A lot of my clients are suffering from this fate. Through years of networking and word-of-mouth, they’ve racked up plenty of leads but they are leaving money on the table because they’re too time-starved to call them back. After all, the old saying goes that there’s a fortune in follow up. In fact, 50% of leads are nowhere ready to buy. On the other hand, if you actually took the time or found some passive ways to nurture those leads, Marketo research says that they lead to 47% bigger purchases vs. their so-called ‘ignored’ counterparts. So, what should you be doing if you find yourself in this situation?
I only put the exclamation marks because it’s simply my answer to everything. When you niche, you have strategically picked out an industry or two to skyrocket your growth in. Why not spend whatever time you’re spending making new friends, acquaintances, networks in those circles? Why not stick to attending one industry event, trade show, chapter meeting or Linkedin chat? It takes 7-12 touches before a prospect will buy from you. Why not up the odds and keep touching them by simply existing in their everyday circle.
When you have a pocketful of leads, you’ve gotta either find the time to establish rank criteria and brief someone to score and sort them, or you’ve gotta take a half day yourself to do it. The essence of scoring leads is to categorize them as Hot, Warm, Cold potentials to buy from you TODAY. The criteria you use to sort them could be the prospect’s size, location, recency of contact, industry or relevance of how you met (was there anything memorable about it?). Once these are established, you’ll see which group of leads you’ll have to hit first.
One of my clients who were in exactly this situation have hired a lower level appointment setter to call the sorted leads. We’ve devised a script that reminds the leads about where/how we met or got their name. Then we invite them to a 1-1 or a 1-many event like a tasting or a Round-table, making sure that the topic is always about THEIR pain. Not about what you do for a living. It’s alway about them. My clients have seen a huge uptick in their business since they’ve started implementing this tactic.
Get Them On A Funnel
A funnel essentially starts by getting prospects to trade their information (phone, email, name, etc.) in exchange for something of value that you offer them for free. For example, you can offer them a free assessment, a free webinar, a tip sheet or a white paper about a solution to their pain. A funnel is a passive way to engage and educate leads. Then the funnel progresses into periodically touching them via emails, invitations, social media posts, videos and even phone calls. Once their name is yours, you can now nurture them. A big warning about the use of this marketing tool though is that it’s less effective than the active calling or speaking in front of them. Also, if you’re time starved, you will eventually have to carve out time to sit down with the prospect to have the actual sales meeting. If you have no time to do that for YEARS, I would seriously look at my priorities and agenda management.
How do you engage the pocketful of leads on hand into moving into your nurture funnels: You can engage your leads by emailing them a ‘welcome’ type of email that then offers them solutions around the pain you help them with. Another way is to initiate funnels on a page or section on your website that they might be visiting. The most important aspect of engaging ANYONE is to always talk about them and not about you.
So, take your pocket load of leads and implement some of the creative ways I’ve talked about to move them into closed sales.