The best inbound marketing plan in the world will only take you so far. At lest if you’re in the business of delivering high-end B2B solutions. Engagement and sharing on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and your Blog will help substantially narrow the number of suspects who could become partner businesses. As a matter of fact, with a well managed inbound marketing program those suspects will rise from the woodwork to let you know they are interested in what you have to offer.
Showing up cements deals
The whites of each others eyes. At some point you need to sit across the conference room table from each other and hammer out details. In my experience people don’t commit hundreds and even tens of thousands of dollars to projects without meeting you face to face. Perhaps my experience is different because I’m in the business of selling dreams but I tend to think it’s a fairly universal rule.
Jump in the car. Get on an airplane. Show up at a conference where you can network. Head out to a lunch or a dinner that is primarily social in nature. Remember, people do business with people they know, like and trust. A great deal of trust can be established with an inbound marketing program. A fair about of knowing each other can happen online and on the phone but the process is expedited in person. As for liking someone. Good luck cementing that online.
“Liking” is a face to face thing. There are several people I became aquatinted with online and grew to trust as well. Then, upon meeting them face to face I decided I didn’t really care to spend time with them and certainly wouldn’t do business with them. I’m sure several people feel similarly about me. We are not all meant to get along with each other.
Showing up matters. If you meet early in the process you can determine personality conflicts early on. Sometimes this can be resolved by mixing up the team that is working on the project. Other times the answer is to just walk away after providing a referral to someone you feel would be more suitable to handle the job.
For me, inbound marketing narrows the field of suspects with whom to do business. Then, showing up and meeting each other moves the process of doing business along.