Nurturing Sales Leads (and A Sense of Humor)

Did you hear? There’s a new Vince Vaughn comedy and apparently it’s all about business. It doesn’t just stop there though. Look at the promotional material.

Much like stock photos, there’s something rather plain and mundane about the lead nurturing process. It’s not just devoid of life but also devoid of reality! The whole thing shouldn’t just be some static process that’s as unreal as that of stock photography!

It’s funny how a sense of humor actually gets you asking yourself a very serious question: What exactly are you doing when you’re ‘lead nurturing?’

Googling the process brings you an entire buffet of sales and marketing tips, tricks, techniques, tactics etc, etc. What they all have in common though is that they require a lot of things you do in a regular person’s day. For example:

  • You talk to people – Okay, so you’re sending out a ten of emails even if you think your mailing list is all made up of dedicated customers, loyal readers, or whatever persona you think best describes the people who’ll respond. Guess what, you’re really just talking to people. It’s a lot of people but they’re people nonetheless. And when you’re talking to people, you can’t be too robotic. You’ve got to liven up the conversation or even point out some members of the audience a lot more than the others.
  • You end up improvising – In the event of a response, it’s not good to avoid improvising. When a prospect asks a question you’ve never heard before (or have never considered), this is where automated responses systems fail. This is where you need to get your hands dirty and start exploring the topic with the inquirer. Don’t just relegate it to a salesperson immediately! That’s impolite and impersonal (hardly the stuff of a human being). You have to act like the person is standing right across you.
  • You realize what’s on the way – No, it’s not what’s in the way. It’s what’s on the way. The premise of Vaughn’s movie is a business trip and it makes sense that a comedy movie is about to pull a lot of whacky stuff en route. Why should it any be different in a real-life lead nurturing? Sure, you can’t afford to be distracted but neither can you afford to be so single-minded that you forget to do the small yet kindly things that really cement a business relationship (e.g. going for a drink, shaking hands, breaking ice).

B2B marketing only looks like it’s about large numbers and deadpan corporate dealings. Ironically, it takes a movie like Unfinished Business to reveal a more realistic side to the way firms pitch themselves to clients and how they engage them. It sure is nothing like in the stock photo.

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