I like my odds.
hen it comes to sales, I choose to see potential in 100% of “leads.”
People in sales have created, tested and refined endless approaches to nurturing leads, defining audiences and ultimately: closing deals. As a person who has an extensive background in sales, I myself have continuously evolved my sales techniques.
The truth about intent-based leads
There is a common misconception that when selling a particular product, a salesperson should only make significant efforts with the people who have already shown related interest. These types of leads are called “intent-based leads.” I used to view intent-based leads as the shortcut all sales people had been waiting for. This was before I realized that when you focus all of your energy on people who already want what you have, you’re only selling to 5% of your potential.
While you will probably find success with that niche 5%, you are missing out on so much more. There is no shortcut to reaching the other 95%, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time.
Taking advantage of a sales funnel strategy
Instead of using a short-sided approach to sales like only viewing intent-based leads as your target audience, try utilizing a sales funnel strategy. A funnel is wide at the top, and much smaller at the bottom. It is important to note that all the substance that passes through a funnel reaches the bottom eventually – some just takes a little longer than others.
When the 95% says, “I’m not ready to buy today,” it’s not time to turn your sales funnel over and dump them out. They could be ready to buy tomorrow, next week or next month. Intent-based leads start the process near the bottom of the funnel and are a quick way to see results; however, they also run out quickly.
In order to successfully take advantage of a sales funnel strategy, focus on nurturing the potential leads at the top.
How to successfully nurture leads
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: People buy from PEOPLE. Even big brands that everyone can name have an identifiable personality about them. People don’t buy from people they don’t trust. This is why it is crucial to build relationships with a wide audience and to put in the work that is necessary to achieve top-of-mind awareness.
Even if someone is not interested in what you’re selling at THIS moment, they still matter. By continuing to foster that relationship, you’re preparing for the moment they DO need you. If you’re selling air conditioners, be the first one they think of when their AC unit bites the dust in the middle of the summer. If you’re selling peaches, be the first one who pops in their mind when a mid-day craving hits.
One way that I’ve seen huge success in doing this is through LinkedIn. If you’re here right now, odds are that you came from my LinkedIn page.
Why your personal brand matters
I’ve built a personal brand that I am proud of. I’m proud of it because it’s really who I am– no tricks. When you’re building your personal brand, base it on who you are, not what you think people want. Then, let people know who you are by being ever-present where they are, in most cases: that’s social media.
Your personal brand is a representation of the company you associate with. By engaging with potential leads in a personal matter, they will associate your relationship with your company when it’s finally time to buy. It makes big decisions so much easier even if they are years down the road.
Why not go after 100%?
If it takes more time, but you see more success and drive more revenue, isn’t it worth it? Rather than going after the easy “5%,” invest in 100%. You’ll thank me later.
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