Can You Use a Blog Post to Address Sales Objections?

Blogs, when their intent is marketing, are supposed to be informative, educational, enticing, and not at all “pitch-y.” This is especially true in business-to-business (B to B) marketing; in business-to-consumer marketing, you can be campy, funny, and use a lot of exclamation points.

Blogs, according to conventional wisdom (inasmuch as blogs are old enough to have acquired any patina of tradition), can boost a website’s search engine performance by providing content relevant to target keywords; can educate potential customers; and can build authority in an organization’s intellectual marketplace.

A team I have been working with recently found that a blog article could also serve as a perfect tool for addressing sales objections.

What is a sales objection? A sales objection is something that could keep a prospect from turning into a customer. It is a correct or incorrect belief about your company, product, or service that needs to be addressed in order to convince that prospect to buy from you. The objection does not always need to be overruled, but it must at least be counter-balanced. For example, a customer who believes your company’s vitamins are overpriced might buy them anyway if she believes they are more effective than a competitor’s brand.

Normally, a sales objection is addressed by who else? The salesperson. These days, as Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman brilliantly point out in Content Rules, your sales team often never gets to address a sales objection. In most B to B markets, your prospects and customers are researching their purchasing options online and will never contact you until or unless they are almost ready to buy. This means that if they encounter a sales objection that stops them in their tracks, your team will simply not hear from them and you won’t know whom you’ve missed out on.

Now let’s say you’ve identified some common objections to your product. Let’s assume you have good answers to these objections (if you don’t, you might want to look for another job marketing something you believe in). How do you get your answers in front of the audience to counter their objections?

The answer is to address these objections where they occur — which will be on influencers’ blogs, in social media challenges, and so on. Here’s where your nimble, flexible blog comes in.

  1. Write at least one blog post for each sales objection.
  2. Make sure to include keywords that might be used by people in the market for your product.
  3. Instead of addressing the sales objection head-on (“People are saying that our product is overpriced, but here are five reasons we think it’s reasonable”), try to choose a particular application for your product or service and address the objection in that context. Think of a use case for your product and use the blog post to discuss that use case.
  4. You can flesh out your argument to the sales objection more completely in a downloadable premium, like a white paper, a comparison chart, or an online calculator. Incorporate a call-to-action in your blog post that links to that premium.
  5. The same rules that apply to all blog posts apply to what you write here. Don’t be pitchy. Present your case in a fair way. If you’re in a brainy market, provide references and citations where possible.
  6. Before you publish the content, have your sales team vet it. Make sure they’re comfortable and familiar with what you’re saying, because if your post is successful, your team will be getting questions about it.
After you’ve written and published your blog post, the real fun begins. Go out into the social media world of other people’s blogs, forums, LinkedIn discussions, and so on. Find where people are talking about your product — especially where they present the kind of factually incorrect or slanted arguments that have been driving you crazy. In these situations, you could never have commented “You’re wrong! Our product gives you way more bang for the buck!” But now that you have some content that is actually valuable, you — or better yet, a third party who’s friendly to your company or your cause — can respectfully direct readers to your blog post. Now, when people read the common sales objection they will also have access to the information to overcome that objection — in the same place.

Where, Oh Where, Is A High Res Logo?

Here’s a frustrating situation that designers, printers, and yes, even bloggers, face from time to time.

You’re looking for a company’s logo. I’m not talking about using a logo for the wrong reasons … I’m talking about when a company has asked you to create a web page or an ad for them . . . or they’re working with a partner and need to feature the partner’s logo . . .  Sure, you can find something on the Web, but it’s a .GIF, a .JPG, or even a .png format, and it’s the wrong size for your needs. Or it doesn’t have a transparent background. You end up doing tons of production work using Photoshop to make it look right. And it still doesn’t work because of pixels (which my son calls “pickles,” but that’s another story . . . no, this is not a soccer mom blog. At least mostly not).

Fortunately, through a combination of Google, a bunch of friendly “logo” websites, and Acrobat Reader, you can solve about 90% of these problems. (Disclaimer: I am making up the 90% figure).

Here are four helpful tips:

  1. Do a Google Search on “[company name] logo vector” — if the company you are looking for is at all in the public eye, chances are you will pull up one of a number of “free vector logo” websites that offer this material free of charge.
  2. If you don’t find something on Google, go to the company’s website and look for a PDF of the company’s annual report or even press releases. You can often open a PDF in Acrobat and copy-paste individual images into Illustrator. Failing that, you can open individual pages of a PDF in Photoshop and get images at much higher resolution than you’ll find them on the Internet.
  3. If all that fails, do a Google search for “company name” and “pdf” or “psd” or “.png”
  4. Or even “company name” and “.ppt”. It’s amazing how many PowerPoint presentations are floating around in directories not indexed in companies’ main websites, but find-able through Google.

If you would like to save your designer this trouble, please make sure that a vector version of your company’s logo is stored where everyone in your company can find it. Where I work, we have a company Wiki that contains everything from employee expense reimbursement forms to links to our logo in various formats. Whenever I get an email from someone looking for our logo, I point them to the right page on the Wiki.

After all, pickles are great on your cheeseburger, but pushing them around one at a time to try to make a yucky JPEG look better is no one’s idea of a fun time.