You know, there are always going to be a fair number of people kicking the tires on your website, right? Not everybody closes and becomes a lead. It is just a fact. So what we have to think about is how we can improve the amount of time spent with quality prospects.
Prioritizing our sales calls and our time is critical, and one of the things that you can learn by talking with the sales people is that some prospects are not ready to buy, and there are some important qualifying questions that will show immediately whether the caller is worth prioritizing at that point.
You can tell right away that they’re just very preliminary, they’re doing a little bit of research, they are not really sure. That’s an ideal client for an e-series, where perhaps each installment directs them to a YouTube video that educates them. Somebody who is in the very preliminary stages and is just trying to gain information, that person wants education. They want information.
They are not yet asking buying questions. Further, with all the technology – auto responders, video, emails, and white paper reports – a significant chunk of that education can be done automatically over a period of time without draining or requiring a sales team to commit their resources. That’s called nurturing.
Cultivating leads is much like cultivating a garden. Harvest time happens when the crops are ready. What would happen if the farmer sitting on the combine constantly was driving around the garden watching the crops grow? He’d waste a lot of gas. He would waste a lot of time.
The overuse of the combine would probably cause it to require more repairs. At times, maybe after being overzealous, the combine operator would start to see something that looks like it should be picked and he treads through the garden or the fields before it’s ready.
So, you’ve got to know what phase these customers are in and be able to use questions to identify that phase. This can be done in an automated process which will help separate which relationships are ready for harvest, and which ones still need to be cultivated, grown, watered, fertilized, given that information and given those videos and brought along.
When systems cultivate and educate your prospects on a completely automated basis, it will no longer be a drain on your sales resources. Perhaps even your sales people can be the ones recording the videos or creating the presentations that educate the audience. Then somebody can get back to them periodically and ask if they have seen the video or videos. There are ways that you can check into the system to see who has seen the videos, as an indicator of their level of interest.
This is also very possible to track.
While few see lead cultivation and nurturing as a sexy shot in the arm, it can provide huge results by automatically filtering the prospects who are most ready to the top. This gets your sales people spending more time with better prospects because they’ve been educated and are much further along in the cycle and that’s what sales people want!
Patience will always pay off. Make sure you take time to cultivate the crops, and then start harvesting.