OK, cards on the table… no one’s ever called me “sexy.”
It’s OK, I’m at peace with that. I guess I have other good qualities. But it would be nice, right?
That’s why I was excited to hear the phrase “helpful is the new sexy” a few times at last week’s Inbound 2014 conference, sponsored by Hubspot. (A great annual conference for modern marketers to attend, BTW).
Wavy hair and six-pack abs may be beyond my reach at this point. But, heck, I can be helpful!
More importantly, so can your logistics business. And that might just be the key to kicking your logistics marketing program into high gear in 2015.
“Helpful” involves a little bit of work, but mostly it involves a change in orientation.
For many companies, the guiding question for sales and marketing during the sales cycle is “How can I drive this prospect down the sales pipeline to close?”
In a world where helpful is the new sexy, the question becomes “How can I selflessly help the decision maker achieve her goal?”
Remember, supply chain decisions are made by real PEOPLE who find themselves in unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations all the time. Maybe they are under pressure to reduce inventory, reduce freight costs, improve accuracy in their high-volume fulfillment warehouse. Whatever.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a guide that could help point the way, answer the tough questions, and get you where you need to go faster and with less pain?
And, as that decision maker, wouldn’t you feel good about the person or company that provided that help – selflessly, with absolutely no expectation of getting something in return?
That’s the idea behind inbound marketing for logistics. It’s marketing aimed at education and the development of relationships that may lead to future sales.
Today, high-value services like logistics are bought, not sold.
Smart logistics professionals with a problem are tapping the internet and their contact networks to get smarter – on how to solve a problem and which service providers can help. This research leads to the creation of a short list of pre-qualified providers truly able to solve the problem.
The best way to engage with them is not with annoying and interruptive sales calls and unsolicited emails. The best way to engage is to give prospects a reason to find you through inbound marketing for logistics. Create content about how to solve their biggest problems – articles, eBooks, videos, blog posts – and share that content, either directly or by posting it where your prospects are most likely to see it.
In other words, be helpful. (You’re looking sexier already.)
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