6 Tips for Turning Leads Into Buyers

by Mark Hess

Lead Management TipsGenerating leads is what marketing is all about. But once you’ve gotten someone to notice you; visit your website or respond to a deal offer, how do you ‘nudge’ them into buying? Approximately 25% of new leads are ready to buy, and about 25% are probably never going to buy.

So what do you do with the other 50%? Hope for the best? Cast a magic spell?

Professionals go into “lead management” mode and you can do the same thing while building your leadership authority, improving SEO, creating loyal fans and buyers, and learning what your prospective clients want.

Attracting new leads can come through an email campaign or social interaction (real and online) or any advertising. Once you’ve got new leads you need to determine 3 things:

1. Evaluate your leads to determine which are ready to buy, likely to buy and likely to never buy. Buyers will be obvious, likely buyers are ones who ask a question or stay on your site for extended periods of time and click around (your site analytics are crucial here -Google Analytics, for example). And unlikely buyers don’t stay long on your site.

2. Determine where the leads came from and how to engage them. If they came from a social site you’re invovled with; note that. You should have a way of collecting email addresses on your landing page, and the best way to do that is by offering something valuable in return; such as an advice pdf, or a discount, etc. Add these new leads to an excel sheet with date of contact and site behavior from your analytics, and how to engage with them: social site, email, phone, etc.

3. Engage, advise, coddle, compliment and befriend. OK, really it’s a matter of giving good advise and adding value regarding your prospective client’s needs.

Building relationships with your leads can be the most important step you take in converting them to buyers and most importantly repeat buyers and brand evangelists. These last three tips go into further details in case you’re not convinced building relationships is worth the effort.

4. Building relationships works. Since the start of the 2008 recession, more small business owners and purchasing agents have used the Internet to search for deals and information before making purchases. Consumers already make many of their buying decisions after hearing a recommendation online or using a search engine. This is an opportunity you can’t ignore. Find people looking for your offering and let them know you’re trustworthy, thoughtful and an expert in your field; it makes all the difference.

5. Join groups on social networks and ask questions, offer advise and make comments. Start a blog or add to your blog regularly; stick to your area of expertise. Become a “thought leader” and refer to your postings when contacting leads.

6. Gather as much info as you can from each lead in a way that seems friendly, natural and not self-serving. Ask open ended questions like, “What is your biggest concern when purchasing XYZ?, “How do you make decisions about a new vendor?” or, “Why do you think the economy seems to be creating a ‘deal madness’ mentality?”

7. Bonus Tip: Don’t over sell! Always talking about you, your offering, or being pushy doesn’t work. Stop it. Offer advice, highlight differences between you and your competitors, but only in context.

Lead management is not easy for some, but if you think about what impresses you; what influences your buying, and put yourself in someone elses shoes, you’ll soon be charming leads into buying in no time.

What other ideas or techniques do you use to nurture leads?

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