The Do’s and Don’ts of Lead Nurturing in Professional Services
When it comes to lead nurturing, firms often believe that more is better. However, sending vast amounts of emails and phone calls to prospects can actually hinder instead of help. A fine line exists between nurturing and going too far. Here are some helpful Do's and Don'ts to ensure you are always in line:
- Don’t give a standard scripted response: This is a classic mistake when it comes to lead nurturing. It’s so easy to take on a “one size fits all” approach when it comes to communicating with prospects. Whether you’re conducting cold calls or sending out an email blast, the worst thing to do is to have a scripted response that is irrelevant to the prospect.
- Don’t pester prospects: This includes either calling or emailing prospects on a continual basis. Be patient and take your time with following up and engaging potential leads. To make your nurturing successful, focus on gaining insight into your clients’ buying cycle. For example, manufacturing and energy industries have a longer cycle than consumer-driven ones. Develop this aspect into your strategy to give your lead nurturing an edge.
- Don’t immediately connect on LinkedIn: Extending an invite to someone immediately after getting off the phone with them is not recommended. No, this isn’t a joke…it actually happens. I’ve personally had someone do this to me and it didn’t exactly inspire a warm and fuzzy feeling. Discretion should be used when connecting on LinkedIn. Just because you had a great conversation with a potential lead, doesn’t mean it’s right to connect yet. There’s an unwritten rule on social media etiquette…but that’s another story.
- Do understand your buyer personas: Understand the kinds of needs and challenges your prospects face. The first step in creating a successful nurturing strategy is to understand the client. Listen to what their unique needs are and make addressing these needs an integral part of your lead nurturing strategy.
- Do persuade with targeted messages: If you’re going to nurture prospects, think about the kind of messaging you’re presenting (phone calls, emails, promotional offers, etc). Customizing your content for different buyer personas is ideal and will result in a better response rate. The number of messages and the frequency is also an important factor. The trick is to have enough messaging to register with prospects, and then gradually nurture them. One way to target your emails is to use marketing automation software to create customized nurturing campaigns.
- Do assess prospect interest levels: Determine how interested each prospect is with your company’s products and services. Here’s where a qualifying system comes in handy. Qualifying a lead to determine where they are in the buying cycle can be helpful in figuring out what kind of nurturing works best. For example, you wouldn’t send someone signing up for a newsletter an email on product features, would you? This individual is typically at a lower interest level, so you might try something lighter like a “welcome email” first.
Following these do's and don'ts, along with a well thought-out strategy can generate many potential leads. In addition, the steps your sales team uses to nurture leads through the funnel also plays an important role. Be sure to understand your client’s needs and before you know it, you’ll be headed towards nurturing success.
To learn more about successful lead nurturing, download the Lead Nurturing Guide below.
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