Picture the scene – you’re perched at the side of the bar, armed with nothing but a drink and a barrage of chat-up lines.
You’ve got your eyes on a potential significant other on the other side of the room – they seem to be showing you some serious interest, so here goes:
“Will you marry me?”
Oh dear. You can already taste the rejection, can’t you?
Of course, anyone in their right mind wouldn’t come on this strong after making first contact. Yet in the world of B2B lead nurturing, many marketers are still adopting an ultra-keen and potentially costly approach when talking to interested parties.
Understanding the long game
If you’ve produced great content that a B2B prospect is engaging with, it can be hard not to jump all over them. But no matter how well you may have targeted prospects, there are so many questions left to ask.
Are they really ready to buy? Do they just need consultation at this stage? Are they even in need of what you’re trying to offer? These are all things that are important to bear in mind.
Before you propose to someone, it’s probably best to get to know them first, right? Read our top tips to B2B lead nurturing below to help turn failed first dates into long-term relationships with prospects.
1. Stay proactive
The right leads aren’t always just going to fall into your lap, in the same way your ideal partner isn’t just going to stroll through the doors into your life.
There are plenty of B2B prospects that will benefit from your content – they just don’t know it yet.
- Utilise as many platforms as you possibly can to find potential interested parties
- When contacting prospects, remember it’s about them – not you. Always focus on how your content can help their business
- When talking about your business, stay concise and stick to the basics – don’t go on a five minute soliloquy!
2. Don’t go in for the kill on the first date
If a prospect is showing interest in your content, it can be difficult to resist going into all out, full on sales mode. But if they’re not ready, this can prove damaging.
Similarly, if a prospect sounds cold on first contact, don’t give up hope – there’s plenty of time to get to know them.
- If a prospect is showing interest but is early on within the buying cycle, look to drip feed them touch points over the coming weeks/months
- Don’t rush – a six month nurture period isn’t uncommon so don’t show your hand too early
- Keep your business on the radar through continual contact with prospects
3. LinkedIn is your online dating site
Although we all have our own opinions on LinkedIn as a social tool, its worth to lead nurturing isn’t in any doubt.
It might not quite be a marketers Match.com, but it comes close. Look to use LinkedIn as a platform to gain the valuable insight needed to help find the people who need your content most.
- Take the time to learn about the nature of a prospect you’re targeting
- Look to research the business, their product offering and some of the topical problems they may be facing in their market sector
- Use this information to make your offer/content feel more relevant
4. Take a personal approach
It’s the little things in life that often count the most. And in terms of making a great first impression with prospects, adding a personal touch into your communications can make a big difference.
- Always try to go the extra mile to call and speak to prospects down the end of the phone
- Don’t just ask to ‘speak to the marketing manager’. Use point three and look to address them formally by their first name
- Embrace small talk – if you’ve identified something you have in common, don’t be afraid to dive in and develop an amiable relationship with prospects
5. Don’t lead prospects up the garden path
Making your intentions clear at the start of any relationship is important to avoid trouble later on down the road.
The same also applies to prospects. It’s important you understand a prospect’s needs over the course of lead nurturing to prevent big problems in the future.
- Try to put yourself in the prospects shoes during lead nurture and understand what it actually is they need
- If the service you’re pushing isn’t what they require, gently push them in direction of what it is they do need and how you can help
- Avoid railroading prospects into buying something they have no need for – the short term gain will always be countered by long term pain!
By adopting a calmer, strategic and long-term approach to lead nurturing, you can help turn short-term flings into fruitful relationships!
Any more questions about this article? Tweet us @CoastDigital or leave a comment below and we’ll see how we can help.