Does anyone remember the uncertainty of what being the recipient of a shove in the playground meant?

Ironically this backhanded action was deemed as a compliment in my day and one could take with some certainty that the giver of said shove was indeed interested in you.  But having grown up somewhat since the days of playing chase, my understanding of “advances” may have improved but I still get confused sometimes when trying to gauge how interested customers are in products or services.

I would put money on the fact that we’ve all been in the position whilst networking when you meet someone new who oozes enthusiasm, vehemently nods their head at everything you say, asks all the right questions, and gives some of the right answers, before asking for your business card only to never return your calls.  This type of person is not a lead, a good actor, perhaps, but not a lead.

The trouble is that nowadays customers can afford to be more black and white with their rebuffs as they have more choice at all levels of the buying journey.  From awareness through to decision stage, you can guarantee that someone, somewhere will have the information they are looking for and this is precisely what you need to tap into in order to get leads that will offer likely prospects.

If you can position yourself at each step of this journey, you are effectively narrowing their choice field by being a single source that provides all the information that will help them make a decision to buy your product, and therefore complete their buyer’s journey with you.

You do this by strategically placing Calls to Action (CTAs) of increasing demand and supply throughout your website and in turn, their journey.

If a customer consumes or requests information that you make available it is a good indication that they are interested in what you have to say.  So by having strategically placed CTAs on your website you can guide them along their journey, filling in any gaps and answering any important queries with the information you supply.   The idea here is to start the nurturing process and turn your prospects into customers and finally evangelists.

You do this by initially giving things away for free.

In the first stage of the buying process, prospects are really looking for information as they have only just identified a need for a product or service.   At this stage you should consider giving them information via infographics, articles about the problem they have (which your product solves) and perhaps “real-time” videos of your product working.

The next step in the process, and to gauging how interested they are, is to offer further information in exchange for information of their own.  However, what you ask for has to be of equivalent or less perceived value as the worth of the info you are providing or the customer will deem it as intrusive.   For example; I am not going to tell someone my name, address, tel. no, email address, company type, company size, biggest bugbear and how I take my tea for a simple tips sheet, as it’s not worth it; but I would be happy to give out my name and select contact details for an ebook, product guide and performance review documentation as this is valuable to me at that time.

So now that you have contact information you can take this as carte blanche to contact the customer with the final pieces of information they may need.  This could be with pricing or to arrange a meeting, or simply with your product guarantee and after-sale care details.  But by this stage they should know all that they need to know about what you are offering.

So the moral of the story is; a lead is only as qualified and interested as you allow them to be with your relevant inbound marketing material.

Next week I will look at how to put together tailored packages of information.



How do you know if a lead qualifies?

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