You’ve worked hard to generate a number of qualified leads…
The trouble is, not every prospect is ready to buy TODAY.
Nurturing Leads is Essential to Sales Success
So – how do you stay in front of prospects when they said, “not now”?
There are many reasons a qualified prospect may not be ready to buy today. One important reason is the trust factor. Prospects need time to develop trust in you, your company, and your services before they will consider buying from you. As a matter of fact, data has shown it takes an average of seven impressions before a prospect will remember your company. But, it’s not just the number of touches that matters…it is also the quality of those touches.
What does this mean for those in marketing and sales? At a minimum:
- You must remain in front of your prospects regularly so that when that elusive “time of need” arises, you will be front-and-center, ready to assist them.
- You need to provide added value at every touch.
Of course, we all know that the “last one in” the door is often the one to make the sale. So, how do you become the “last one in” without becoming a nuisance?
You must reach out to prospects regularly, providing VALUE at every touch. To be effective, this approach requires some thought and planning.
Consider the following:
- Value-added content provides answers, insights, information, or solutions.
- Value-added content is NOT an advertisement or solicitation to promote your company’s services.
- Ideally, your content should be 90% informative and only 10% promotional.
- When developing content, think, “What will HELP my prospects gain value immediately?”
To create value-added content, ask yourself, “What are my prospects and clients interested in or concerned about? What are common challenges in this industry? What questions arise again and again?” Content addressing these questions will provide immediate value for your target audience.
Strive to provide content in the form of tips, a handy checklist, or best practices. Use an “email teaser” for people to click to read a 600-800 word blog article that the reader will find informative and value-added.
(Hint: To increase curiosity, opens and click rates, include a number in the subject line… e.g. Top Five Ways to Increase Your Marketing Results. Also, email content should be short, sweet, and bulleted via what we call an “email teaser,” with several clickable links where people must “click here to read the article.” Only then can you track who has actually clicked through to read the full article. Follow up on all click-throughs with a phone call within 48 hours for the best results!)
The goal is to continue to be a helpful resource throughout the sales cycle.
Read on to learn five strategies and content ideas for your lead nurture campaigns.
Five Tips to NURTURE Your “Not Now” Leads:
- Special Articles: Send an “I thought of you” article once a quarter, citing a source of industry information that could prove helpful to your prospect.
- Research industry trending topics.
- Categorize your prospects by industry, area of solution required, size, or other variables.
- Match and send relevant content based on each prospect’s industry or stated need.
- White Papers: Develop a “hot topic” white paper available for download, providing tips and ideas or education regarding solutions relative to the industry’s needs.
- Webinars: Invite prospects to attend a webinar 2-4 times per year. Offer curriculum-based information to assist prospects in resolving a common problem, addressing industry trends, and/or providing best practice recommendations in a specific area.
- Newsletter: Provide a content-rich newsletter, delivered consistently once or twice a month, with topics targeted by industry.
- Phone Outreach: Call them – nothing beats a personal phone call!
- Call on all email click-throughs, white paper downloaders, and webinar attendees ASAP.
- Ask if the prospect has any needs or questions you can help them address. Ask open-ended questions to spur dialogue and uncover hidden needs: “I saw you downloaded our white paper on top email marketing techniques. What kind of email marketing campaigns have you tried and how effective were they?”
- Continue to provide value. Engage in meaningful conversation about their current reality, daily challenges, or needs with which you can assist.
Always test, analyze and tweak your campaigns based on results. Be politely persistent as you move your prospects through the buying process.
And remember, “Not Now” leads haven’t said “no,” they simply aren’t ready to say “yes” yet. Often, salespeople forget about these leads and just move on. However, these leads are perfect to be included in insightful lead nurture campaigns. By consistently sending value-added, though-leadership content you can achieve the following results:
- Increase email open rates and click-through rates
- Develop a favorable image of your company – BRANDING!
- Increase website traffic – readers are more likely to investigate your company
- Create the opportunity to be in front of prospects at regular intervals
- Prospects will REMEMBER YOU when they are ready to buy
Keep up the great work! Prospects and clients alike will come to anticipate and appreciate your content when you follow these basic guidelines.
We can help. Since 2001, we have worked with companies in a variety of B2B industries to help them achieve success.
Call today to explore ways to improve your lead generation and sales results.