In recent years, conversational marketing has been one of the pillar marketing tactics of many businesses. It’s not hard to believe why the conversational marketing strategy is a winner. After all, nothing drives customer engagement and excellent customer service more than a customer-centric and dialogue-driven approach.
Conversational marketing makes this possible.
Think about it. How would you feel about a business if they had a virtual receptionist manning the inbox for any customer concern? By communicating with customers in a conversational tone, you immediately ease any tension and make them feel valued as individuals.
For this reason, companies engrave conversational marketing within their arsenal of systems. From chatbot marketing strategy to live chats, you see variations of real-time conversations across business models.
This can have a big impact on the home service industry, where word-of-mouth and customer satisfaction are crucial for success. Conversational marketing allows for better communication with customers. This results in more efficient resolution of problems and, ultimately, better reviews and referrals.
If you haven’t implemented conversational marketing in your list of strategies, it’s about time you do so. In this article, we’ll dig deeper into what this concept is and its benefits. Moreover, you’ll discover how conversations can impact your business.
What is Conversational Marketing
Conversational marketing is a strategy where you foster real-time one-to-one interactions with your customers across multiple channels. In today’s business landscape, the most common methods used for conversational marketing are chatbots, live chats, and messaging platforms. Using this approach allows businesses to communicate with customers in a personalized manner. Concurrent conversations allow businesses to resolve customer questions and concerns quickly.
This tactic serves to build relationships with customers and improve their customer experience by enabling active interactions.
However, the conversational marketing strategy is not only applicable to customer service and success, especially in the home service industry. Conversations play a significant role, too, in generating leads, negotiating in sales calls and closing deals for home service businesses.
For one, face-to-face conversations with potential clients offer the opportunity to establish a personal connection and build trust. Relationships add an extra layer of peace of mind for customers. This sets the foundation for successful negotiations and sales.
Secondly, conversations also allow salespeople to gather important information about potential clients’ underlying felt needs. These underlying felt needs consist of three elements: money, energy, and time. Underneath pain and pleasure points, customers yearn for the business that addresses three things:
- Which business provides offensively huge value that outweighs their solution’s asking price?
- Which business offers the least amount of frustration when rendering their service?
- Which business delivers the quickest turnaround time for their solution?
When you understand which among their underlying felt needs are most crucial, you can tailor your pitches and offers accordingly.
Finally, a smooth conversation helps close deals by addressing customer objections that the potential client may have. Objections are to be expected during sales calls, and it takes a real Closer to overcome these hurdles. Salespeople will most certainly encounter six defense mechanisms that they need to overcome in order to secure the sale. These are:
Conversational marketing provides the opportunity for real-time problem-solving, resulting in a higher chance of conversion. Learning fundamental sales techniques like the Closing ARC (Agree, Rebuttal, and Close) helps sales reps become successful in conversational marketing.
Overall, conversational marketing should not be underestimated in its ability to drive success for businesses. Conversations with prospects can be the determining factor in closing a sale and, ultimately, growing a company’s bottom line.
In the residential home service industry, word-of-mouth referrals are important for bringing in new business. Effective conversations with clients can lead to these referrals. Conversational marketing allows businesses to acquire new customers and retain them through excellent customer service and communication.
How about in your business? Is your conversational marketing strategy on-point, or does it need some sprucing? Whether you answer the former or the latter, there will always be room for improvement.
Wizard of Sales® can help improve your conversational marketing endeavors and support your salespeople master the art of sales. Not only will this potentially skyrocket your revenue, but also help build meaningful relationships with your customers.
If you’re interested, book a call.
Conversational marketing is great and all, but is it really only about communicating through selected communication channels? Are live chats, messaging apps, and chatbots everything there is to the conversation marketing strategy, or is there more?
The truth is, there is more and you’ll learn about it below.
The Untold Truth About Conversational Marketing
“Talk is an aspect of marketing that is rarely talked about.”
The conventional definition of conversational marketing talks about maintaining effective communication with your customers through relevant channels. However, conversational marketing is never limited to such constraints.
The core of conversational marketing is not the channels nor the medium, it is all about talking. No, not talking about specific business-type things. I mean, all kinds of conversations you have with customers outside the razzle-dazzle of advertising.
