Think PR can’t influence sales? Think again.
PR is commonly thought of as a tool that might indirectly influence sales, rather than a way to directly drive the sales process. We dispute this idea that PR cannot drive sales directly into your new business pipeline. Recently, Limelight generated sales meetings with some of the high street’s top brands through media relations and Twitter alone, and generated some fantastic new business for one of our clients. Take a look at how we did it here.
So, below are our key pointers for using PR to enhance sales for your business
1. Target efficiently
Taking a scatter gun approach to your PR activity is unlikely to yield the results you want or enhance your sales process. However, by identifying key sectors, customers and even specific people and businesses you want to be working with in the future, and creating sector specific collateral for those VIP’s (Very important prospects) you can positively influence their opinion of your business, therefore enhancing your sales process.
2. Raise your business’ online presence
When businesses are looking for a service or product, they often turn to the internet to find the best people for the job. By raising your online presence using a number of communications tools such as improving your SEO in key target sales areas, or being seen in key sector publications, you can position yourself above your competition and bring in those valuable enquiries.
3. Be seen in the right titles
Having your name in the key titles your prospects are reading, positions you at the front of their mind when they are most susceptible. Targeting this outreach to the sectors they are active in and appearing in that vertical press while your competitors remain in your own industry titles sets you apart and shows your expertise in that industry. Business leaders turn to key titles for knowledge or opinion on issues that matter to them, and being there helps them to associate this with you and your business.
4. Be seen as a thought leader
In a noisy world, being seen as a thought leader as opposed to a thought follower can be very difficult. Develop your key business messages for an external audience, adapt them for editorial purposes, and ensure they are used above and beyond your key trade titles. This approach will allows potential customers to gain trust in your knowledge way before they have met you. Far more than advertising, being a thought leader adds value to your industry’s current conversations and reputation in it.
5. Share your businesses objectives
Every business has its key objectives, and the beauty of PR is its ability to complement those objectives. We encourage all of our clients to build a VIP list™, those ‘very important prospects’ they want to get in front of. By laying it out clearly, and sharing those objectives, we are able to influence their key industries and get them in front of their direct prospects.
6. Take a different route to decision makers
PR is a creative industry and if your business wants to get in front of a certain company you need to be thinking creatively about how to make that happen. Consider targeting different departments who have influence over your key targets, if your business is being talked about internally before you make the sales call, chances are you are going to be welcomed rather than rejected.
7. Create content that solves your client’s problems
Address your potential client’s questions, prove you have the knowhow to solve their business problems and position yourself as an expert in their field or sector. That way, prospects will think of your business when they come to renew contracts, or appoint a new partner.
8. Be commercially creative
PR can enhance your sales process by helping you stand out from the crowd. By creating creative campaigns that are based on insight of your key sectors, you are targeting the right people and differentiating your business from your competitors.
Using PR to enhance the sales process is surprisingly cost effective. One Limelight client received a potential ROI of 1:1333 when using PR to drive sales to their business.