This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make any purchases after clicking through the link, I may make a commission from the sales. This will be at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.
Cold calling. Ok, so put your hands up if even the thought of that phrase makes you nervous. Being an introvert, I don’t look forward to getting on the phone with people I know let alone someone that I have never had any interaction with and trying to convince them to work with me or buy something from me.
I’m not saying that cold calling marketers just get on the phone with a potential client and start convincing them to buy something right there and then, although I am sure that happens time to time. A lot of them try to get the person on the phone to at least give them some time for a longer phone call where they can discuss things in a bit more detail. There’s an art to cold-calling but it’s just not a method that I am the most comfortable with and frankly find it nerve wracking.
I prefer the gentler method of nurturing my potential clients so that when the time comes to buy or hire, they come to me on their own because they trust me and see that I have the tools to solve their problems.
What is lead nuturing?
Lead nurturing is engaging with your potential customers throughout different points in their journey to becoming your customers to build a trusting relationship so that when they are ready to buy they choose to come to you.
Not everyone you come into contact with is ready to buy from you, especially when they have never had any interaction with you or your brand. I think that is a mistake a lot of business owners make when they start out trying to market their business online. Unfortunately, 79% of new leads don’t turn into customers. If you have a lead nurturing plan set in place, you can prevent your business from losing out on these future potential customers.
So what kind of interactions can you have with your leads to help guide them towards becoming a customer. The customer’s journey is broken down into 3 phases here. Awareness phase, Consideration phase and Decision phase. Below I discuss what each phase is and and different ways you can engage with your customers at each level to lead them to the next step.
The awareness phase consists of potential customers who have become aware of a problem or challenge they need to over come. They may not yet be clear on what the exactly it is that they need to solve or how. They are simply researching at this point.
In order to attract the attention of customers in this stage, you need to create content that addresses their pain points. To do that you need to have a clear customer avatar in place. Having an idea of the demographics and how the person thinks and the types of questions they may have will help you design content that will resonate well with them and also attract only people you can help.
At this stage content needs to be educational and helpful. Don’t try to sell. We are just trying to get on their radar right now and make them aware that we exist to solve their problem.
Types of content for the awareness phase
- Social media posts
- Content upgrades (ask for email address in return)
- Cheat sheets
In this phase the customer has become well aware of exactly what it is that they need to tackle. They are now looking at options to help them solve the problem.
At this stage you want to showcase your expertise. You can do live videos to show how you would solve the problem they are struggling with. This gives you an opportunity to interact with them directly and answer any questions that they may have concerning how you can help them.
Use the language they will use when searching online so that you show up in the search results and also so that your vocabulary resonates with them. This will signal to your potential customers that you have the answer to what they are searching for.
Content upgrades are still a good idea because they may only have been reading information that you openly put out there and now may trust you enough to give you their email address to get access to in-depth quality content that will help them.
If they have already given you their email address, you can include questionnaires in the newsletters you send them so that you are better able to cater to what it is that they want. Then you go and create content that provides answers.
Types of content for the consideration phase
- Content upgrades in exchange for email addresses
By now your customer is focused on some solutions they have researched and they have gotten to know about your brand. You can start showing how you or your product is the right choice to go with.
Show them how you got results for others in a similar position, what other have to say about you. If you have a product, you can let them play around with a demo version or give them a free trial or discount to try it out.
This will all lead to good customer experience only if you had pursued the ideal customer from the beginning. So make sure you know exactly who you are right for, so that you don’t end up with a customer that you can’t help in this stage.
Types of content for the decision phase
- Case Studies
- Product demos
- Free trial
Once you have made a sale, don’t forget about them. You want to build loyalty because someone who has already bought from you is going be most likely to purchase from you again if they have a good experience. You are not going to be convincing a brand new customer from scratch. Not only that, they will also tell other people about their experience. For this you want to make sure that you keep them happy and satisfied. Offer support. Keep communicating. You can also give them exclusive offers or early access reserved only for loyal customers.
Sometimes even after going through all the phases, the customer is still not ready to choose you. You don’t want to forget about them. Keep up with your communication with them and continue to engage them with more valuable content. Do A/B testing to see what works. Ask questions and improve your targeting and delivery. Lots of people will go back and forth through these phases so stick with them.