As you read this, outside your window, is a world full of leads. There are thousands of leads outside my window too. I’m looking out at them right now. And I’m thinking of a phrase from one of my favourite singers: “I just haven’t met you yet.”
We all want customers for our businesses. But our job as marketers is to have an eye out for leads too. A customer, by definition, is somebody that has actually bought your product or engaged with your content. A lead, however, is somebody that is still doing their research.
Why should you care about leads?
Potential leads are often considering your product or service for one of two reasons:
- They were previously with one of your competitors but now want to change suppliers;
- They’re a completely new prospect who has a problem they’re looking to solve.
Either way, you need to convert these leads into customers. Both for their benefit (what good is a problem that can’t be solved?) and for the benefit of your business.
How do you convert leads into customers?
Converting leads to customers is not about yelling at them. No matter how much you beg them to “CHOOSE ME”, they’re not going to listen if they’re not willing.
Converting leads to customers IS about understanding. Take the time to figure out their personas and their personal buyer journey and develop content that helps clarify the specific problem they are having.
How do you nurture a lead?
The way to nurture a lead is to develop content for every stage of their journey. Top of the funnel content is very different to middle-of-the funnel content: baiting a prospect is different to guiding them through their issues. If you successfully guide them through the middle of the funnel the likelihood they will follow you through to the end is higher.
If they’re comfortable with your ability to help them along their journey they will make a purchasing decision.
The more they progress through the funnel and interact with your content, that’s how you know they’re getting closer on that journey to becoming a customer.
Patience is the key
Keep in mind, a person may stay at the top of the funnel for a long time before something else happens to trigger them on the rest of their journey. The process doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient.
And don’t EVER force it. You want someone to engage with you of their own accord. There’s nothing more unpleasant than a forced relationship. Instead, you should definitely promise to give so much more than you’ll get.
Keeping them on the line
There will inevitably be those people who do not convert to leads. Often, it’s not you, it’s them. BUT it doesn’t hurt to adjust your strategy and try one last time. After all, relationships are a two-way street.
Maybe try changing the way you’re communicating or the type of content you’re delivering. Sure, they’re not ready to commit right now. They may be interested sometime in the future. A friendly nudge and “hey, long time no see” is okay every once and a while.
Heck, you could even buy them flowers. Whatever approach you take, be gentle and they’ll come around.