In my last post, I talked a lot about using client testimonials as social proof in your sales cycle. There’s no better way to sell your products or services than from the mouths of your clients. Social proof is very powerful. So today, we’re going to look at a second method that can also have a tremendous impact on your sales. This one is often overlooked in the small business community. I’m talking about leveraging the media or press, which is another type of outside proof you can utilize not only in your sales cycle, but also in your marketing materials.
So imagine this for a second: you’re in a saturated industry where there’s a lot of competition. And honestly, there’s some good competition out there who provide quality service and have solid testimonials. A prospective client has to choose between you and these other companies, but you have been interviewed either in an article or on local television. Guess what? You can use that media presence as extra social proof in your sales presentation and marketing materials. All other things being equal, that will definitely push you over the edge beyond your competitors. That makes a huge difference when people are making decisions, especially if they don’t have a personal relationship with you already.
Now, how do you make it happen? Well, one way to do it would be to hire a professional, such as a PR firm that can help you get into the media. These companies have good access to connections in the industry. With their expertise, you’re way more likely to get media coverage than if you tried to get an interview yourself. So this is one way.
Another way, especially if you want to save money or you’re looking for more of an online presence, is to do the legwork yourself. There are a lot of different resources online when it comes to submitting press releases. Again, getting media presence online is much easier than traditional print press or TV. And, if you’re not a good writer, you can have someone help you write press releases at a reasonable price. Then you can distribute them to different news sites online. This will not only help get you visitors directly, but it also provides good backlinks to your website, which in turn can increase your search engine rankings. Also, you can use online press releases as social proof as well. Maybe they’re not quite on the same level as tradition media, but you can still use them in your marking materials and sales pitch.
The last thing to think about is how to actually use this media coverage to your advantage. I suggest including it in your entire marketing mix. Mention your social proof in sales presentations, on your website, and in social media posts. Include it in all your other marketing materials, such as email signatures, e-newsletters, handouts for speeches, etc. Media can make the difference between getting a new client and losing him to a competitor. It’s basically proof that you are who you say you are.
So go out and make it happen. Either find a PR company to take over, or research online and do it yourself. Then, once you get that coverage, use it in all your marketing materials. Take action, have fun. Have a better than amazing day.