Nurture leads like you would a newborn and they’ll learn to love you like a parent
How to nurture prospects into paying customers
So you’ve generated a lead*. Congratulations, it’s a pretty big deal. Pat yourself on the back, sure, but don’t pour yourself a drink just yet, there’s more work to be done.
It’s time to treat your lead like your own child. Being a parent isn’t just about pregnancy and birth – it’s the bit that comes next that’s most important. And like you’d nurture your child to become the person you want them to be, so should you nurture your leads into, well, paying customers.
The same applies for people who’ve already transacted too; if they’ve given you money in the past, that doesn’t mean you say “thank you very much and adios amigo”. Doing that would mean handing that customer all the power and taking zero responsibility for sparking repeat purchases in future.
The truth is, your work is not done! On the contrast, that level of engagement that already exists because they bought from you just makes them the perfect candidates for a little long-term loving.
Don’t allow yourself to think of someone who’s made one purchase as a customer – you owe it to yourself to build that relationship!
Nurture plays a huge role in every successful marketing process, and should take place no matter what stage your lead is at during the sales journey. Its underlying principles are to engage and to provide value, for the purpose of building the relationship between you and your leads and prospects, and creating an element of trust between you.
But why does it matter so much?
You’ll have heard the phrase “people buy people” many times before, I’m sure. And it’s so true; as often as possible, we choose to make our purchases from companies that we trust, because we feel confident that we won’t be wasting our money in the process.
Faced with a plethora of options for any given product, why wouldn’t you hand over your hard-earned cash to the business that you know will offer you the best experience?
Broadly speaking, online reputations for businesses come from three places:
- Based on what you already know about that company
- Based on reviews and recommendations from others
- Based on your own experiences and interactions
While you can’t always control numbers one and two, that last one? Time and time again it’s the result of long-term nurture, something you absolutely can control.
And it has an effect on the other two too. The better one person’s experience, the more likely they are to leave a positive review, which pushes your reputation further and leads to even more transactions.
Nurture’s a long game, so be patient!
Now don’t make the mistake of thinking that nurture is the silver bullet that’ll put more money in your bank account as soon as you get started. Building relationships just doesn’t work that way.
Picture your best friend for a second. Did you meet them yesterday? Of course you didn’t.
They’re likely to be someone you’ve known a while, someone whose character you’ve learnt through time and experience that you can predict and rely on. And that’s how nurture works in marketing too.
Building relationships takes time, effort, dedication, regularity; all things that you’ll need to apply to your customer nurture process, just as you would your mates.
Still, you probably aren’t in a position to have a pint with all your leads and prospects, so what can you do to nurture them instead?
Like I said, nurture is all about engagement and value, and the great news is that there are so many different things you can do to nurture your leads, prospects and customers. The best approaches will find a combination of tools and techniques to patiently generate more profit, and here are some of my favourites.
I’ve always said that the best way you can relay any information is to turn it into a story. Big fan of Aesop and his fables, me. But it’s true. People remember stories more than facts or lists of statistics, and get more out of them too. For example, are you more likely to relay an interesting story you heard onto someone else, or reel off a set of data? The answer’s obvious.
The better your stories – i.e. the more value they add – the more likely your customers and prospects are to want to hear more. So make them relevant and worthy of your prospects’ time, something you think they’d genuinely be interested to hear.
Don’t just use them on your social media and your blog, but in your emails too, which you should be sending regularly to your lists (like at least once a fortnight, or better still, once a week).
Don’t be afraid to ask your prospects questions too. Stories are one thing, but unless you ask for a reaction or an opinion, you’re missing another opportunity to engage. A simple “Have you noticed the same thing? Hit reply and share your own experience” on the end of a nurture email is much more likely to draw a response and develop a relationship a little further than any boring “many thanks” or “yours sincerely” will.
Similarly, posting questions on your social media channels can have the same effect. Always look to add value, but don’t stop short of showing your prospects that you’re genuinely interested in their own thoughts and feelings too.
IMHO there’s always space to get a bit more technical and add tools like quizzes and questionnaires on your website to prompt more engagement from your prospects.
Here’s an example for a business offering financial services. You add a quiz to your website that poses a series of relevant questions and send it to your list of prospects too.
Having it on your website could be great for lead generation, with the promise of a free report being emailed to the user. But by sending it to your prospects too, you can kill two birds with one stone and up your engagement at the same time.
In the automated report email, include an invitation to book a call to talk through the results and you’ll create even more opportunity to engage and offer further value.
Publishing decent content on a blog increases your chances of Google sending your target market to your website.
But what counts as decent? Before sitting down and typing out whatever’s in your head, consider what will be most valuable to your prospects and have the biggest impact on them. That’s the stuff you should be writing about.
Whether that means a series of how-tos, an educational video about the current state of the market, or a long article about your best-kept secrets to success, don’t be afraid to share that information to help prospects decide to trust you.
And, for goodness sake, don’t forget to tell your email lists and socials every time you post something new too!
People want specifics. General information is useful, but knowing exactly how it affects me is even better. And that’s where calculators come in.
With a simple algorithm you can translate standard data into useful, action-generating information for any given prospect.
Think of a mortgage calculator as a simple example. The prospect enters their own data, the algorithm tells them where they stand in real terms and – if the broker’s got their head screwed on – the prospect then receives a bespoke report in an email, along with an invitation to speak further.
You’ve probably already got a plethora of resources that could be turned into great sources of engagement with a little imagination. Technical sheets? Instruction manuals? Coaching programmes? Think carefully about how you could translate these into accessible language for your prospects, make them look nice and offer them for download!
Again, a bank of information like this always proves a useful tool if you’re lacking inspiration for your weekly email, so think outside the box and find a way of communicating the value to your prospects and customers (and don’t forget to include a link!).
Nurture more, learn more, sell more
Every one of these tools will help you to gather information about your prospects’ needs and behaviours but – more importantly – they’ll show your prospects how involved and invested you are in them.
You can never nurture too much, and the sooner you dedicate a regular time slot to content creation – even if that simply involves repurposing something you already have – the better.
It’s a fabulously circular process too. The more you nurture, the more you learn about your customer avatar, and the more powerful your nurture messages become.
But how do the technical bit of nurture, like sending automated emails and report follow-ups? Thankfully, there’s a simple solution.
Sophisticated sales automation systems like Infusionsoft are clever little things that make nurturing your prospects and customers a heck of a lot easier than it sounds.
If you’d like to know more about how Infusionsoft could turn your nurture journey around, give us a call on 01242 375000. Or join our mailing list below to see how well we walk the talk!
*P.S. If you’re not so hot at the lead generation thing, click here to get some ideas that’ll help you turn things around.
Join our mailing list
Sign up to receive notifications from me and my team with new blog posts, ideas and support for your marketing needs.