Boats vs. Bridges: How are you Connecting with your Buyers?

Rajiv Saxena
Jun 8, 2018 · 4 min read

When King Xerxes saw the bridges that connected Asia to Thrace in ruins, he had a dilemma. How was he to send his massive army across the Dardanelles into battle?

The answer wasn’t in sending clusters of soldiers and war machines in a volley of small boats. That would take too much time and be a tactical risk.

Instead, he built two temporary bridges out of 360 of his own boats. These bridges allowed his army to go reach the enemy in one piece. More importantly, they were able to maintain communication between the base and the battlefront. In the end, Xerxes was victorious. The moral of the story is that continuous communication is key to victory in any venture, especially business.

In your professional pursuits, are you building boats or bridges?

Boats

What if Xerxes used boats instead? Sure, he would have sent soldiers to Thrace’s shores, but they would have come in vulnerable spurts. The first few squads would have been severely outnumbered and at risk. Disembarking and reorganizing would have also been a time-consuming process. But most of all, communication would have been spotty at best.

If you wouldn’t go to war like this, why would you sell online like this? Handling your prospects and data through multiple disconnected channels is inefficient and time-consuming. When you have to switch between different email accounts, phones, apps, and CRM pages to connect with your leads, you are sending individual boats across the sea, hoping that all of your efforts will haphazardly work together and close on a sale.

Instead of juggling different channels and struggling to stay organized, why not do everything through one channel?

Let’s build bridges.

Boats vs. Bridges

In prospecting you’ll generally undergo five stages. What are some old fashioned “boat” strategies and what are the new and better “bridge” strategies? If you want to effectively recruit and retain clients, you need to establish great communication through building bridges.

Generate Awareness

  • Boats: The old way to gain prospects was to send out cold emails to a non-targeted email list. However, not only do these unsolicited messages end up in someone’s spam box, they’re impersonal and dry.
  • Bridges: The new way is to send a warm, personalized (and targeted) email to a lead. Its content should be based on information you have researched about the prospect and his or her organization. Tying the research to trends in the market that might be relevant to the organization will make this outreach personalized and effective.

Phone Calls

  • Boats: Who likes random unsolicited phone calls? Nobody! Cold calls using blocked numbers or local dial are a thing of the past.
  • Bridges: The new way is to connect with your leads via phone after you’ve established a relationship of trust. When the prospect sees you as a problem-solver who cares about their needs, they’ll pick up the phone or even call you!

Educating the Buyer

  • Boats: Gone are the days of sending PDFs or documents in an email to spread the word about your brand. Piecemeal media like this can easily get lost in the cracks of cyberspace and fall off your prospect’s radar.
  • Bridges: If you want to inform your buyers, you need to make it a dynamic, live, and vibrant experience! Educate your buyers with a shared space or prospect portal where you can interact with them through chat, text, web conferencing demos, or audio/video calls.

Tracking the Buyer’s Interest

  • Boats: Just because someone opened your mass email or clicked through your ad doesn’t mean that they were truly interested. Don’t depend on these shaky stats to determine whether a buyer is on board with what you have to offer.
  • Bridges: Nurture a relationship with your prospects. Establish their needs, gain their trust, validate their interests personally, make opportunities to talk, ascertain a budget, and create a timeline through open communication. They’re people after all, not just numbers.

Following Up

In this stage, you can clearly tell when a prospect is “hot” or has gone “cold” and needs to be put on the back burner.

  • Boats: The old way was to ask for another meeting through an isolated email. However, these messages, much like voicemails or postcards, are easy to set aside or forget.
  • Bridges: When you follow up with your prospects via phone or email, build on your previous conversations. Get to know as much as possible about your client’s interests, capacity, and timeframe. Why leave the next meeting to chance? Book the next meeting before you end the conversation. You can also use this as an opportunity to grow your circle of influence, for example, anyone else in their camp that’s involved in the decision-making process can get on board.

Searching for potential clients and buyers is a vital process that ultimately makes or breaks your business. Are you nurturing your contacts through old-fashioned “boat” methods or are you building bridges through seamless and organized communication?

For more information about OnePgr and how it can help improve your buyer’s experience, reduce sales cycle time, and improve sales effectiveness, please visit: https://onepgr.com/ We are on a mission to help improve the effectiveness of seller-buyer conversations, please let us know if you’d like to know more.

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