It’s funny how the phrase “me luv you long time” has become iconic while being used as a blatant untruth. The way it is used in modern pop culture is to highlight precisely the opposite attitude – me no luv you much at all, but me luv your money.
But “loving some people for a long time” in professional services actually pays off.
Reading a piece of marketing literature by a marketing company, talking about its own marketing results, highlighted the need to nurture those leads you generate in a rather loving manner. Luv them long time.
Essentially the marketing company’s research showed that their own marketing campaigns had generated leads which fell into the following sub-sets:
a. 25% of the enquiries were “ready to go”
b. 25% of the enquiries actually were a wrong fit – either the client wasn’t right for the company or the company wasn’t right for the prospect
c. 50% were right, but not ready.
Their own conclusion was they needed a process of nurturing good leads until the time was right for them to become good clients.
The concept of “nurturing” is one which perhaps has not always resonated in professional services, and it is perhaps a reason why so many women who have come into the industry in recent years have become such exceptional professionals so quickly – their innate willingness or propensity to nurture potentially provides them with a distinct advantage when it comes to lead conversion. Nurturing skills are not merely passed on genetically however, and nor do they exist absolutely in one gender and not the other. It is an attitude which is a reflection of core values, rather than a specific skill set handed down from one wise mother to another. My generalisation regarding women is just that – a generalisation; albeit a positive one I believe.
If we think about what it means to nurture though, we see definitions such as the following:
So, we have a great marketing company which is very good at generating leads for itself on the back of its own marketing campaigns that has found that about half of the prospects are simply not yet ready, but are excellent prospects in all other respects. It concludes that a process of nurturing those leads – or educating, training, protecting, supporting, encouraging – will be the difference between getting a 25% “positive response rate” from a campaign, or something north of 50% – a massive difference by anyone’s standards.
Clearly there is a commercial benefit in creating a process inside a professional services firm which nurtures all leads or prospects generated in such a way that they are educated, and developed, and supported and encouraged and engaged will result in a higher proportion of those prospects becoming clients in time. It is worth reiterating an earlier point here though: nurturing is a reflection of core values which have “caring” somewhere near the very top of the values list.
Merely building a system whereby you send stuff to people regularly is not nurturing. That might be an excellent communications system, which is an essential part of a nurturing process – but it is not the entire process. The attitude of “caring” – perhaps to the degree of treating prospects almost as if they were clients in many respects – is the critical ingredient in building a successful nurture marketing process.
That attitude can’t be faked. As a business you either care about prospects or you don’t. They will be able to tell if you care or not. If your core values do include caring for the people you engage with, and you are willing to build a systematic approach for ongoing engagement with them, then there is an excellent chance that you can at least double the conversion rates on the enquiries you get from your initial marketing efforts.
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