- This could mean what a CEO says in a speech or on a podcast
- The small talks you have with clients before a sales pitch
- What your say in an elevator to a customer
- The way you answer their calls and emails
All of these “talks,” big or small, have a great impact on your conversational marketing. However, this truth is often sidestepped when we talk about the subject. Businesses have been too fixated on rehearsed lines on sales pitches that they forget customers are made of people too. Even with the perfect sales pitch or communication template, you may still fail to connect with prospects.
Genuine, thoughtful talks are what describe the “conversational” in conversational marketing. That’s why it’s important to prioritize fostering a positive and friendly conversational atmosphere.
How Conversations Greatly Impact Businesses?
In season 9 episode 18 of Terry O’Reilly’s podcast, Under the Influence, he explained the impact of talk on businesses. He argues that talk is not cheap. Not all advertising is done inside board rooms or relayed through commercials. Spontaneous off-hand remarks said in a doorway could mean winning or losing a client.
“Big things can happen in those spontaneous moments, both good and bad.”
Through a barrage of examples, Terry explains why even the simplest of talks could make or break your business. Let’s explore a few of his examples below and relate them to the residential home service industry.
Chiat-Day was the last advertising agency that Terry worked for before he started his own business. It was founded by Jay Chiat and Guy Day. What set the agency apart is its reputation for outstanding work and delivering on its promises. In other words, they became well-known for their propensity to skyrocket business revenue through effective advertising.
Jay Chiat was a unique case because he had a focused liking for big ideas. These are revolutionary advertising ideas and when clients don’t buy into them, Chiat fires them. Needless to say, he was fearless in his endeavors.
One day, Chiat and Day knocked on the doors of a horse racetrack owner because they didn’t like his advertising. The duo believed their agency can significantly do better in improving their attendance. Like good ad agents, they prepared and rehearsed a presentation to pitch to the business owner. The owner listened to their creative presentation but rejected them because he was already satisfied with his advertising.
To be fair, it was the entrepreneur’s prerogative to reject them and the duo could do nothing about it. That is, until Jay Chiat thought of a bold idea to get the racetrack owner onboarded.
Before even reaching their car, they returned once more and knocked on the racetrack owner’s door and offered:
“I wanna make you a bet. I bet we could increase your attendance with our ads in one month. If we’re right, you pay us based on the crowd increases. If we’re wrong, we give you your money back.”
The owner, who couldn’t resist the offer, took the bet and agreed. Within a month they increased his attendance so much that the owner asked for a more conventional structure of payment. Chiat-Day was making so much money, that it was financially unhealthy for the racetrack owner.
What does this story tell us?
Chiat-Day bagged the deal, not because of their well-rehearsed creative presentation. While they did rehearse and present in a conventional fashion: boardroom, slides, charts and booklets, they failed.
The tag-team secured the deal by coming up with an on-the-spot pitch while talking to the owner on his doorstep. The only difference this time around is that Chiat knew how to connect with the entrepreneur’s psyche.
It was simple, really. The owner was a gambler, so they offered him a gamble.
They talked to their prospect from an angle that appealed the most to him. Trusting his current ad agency so much, he thought “what’s there to lose?” However, Chiat-Day was confident in their advertising game and won the bet with ease.
“Words, instincts, and chutzpah can be a powerful trifecta.”
– Terry O’Reilly
Now, how does this story relate to conversational marketing in residential home service businesses?
You want to always know the weaknesses, interests, passions and instincts of your target market. This allows you to tailor your conversation and pitch in a way that will resonate with them, just like Chiat-Day. It wasn’t the long presentation that got them the business, it was the spontaneous conversation Chiat had with the owner. He simply talked about a subject that interests gamblers most – gambling – and tailored the pitch around that.
In your business, you ought to satisfy the pleasure points and soothe the pain points of your target audience. Undoubtedly, Chiat-Day accomplished this during their presentation. The only problem is that the racetrack owner did not understand the VALUE of their advertising offer. That’s why, giving your market a set of solutions is not enough, you must also uncover their underlying felt needs.
In other words, leverage the value of your solutions by communicating how you’ll serve their money, energy, and time. In the case of the business owner, he valued the prospect of earning money most — and Chiat-Day capitalized on that.
For example, imagine your customers’ most prominent underlying felt need is getting the best value for money. You could frame your selling angle by explaining how your product’s benefits, features, and advantages outweigh the asking price. The price begins to blur when you effectively articulate and they fully understand the true value of owning your solutions.
Stanley Arnold Pitch
Another great story that Terry shared in his podcast was about Stanley Arnold and his unique pitch.
