A simple, yet powerful tool to engage more opportunities…

September 2006

Statistics show that 45% of all prospects buy. This issue of Integrated Marcom Minute will show you how to get your share of the 45% pie.

A simple, yet powerful tool to engage more opportunities…
An often forgotten tool — have you forgotten it too?
It’s the good old fashioned “leave-behind.” No self- respecting sales person leaves a sales call without some token of the visit… a brochure, white paper, or even a trinket that would extend the relationship once the sales call has ended.

Leave-behinds have morphed! Podcasts, file downloads, text messages, etc. are modern day examples of the classic leave-behind. And now, more than ever, leave behinds are important for keeping prospects engaged during the selling cycle… especially the longer selling cycles we B2B marketers experience.

Here are a few leave-behind tips:

Keep it relevant
This is where knowing the stage in the buying cycle becomes important. What prospects are looking for early on in the buy cycle is different from what they’ll need as they draw closer to making a decision. What’s the best leave behind for each phase? That depends…

This is a good time to work with your sales team to understand what they need to coax prospects through the cycle. For example, early in the cycle, most prospects are looking for general information. It could be as simple as a brochure or as complex as a detailed analysis. The closer prospects are to making a decision, the more detailed the information they seek such as cost comparisons, detailed specifications,
installation information, references, trials, etc.(Need more info on buying cycle? Click here for a previous issue.)

Looking for leave- behind ideas? Try one of these:

  • Postcards – inexpensive yet effective as leave behinds, trade show giveaways or follow up mailers. Since content is limited by space, postcards are good early on to start the relationship.
  • Substantial reports (7-10 pages or more) – printed versions can be more costly and are usually reserved for prospects further along in the sales cycle. Electronic versions are good for including hyperlinks to landing pages or other “exclusive” content to further gauge the prospect’s timing to buy.
  • Case studies – similar to reports, case studies should be relevant to your prospects interests. They can be used in the early to mid stages of the buying cycle and can take the form of a printed piece, electronic document or rich media interview/presentation.
  • Webinars – probably one of the most versatile “leave behinds.” Webinars can be used to generate pre qualified leads as well as provide more detailed information later in the selling cycle. The content is more specific for prospects further along in the buying cycle and more general early on.

Remember the "WIIFUM" – what’s in it for me…
The content for any of these leave behinds doesn’t have to be about your product specifically – especially in the early buying cycle stages. Often the most provocative content addresses the problem or situation your prospects are experiencing. For example, a back-up power supply manufacturer, instead of focusing on the advantages of their products, could offer a white paper on business continuity and
disaster recovery.

Remember to integrate…
Use leave behinds to build a bridge to the next stage in the selling cycle (not to mention further qualify a lead). For example, the postcards lead prospects to either a phone number or a special website for more detailed information including thought leadership interviews, case studies and more. The closer you integrate the bigger your slice of the 45% buyers’ pie.

Now that’s integrated marcom!

More next time…

Joan Damico

J. Damico Marketing Communications
(845) 778-5095

PS What’s your best leave-behind? Tell me and I’ll feature it in an upcoming newsletter or post your comments to my new Integrated Marcom Blog.

PPS Get more leave-behind ideas on my Integrated Marcom Blog

  • postcard leave-behind
  • special report