Stop killing pre-qualified leads

sb10065721ae-0011There’s a simple mistake many marketers make day in, day out that kills pre-qualified leads. Leads that are coming in via organic search, paid search and paid advertising.

It goes something like this.

You’ve isolated the keywords your potential customers are most likely to use. You’ve put them in your meta tags, your copywriting, maybe even in the text wrapper around your videos. So when a prospect types in “mousetraps”, your extermination company ranks pretty well in Google.

Then one of a number of things goes wrong.

You take these potential customers to your home page, which talks about everything you do, including termite control, wasp nest removal, snail abatement, plus your green story, pictures of your trucks, and, and…

Or you give them a little bit of copywriting about your years in the extermination business, maybe a sentence or two about your mousetraps and then ask them for their email address.

Or you give them some decent copywriting about your mousetraps, show a few pictures, and the conversation stops.

See the problem?

The person who typed in “mousetraps”, in all likelihood, wants mousetraps. Now’s your chance to use a little basic marketing strategy to give them—wait for it—targeted copywriting about mousetraps. Stuff like the benefits of the mousetraps you use, your fast mousetrap delivery process, your cruelty-free catch-and-release traps that don’t harm Mr. Rodent, your money-back guarantee if your mousetraps don’t catch the little guy within 48 hours. Get the picture?

Now that your prospect is excited about you, that’s when you ask them to take the next step. Invite them to buy. Ask for their email address so you can follow up. Whatever the next logical step in your sales cycle is, this is the time.

This kind of marketing strategy holds true no matter what type of medium you’re using. Twitter. Social networking. Online video. Direct mail. Direct TV. It doesn’t matter.

What matters is that you understand your sales process and think about where anyone coming into it is in that cycle.

This is why so many people writing about social networking talk about being relevant, friendly, “paying it forward” with useful tips and advice. This is, after all, networking. When you’re just putting your shingle out there, you’re trying to get noticed for being good at what you do and who you are. You’re casting a wide net with a view to the long term. That’s personal branding. The chances of getting a sale right away are much lower. They happen but not as often.

It’s also why your list and offer count so much when you’re sending a printed direct marketing piece. You’re relying entirely on the quality of the list (right people), your offer (right thing) and your timing (right time). The rest is up to them.

But when someone knocks on your Internet advertising door asking for mousetraps, they’re right there, asking for what you have. You’ve got a unique opportunity to guide them into a decision right there. But you still must guide them. Don’t distract them with everything else you sell. Don’t ask them to decide without paying off your promise.

One great way to do improve your sales cycle is to write it down where you can see it. Get a bird’s eye view by diagramming out all the possible places your suspects and prospects come to you. Then you can determine each point where you should take them. Look at the actual moments when a sale happens. Then look at your follow-up once they become customers. Once you’ve done that, you can compare your ideal sales cycle with your actual process and make refinements where needed.

Need help? Email me and together, we’ll build a better, er, you know the rest.