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BizGrowth Part 06: The Prospect Nurturing System

You will leave this video knowing:

How to accelerate the relationship of trust

The Importance of an Optimised LinkedIn Profile

How to use our 6 step process to optimise sales results

Your ideal messaging process with recommended structures for wording to maximise engagement

How to turn 100 leads into 8 to 13 hot prospects asking for more information or to have sales based conversations

Summary

Before you watch this video, imagine you have just arrived at a networking event. It’s been a long day of problem solving, finding solutions and fire-fighting. As you look around the room someone comes up to you as they finish their mini quiche and opens with …

“Hey just got here? I’m Matthew, I sell X. Want to buy my stuff?” After handing you his business card, Matthew strolls off without asking you any questions or taking any interest. Here, we find out why this doesn’t work when trying to generate new clients, and why do some people feel this is acceptable behaviour online with the reputational risks that this brings. Here, we find out why this doesn’t work when trying to generate new clients, and why do some people feel this is acceptable behaviour online with the reputational risks that this brings.

We will also explain in-depth about our optimised 6 Step Prospect Nurturing Process and the ideal messaging to use to generate a continuous flow of hot prospects!

Transcript:

ALEX:

Hello everyone, Alex Smith and Rupert Honywood from Business Growth Bureau, welcome to episode six. This is prospect nurturing. What we’re going to be covering in this bit is actually the methodology of not only what we do internally for ourselves but also what we do for our clients. So, we’ve helped you and given you the tools to build the right data in terms of using different social media platforms and different methods, but now we’re going to be taking you through the actual process, what do you do with that data? What words do you use and what process do you use to actually get those potential clients from cold prospects all the way to the point where they’re not only asking for more information but they’re actually asking for a sales-based conversation.

This kind of process, although it’s specific to LinkedIn, can really be used to a degree on pretty much any social media platform, any form of communication, so hopefully you’re following along on video and also on podcast as well. Something I just want to lay the foundation of is, the process we’re about to talk about, for every 100 people that we speak to, 8 to 13 hot prospects come out of the back end of that.

To finish my bit before I hand it over to Rupert, everything should be built on the relationship of trust, like we’ve been on about the whole way through. Everything we’ve been doing is the importance of making people your friend and building relationships with people, as opposed to selling them a one-time thing you’re going back to them with solutions and you’re providing them with solutions that they actually need.

I’ll hand over to you – what does the six-step process look like? (1:22)

   RUPERT:

That’s great, thanks for that. The important thing, as we referred to, it is about making sure you’ve got the best data to work with initially, you’ve got your targeting right, but we’ve taken care of that so we don’t need to tell you any more now about that. What we’re about to explain now is more specific for LinkedIn. We talk about here a six-step process through LinkedIn. If it’s through other platforms it would be different.

Once we’ve identified those people, it’s then about effectively connecting with that person. So it needs to be a very short, simple message. It’s very important it doesn’t have any sales message in there whatsoever, and what you’ll find is that about a third of those people who you connect with will accept your connection request. A very small percentage of people will reply, but you shouldn’t read anything negative into that, it’s just they don’t know what they don’t know.

  ALEX:

This would be a good time to plug in the idea of what an optimised profile looks like, simply because, although we’ve sent out the initial connection request, people may be engaged at that point and wanting to learn what we’re about, but when we talk about an optimised profile, LinkedIn is used for one of two things.

It’s either a glorified CV or it’s for attracting our ideal clients.

I suppose at this point it would be worth saying, if you want to see what an optimised profile looks like, it would be worth joining us on our webinar, because we don’t have the time to go into each single segment about why we do what we do or how we do it. But what we can do, that’s what the webinar is specifically about, so we’ll drop the link on the comments or the description underneath this video, along with one of the previous videos – the second video that we did – there’s a link for it as well.

Sorry to interrupt but it would be a link into our webinar where we actually talk about what an optimised profile actually looks like. (3:10)

  RUPERT:

That’s led really nicely into the next thing I was going to say on from that, about what it mainly makes people do when you send the request out, they will want to have a look at your profile. They may only look at it for 5 or 10 seconds, but to start with that’s enough. The reason that it may be such a short period of time is typically a lot of these people are getting a lot of these notifications on the go and broadly speaking, if you look fairly reasonable when you’re making the approach and there’s some loose synergy there, people will accept it.

  ALEX:

When you send that connection request out for the people following at home – because this is the second step – the first step is the data build, essentially building the bucket. The second bit is actually the connection request. Is there any message that goes out with that, because I know on LinkedIn specifically for that, with the connection request we can add a note. So, do I send a note with that or leave that blank? (4:03)

  RUPERT:

It’s far better to add a very short personal note in there.

