New Research: Speed is Critical When Nurturing Leads

Robert and I speak frequently about the best ways to attract and retain customers. In fact, the subject is so topical now and so often written about that a new(ish) term is being used — “lead nurturing”. The good people at Marketing Sherpa, who we sourced yesterday about a recent email study, have conducted some research about best practices for effectively nurturing leads. Here are their key findings:

1) Use several media to establish and maintain relationships with leads. While this finding isn’t anything new, it confirms that, if you want to have a meaningful impact, you need to use different channels and methods. Email, telemarketing and direct mail are the media that the study highlights.

2) Respond to leads generated online quickly…in fact, very quickly. While many organizations contact online leads within 24 hours, it turns that to ‘establish contact’ you need to follow up within minutes!

While the study focused on “calling” leads, unfortunately, it did not cover other ways of following up. One way that many entrepreneurs are using is email confirmation/follow up that is triggered immediately upon receiving a request. This method serves as a quick, personalized and cost-effective form of contact that isn’t as intrusive as phone calls can be.

3) Assess the quality of your leads. Surprisingly, the study found that few organizations actually evaluate or rate their leads. Of course, this provides a great opportunity for you, the entrepreneur. Specifically, if your competitors aren’t applying this type of discipline, here’s your chance to leapfrog ahead of them.

Robert and I will be devoting future podcasts to the different stages of lead nurturing. In the mean time, check out the Business Cast Podcast archives for a several shows devoted to attracting and retaining new leads and customers.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Don’t Give Gifts To Your Clients or Prospects!

When Robert and I talked about corporate gift giving on the BusinessCast podcast show # 48 and show #47, we were flooded by emails!

In fact, some corporate gift firms were upset and many marketers were initially confused. But, at the end-of-the-day, entrepreneurs confidently breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, the pressure was off entrepreneurs to find the perfect gift. And, we’d provided perspective by addressing some of the most common reasons – and expectations – for gift giving.

Listen to BusinessCasts podcast show #47 and show # 48  and you’ll find that you can still build/establish meaningful relationships without relying on expensive gifts — as well as avoid some real risks.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Social Media: In-site and In Perspective

I was fortunate enough to be invited to a Forrester Research webinar recently that explored how ‘social media’ (i.e. web 2.0) sites and services are being used for the purpose of generating new business leads. 

But, as much as some entrepreneurs have embraced the emerging capacity of the Internet — i.e. Early Adopters —  the vast majority are yet to really tip their toes in to ‘social media’. And, Its easy to understand why: business owners like you want to understand how these sites, functionalities and businesses will help you achieve your goals. At the same time, you want to make sure that you’re investing in the genuine article rather than just plain ‘hype’.

Over the next few months, Robert and I dig into some of the more robust social media tools – on the BusinessCast podcast and in this blog. But, rest assured that we will only do it with you in mind. In other words, we’ll delve into their business usefulness and tackle them with the same type of discipline (and good humour) that we address all subjects. After all, our focus is your success.

Let’s quickly take a look at ‘social media’ from 30,000 feet. First, keep in-mind that these business’ raison d’etre is to allow for or encourage the sharing of information/content online. Having said that, let’s make sense of the vastly ‘disorganized’ and seemingly haphazard selection of popular social media sites by placing them into a framework that puts them into perspective. To that end, click on the accompanying ‘starfish’ thumbnail image which organizes the most popular social media sites by the purposes they serve.

Social Media Sites

Social Media Sites