Most business owners, salespeople and non-sellers responsible for sales are pretty good at setting next steps at the end of a prospect meeting. Most are fairly good at executing the follow up, especially if there is an immediate need. Where too many fail miserably is in effectively nurturing a prospect relationship after the meeting if there is not an immediate need. Some sellers never follow up (completely lose track of the prospect) and others follow up in meaningless ways which have no hope of taking relationships to the next level. Several Door Opener® Service clients have asked me recently for effective lead nurturing strategies which work to deepen relationships.
Below are lead-nurturing strategies which ACTUALLY nurture leads:
- Connect prospects with important people. Who do you know who your prospect would value being introduced to personally or professionally? How about referring business to your prospect? You will be appreciated and remembered.
- Proactively provide valuable information. Share a market industry report or other relevant insights.
- Everyone loves exclusivity! Invite him/her to join you at an exclusive event you plan to attend.
- Nominate your prospect for an award.
- Invite prospects to topical discussions with your clients. Your clients solved the same issues your prospects are facing by hiring you. Organize a round table (can be virtual) to discuss these important topics and invite your clients to share how they solved the challenges. This “soft” reference will provide prospects with value and a deeper understanding of how you can help. Include high profile customers that are revered in the industry and best practice organizations.
- Include your voice. No matter what you do, always pick up the phone and TALK. Nothing takes the place of the unique sound, tone & inflection of your voice…it’s personal, it’s human, it’s a more intimate connection. Email alone cannot accomplish this.
- Do your research. Ask “high gain” questions to get as much info as you can about future plans/possible needs and what has worked for them before. Set up Google alerts for them, their companies, competitors, key vendors, industry, etc.
- Date & Time, Date & Time, Date & Time. Maintain control of the relationship and keep it moving forward by always setting a date and time for a next step. If prospects won’t agree to put a time on their calendars, let them know you will put a date and time on yours. Keep track and do exactly as you promised.
These strategies will help ensure that when prospects are ready to move forward and put their money on the table, your position will be solid and you will be there to collect.