[Episode 3] One Simple Routine, 56% More Sales

nurture prospectThere I was, down at the pub talking with this guy, Sean O’Malley. He told me he was sick and tired of all the Irish stereotyping. So he got drunk and punched somebody in the face…

(Just kidding of course…)Happy St. Patrick’s Month. :o) May the Luck be with you.

Brian Tracy created a whole program for Nightingale-Conant he called “The Luck Factor”. His wisdom? “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” That being said, let’s get down to business and see how lucky we can get, shall we?

Today we have the 3rd episode of seven, each one focused on one phase of your Lifecycle Marketing sequence. Last week we talked about capturing leads. Now let’s look at harvesting those leads – the “Nurture Prospects” phase.

Any number of studies can be found showing that anywhere from 56% to 85% or more of the leads you get will NOT be ready to purchase at the time you acquire that lead.

Outside of impulse purchases like a pack up gum, bag of potato chips or newspaper, most sales have a cycle of typical duration for that product, service or program.

When you buy a car, decide on which college your kid attends, choose a neighborhood to live in, buy a new garbage disposal or select a health insurance plan, there’s a sequence of events leading up to a purchase. For each buyer, a certain set of conditions must line up before the scales are tipped into a buying decision.

Some factors are functional, some conditional. For instance the price of a car has to be affordable (functional), but if you feel like you’re really getting a steal (emotional), well that can tip the deal.

So what’s the average sales cycle for your main product or service? What conditions need to be in place for your prospect before they can make a decision? How many new leads do you get that are 100% ready when they first encounter your offer?

Let’s say conservatively, 56% of new leads you acquire may not be ready to buy at first point of contact. What can you do to “nurture” those contacts until they are ready to buy so they go with you and not your competition?

Three ways you can nurture your prospects into customers, clients or patients include:

1. Email – A well structured “gauntlet” of email autoresponders that provide helpful information according to your prospects interests can be powerful. A great example of this is Germaine Griggs with his site HearAndPlayMusic.com. Perry Marshall is another.

2. Newsletter – An actual, physical, paper and ink newsletter is an overlooked media that can help not only build sales, but average customer value. Dan Kennedy’s newsletter enabled Bill Glazer to grow that business by a factor of seven times in just a few years into GKIC, now a multi-million dollar information marketing company.

3. Events – Live, in person events, teleseminars, webinars, radio, TV or even podcasts build rapport and a sense of trust. Watching and listening to you live gives your prospect a feeling of reassurance that they’re dealing with a real person. Not some robot. Look at how successful politicians, gurus and business leaders use events. In business, think Steve Jobs introducing the Macintosh computer, iPod, iPhone or iTunes.

Yes, all of this stuff takes time. However one secret you will discover once you get one going is the momentum carries you forward. A rolling wheel takes a lot less effort to keep rolling.

Let’s take a simple weekly email for instance:

Email is a modern blessing and curse. It’s pretty safe to assume your prospect isn’t hurting for email, longing for another message to land in his or her inbox.

No, unfortunately you will need to earn your way into getting your email opened. This could be a full day’s course, but your subject line can make all the difference. A few quick tips: Keep it short, make it different, use concrete specifics.

In the email itself, deliver relevant, timely, entertaining or at least personalized information or “edutainment”. The idea is to turn yourself from, as Dan Kennedy would say, “an unwelcome pest into a welcome guest” in your prospect’s inbox.

Finally, present a recommendation and/or offer and close with a call to action. Rinse and repeat regularly. Don’t be afraid to overdo it, especially if the content is valuable. Just make sure you have permission.

You can see me doing it here for you once a week for good reason – it works.

Which strategy could you add to your marketing mix to build relationship and start capturing more of that 56% or more you are currently missing?

Harvesting more of the valuable leads that come your way helps you close more sales without a lot more cost.

Sounds like a reasonable way to manufacture your own luck, wouldn’t you agree?  St. Patrick would be pleased.


 (Image courtesy of  ponsuwan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)