So it appears based upon our recent experience that you can spend a lot of time chasing competitive leads. Or, you can create your own opportunities. What we are specifically talking about is how many prospects that now come in as inbound leads that are simply shopping multiple vendors. Think surfing Amazon for bargains or coffee cup vendors vs. the individual who really wants to own an Armani suit. One of them recently mentioned that they were speaking with six demand generation firms and also are already working with two others. Just “trying to get new ideas and see what is out there…” was the director of marketing’s quote. Wow what does that tell you about your inbound qualification and lead nurture process? We think that casting a net and bringing in people is extremely valuable and agree that you should be throwing money always at SEO. However you better adjust your approach to understand these are people price shopping prospects in some instances, or the ones who are looking to get free information, or even more importantly, already have a vendor in mind and just justifying your model vs. the one they have already chosen. It’s not a deceitful or uncommon tactic. It’s just the way the world seems to work these days. So we suggest the following:
- Over qualify in the beginning of the conversation—what really is their situation this should be uncovered in two minutes. Don’t progress unless you feel that you understand this by as much as 80%.
- Be respectful, follow up quickly but be leery that these individuals truly want to buy from you. Our own internal research suggests that this is not the case. Understand who they are, their backgrounds etc.
- Our favorite qualifier lately: “I know your business and have done this before.” A terrible sign of someone who already knows exactly what they want but are just justifying that they are the smartest person on the phone or in the room.
- Think about why they are contacting you, where are they in the process, and what are they “demanding” for information up front? Were not suggesting that you walk away but as we like to say, who you don’t work with can be as important as whom you work with or end up signing as a customer.