Many businesses seek to get leads via the internet. You can either generate those leads yourself via your own website or email marketing, or you can work with a lead generation service that will market for the leads and then send them to you for a fee. Either way it is still up to you and your business to turn those leads into sales. The problem is the quality of each lead is not the same even though their price might be the same. Let me explain.
One of the first things to recognize about a lead is where the prospect is in their buying cycle. Some prospects are ready to buy now and want to make a decision; others are not ready to buy and are still collecting information and or figuring out how to make a decision.
To determine where they are you will probably have to forget about what you want the selling cycle to be. I say this because if you try to bring your prospect down a path that doesn’t work for them, they just aren’t going to buy. And, if they do buy, you risk cancellation of the sale due to buyer’s remorse.
Regardless of the source of the lead I recommend my clients find out where the prospect is in their buying cycle, or what I refer to as their decision making process. Two things are very important about the prospect’s decision making process:
- If they don’t yet have a process or know how to create one, they will not buy anything.
- If you don’t know what their decision making process is you will be compromised in helping them make a decision and might even risk giving them a reason to say no.
Keeping these facts in mind, if you have found out your prospects are just starting or in the middle of determining their process, why should you bother trying to close the sale. By doing so you might just alienate them and when they are ready to decide they probably won’t feel comfortable contacting you again. Instead, why not nurture that lead and prospect along by helping them discover a decision making process that works for them and at the same time may just simplify your sales process when they are ready to buy. Here are the three purposes I stress my clients should strive for with their campaign and content:
- Make sure the info you share makes them and you look and feel good.
- Make sure the information is accurate and builds your credibility.
- Make sure it gives them the impression that you are easy to approach.
The best way to do this is to send or make available to them relevant and valuable information related to what they are looking for. You can do this in person, but it takes a lot of time for you and them. Instead, implement a customized and automated email nurturing campaign. By doing so you can keep in touch with them and help guide them down the typical path needed to make a confident decision. Of course by doing it this way they will be collecting the information on your website, so make sure that the other content on your site is complementary, relevant and valuable as well. If you want to know what they are looking at and when, use landing pages and or tracking URLs so they will be identifying themselves before they can get to it.
I work with and help remodeling business owners. Here is an example from my blog of information remodeling business owners could write about or share links to with their prospects.
Remember, not all internet leads are the same when you get them, but you sure can improve the value and quality of leads by nurturing them along until your prospect is ready to make a decision. Hopefully they decide on you and your business!