Mastering Lead Nurturing and Follow-up for Lasting Relationships

By Aldwin Neekon

seedling on a desk to illustrate lead nurturing

Your lead nurturing doesn’t work because you’re doing it right.

Just like everyone else.

You are tailoring content based on your leads’ goals and pains. So is everyone else.

Your marketing team is targeting your ideal customer profile throughout their B2B buying process. So is everyone else.

You are following up consistently and on time with prospects at every stage of the funnel. So is everyone else.

And there are a lot of “everyone elses” out there.

You and everyone else are providing high value communication, with best practices based case studies, and high personalization, of relevant new resources, in a timely and consistent lead nurturing campaign.

And frankly, it’s a bit too much.

Your leads have gotten used to it.

They know that the good and effective information you provide is there when they need it. And in the meantime, maybe they take your lead nurturing emails for granted. When they’re close to making a purchase, they think, they’ll know where to find you.

Once in a while they dip in, binge on it, then go away.

But why do they go away? Because consuming information is hard work, and we all avoid hard work if it’s not necessary.

Unless solving the problem you help with is necessary, your lead will stop engaging with your content the moment they feel that they have a good handle on what you do and how you do it.

They’ll file it away in the back of their mind in case they need it some day.

All of a sudden your lead nurturing process grinds to a halt.

You’re left waiting for your prospect or future customer to remember you when they finally need to take action.

And that’s uncomfortable. Just waiting. That’s not what you’re paid to do. That’s not who you are. You’re a person of action. Lead nurturing is part of how you take charge.

So you double down on lead nurturing tactics. It’s time to convert and close! You automate lead nurturing campaigns even more! You create more complicated lead nurturing email streams for one target audience after another. Your teams send them more messages in every channel. With customer examples that are designed to reach, inform and convert, to convince them to do something (just like everyone else).

But they’ve already checked out. They’re not tuned into you anymore. So although you have some success in catching their attention and getting them to finally do something, it doesn’t work as often as you’d like it to.

If any of that sounds familiar, here’s an approach that has worked again and again for my clients, and that might work for you. Just consider it:

Instead of more lead nurturing, find out what they are still tuned into

Maybe it’s an industry publication.

Maybe it’s a semi-celebrity expert in their field.

Maybe it’s their peers.

Find out who they’re still tuned into and figure out how to get your message to your leads, through the people they still seek out and listen to.

That’s the most straightforward way I’ve found of getting cold leads to warm up again, to get some great customer research insights you can share with the rest of your team, and to get them re-engaged with the problems you solve.

Lead nurturing after lead re-engagement

Once a prospect is re-engaged with the problem you solve, they’ll be one step closer to being finally receptive to your messages again. You’ll see your marketing team’s lead nurturing statistics tick back up to what they used to be.

And you’ll have lead nurturing messages that finally make sense to your leads.

Have you ever sheepishly sent a “just getting in touch” email, hoping your lead will write back?

When you make it a habit to get your leads around a table together, talking with their peers about important problems, you and your whole organization will have access to a steady stream of fresh insights and stories to send out to the rest of your leads.

No more “just checking in”.

More “I was chatting with a group of CFOs at a mid-sized company in your industry and they shared some insights I’d like to hear your take on.”

Put the nurture back in lead nurturing.

You’re not nurturing them like you would crops, ready to mow them down when they hit a certain size.

You’re nurturing them like you would, and I know I’m going too far here, you’re nurturing them like you would a gifted student.

This is the kind of lead nurturing that your leads will appreciate.

They’ll tell their friends, and they’ll come back for more.

I scrolled to the bottom and just want the summary

Are you struggling to effectively nurture your leads?

It’s no surprise – your leads have become immune to the same old strategies and tactics.

But here’s a solution:

Discover what your leads are genuinely interested in and tune into their needs. By doing so, you’ll regain their attention and make them receptive to your messages once again.

How? Lots of ways. Get in touch and we’ll discuss what can work for you.

But here’s one way that my clients have managed to regain the attention and trust of their top leads, and got them back into sales conversations:

  1. Build a list of your most valuable but disengaged leads who are just lingering in your CRM
  2. Pick a problem that this audience has in common and that they would be keen to learn how their peers are solving
  3. Invite them to a peer to peer conversation where they can share experiences and learn from the example of other people just like them who are grappling with the same problem
  4. Invite one or two of your customers to the meeting as well. But don’t coach them.
  5. Say as little as possible
  6. Let them know you are there to continue the conversation when they’re ready
  7. Repeat in a month

When I do this with my clients, I’m not surprised to see 20-40% of the attendees to reach out for a sales conversation. These are the same businesses who had ignored my client’s outreach for months.

Consider it.

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See also: Increase lead response rates

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