Just the other day a friend published an article based on some nurture advice that I’ve given, and I realized that with as strongly as I feel about nurturing your leads, I still hadn’t written a post for my own blog about nurture.
Well, nurture is a really complex subject. And there are plenty of angles from which you can approach it. Eventually I’ll address as many as I can, but today I wanted to talk about one specific lead nurture myth I’ve seen circulating in the small business community.
Nurture Myth #1: Your nurture process has to take place over a long period of time.
When people think about nurture they almost always think about a drip sequence of some kind. Something that follows up with leads over a period of weeks, months or even years. And yes, that’s usually how it works. Nurture exists because someone expressed interest in your product or service; and if they aren’t ready to buy today we need to have a process in place that follows up with them so that when they are ready, we’re the brand on the top of their mind.
This makes total sense if you’re selling something requires a lot of information and deliberation before someone makes a purchase. Like, real estate for example.
But the reason that this is a problem is because not all businesses have a long buying cycle. Plenty of businesses have a very quick and transactional sales process. And unfortunately these businesses tend to recognize that their business model is different, so they assume that nurture can’t (or won’t) really play a role in their Lifecycle Marketing strategy.
But it can. And it should. Nurture exists no matter the length of your buying cycle.
(Disclaimer: If you ever came to Infusionsoft University while I was running it, this story may sound familiar.)
In January of 2012 I moved to Arizona, and prior to moving I had lived in Lansing, Michigan, where I ran a business servicing and installing draft beer dispense systems. Like, installing and cleaning draft beer lines for bars, restaurants and country clubs. And because of the nature of my job I was in and out of a lot of bars on a daily basis. My job took me to a lot of bars, some of which I’d probably never have patronized on my own, but because I got to see these charming little hole-in-the-wall dives so regularly, they kind of grew on me.
So when I moved to Tempe there was a dive looking bar around the corner from where I lived. So my girlfriend and I decided to check it out. So we pulled into the parking lot, and we actually bottomed out as we pulled in. Now, I drive an SUV, so to have us scrape the bottom of our car as we’re pulling into this parking lot was a little unusual. But, “No matter” I thought. We were in the parking lot, may as well park.
As we went to park, I noticed there was some shattered glass in the “spot” in which I intended to park, so we readjusted, and we parked further back along the side of the building. (I say “spot” because the parking lot had no real discernible lines of any kind) As we got out of our car, I noticed that there was an empty lot behind the bar, and through the chain-link fence I could see several big black garbage bags. This was 2012 and Sara and I were avid fans of the TV show Dexter, so I made a mental note of the garbage bags just in case.
The entry was had one of those two door entrances, where you step into like a small alcove, and then open another door into the actual bar. So, as we step into the first one, I notice there’s a Cinco de Mayo poster hanging up. I remember thinking to myself “Wow, 4 months early. That’s some really solid commitment. But, this is Phoenix afterall, so maybe its a bigger deal down here than it was in Michigan. Oh, wait, that says 2011. It’s not 4 months early, it’s 8 months late…”
Yup, they had a poster in their entryway that was advertising holiday specials from 8 months prior. Doesn’t exactly send the message that they’re on top of this stuff.
Then as we opened the second door and stepped into the actual restaurant Sara and I were both stopped in our tracks by a very pronounced and specific odor. It was one I quickly recognized as urinal cakes.
Which is not a terribly unusual odor when you are in the men’s room. But for this to be the first and strongest thing that we both smelled the moment we stepped into their restaurant was more than a little unsettling.
We looked at one another, walked outside, got in our car, and drove away.
Here’s the moral of the story: This whole process took place in less than 90 seconds. We pulled in, we parked. We walked into the restaurant’s entry way, and opened the next door, and then we never made it any further.
Prankster’s might have excellent food. They might have an awesome beer list. Or any other number of redeeming qualities. But for us, it didn’t matter. We never made it that far. Between the ill-maintained parking lot, the visible trash out back, the outdated poster and the overpowering odor, there were too many strikes against them in the simple process of entering the restaurant.
I’d challenge you to look at your buying process. Nurture exists even in the most mundane ways. It could be the music playing while folks are in line at your store. It could be the color scheme of your website. Or the number of clicks it takes to get where I want to go. Put yourself in your prospects shoes and see what hurdles they have to clear to become a customer. How can you make this process more fluid?
Nurture is the single most cost effective way to grow your business. It’s all about doing more with what you already have. (Oooh, tweet that.)
Here’s a free download with 11 questions to help guide your nurture.
Now, I use Infusionsoft to run my marketing campaigns and carry out my nurture. You don’t have to use Infusionsoft, but you should use something. If you’re looking for a comprehensive Infusionsoft review, this is the best one I’ve seen.