Touch Your Leads Once A Month
A lot of sales people glorify the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, the famous coffee is for closers line, the contest, and more. All very entertaining – but not really great sales. But the really dangerous habit that is reinforced in the movie, is the callus attitude towards leads; the attitude of dial three times and toss, is not only a waist, but gives impressionable sales people of all ages the wrong idea of the value of a lead, even when you are selling moose patch.
Leads are a valuable resource, and more importantly a reusable resource. You can revisit them over time, and often realize their full potential after the third, fourth or eighth attempt at engaging. But too many sales people and organizations to fully value their leads, evidenced by the fact that they throw them away, or store them out back, way too soon, in fact with some leads you can revisit them repeatedly over the years and many eventually bear fruit.
The challenge for many is how to strike the balance between time and resources invested in keeping leads health and nurturing them till they do bear fruit, while at the same time interacting with “prospect” that can turn into sales now. But when you take a step back, there are some things you can do that help you get the most out of both, delivering sales now and ensuring you have enough opportunities to succeed in the future.
First is to have a lead strategy, what are you going to do to maximize interaction with “future opportunities/prospects”, which is really what a lead is, the raw material for future sales. Let me give you my quick definition of a lead so we are all on the same page. We look at a lead as those people/organizations that fit within the defined demographic of our best buyers. It is not anyone in a position to buy from us, but those that have the demographics of our best customers. You could tier them, Best, Better, Good, but again, the leads I want, the ones that I will work to convert to ‘prospects’, are the ones that have the attributes of my Best (Better or Good) existing customers.
Once identified and verified, I can begin to take them through a process/program of evolving them to the point of becoming a ‘prospect”. They could come from referrals, people who started down the sales path with us, but didn’t complete the journey of becoming a client, but could in the future, trade show list, cold calls, etc. We have talked in the past about our Touch > Contact > Engage method for managing and nurturing leads, and clearly all starts with Touch. So how often do you Touch you primo leads, we think at minimum that should happen once a month. You may Contact them less frequently, but you should touch them once a month. How do you Touch them, different ways; I like e-newsletters, it is direct, informative, helpful and creates a curiosity and call to action. We get in excess of a 20% click through to specific articles, which I believe is higher than direct mail, and likely because they are familiar with the source, subject and quality of the content. But you can do different things, invitation to webinars, direct mail, etc. The key is to do it steadily and consistently, to the point where people come to expect it. When my e-newsletter is late going out, I get inquiries about when it is coming out or “did I miss this month’s Pipeline?”
While it is important to make sure that the Touch is quality and is in a position to add value to the recipient, it is just as important that it is frequent enough to have impact, my view, minimum one Touch per month.
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