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Meeting and marrying the right person is a lot like marketing. Done correctly, both will turn out well. Done poorly, and well, you know what that might become.
Most small business owners, from retail, manufacturing, grocery or hair salons seldom think about these 3 essential phases of marketing when they are throwing money at their challenge of getting and keeping customers, clients or patients.
In love, two people meet, get to know each other and decide if they might be a cohesive relationship. Before meeting, one person goes out of their way to be presentable, have nice clothes, a fresh haircut, smell good, and politeness is critical. The other person may go through a similar ritual, but it isn’t always going to turn out that way. When they meet and feel they might be compatible, one asks for a second, and eventually successive dates.
In marketing, the unsuspecting consumer is attracted to something from a business, so said consumer wants to learn more about the company. They may take another look, read or view some messaging, and that sort of thing. They’ve provided enough information to gain additional contact. Unfortunately, the small business owner skimps on his lead attraction methods, so his attraction may not reach the intended target audiences. But, eventually, some people take notice, and the ritual begins.
NOTE: The typical small business owner tries to spend as little on lead generation to attract new clients, customers, or patients to make his resources stretch. That’s the Wrong Approach! The reason being is that what you invest in your client attraction will definitely reflect in the quality of the leads you capture. Like our lovebirds. One is poised for greatness but is unappealing, so it takes longer to find a match. Or it’s like fishing. Small bait equals small fish. Big bate, big fish.
Our lovers have gone on many dates and have become quite knowing of each other’s qualities, character, and value system. If they are compatible and their history to date is consistent, they seek to become engaged. However, if there is uncertainty, one might have to invest more time nurturing the relationship until the hand of the maiden is granted, or politely walk away.
In business, lead nurturing is the courtship period. The two parties will develop a stronger bond and become more familiar with each other through sharing information, researching and studying them for character flaws, sincerity, focus on the right things and all of the stuff that nurturing a body to take action at the time it is felt right to be to take the relationship further. Most small businesses do a so-so job at nurturing and building the relationship based on goals and specific objectives worthy of their efforts.
NOTE: Many small business owners try to rush this relationship building, nurturing period, usually out of the need for a cash infusion, often only that reason. That’s the Wrong Approach! When you rush a decision, the unsettled mind will always withdraw from the transaction. Besides, you are sending the wrong message to the prospect that you are more interested in money than the individual.
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In the United States, it is said that approximately 50% of all marriages end in divorce. That’s a shame, but it is usually for just a few reasons. There might be financial issues, fidelity concerns, or incompatibility. But for the most part, boredom sets in and one lose interest sooner than the other. If the couple doesn’t work on the relationship regularly, boredom might set in, and then, unless changes to the positive are not enacted, they will separate. It’s the same in business.
When the least expensive lead turns into the least costly client, customer or patient, unless they are nurtured through all three phases of marketing, the before, the during, and then after the sale, things will deteriorate. It’s no secret that it is less expensive to retain a client than it is to find a new client. Yet the overwhelming concern with businesses and NonProfits I might add is chasing after that next client. That next cash infusion, that next payday.
That’s a real shame because you work so hard in your business. You fight for every scrap, doing what you’ve always done. You model your business after your competitors because “it’s always been done this way.” That’s the Wrong Approach!
Client nurturing all throughout the relationship is the right way to approach this whole client attraction, client purchasing and repurchasing, and client retention business. They can refer others to you and it’s the only way to effectively manage a business with both external marketing (lead gen and lead nurturing) and internal marketing (lead nurturing and client loyalty). This is how successful companies are that way. They realize the lifetime value of every client they possess, and what it means if they should lose one. They spend more than their competition because they know they will reach a higher quality lead, a more sincere commitment, and they keep spending money on them throughout their stay with their firm.
That’s how they can charge higher fees, gain more clients, keep more clients, and receive more new clients through referrals from their existing base of clientele.
Post-purchase nurturing is every bit if not more important than “getting the fish in the boat” so to speak. Your least expensive leads and new clients come from referrals, and each one that converts is a client with virtually no lead generation costs attributed to it. How’s that for a growth concept?