As any sales rep knows, a large percentage of prospects will not be ready to buy during your initial conversation.  Out of the hundreds of leads you contact, each are in a different stage of the buying process.  Some might just be browsing, or in a planning phase.  Some may be comparing your product to other before reaching a decision.  An important aspect of lead nurturing is understanding which phase the buyer is in, and following up accordingly.  So what can you do to make this process work for you?

 

  1. Have different follow up strategies for different types of prospects.  Lead nurturing is most successful when follow ups and information sent is targeted to the buyer’s needs, as well as their current interest level and other criteria.  It’s different for every business.  Take some time to categorize your prospects and determine the ideal way to follow up with each category.
  2. Use multiple forms of communication.  As I’m sure you’ve noticed, you will never get past voicemail with some people.  Others may never check their email.  Use multiple forms of communication to increase your chances of contact.  If you have already spoken to the prospect, ask how they would like to be contacted in the future.
  3. Consider frequency.  People already get enough junk mail, so blasting your prospects with daily emails is only going to put up a red flag.  Trust me, whether you send 5 emails or 50, they will see it – it’s just a matter of whether they will open it.  Space the emails out and provide quality information (the subject line is key!), and you will have a better chance.
  4. Respond quickly.  When someone finally responds or calls in, act fast.  A prospect that directly reaches out to you should be top priority because the window of opportunity is narrow.  This will also establish trust with the prospect, setting your closing changes higher.
  5. Demonstrate instant value.  Simply sending sales emails every one in awhile might work sometimes; however, providing valuable industry related materials in the meantime will show the buyer that your company not only has a good product, but a great resource as well.  This will certainly give you an edge on the competition.
  6. Automate your process.  Why manually send out emails and manually follow up when it can be automated?  This will give you more time to focus on building relationships with prospects.  (Click here to learn more about sales force automation)
  7. Track your interactions.  Document every phone call, every update, every email.  Without this, you will be scrambling for information when someone calls in, and potentially neglecting to follow up when necessary.
  8. Understand that no lead nurturing process is perfect.  Always continue to reevaluate what is working and what isn’t.  By tracking interactions, this gives you the ability to run reports on your system and make changes where needed.  
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