Lead Nurturing – Build Relationships with Future Clients

Lead Nurturing - Build Relationships with Future Clients

Lead nurturing is what it sounds like: continually providing support and nourishment to leads by anticipating their needs and sending them new, fantastic content that is interesting, educational and relevant.

Lead nurturing is not new – it’s a process that has been used by quality sales and marketing people for years. To nurture a prospect, you take them on a journey until the time is right and they are ready to buy. The major difference between traditional lead nurturing and today is you are touching your prospects using social media, email marketing and blogging.

These people gave you permission to contact them when they signed up for your offer. If you ignore them, you will let these leads turn cold and possibly drive them to buy from your competition.

According to Brian Carroll, Executive Director of Applied Research, MECLABS (parent company of MarketingSherpa), “most lead nurturing programs don’t begin to impact conversion before at least five meaningful touches, and that it’s important to continue nurturing leads whether it takes five touches or 25 touches to get them to the sales-ready point”.

This means you must provide the right information at the right time to help your leads move through the buying decision process. Begin to communicate with them, offering valuable information and “can’t say no” offers every time you touch them. These meaningful touches must provide the value they expect so the prospect begins to differentiate you from the competition in their minds.

Sounds Good – Now How Do I Do This?

If you understand your audience and you know what type of information they need, then you can craft a plan that sends the right information to them at the right time without becoming a pest. But, if it were that easy, we all would be wallowing in the fruits of our success.

If you have created a content marketing strategy for your business, it should include the content you will need in order to provide the right content at the right time depending on where these leads are in the buyer’s journey. Sending strategic content to those who have opted into your list, you can take them from being a cool lead to a hot prospect.

Lead generation and lead nurturing

Lead generation and nurturing

Content you create will depend on the complexity of your product or service. Small businesses primarily need educational content that helps your prospect understand:

  • Who are you and what do you offer?
  • Are you an expert in your field?
  • What is your value proposition?
  • Can you help me solve my problem?
  • Do I want to work with you?

It is not about selling your services or products through your content, but about selling you as a valuable resource for them. This type of nurturing develops a relationship built on trust and respect.

To get started, set up a schedule for when you will touch your prospects and with what content. Once you have captured a lead, use varying types of content that helps them consider your business as a possible solution. Send them white papers, videos and presentations, case studies and invite them to webinars to help move them towards this decision. 

Inbound Marketing Lead Generation and Nuturing

  • Lead generation with content marketing is geared towards finding new prospects that are not currently in your database that may be interested in what you have to offer
  • Lead nurturing is taking the leads you acquired and cultivating them over time to turn them into prospects and eventually into customers

How will you be nurturing your leads generated through your inbound marketing activities? What type of content do you plan to provide at each step of the funnel?

4 thoughts on “Lead Nurturing – Build Relationships with Future Clients”

  1. Lead nurturing is not new – it’s a process that has been used by quality sales people for years, taking prospects through various nurturing stages until the time is right and they are ready to buy. The major difference between traditional lead nurturing and today is you are touching your prospects using social media, email marketing and blogging.

    This means you must provide the right information at the right time to help your leads move through the buying decision process. Begin to communicate with them, offering valuable information and “can’t say no” offers every time you touch them. These meaningful touches must provide the value they expect so the prospect begins to differentiate you from the competition in their minds. Thanks a lot for this info.

    • Absolutely! The big difference today is marketing is more likely doing the nurturing through the online channels rather than sales. Sales will nurture relationships directly with the buyers.

  2. Hi Debra. Very succinct yet comprehensive discussion of the customer-seller relationship and the process of making a sale. As you imply, there is a thin line the salesperson walks in providing information and value to potential customers. It is so easy to cross that line and become a nuisance and lose the sale. Thanks for a great post.

    Ellie

    • Hi Ellie,

      Being a long time marketing person, I’ve always felt that marketing is educating your prospects about you, your services and why you are a good match. If you do that well, the sale is easy. Now with inbound marketing, we have the tools to educate and build relationships more effectively.

      Thanks for commenting!

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