The secret to a successful lead generation program is being able to convert more inquiries into qualified sales leads. Doing this requires identifying individuals with a specific need and presenting them with a product or solution that fulfills their need when they have the budget, time and desire to do something about it. If you’re fortunate enough to be selling a product that has a high demand and little competition, finding these individuals can be easy. For everyone else, developing a lead nurturing program that maximizes every opportunity is essential.
Building a lead nurturing program enables you to maintain a meaningful, consistent dialogue with your target prospects over time. This is essential because the majority of your prospects will not be ready or willing to buy when you first identify them. By staying in regular contact and slowly enhancing their knowledge of your product, you can better position yourself to close the sale when the opportunity does arise.
The perfect example of how a lead nurturing program works is the marriage proposal. When you meet someone, you don’t immediately ask them to marry you. You start by learning bits of information over time through dating until you’ve developed a better understanding of their interests and desires. Then, when the time is right, and you think there’s a match between their interests and your own, you make your move.
When applied to a business situation, the lead nurturing process produces a similar result by putting you in the best possible position to convert a marketing lead into an actual sale. How you manage the relationship up to that point is the critical part. Here are some tips to guide you through this process:
1) Take It Slow
Don’t rush to make the sale. If your prospect isn’t ready to buy, pushing for a commitment will scare them away and cost you in the long run. Instead, provide information and incentives that will encourage them to make a decision in your favor when that time comes.
2) Get Permission
Don’t assume your prospects want to hear from you. Getting permission to contact them on the phone, through email or in any way is important. And once you have that permission, don’t abuse it. Consider how often you communicate with prospects and don’t overdo it. Permission marketing is a privilege not a right. Communicate valuable content and respect their time to avoid being a pest or being tuned out.
3) Give More Than You Take
Building trust is the best way to convert a lead into a sale. This requires providing more value that you ask for in return. Start by helping prospects identify the need, then understanding the potential risk or benefits to fulfilling it. Along the way, you’ll be able to collect bits of information that will help you position your product as the best solution.
4) Know Where You Want to Go
Knowing when to pop the question requires understanding the steps necessary to get to that point. Having clear qualification criteria and an understanding of your value to your target prospect will help you do this. This will also help you ask the appropriate questions as the right time leading up to that point.
5) Don’t Forget What Got You There
Building a lead nurturing program shouldn’t stop when the sale is closed. Existing customers represent a valuable source of business potential as well as referrals. If your customers are happy, they’ll spread the word and make it easier for you to identify new prospects and close future sales.
Understanding how to build a lead nurturing process isn’t easy, but the payoffs for the investment are huge. Additionally, the more you can standardize in this process, the more opportunity you have to automate it for even greater efficiencies and economies of scale. If you’re interested in help understanding or setting up your own lead nurturing program, give ResponsePoint a call at 800-990-0725 or request one of our Free Consultations.