  ALEX:

And what does that note look like? Just briefly. (4:08)

  RUPERT:

Ultra simple. It needs to say something like, ‘Hi John, on looking at your profile there seems to be certain synergies between us, are you okay to connect?’

  ALEX:

And this goes out with the connection request. So if you’re watching at the moment or listening to us on podcast, when going out through LinkedIn or social media, to show that you are human, send out a brief message, very simple. What was that message again? (4:33)

  RUPERT:

It would be something like, ‘Hi John, on looking at your profile there seems to be certain synergies between us, are you okay to connect? Kindest regards, Alex.’

  ALEX:

Really simple, and there’s no hidden agenda to that at all, it’s simply that there’s some common interest and you may be able to share some value in the future. What’s the second step? (4:50)

   RUPERT:

Once someone’s accepted the connect request, send out what we class as a permission to engage, or thank you message.

  ALEX:

My understanding of that would be more of an understanding that there’s some value that could be shared there. We’ve mentioned that there’s some synergies in the past and it’s actually more saying, is there a way of having a bit more of a conversation. (5:17)

  RUPERT:

Yes, so with that one, it would be a fairly short message again but it would be something like, ‘Many thanks for accepting the connect request. I’ve got a couple of questions I’d love to ask and I’d like to share some information, is that okay? Kindest regards, Alex.’ Now, that message, it’s very important to not try to sell at this point at all, it’s really important.

Three main purposes there, the first is to thank the person for accepting the connection request but also it plays a little bit on the slight element of guilt as they haven’t sent a message back to you, so why wouldn’t people want to be respectful and want to reply. The second thing is, it will make people want to look at your profile in more depth. This time round, someone might give you 5 or 10 seconds with the connect request, you may well get 15 to 20 seconds of someone’s time at this stage.

  ALEX:

And that’s them looking at your profile? (6:12)

  RUPERT:

Yes, and this is why the optimisation of the profile that you referred to is so important. And then the third thing is, because you’re not overtly trying to sell in this message, and you’ve built curiosity, people will tend to respond and say yes, of course, please do. If someone says that, that’s great, because it would be really rude and stupid not to give them the information they’re asking for and answer those two key questions.

  ALEX:

At this point here, for everybody watching, and also for the people listening in, it would be a good time to mention, in 30 seconds Rupert, what is a well optimised profile, what does that look like? (6:47)

  RUPERT:

Don’t word it to look like a glorified CV, that’s what LinkedIn want you to do because obviously they make lots of money from recruitment agencies. It needs to focus about you first of all personally as an individual, but only a short sentence. The next part is about a paragraph which relates to your company, building on the credibility of the organisation, your core proposition, a nice typed paragraph. Then five or six bullet points based on the pain points that your clients potentially face.

  ALEX:                                 And what kind of things should I be saying in that? (7:20)    RUPERT:

It’s about trying to look at it from the client’s point of view, so if you can try and think of the areas of pain that that prospect is actually suffering, and what are the key triggers to make them want to buy, that then leads in very nicely into the five or six key benefits that you can offer or problems you’re trying to solve, again as a bulleted list, and then from that you need a bit of a hook and then a call for action.

The call for action would be things like phone numbers, email address. On LinkedIn you can actually put that contact information in separately, we do recommend you repeat it at the bottom of your profile. So if you’re familiar with marketing speak you may have heard of something called AIDA which is Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. Broadly speaking, it’s following those principles.

  ALEX:

I understand. So we’ve talked about the first three steps, the data build, the initial connection request and how we do that, we then talked about the permission to engage, and we’ve also mentioned the idea of what an optimised profile looks like. Like I said at the start of this video, at this point if you want to see what that actually looks like, join us on a webinar, because this is where we delve into the specifics of how you do lead generation through LinkedIn and through Sales Navigator, but more importantly, how do you actually optimise a profile, even for LinkedIn specific to this. That’s not to say that it couldn’t be used through Facebook, through Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms.

It would be good to talk about the fourth step which is the timed follow up, what does that look like? (8:51)

  RUPERT:

Again, it’s ultra short, because in reality people will see the previous message when you go into their inbox.

  ALEX:

Let’s say I’ve sent a message, I’m an impatient individual, I’m busy, I want to get to my clients quickly and I want them to respond. How much time should I be waiting between sending my initial permission to engage and that follow-up message? (9:13)

   RUPERT:

It’s usually about 7 to 10 days, you want to give people enough time to respond without them feeling that you’re hounding them, but also in real terms what you’ll tend to find is a lot of people will jump out and express some form of interest in the permission to engage message but also through this message alone – because what happens, if we think about how we all tend to live and work, we’re on the go, we use our mobile phones, we get a message in which builds a bit on the curiosity side, we intend to respond, you think to yourself, I haven’t got time to deal with that now, I’ll deal with it later on. So people forget, and this is where the timed follow-up works really well and that’s where you get another spike of people putting their hands up at that stage.

