You Can’t Judge a Book by its Cover… or a Lead by its Response.
Lead Enrichment is a game-changer and an eye opener. Through the PianoLeads 2.0 CRM approximately 50% of the leads populate with valuable social media information about the person who filled out the form and converted.
How is Lead Enrichment a Game-changer? Knowing what a person does for a living, their Facebook address, their twitter account, LinkedIn, and public online information from sources such as these, provides a deeper profile for many of the leads we provide since PianoLeads 2.0 was launched. Since information is power, it is extremely helpful for a sales associate following up on a lead to know as much as possible about said lead. It gives insight into many lifestyle elements and in many instances their level of purchasing capability, assuming their piano interest is something more than casual or passing.
One HUGE benefit of knowing more about who you are selling to is that you can take a fast track in establishing rapport and forging a relationship. One inspiration for the development of Lead Enrichment was a conversation with a client who was selling more high-end pianos than the average bear. Joey asked him what his secret was, and he said that he spent a lot of online time researching the leads before he made initial contact. In one specific case he sold a grand piano to an author but not before researching some of the books she had written and making sure to mention that he was aware of her craft and her writings at the onset of his approach. Some of the best time you can ever spend with a prospect is time gaining confidence and trust by caring about them as a person, not necessarily talking about pianos. His good habit of researching the leads before ”approaching the runway” told us we could save some sales folks valuable time by querying the internet and providing that info as the leads were served up whenever possible.
Interests that are exposed by peoples online profile can be very helpful to the sales pro who wants to build a confidence level by working on the relationship before launching into the closing process prematurely. (re: step 2 of the Five Steps to Selling Success blog: https://prospectsint.com/sales-success)
All the technology and Intel in the world will never change this one looming sales factoid – people want the benefits of technology but still want to be treated as a person with feelings. My suggestion? Use the information in creative ways to make friends online. An incredibly shrinking number of relationships are being initiated by “face to face” initial contact and more and more are being born in cyberspace… and the trend will continue to accelerate. The trick is to learn how to inject the human element and Lead Enrichment gives you valuable clues on how and where to start approaching people with caring that will allow you to humanize the process. People, regardless of how techie we get, will always be (by their very DNA) relationship seeking beings. If that were not true how could we explain the explosion of social media? Lead Enrichment aids your ability to make more online friends that can be convinced it is a great idea to come and see you in person… this causes me to repeat one of my favorite mantras, “The Company With the Most Friends Wins!” Using enrichment to make more friends and place music in more lives is indeed a game-changer.
How is Lead Enrichment an Eye Opener?
I can’t believe I can start a sentence like this but “years ago, when we first started LeadFlow” our only lead engine was the used inventory list method. We are proud to state that it rapidly grew into the most powerful piano interest lead generator in the world. As with all successful new endeavors there are learning curves and LeadFlow riding on the back of the word “used” presented it’s challenges. We soon learned that targeting metrics needed to be tested, monitored an tweaked in every market (and back then it was manual, not automated) so that we could eliminate as many bottom feeder leads as possible but stopping shy of sacrificing volume and legitimate opportunities. In the early days, before we had as much AI and follow up data, some of our clients (mostly those who did not have an aggressive enough follow up mindset) would complain that ALL the leads were Craig’s List quality. In some markets we would keep ratcheting up the targeting toward the top of the market and it helped discernibly some but never came close to eliminating all the people who were looking for grand pianos for $500.
I mention this because we didn’t know if we were falling prey to poor targeting metrics from our ad placement, a lack of perceived value of the instrument or people just acting cheap and worrying too much about price and not enough about quality and the benefits of fine instruments.The truth that manifested itself as a suspicion “before” Lead Enrichment, was confirmed after it began providing online profiles in mass for the leads we were creating for our clients. The reality was “D” all of the above.
- A) We had to find better ways to improve our targeting inside our ad placement protocol which we did, no details here as I do not want to share that secret sauce.
- B) after monitoring the comments over time it became painfully obvious that the perception of what a piano should cost has taken a lot of “hits” from the advent of digital pianos and keyboards… the Guitar Center mentality, and here is the BIG ONE:
- C) An alarming percentage of wealthy people act cheap! One would assume (remember what that word means) that most all surgeons, high powered attorneys, CEO’s, CFO’s and successful Mom and Pop’s would understand and choose value over price. That proved to be a myth. Do some? Absolutely, but there is a reason why Valpack still mails the wealthiest zips in every city. Another confirmation is the fact that Costco does as well or BETTER in wealthy areas of town than they do in the areas with less discretionary spending capabilities.
People love to save money and sometimes get into a habit and buying mindset that does not encourage value but rather price purchasing. Building the value of what a fine piano does to enrich a person’s life is a critical job a sales associate has to embrace. It is an educational process which has to overcome the devaluation of a fine instrument which has occurred over the last two decades at an alarming speed. Can it be done? Sure, it is done successfully everyday by salespeople who know how to tell the story of fine pianos with passion and conviction. The challenge? They have to sell against weak “price point only” selling, Craig’s List and the tsunami of toy pianos that are available in mass. Remember this: People Don’t Buy a Thing, They Buy What a Thing Does” – Harry Beckwith. I’m not playing manufacturer favorites here, but one shining example of positive value perception is the Steinway & Sons marquis value. In the early 1900’s and well into the last century Steinway was running image ads in the New York Times which was circulated worldwide. Although they no longer run with any frequency or with that type of an ad, the branding was so deeply successful that a handmade Steinway grand piano is to this day the perceived standard by which other, in many cases just as well constructed, handmade pianos are judged by. Perception is a buyer’s reality and Lead Enrichment has shined a light on the fact that not enough prospects value the intangible and beautiful, life changing, benefits only an extremely well made and well-crafted piano can bring to their lives.
A, B, and C Solidify the Statement that Lead Enrichment has Been an Eye Opener!
So, in summary, what have we learned about the power of Lead Enrichment? We have learned that it gives us valuable insight into the true nature of a lead so we can approach it more socially and psychologically appropriate. We have learned that Lead Enrichment is a validation of the fact that as an industry we must do a better job of selling benefits and not specs. Benefits my friends, mean the results of the technology of a smart piano or the audio results of the blood sweat and tears of taking a year to build a fine handmade piano… not the nuts and bolts. As Zig Ziglar taught us decades ago – “Sell the Sizzle, not the Steak.” Specs and nuts and bolts are important to analytical types and the workings of technologically advanced pianos is important to share BUT the “Ah Ha! Moment” is when the prospect EXPERIENCES the benefit.
The insights provided by Lead Enrichment have helped us understand and put in context the task at hand and it is simply this – we need to use this intelligence to be evangelists of the instrument. As a company Prospects International will continue to improve our products and services in support of your mission to bring more music and fine pianos to the world. Our survival and growth depend on the expansion of what many have called a shrinking industry, and rightfully so, yet with all the online interest we believe that, that trend and perception can and should be changed. It appears that there is a phenomenal amount of piano interest online which spells a HUGE amount of opportunity for piano sales pros which is supported and bolstered by the power of Lead Enrichment.
Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are – George Santayana