Let me start off by throwing another dictionary definition at you from merriam-webster.com
1nur•ture – noun\ˈnər-chər\:
the care and attention given to someone or something that is growing or developing
Full Definition of NURTURE
1: training, upbringing
2: something that nourishes : food
3: the sum of the environmental factors influencing the behavior and traits expressed by an organism
If you remember from last week’s issue, I broke down the customer lifecycle in to three parts – Educate, Infiltrate, and Assimilate.
Nurturing Prospects is one of the critical points when it comes to educating future members. At this point in your relationship, the prospect has expressed interest but may not be ready to sign up just yet.
So what do you do now?
I mentioned a few examples in the Building Your Herd article, but here you will get detailed information on different ways you can train, bring up, and nourish your prospect with the information they need to eventually do business with you!
When nurturing leads, there are many ways to follow up with them, and here are my 5 Best Methods To Nurture Your Prospects:
• Traditional Email – Many schools use email marketing to follow-up with their leads and customers. This can be very effective with the use of auto-responders, adding video and using special offers that encourage your prospect to call or come in. However, make sure to respect your customer’s preferences and only send them email that they are expecting. Nothing drives them to the “unsubscribe” button faster than an unwanted email.
• Phone – Following up doesn’t only have to be in the form of email. Believe it or not, some people actually still prefer to have conversations with people! Also, you may not know if they are getting and reading all their email. Phone follow up to schedule an appointment is great, it lets them know that you are a real person and its entirely appropriate especially after they’ve given you their number and you’ve sent a few emails.
• Premium Content Series – You do not want every form of follow-up with your prospects to be a sales pitch. They’ll pick up on that right away and quickly tune you out. It’s very effective to be generous with helpful content in your lead nurturing strategy. The more informed your buyer is of your products, services and the industry as a whole, the more mature your sales conversations can become later. Make use of video and free reports to deliver premium content so your leads are educated. Additionally, because you are the one providing the information, in their eyes this will position you as the expert in your field.
• Direct Mail – You can’t forget the power of direct mail combined with excellent content. There’s still something special about getting something in the mail (that’s not a bill). You can use this to drive people to your lead magnets, or if you want to go the extra mile… Include a gift or a no-strings-attached incentive to establish trust and instill some action from your hot prospects. If you’re tracking responses (and you should be!) you’ll quickly discover what’s working and driving new members to your school.
• Confirming Appointments – If you have something like a scheduled intro appointment or group introductory class that people have signed up for, you often have the ability to confirm their attendance in the form of a phone call. I can’t tell you the number of times I would have missed a doctor’s appointment if it hadn’t been for that confirmation call. It’s a small courtesy that goes a long way.
You can pick and choose a combination that works for you, but make sure you have something in place to take care of your prospects as they go through the buying process.
Ultimately, the reason for nurturing prospects is to close the gap between your lead magnets and your prospect actually becoming a new member at your school.
This is also another great place to use testimonials and other proof driven information about how your program makes a difference in people’s lives.
Remember, we are educating them here on what we do, how we do it, and why it will work for them.
When all this information comes together and is consistent with what your prospect desires, you will start seeing high numbers of enrollments.
Finally, you must never forget that leads are people, too. They are busy and aren’t always ready for the marketing that you will send them. Always respect their privacy and give them an easy way to opt out of whatever information you are sending them.
You’ll quickly discover if people are opting out of your nurturing process. If that starts happening, you’ll have the ability to determine at what point they are leaving and make the necessary adjustments.
About the Author:
Mr. Karstadt is the founder of 1 TKD Consulting and owns the longest running ITF Taekwon-Do school in Arizona, Karstadt Taekwon-Do in Phoenix, AZ with his father Master David Karstadt. He has been training since 1984, earned his Black Belt at the age of 8 and is currently an internationally renown intstructor teaching the culture, discipline, leadership and business skills of Taekwon-Do in classes and seminars to Instructors around the world. He has been a member of eight U.S. Taekwon-Do Teams and has traveled to 14 different countries competing in Taekwon-Do. He has won numerous medals at the World Championships and in international competition, most notably winning the 2004 World Championships in South Korea with two gold medals and the Men’s Team All Around Trophy. Mr. Karstadt currently resides in uptown Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and three children. Mr. Karstadt can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org