Immediate lead expectations vs. reality


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“That email sucked.  Nobody responded.  I guess email doesn’t work.   What’s next?”

We hear a variation of this from companies all the time.  After sending one email out.

You take a cold email list and send a single email to an audience that doesn’t know you.  Why is it a surprise that nobody responded?

It’s somewhat akin to running a single, 30-second advertisement on TV and wondering why sales haven’t increased yet.

Where are all the customers?

Don Draper knows that reach and frequency are both required to drive action in the market.  Bigger lists are great, but we’re still impacting individual decision makers in most cases.  Is it reasonable to expect individuals to immediately stop what they’re doing, instantly become both familiar and comfortable with our brand and offer, and respond?

Not exactly.  Sure, a handful might respond right away if you hit on a particularly prescient pain point at exactly the right time.  But the majority of your audience will need some warming up.

I realize that this reality doesn’t necessarily always jive with the internal urgency to drive pipeline production and sales this month or quarter.  But you aren’t going to push prospects any faster than they’re willing to go.  Push too far too fast, and you’ll have the reverse impact – creating unnecessary friction between buyer and seller that in fact pushes prospects away and into the hands of your competitor.

If you want to accelerate the path to familiarity and response, increase the diversity of channels involved in a particular campaign.  Instead of relying purely on email, mix in social, remarketing, PR and influencer engagement, etc.  Studies have proven again and again that channel diversity can accelerate the velocity of awareness, interest and response.  Simply sending more emails more often rarely is the answer, and hammering the same channel too often is an easy way to set a bad first impression with valuable prospects.

Want to find more qualified leads faster?  Your mass campaigns probably aren’t going to cut it.  Instead, look for individuals with a high degree of urgency, right now, to solve a problem or achieve a particular outcome.

Think of your own situation, for example.  If you’re behind on your number and need qualified leads immediately, if someone were to email you right now with a compelling offer that solved that problem, wouldn’t you be more likely to respond?

So how would that seller know that in the first place?  Maybe by watching your social media activity, or watching the social commentary of those around you.  You may want to sell the CIO a new enterprise-wide wifi network, for example, but the buying signal you need may come from one (or a handful) of his company’s employees that are complaining about how bad the wifi sucks on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or elsewhere.

Everybody wants more good leads, right away.  But if it were that easy, we’d all already be doing it.  The reality, however, is that you need to invest in building early-stage relationships with the prospects you care most about.  Let them get to know you, and make it easy for them to engage based on needs, pain points and buying signals – not just explicit interest in your product.  Know that every communication channel (email, social, offline, etc.) will take time to perform the way you expect it to.

And in the meantime, focus on precisely finding the prospects and customers who need your help right now.  Do these things in parallel with each other.

That’s the blueprint.  I didn’t say it would be easy, but that’s the reality.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.


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