Leads, leads, leads, every business needs them, some are actually good at generating them, but . . . there’s a really important thing you must understand about leads – not all are created equal.
Now, I’m not talking about leads that are different because your marketing is unfocused and sends mixed messages with mixed results. I’m assuming you have read and heard me stump for a narrow ideal customer focus and laser sharp message of differentiation. I’m talking about the fact that if you are marketing consistently and systematically leads will come to from different points of view, with different levels of education and in need of different solutions – and you need to intentionally address them all with differing types of follow-up.
You need a follow-up process for leads that come to you by way of:
- referral – this is a special lead with built in trust – treat it that way
- public relations – this is a lead that has heard something about your story, there’s a connection, but little education
- workshops – this kind of lead has usually experienced a lot, move them logically to the next step quickly
- advertising – offer information of value and nurture this lead based on the actions they take (measure!)
- search – this is the new yellow pages, this lead probably has a need, but doesn’t know you – follow-up with that in mind
- trade show – speed of follow-up is key here, these leads were pretty amped up when you met them at the show, don’t let them get cold
One of the keys to understanding your follow-up approach is to understand what the customer is thinking when they find you, acknowledge where they are and how they’ve connected (tell a referred lead they are a special referred lead) and start moving them logically to the next step.
I know that follow-up, let alone the highly personalized type of follow-up I’m suggesting, is yet another thing you must do, so this is a great place to employ automation technology. Much of the follow-up you should be designing can be created ahead of time and executed with CRM like tools. Used properly, you can create email follow-ups, letter and postcard follow-ups, call lists and fulfillment requests and put your follow-up steps on autopilot
Here are some tools I would recommend for designing follow-up campaigns
Infusionsoft – Hi powered CRM and marketing automation tool that allows you to create sophisticated follow-up routines. (I use this tool in my business)
Swiftpage – Their new Drip Marketing add-on allows you to set-up letter mailing, emailing and call list creation. I love this tool for the individual sales person as it connects with ACT! or Outlook and allows you to easily determine the interest of your prospect during each follow-up step and focus your attention on the hottest prospects based on their action
Vertical Response – email marketing provider with the added integration of postcard mailing