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It’s no secret that in today’s world, technology plays a prominent role in the success of any business. However, with the continual evolution of the digital world, it can often feel like the human touch is being lost. That's where Melissa Blair, founder, and CEO of Cultivating Sales Pro, comes in. Melissa works with six-figure experts such as coaches, consultants, and authors to provide software that automates their sales and marketing, all while keeping the personal touch intact. One seamless system, one login, and one payment.
What I love most about working with Melissa is that she is a total tech geek but with a nurturing approach. She understands the importance of combining the digital and physical to create the kind of loyalty that impacts business success. In fact, she told me that “business is getting more and more robotic. Everyone can Chat GPT anything they want. Let’s bring back some of those old-fashioned manners and old-fashioned techniques. I’m all about technology, but I’m also old-fashioned. It’s the blending of the two that makes the biggest difference.” And I couldn’t agree more!
When I asked Melissa where she recommends that her clients start with automation, she didn’t hesitate to share that it’s their lead nurturing process. Or maybe their lack thereof! She tells me, “Leads are the one thing that almost everybody says that they’re bad at following up with. So every time they don’t follow up with a warm lead that they’ve probably spent money, and certainly time, to try to get – that's money that’s just going out the door. Most small businesses are just horrible at that and it’s a frustration for them.”
One of the ways to overcome the inconsistency with follow-ups is to do some planning upfront and systematize as much as possible. Here are the steps you can take to design your own system to help you create trusted relationships with your prospects:
Identify the touchpoints: Make a list of all the touchpoints that happen on a regular basis when developing a relationship with a prospect. These touchpoints could include things like:
Sending a thank you email
Sending a handwritten card
Conducting a follow-up call
Scheduling an in-person meeting
Inviting the prospect to an event
Sending some research or a book
Develop a plan: Once you have the list of touchpoints, you should layout the timing and order for each one.
Identify the Assets and personalization. Your plan should next include identifying exactly what the content is that you want to send and where the assets are stored. This will make it easier to execute. To make the touchpoints more effective, make sure that some of it is personalized to the prospect’s needs and pain points. And the key is – None of this should include selling!
Automate: Once you know what and when, review this list to see what could be automated. Remember, even if there are physical mailings, you can automate the notification to the team member who will execute this step. Include all the information they need about the contact address and message to complete this step.
Measure the results: Finally, it's essential to measure the results of your lead nurturing efforts to identify areas for improvement. Use metrics such as open rates, engagement/responses, and conversion rates to track the effectiveness of each touchpoint. Without some kind of measurement in place you won’t know which components are resonating with your prospects and moving the needle forward with the relationship. Optimizing the nurturing process by analyzing the engagement of each touchpoint will help you make quick adjustments rather than scrapping the entire thing and starting from scratch each time.
By identifying touchpoints and developing a plan ahead of time, you will be able to systematically follow up with your prospects, personalize your content, and automate the process to save time and improve efficiency. Following these steps, you will establish a reliable system for lead nurturing that will help you build trusted relationships with your prospects and ultimately lead to a steady stream of opportunities to convert.
The next thing that Melissa encourages her clients to implement is to take everything they’ve designed for lead nurturing and apply it to their existing clients. Being consistent with engaging your existing clients helps validate their decision to invest with you. This is something that we often hear from our clients about as well. When you sell high ticket, and/or long-term services, it’s common for clients to have buyer’s remorse from time to time. Just as they would when it comes to buying a new car or new home – they question their decision. Having a plan to continually show up, add value, acknowledge, and show you care will create the sense of validation that your clients need to be happy with you and their decision.
Melissa recommends that you design the complete experience you want your audience to go through, up front – From texts, emails, voicemail drops, gifts, cards – it’s all about the experience. “That’s what keeps people. That’s what creates the loyalty.”, shares Melissa.
Some of the automation that we have seen work well include:
Automating the welcome emails. What are the key things that a new client needs to prepare, be aware of and do? If you find yourself consistently sharing the same material, this is something that could be automated to email the client. You could also have a link to a landing page that includes an informative video and downloads.
Sending a physical welcome mailing. For businesses who sell high-ticket or long-term commitment products/services, investing in a welcome mailing will add that extra personal touch and validation that your clients need to know they made the right decision. A tangible item in hand, with a story that relates to the work you’ll be doing together, triggers the part of the brain that equates value and creates an emotional connection. Automate the request for the package to be mailed. Maybe this request is sent to your operations manager. The email could include the new client’s address and which service they purchased. If you plan this ahead of time, your operations team knows exactly what gift and message to send for each service level.
Scheduling your account check-ins. What frequency do you like to conduct reviews with your clients? And truthfully, how consistent are you about asking for that appointment? You could use automation to request your client’s book their next appointment at a pre-defined frequency. Imagine the engagement and the additional opportunities you could uncover if you were consistent about your client follow-ups.
Melissa shared, “too often in this business, people are inconsistent about what they do. Sometimes they follow-up with people and sometimes they don’t. If the system automates your request, there’s consistency in it. And you don’t have to worry about it. Because if you have to worry about it, you won’t do it.”
Automation plays a significant role in creating consistency in today’s world. And it ensures that every client receives the same high-quality experience and care that you want them to feel. Ultimately, it frees up your time so that you can focus on what you do best: serving your clients.
If you’re unsure of where to start and how to develop your nurturing plans, we’re always happy to provide some guidance. The Expressory’s engagement strategies make use of automation where possible to simplify the processes for your team. We can provide guidance on the best options to meet you where you’re at in your business development. Join us at our next Q&A and you can bring that conversation to the table. Click here to register.
Or if you’d prefer to chat one-on-one feel free to schedule some time by clicking here.