I have a love/hate relationship with salespeople. When I know exactly what I want going into a store, I don’t want to waste any time, so I head to the first salesperson I see and ask them where to find my item.
Sometimes these salespeople are vague with their answers and leave me feeling like they don’t really care. Others will actually walk me to the area where my items are located. Those are the ones I appreciate, especially if I’m going to make a huge purchase.
And if it is a huge purchase, I take the time to make the decision. So what I’m really hoping for is a salesperson to “nurture” me. In other words, he’ll follow up consistently with confidence, respect, and a keen, honest desire to build an ongoing relationship to help—me and not necessarily to just sell me.
Now it’s one thing to do that kind of relationship building in person, but nurturing online is hard to provide, right? Not if you’re doing it correctly.
Here are five steps to effectively nurturing your online leads:
A relationship usually begins online with an exchange of contact information. Generally, this is a lead filling out a contact form to give you their name and email address. In exchange for a person’s name and email, you need to offer something your prospect would consider valuable. That might be an e-book, guide, or a free consultation. That free offer is typically in an opt-in form. Filling out this form is a clear indication of interest in your offering. So what do you do to nurture this prospect?
Sending at least one email after a prospect gives you their name and email address is critical. But what about the second, third, or fourth email? Marketing studies show it takes roughly seven to 10 touches to convert someone to a customer. Most people forget to send more than one email. When that happens, we may be throwing away a possible sale. And that could translate into thousands of dollars we’re leaving on the table. So what do you do to make sure that doesn’t happen? You need to automate your email nurture sequence.
3. Delivery tool
To automate communication, you need an automation tool. This kind of a tool will allow you to nurture your prospects consistently. Although that prospect may not be interested in purchasing right now, if you nurture them with valuable information that speaks to their challenges and offers solutions, they won’t turn you away. They’ll welcome your emails or texts and may even consider you an expert.
What about your existing clients? Nurture them as well. It’s a well-known fact that it’s much less expensive to keep an existing client than it is to gain a new one. Upsell them or ask them for referrals. For many firms, especially service firms that sell to other business, existing clients represent a substantial portion of their overall revenue and future pipeline.
So after you’ve chosen an automation tool (like Infusionsoft) to help stay engaged with your prospects and customers consistently, provide valuable content to keep people coming back. When you do this, it increases trust in you and attracts links to your site. When you add valuable content about your product or service it shows that you have a deeper commitment and separates you from the people that just sell boxes. This helps you to make a personal connection with your customers and become someone they want to do business with.
Also known as a CTA, a call-to-action urges a prospect to take an immediate action, such as “Call Now,” “Click Here,” or “Learn More.” There’s no such thing as a successful marketing campaign unless there is a successful CTA. Conversions, revenue, business, and profit all depend on the mighty call-to-action. Every form of communication with your customer should begin and/or end with a call-to-action. So if a lead or prospect is ready, they can take the next step necessary to move further along your sales funnel.
Marissa Leinart is a Getting Started Coach at Infusionsoft, where she helps small business owners use sales and marketing automation to achieve success. She believes in teaching entrepreneurship at a young age and did just that with her two children when she decided to homeschool for 17 years.