Nurturing is an opportunity for business owners to grow and develop a relationship with a client or a potential client. I want to share with you today my top three tips on how removing the sales focus from nurturing opportunities allows more profound and authentic professional relationships to develop.
Sometimes when we think about nurturing in a business context, we think about the nuts and bolts of it – the what to do and how to do it. Lists start being made about email sequences and touchpoints. And while they help us understand what to do, I want to share more about why nurturing our leads and clients is an essential step in our marketing plan.
Consider this question. Think about one of your current or past clients. Why did they want to work with you? There were likely other VAs that could have provided the same service, so why did they choose you? Most likely, the reason is a relationship. Back when I started Performance PA, my first group of clients were all people that knew me – they knew who I was and what I was good at. This made nurturing them from leads to clients easy. I just had to continue being myself! By having a relationship first, they had already built up a certain level of trust that I would be able to address their pain points and help their business to grow.
The same applies to nurturing leads or potential clients. Show them who you are! There could be hundreds, if not thousands, of others that could do the work for the lead, so show them who you are and what being supported by you is like. It’s estimated to take between 10 to 12 “touch points” before a lead signs as a client. Touch points could include; social media posts, website visits, testimonials, media exposure, email, cold calls or even an in-person meeting. The range is almost endless! Use this to your advantage! Don’t feel you must be restricted to nurturing only via two or three methods. Think about what you excel at and emphasise those. But whatever you choose, be sure to show up consistently and authentically.
People can see through someone not being genuine. They can tell when they are being hit with a sales-y email that will just be asking them for something – their time, energy or money! More than likely, they’re used to getting emails like that. These aren’t bad ideas in themselves, but when that is the only touch point a lead sees, that’s all they will know about you. Instead, we want to develop and build business relationships first genuinely. That way, you will be at the forefront of people’s minds when they need the services you provide.
- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. Oscar Wilde
People crave what is genuine and authentic. We’ve been oversaturated by the fake and the pretend. So be you. Unashamedly, unapologetically you! And if people don’t like it, then they aren’t your ideal client, are they? Better to find that out now than six months into working with them.
- Everything is content!
Not “everything” everything is content. But the things you might think are mundane, boring, repetitive or unimportant can be used to highlight who you are! For instance – you can easily make a video for social media showing how you set up your workstation for the day; maybe you have a quirky homemade notebook, or you’re working in a beautiful location for the day. Use it! Perhaps you came across a hilarious meme while scrolling on Instagram one day – then why not put that in an email to your clients? Think of content as a way to show who you are and how you operate.
- Relationship before sales
There is nothing wrong with sales – at some point, you might have to help people over the line, and sometimes a sales email or phone call will do it. But the foundation has to be there of a relationship. You have to genuinely care about the pain points for a business to understand them, come alongside them, and help solve them. People value relationships and genuine attempts at goodwill.
Nurturing your business relationships is an important marketing skill. It’s something that starts with generating leads, converting them to clients and continues right the way through to having clients act as brand ambassadors. That’s one powerful and influential skill to utilise. Never underestimate how consistently showing up and being sincerely invested in your client’s needs can positively impact your business.