Conversational marketing is about starting a conversation with a buyer. Conversational sales is about having conversations with buyers so they become a customer. The introduction between marketing and sales, traditionally called the “handoff,” is a crucial thing to get right.
A buyer doesn’t want to be handed-off. They want the experience to be as seamless and as simple as possible. They want to be introduced to the right person who can help them at that moment.
There are several ways to transition a conversation. There are three types of introductions that could take place.
- Bot to human
- Human to human
- Human to bot
Consistency and speed are paramount. The introduction needs to be done in a timely and personal manner and crafted by the marketer who designed the bot conversation and with input from the SDR or salesperson who’s going to have the conversation.
Think of the experience at an Apple Store. You talked to a salesperson about an Apple Watch yesterday and now you’re back to set up an appointment with the Genius Bar. They know you have an iPhone, are interested in purchasing a watch, and are having an issue with your MacBook. They understand your intent, your past conversations, and how to start another conversation with you.
You need to consider the buyer’s goal and what they’re trying to do and what the sales person needs.
What does the customer want to know and what do they need? And what does the seller need to know and understand?
Here are four things to help uncover the answer to those questions:
1) Break the ice and be engaging. Use this as an opportunity to relay your personality. Be witty, be funny, be different. At Drift, we like to think of this part as if you’re exchanging text messages with a friend. Here’s an example of something tangible that has been working for us lately:
‘Hey! Human here, human there?’ It’s a little goofy, a little weird. You’re showing personality and asking a question. Drift can help you source more relevant customer data to deliver a warmer greeting.
2) Make it about them, not you. Why? Buyers have all the power, they can walk away at any point. Every time I walk into an Apple Store, I’m greeted right away & offered help. Am I talking to a sales/customer service/product person? I have no clue, and I don’t care. They made the experience about me, not them.
3) Give before you get. Our principle: always answer the question. Why? Once you’ve addressed their question, you now have the right to ask a question to understand more about the buyer.
4) Establish next steps and share your recommendation. You’ve built rapport, learned about, and helped your prospect. Now you have a sticky qualified lead. What next? Here are a few examples:
- Chat to Zoom: Or whatever video conference software you use. Your buyer is on your website right now, engaged, and likely at a high level of intent. Drop in your screen-share link in the chat window.
- Book a meeting: Give them access to your or an AE’s calendar in the conversation. It’s a clean experience for your prospect. It doesn’t take them to a different landing page, keeps them within the chat window, and you can see your calendar fill up in real time.
- Offer a resource to help solve for a problem: Maybe they aren’t ready for a meeting. Don’t twist their arm. Help them. Give them a reason to stay in touch, maybe your product team will release an update shortly. Whatever you do, ask for their email address so you have a way to keep the conversation going.