This month is all about maintaining great relationships. You know a welcome sequence can be used to further interest someone without being pushy. After you’ve introduced your company and what you do, what if they aren’t ready for a sale?
Your prospective customer has raised their hand and said, “I’m interested.” After they download that first lead magnet, you send out the welcome sequence to let them know all about you, your product, and how glad you are they showed an interest.
But after those first few emails, what happens when you don’t hear anything back from them? A lot of businesses immediately default to the sales call. “Hey, we noticed you downloaded this white paper, it’s been three days, get on a sales call with our sales rep!”
The problem is, in the world of B2B marketing, 22% say the buying journey is longer than it was 5 years ago. Many potential buyers need several contact points before they start to consider buying. If you immediately jump to the sale after a potential buyer downloads a paper and reads a few emails, they most likely aren’t ready to buy.
In fact, they might just decide to run in the other direction. You hope to have a relationship with this customer for years. If you immediately start talking long-term commitment, it might be a little fast for them.
Remember our coffee date analogy? After the first date, you exchanged a few conversations and discussed a second, non-commitment date (your welcome sequence). If you start blowing up their phone and talking wedding bells, they’re going to run.
You might be the perfect fit for each other, but a great evening and a few conversations doesn’t mean they’re ready to walk down the aisle. The same is true in B2B sales. An informative and useful case study and a couple of emails don’t mean they’re ready to commit.
So how can you continue the relationship without smothering? Devise a lead nurturing sequence.
Think in the Long-Term
A lead nurturing sequence expands on your initial relationship talk. For example, a potential buyer expressed their interest by downloading a white paper. They’re probably interested in what other people have to say. You can continue your email conversation with them by suggesting other material that might interest them.
Maybe that’s in the form of a blog post, where the ideas behind the white paper are put into action. Maybe that’s in the form of a case study, where a company used your solution with great results.
If they click on the link, great. If they don’t, that’s okay too. It’s possible they’re too busy to look at the information right now. We all have other responsibilities, and might not be able to find the time for the new person or business in our life. If they don’t click, contact them a few weeks later and see if they saw it.
If they do click, then you can start building the relationship. A few weeks later, suggest another piece of content they might be interested in. This could be as easy as a short message suggesting another read in your blog. Or it could be a short suggestion of meeting up in person, such as at an upcoming conference.
Be Helpful, Not Annoying
You want to remind people of your presence, but not be a bother. Every time you gain entry in their inbox, you want to provide value so they’ll continue to welcome you. You also don’t want to be there too often; otherwise they’ll start ignoring your messages.
After the messages in your welcome sequence, your lead nurturing sequence shouldn’t go out more than once a week. Most likely you’ll want to send less often. That keeps the conversation going without giving them time to forget you.
You always want to provide value, so suggest related items they might like. You can stick with your own content, as you want to keep them interested in your company and what you offer. However, if you come across a trends report or industry report they might find useful, feel free to use it.
When you reach out in this way, prove your expertise by giving commentary on the article and why they should read it. This shows you read it, you understand it, and you understand your industry.
When you contact potential clients in a valuable and unobtrusive way, they’re more likely to read and interact with your content. You’re building up the relationship with them and showing what to expect when working with you without getting them on the phone.
Are you ready to create a lead nurturing sequence to keep future customers interested in what you have to say? Let us help you create a game plan or strategy with our free call.