It’s rather frightening how many companies put a lot of time, effort and money into marketing and lead generation and then only contact them once, and often not at all.
A couple of months ago my husband and I went to a large Caravan and Camping Expo. We visited loads of stands, collected nice brochures, asked about various products and of course duly entered countless competitions to win boats, campervans, fishing equipment, etc. (Unsurprisingly we didn’t win anything).
Nor did we hear from any of those companies. Not one. All the ones with competitions collected our email address, phone number, and street address and no doubt all this valuable info is in the bin.
At the other stands where we asked questions about their products ……well, all we received was an expensive glossy brochure or a business card. No-one made an effort to collect our details for follow up. At two stands we spent several hundred dollars buying camping equipment which was on sale. After payment neither of them collected our details so they could grow the customer relationship and continue marketing to us after the expo.
So here’s what will happen next. Half of these companies will give up attending expos because they’ll say they didn’t get much interest or didn’t sell much. The other half will spend thousands of dollars repeating their mistakes all over again.
This doesn’t just happen with trade show expos either.
How many enquiries do you receive from other forms of marketing that you cast aside if they don’t buy immediately?
You may find that with some nurturing they’ll convert. It may take a day, it may take a year or two. Depends how much value you provide and at what stage in the purchase cycle they’re in.
Let’s have a look at some typical prospect types …
Type 1 – Not ready. These may have come from a tradeshow or a phone or website enquiry… and are in fact finding stage. If you continue to communicate and show your commitment to helping them (not selling them something), you will gain trust, credibility and build a nurturing relationship.
Type 2: Comparison Shopping. This group know what they want and are ready to buy but need convincing to buy from you and not a competitor . They are giving you buying signals, but you may be ignoring them, thinking they’ve gone somewhere else. You need to step up their education about your expertise and your value proposition. Even if they are comparison shopping, in most cases price is only one element they’re comparing.
Type 3: Bought Elsewhere. Just because you missed out on the sale this time, is no reason to break off all communication forever. What if they are unhappy with their purchase? What if they want another one? What if you have something else they may want?
Don’t waste leads. Nurture the relationship until they tell you to stop.
Nurture marketing is easy to do and usually extremely rewarding. Because as you can see, very few companies do it, so just embarking on this step will put you 10 paces ahead of your competitors.