You can’t plant flowers in your yard and just expect them to grow. You have to make sure they get the proper amount of sun and plenty of water before you enjoy their beauty. The same is true for business leads. You can’t just make a connection and expect things to happen. You have to make sure the relationship is mutually beneficial and give it the needed attention. Nurturing leads for growth is the best way to grow your business, even though it means investing time and energy into some leads that don’t bloom.
What is Lead Nurturing?
Lead nurturing is building relationships with potential customers. It’s how you engage with them, so they see the value in your products or services and want to do business with you. Developing these relationships results in about half of potential customers converting. But even if they aren’t ready to buy yet, it expands your network, gives you strong leads for the future, and creates a foundation for referrals.
Tips for Nurturing Leads for Growth
As cliche as it may sound, nurturing leads is about treating people the way you would want to be treated in the same situation. Would you spend time with someone who focuses on trying to sell you something you may or may not need? Or would you want to engage with someone who learns about you, your business, and what you need, then helps you understand what their business can (and can’t) do to help? Considering how you’d want to be treated in a similar situation is the foundation for building strong relationships.
Recognize that Every Client is Unique
People are different. It’s ok to have templated responses that you send out to some questions or that are part of your sales/onboarding process. But also make it a priority to engage with each potential client as a human. Learn about them and their business, and begin establishing your working relationship. Even if your business isn’t the right fit, people will appreciate that you treated them well. They expand your network, and they might even recommend your work to someone else.
I live this with each of the people I talk to. I go into meetings sometimes knowing that they might not be a good fit for Content Journey, but some of those conversations have directly led to client referrals. Or they come back when they are ready to work with us.
Don’t assume that you understand a potential client’s audience, products/services, or needs, even if you work with a similar business. Businesses are unique too! Ask a lot of questions, especially in the beginning of the relationship, and really listen to the client’s responses. Your job at the beginning of the relationship is to learn as much as you can about the potential client and their needs to make the best recommendations.
In fact, if you approach all of your initial conversations with a sense of curiosity it won’t just result in a better relationship, but a more interesting conversation.
Respond Quickly and Professionally
There’s a limited timeline when people decide whether to do business with you. If they don’t think you’re responsive, they won’t want to be your partner. Respond quickly and professionally to all inquiries. This professionalism shows how you work with clients and value their time.
Stay in Touch
It takes an average of eight touchpoints to close a sale. While this number isn’t consistent with all clients or for all businesses, it’s worthwhile to note that you probably aren’t going to earn a new client the first time you speak with them. You have to work on the relationship and connect with them in various ways, like through phone calls, content, email messages, your newsletter, and even on social media. You want the prospective client to be reminded of your business and run into it frequently while you work to build the relationship.
Staying in touch with prospects is an area I still struggle with. In my opinion, there is a fine line between staying in touch and bothering people. When I find the magic balance, I’ll let you know!
Find the Right Fit
You’ve been in a situation where you’ve gotten the hard sell. Maybe it was when buying new furniture or even a car. We don’t like being sold to, especially if it seems like the person wants to sell at any cost. Be honest with potential clients about whether your business is a good fit for them and vice versa. Your business isn’t for everyone, and that’s ok.
This works the other way around too, not all clients are for you. Treat all your initial conversations as mutual interviews.
You may be well-intentioned when you promise a client certain results within a specific time. You may even think, “We could probably figure that out,” when talking about a product or service that you don’t currently offer. But overpromising will sour a client relationship in the long term. Instead, be honest about what you can do, what you think you could do, and what really isn’t in the scope of your business. Don’t be afraid to suggest alternatives that you recommend to the client. But don’t promise them the moon unless you can deliver it.
Never Sacrifice Quality
It’s often a push to deliver those first products to a new client. But never sacrifice quality for a delivery timeline. If something pushes back the project, communicate with the client about it. In my experience, they understand when you need a bit more time. And it’s much better to share disappointing news than to deliver a subpar product. It won’t impress the client, and you won’t be proud of the work.
Grow With Content Journey
Content Journey can help you use content marketing to nurture leads for growth. We provide all types of content, including blog posts and email newsletters, to help keep your business top-of-mind with potential customers. Want to learn more about how we can help you grow your business? Book a call!