Stanley Arnold is an advertising agent. He just began his ad agency so he needed clients to get his business off the ground and operational. One of his targets was a big brewery in Baltimore. The deal could be the big break he was searching for, and he got a spot for a presentation.
He went to the office of the CEO and began the creative presentation. In the middle of an important part of the pitch, the CEO’s telephone rang. In response, Arnold stopped and waited for the call to finish. When he resumed the pitch, the phone rang again, and again, and again.
There was a constant interruption of phone calls during the presentation that bugged Stanley Arnold. While the CEO was on the call, Stanley tip-toed away from the board and toward the receptionist’s table. What he did next surprised the CEO. Stanley Arnold called the CEO from the receptionist’s telephone and resumed his presentation from that call, without interruptions.
Long story short, he got the deal.
Let’s not take our eyes off what really won him that advertising gig. What won the business is not his idea. It was his spontaneous and creative way of getting the CEO’s attention.
In your business, you need your prospect’s undivided attention if you want them to fully commit to your offers. How do you do this in the residential home service industry? Simple, humor.
As a residential home service provider, you’re selling is an externally triggered grudge purchase. That means people don’t WANT your solution, they NEED it. This “need” annoys the heck out of them. The only way to calm the raging storm they have within is through the use of humor and comedy.
Getting your prospects to smile and laugh along is a powerful tool. It keeps them invested in the conversation because they’re entertained. However, your humor MUST NEVER take their attention away from what you’re selling. The humor must seamlessly interweave with the solution you’re trying to sell them.
Make sure that you use humor in perfect timing, and integrate it naturally with your sales pitch.
“Here’s the rule. When the humor is directly linked to the product and its purpose, you’re in the mountain-moving business.”
– Roy H. Williams
Bruce Lee’s Crowd Astonishing Act and Speech
The last example I want to share with you from Terry’s podcast is Bruce Lee’s astonishing act and speech.
Bruce Lee began making an impression in the martial arts community in 1964. He was invited to put on a demonstration in front of Karate black belts. That’s around 3 thousand martial artists and 8 thousand in attendance. Lee was a Kung Fu style fighter and, at the time, the style wasn’t popular in the U.S.
His presentation was undoubtedly incredible. He demonstrated the two-finger push-up where he did full push-ups using only his index finger and thumb. Bruce Lee also performed his most famous one-inch punch.
Naturally, the crowd was impressed. But those moves were not the reasons that Bruce Lee’s presentation stood out. It’s what he said that was the highlight of the evening. He said:
“Classical martial arts (like Karate) were stiff, archaic,
and stuck in old ways that are no longer relevant.”
– Bruce Lee
This statement was bizarre considering he was standing in front of Karate martial artists and masters. The crowd was stunned into silence. However, Lee made an impression on a Hollywood producer who was present during the time. While Lee’s Kung Fu was astonishing, his statement sealed the deal for his Hollywood career.
It was his brash attitude that made him a big star.
“Brash equals cash. Chatter matters.”
– Terry O’Reilly
Does that mean you should exhibit a brash attitude when talking to residential home service customers? No, certainly not. It means that you should master your business to a point where your confidence encourages customers to trust you. Conversations play a big role in this.
Conversational marketing isn’t just about using chatbots or live chats on your website. It’s about how you interact with customers at every touchpoint of your business. Your confidence and knowledge can help seal the deal for potential customers and ensure retention for current ones.
Being confident doesn’t mean overpromising, of course. Many people won’t believe your big claims, but those who do will expect more than you could possibly deliver.
Rather than promising exceptional service, be objective and factual while keeping your confident composure. Let your positive reviews and amazing referrals (presuming there are) speak for themselves and make the brash talk. If applicable, under-promise.
Then, when your customers believe that you can only do so much, over-deliver. In other words, never praise yourself but do things that customers will inevitably praise you.
The Impact of Spontaneous Spoken Words on Business
If look at Terry O’Reilly’s examples in his podcast, none of them were formal business pitches in a board room. All were spontaneous words and actions committed by people in the spur of the moment. That’s what should be expected from your salespeople if you want more business. The wit, humor, and charm to catch and maintain your prospect’s attention even in spontaneous moments.
Conversational marketing is not limited to communicating on known conversational channels. Instead, conversational marketing encompasses everything that has anything to do with talking to customers.
Whether that’s the small talk prior to a sales call or you meet them randomly outside, conversational marketing is there. How you present your business during these spontaneous moments could make or break your business.