By Winton Churchill
Do you use white papers in your marketing? Are you happy about the new business they help attract?
Here are three main reasons your lead generating white papers aren’t working…
#1: Preaching to the choir
By the time most prospects get your white paper in their hands, they’re already convinced they have a problem and you might be able to help them solve it. A much bigger prospect base is the group of people who have problems that your offering can solve… but don’t know about you or your solution yet.
They need your help in “getting their head around” the problem and more fully understanding the implications of the problem continuing unchecked. This is a much more fertile hunting ground than prospects who have reached a well-formed conclusion about their problems.
#2: Cradle to grave
Too many white papers attempt to cover the subject from “cradle to grave.” This might be useful if you are going for a PhD in a subject area, but not so good if you want to connect with a harried executive with lots of problems to solve.
Heck, the harried executive often isn’t even sure what problem he or she is solving. The exec’s first need is to more clearly understand what the problem might be. The “cradle to grave” approach usually gives readers so much irrelevant information that they can’t see the gem of your wisdom, even if it is in there!
#3: Company-focused instead of issue-focused
Too many white papers boast. They push product features. In a typical complex offering (like software, capital equipment or high-end services) there may be dozens to hundreds of features and capabilities.
What most white paper creators don’t realize is that there are usually two to five key capabilities that make the difference for most prospects. Continuing to blather on about all the other features is like listening to a life insurance salesperson give you a 75-slide pitch. No wonder prospects go back to reading their other email!
Pay attention to where the opportunity is. An effective white paper (paper, electronic or video) should be your primary business power tool for attracting new prospects into your sales cycle. If you make one of these mistakes, you will have a weakness in your sales lead generation process that will allow your competitors to easily plunder your revenue stream.
It is at the very beginning of your complex sales cycle that you are most vulnerable. Better to make the front end “bullet-proof” so your best prospects get a clear and full look at your offering.
Don’t play “catch-up.” When you have to track your prospect down in your competitor’s sales cycle you are really on the ropes. If you avoid the three main white paper pitfalls, you will bring more prospects into your process. Your white papers will be a sales lead generation success. And you will enjoy higher profits.
Maybe equally important, you won’t experience the chaos associated with a haphazard and unplanned sales process. The choice is yours!
About the Author: Email marketing and sales lead generation expert Winton Churchill improves the efficiency and effectiveness of sales and marketing efforts for thousands of businesses. If your company wrestles with complex sales cycles and you want to increase sales with more effective lead generation programs, then GET YOUR FREE SNEAK PREVIEW of his new book: “Email Marketing for Complex Sales Cycles” at: http://www.churchillmethod.com/chapter.html