When it comes to converting leads and spurring growth in your business, the fundamentals are key. But the vast majority of entrepreneurs overlook the most basic principles of all, distracted by whatever new shiny object the business world is touting as the next big thing.
For many of these businesses, sales are elusive. Incoming revenue is a roller coaster ride, hurtling back and forth from feast to famine. It’s difficult to nail down what’s working with customers, and they come and go with no rhyme or reason. Though the business is probably surviving just fine, it’s unlikely that it’s thriving.
To fix this, I could rattle off a slick-sounding list of old sales gems you’ve probably already heard or try to outline some 12-point “system” that’s designed to work with every possible industry, but we all know it doesn’t really work that way.
Instead, I’ll suggest you do just one thing in Q2 that will guarantee you have more sales: long-term lead nurture.
Your Shortsightedness Is Costing Your Company Thousands
If you’re thinking, “That sounds too easy!” or “I already know that!” you’re probably right on both accounts. But there’s a big difference between knowing you should do something and actually doing it. Most business owners use a short-term strategy without even realizing it. They make contact with a prospect and follow up once or twice over a couple of months. Then, they get impatient and throw the customer out of their pipeline like a gallon of spoiled milk.
Last year, our company generated $1,300,000 in new customer revenue from customers who had been on our list for more than 12 months without purchasing a thing. Even after a full year, we turned these skeptics into buyers by focusing heavily on the importance of nurturing our leads. We followed up with prospects month-in and month-out with our weekend reading emails and our print newsletter, in addition to an array of one-shot marketing campaigns and strategic phone follow-up. To even further encourage these prospects to convert, we made prospect-only offers using free-standing inserts in our newsletters to entice them.
Evergreen Lead Nurture
To be an effective marketer, you need to play the long game. Following through in marketing is as important as it is in golf. When you’re trying to stay under par, you’re not about to stop your club right after you first make contact with the ball. Without solid follow-through in your swing, you’re going to spend a lot of time in the rough.
Leads only “go bad” and forget about you if you let them. If you’re able to increase your follow-up touches, both online and offline, you’ll be at the forefront of your prospect’s mind when they’re finally ready to buy.
A few years ago, Moen Faucets conducted a survey to figure out who was buying their faucets. They discovered that, on average, only 15 percent of the customers who requested information from the company made a purchase within the faucet category — not necessarily with Moen! — within the first 90 days of contact. That means that 85% of Moen’s business with their leads was more than 90 days out.
It’s the same situation with your business. Today’s consumers are finicky and more difficult to sell to than ever. But salespeople act like it’s the same climate as ever, only responding to 29% of qualified leads, and only with an average of 1.3 touches, at that. Don’t be one of the businesses neglecting hundreds of “expired” leads. Keep in regular contact and discover the power of consistent lead nurture and follow-up.
I’m confident you’ll discover your best business lies beyond 90 days.