If you think your sales videos and emails are great, you might want to think again. Andrew Davis, a media and marketing strategist, said that most initial sales communications do not offer a good experience overall.
In his session at Vidyard’s Fast Forward 2019 called “Creating Sales Videos that Pique Curiosity and Inspire Action,” he went through examples with two companies, and helped them learn how to get better at earning attention.
What’s wrong with sales communications
To help understand what the big problems were, David spent time in the real world signing up for demos, webinars, and free trials with over 140 brands. He said he wanted to experience the market, and what he found was not good.
He described four “glaring issues,” and I think you’ll recognize these:
- They are predictable - the emails you get, even those with videos, are all the same. He noted two brands that used the EXACT same Hubspot templates with the exact same wording.
- They are impersonal - no relationship is being built.
- They are rushed - it’s all about getting the meeting set up.
- They are disjointed - different areas of the organization are emailing at the same time, the same. area, like marketing, is sending multiple emails and they don’t flow smoothly.
Davis walked through two example brands’ websites. He looked around, watched a video or two, took a quiz, filled out a form to watch an online product tour. In neither example did he ever request a call, or ask for a demo. The same day he provided some of his information, he started getting the emails requesting a meeting. And that’s where his issues started.
We want 30 minutes of our audience’s attention without earning it.
According to Davis, the funnel is the real problem. Inside that funnel where we see “consideration” and “intent” (depends on what your idea of the funnel looks like), there is a problem. We don’t understand how to work in this area properly - building trust and earning attention.
It’s all about getting that meeting set up, whether the person is ready for it or not.
The loyalty loop
There’s a better way to go about earning trust and attention, said Davis. And it starts with the “moment of commitment,” that instant where a person willingly trades their information, money, or time for information on a product or service:
From that point, you need to create a “moment of inspiration” that sends the person “on a journey I never expected.” If you are sending generic emails, this will never happen. The moment of inspiration leads a person to ask a question that will lead to a new moment of commitment. And the process starts over.
The key is to continually create these moments of commitment that ultimately end in the person wanting to get that phone call, or set up that meeting. Davis pointed out that micro-moments can make a big difference.
“Craft a series of emotional encounters that transform doubters into believers.”
There are six ways to be successful in implementing the loyalty loop strategy:
- Raise anticipation
- Maximize the honeymoon
- Answer trigger questions
- Remove friction
- Scale camaraderie
It was the sixth one that stood out for me. David said you want to “move from a brand relationship to a personal relationship through the brand.” That’s not something most salespeople do; it’s all about the brand, less so the person they want to buy from them.
When you get that email from a brand because you downloaded something or signed up for a webinar, how often do you cringe and think, “They want to set up a meeting?”. It’s why people don’t always use their real email address or phone number in a form fill (been there, done that).
When Davis critiqued the emails and sales videos he received from the brands he looked at, he guided the sales reps (which weren’t called SDRs, they had fancier names like “concierge”) to make their communications better. He did this by following something called the “curiosity gap.”
You earn attention by inviting your audience to chase answers.
In the image below, the curiosity gap is that space between what you know and what you want to know. It starts, David said, with some tension or emotional anxiety we feel - that’s the gap. What are you doing that will prompt the person to click play on the video? What subject line will you use to make the person open the email? Whatever it is, it should prompt the need to know (need for closure). The payoff is you delivering on that need to close.
Start simple, Davis said, and if people aren’t responding to your tension question, change the question. The key is to say something that opens the curiosity gap and then close it.
You don’t do that only once; instead, you create a series of these micro-moments of commitment that build a relationship with the person. When that person is ready, and you’ve earned the right for that 30-minute call, you’ll have a greater chance at a successful conversion.
First, let me say that listening to Davis was refreshing. He’s a great presenter (had to get that out of the way). Second, he makes a great point about the quality of the emails that are flowing out of sales and marketing. I received an email the other day from a brand what went like this:
“Hi Barb, great to see you connected with xxx at the Virtual Summit!
I'm Matt, your point of contact here. Wanted to introduce myself, and see what questions you have about xxx.
You're encouraged to schedule a time that works well for you from here: Book a meeting with Matt.”
The thing is, I don’t remember even attending the Virtual Summit in the end, or connecting with someone at the company. But here they were, looking to get a meeting. This was the first of four emails I received from this person. And because I deleted each one as they came in, I didn’t remember getting the one before the most recent one, which is why I emailed back and asked where he got my information. A search in my trash finally brought up all of them together.
I’d like to show you an email from a brand I did like, but I don’t have one. And that’s my point. Building a relationship using the approach Davis provides above seems so much better than continually asking for a meeting from the get-go. His approach also works well for the informed buyer that Jon Reed talks about .
In the end, David helped the reps sending the emails from the two brands he critiqued create better sales videos, and you should watch the replay of the session to see how they improved over time. They are lessons I will remember and encourage brands I work with to employ.