Easily half of the leads your marketing team finds aren’t yet sales-ready, but rather than dismissing them, nurture them to build your pool of sales qualified leads. Building trust and cultivating connections with qualified prospects, regardless of where they are in the buyer’s journey, is critical to uncovering quality leads that can be nurtured down the funnel.
As the old saying goes “The money is in the follow-up”! Constant follow-up with potential clients can make a tremendous positive impact on your sales.
Each time you speak with a potential client, you increase the opportunity to showcase your knowledge and expertise, build trust and enhance your relationship. Nurturing leads can be done through sending monthly emails newsletters, and offering advice and insightful content followed with an occasional phone call once every few months.
Tips for Effective Lead Nurturing
Building a relationship with your leads will not only convert them into clients but also keeps them as loyal long-term clients that refer you other prospects and label you as their “go-to guy“ whenever your services are needed.
The following statistics will probably shock you, but it’s a great eye-opening occasion to realize the importance of following up with your prospects:
The results between the fourth and fifth contact indisputably show the importance of a consistent follow-up process.
Here are some of the best practices to develop an effective lead nurturing campaign:
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“It doesn’t have to be a tremendous leap from whatever you’re doing now (likely a sort of treating all leads equally) to implementing a comprehensive lead-management strategy. Achieving a successful nurture-marketing strategy (let alone the next step to closed-loop) should be viewed as a multistep process for these firms.” (Heinz)
Determine which of your contacts are ‘nurture-able.'” What is the size of the population of leads and contacts that you can nurture without complicating sales or customer support efforts (if you want to nurture current accounts)? If it makes sense, include lapsed clients in the mix. It’s important to note that the purpose here isn’t to create the largest database possible.
Identify your perfect lead and treat them differently: Create a clear definition of an ideal prospect and divide it into two categories: do they qualify or do they not? Is it necessary, for example, for an ideal candidate to come from a specific size of company? Is it from a specific named contact? Is it from a certain industry? Set two to three criteria and begin triaging leads based on them.
I’d build nurturing activities that connect the sales and buying cycles. Need, learn, assess, negotiate, purchase, implement, and promote are the steps in a typical buying cycle.
The process of generating leads and nurturing them may sound complex, but it’s well worth the effort.
It will take some time to implement all these lead nurturing practices, but after making the needed adjustments, you will start getting the conversion rates you want.