Many businesses experience difficulties building their organizations’ credibility and thereby face setbacks in generating leads and filling sales funnels. Enter the eBook.
With the advent of the Internet, mass media, and social networking sites, technology as a whole has changed the tools that businesses must rely on to close inbound sales and to attract and generate new leads.
The Content Marketing Institute explains: “Think of [eBooks] as a white paper on steroids: a report, generally 12 – 40 or more pages in length, that presents complex information in a visually attractive, reader-friendly format. The content is both informative and entertaining; the tone, collegial; the format, ‘chunky’ rather than linear, to facilitate skimming and scanning.”
Today, with the backing of data conducted throughout the years of the online era, businesses have learned that visually engaging and informative eBooks can be invaluable when trying to generate leads and close sales.
B2B businesses, especially those that are trying to constantly reach audiences to expand their pool of prospective leads, should understand a major psychological element involved in the sale closing process: trust.
A relationship is one that involves trust, and it applies readily to B2B relationships. The negative stigma associated with the sleazy used car salesman is born out of the distrust we bear for those trying to push unpolished products to unsuspecting customers at unreasonable prices.
(It’s no wonder why many customers have developed banner blindness to in-your-face ads that seem to overpromise and underdeliver).
One of the best ways to attract leads and close sales is by establishing your organization as trustworthy. Many fledgling businesses, start-ups and those trying to experience faster growth often fall short of convincing customers that they are experts in their domain.
Consider the three stages that customers go through before considering a purchase (awareness, consideration, and decision). eBooks facilitate the decisions customers make in between the “consideration” and “decision” stages by offering useful content and showcasing your business’s credibility.
This is because eBooks are informative and educational in nature. They present evidence, research and logic, and raise important questions and concerns that customers may have without pushing a product to their faces. They also establish your business as a thought leader and expert on particular subject matters.
Remember, the focus is on helping or educating your prospetive customers; their reliance on your business and your expertise will come naturally (tell, don’t sell).
eBooks are not brochures or sales pamphlets. The last page of the eBook is generally an “About the Company” page that gives enough information about your business for interested prospective leads to find out more, but not too much information to make your document sound like a sales pitch.
When consumers and businesses have read through your material and recognize the value of your content, you’ve closed one more gap in the sales funnel that will eventually persuade your prospective customers that you are the right choice.
You want your leads to think about your business and brand as trustworthy. There is no better way of establishing your expertise and credibility in your particular domain than writing an informative, persuasive, and valuable document that addresses the toughest concerns and questions a consumer or organization may have in a detached, logical, and persuasive manner.
In our era – the “information generation,” – there is no better way to communicate than with something that consumers and businesses need: information that will help them arrive at a meaningful decision.
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