manufacturing, PPE, tooling, etc. needs?"
7. There are many sites to post on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. But these should be more informative posts, following in the footsteps of what the site calls for. These posts are more consultation than elevator pitch. LinkedIn is not the site you want to sell oil absorbent pads on. You may want to mention why you should use them outside of just soaking up oil. This will help create your brand and customers will know you’re knowledgeable in product and their needs. Remember: Content is key.
It sounds daunting, but once you start your virtual marketing mission, it becomes routine. My next act will be posting informative product videos. This will take me out of my comfort zone, but anything worthwhile usually does. I know these will probably require multiple “takes” and editing … but I’m ready for my close-up!
Michelle M. Meuse is an account manager for BlackHawk Industrial Supply in the U.s. northeast. With two years of spreading the BlackHawk virtual message, she enjoys new customer relationships, sales success and brand exposure the internet has brought. She has a fiancé and a white Pomeranian named Romeo. She lives in Groveland, MA.