Lead nurturing is a bit like gardening. Most often leads or new business prospects are not ready to buy immediately. If you take the time to nurture the leads you generate now, they will bloom like daffodils in the spring.
- Make sure you have the lead in your CRM and sales funnel with all the important information (contact name, phone number, address and email address).
- Keep the lead fertilized by sending along pertinent information every now and them. Hint: it is a good idea to send information they have to download from your website (or blog) from time-to-time. A rule of thumb: if they do not open your stuff, they are not very interested. If they are not very interested, they are unlikely to buy.
- Early on in the process, find out when they will be making a buying decision next.
- Invite the lead to a company social event or a thought leadership activity (webinar) even if they have not purchased or even ask for a proposal. General information about your organization and HOW your products and services work is good "top of the funnel" content that will allow them to check you out. Webinars and product demos are good middle of the funnel activities that promote trial use and aid in conversion from lead to customer.
- Work on your personal positioning (Your personal marketing resume and LinkedIn presence, and communicate your value and establish trust).
Remember this key concept: do not try to sell a lead (prospect) until you have established interest, uncovered a problem and they are ready for a solution. Start this process now, and you will increase the likelihood of a bumper crop in the future.
Editor's Note: This article was originally posted December 21, 2011 and has been updated.