  ALEX:

That timed follow-up is crucial. The timing’s obviously crucial as well. But say someone’s come back to me, what do I do then? Do I go out with a sales message, are they engaged, do they know what I want to do, or do I try and build and build or do I go back and give them what they want? What do I do after that? (10:10)

   RUPERT:

A great question. It depends how people reply because in real terms, we’ve established that there’s probably about 150 different ways that people reply, believe it or not, but usually if you get the wording of a message right for the next one, you’ll find apart from top and tailing it a little bit you can develop a core message for the next one. Top and tail it slightly differently and it works really well.

If people are putting their hands up and saying, please tell me more, you just need to do precisely that. So the next message that we’d recommend sending out would be a short sentence about you again, another short sentence about your organisation, the credibility of your organisation, another short sentence about the problem you’re trying to solve or your core proposition.

You’ll notice I refer to short sentences, so that’s one nice tight paragraph. Drop in the two key questions you want to ask, and it’s really important those questions are really simple. Try and keep it to no more than 6 to 8 words and you’re building on an intuitive response not a logical response. Because if you’re asking people to think about what you’ve said in that message, you’ve almost certainly lost them, because people don’t have more than 10, 15, 20 seconds.

  ALEX:

So, say I’m on the go, you’re looking at your phone, you’ve got maybe 10 seconds – and this is something for you to think about at home, when you’re actually going out to your clients – is how much time are they having to read the content and how much time are they actually consuming your content for. Through video, you can’t help the amount of time because it does take to get words across. But in messages and stuff you want it to be quick, you want it to be short, and you want it to be sweet. So really think about the words that you’re using and how you’re actually engaging with your clients.

Is there a final step to that? (11:53)

   RUPERT:

Yes, you’ll find the great thing with that message is, it’s designed to do one of two different things. The first thing is, if you’ve got this right, it’ll help people to filter themselves out if they don’t feel that they’re a good fit. Also it equally works the other way round, it helps people to filter themselves in, and the good thing is it helps to cut out those people who actually are not interested in what you’ve got to offer, in other words you end up with the wrong type of prospects.

  ALEX:

That’s a good thing, dare I say it so bluntly but I would rather people opt themselves out because if they come to us and say, I’m interested but I don’t really know what you’re doing, are they really a lead or are they really someone I don’t want to waste my time with – that’s not really the right word – but are they really someone I want to spend time prequalifying, someone that doesn’t need to buy my stuff? (12:40)

   RUPERT:

I think that’s a fair point and at this stage, you’re only giving people what they’re asking for so it works really well. The final step to this in terms of the six-step process if you’re talking about LinkedIn again, is again what we class as another timed follow-up message, which we normally recommend sending out 7 to 10 days later, and that’s simply again because people are on the go, they quite often just need to be reminded and again you get another lot of people putting their hand up at that stage as well.

Just to summarise very briefly, going back to the beginning with this, if you follow the advice we’re talking about here, and it can be much more difficult to implement than you think and this is where the webinars fit in really well, what we can say to you if you get your targeting right is, for every 100 people you connect with in your chosen target market, you’ll find between 8 to 13 out of 100 will express some form of interest or ask to have a sales-based conversation.

  ALEX:

It would be a good way to finish off, just to give you those six steps again. The initial bit is to get the data right, get that data build right for you. This is obviously specific to LinkedIn, the second part is the crucial connection request, it’s that initial request not to go out with a sales message, to go out about the synergies between the companies and potentially being able to share value in the future. It’s then the permission to engage, once they’ve come back to you. We say from this point, out of the initial 100 people that we speak to, about 30% to 50% will come back if done in this way. So that’s the permission to engage. If they don’t come back to you either viewing your profile or asking for more information, it’s that timed follow-up about 7 to 10 days after. Once they come back to you at that point they’re either keen or asking for more information, and this is where that qualifying pitch message goes out and we find about 15% to 25% then go on to the next stage of actually asking for more information or for a sales-based conversation. Out of the back of that you get 8 to 13 hot qualified leads. Is that about right? (14:37)

  RUPERT:

That sums it up perfectly.

  ALEX:

Wonderful. So, is that a good place to wrap it up? (14:41)

   RUPERT:

I think it is.

  ALEX:

Now obviously, this is more of an introduction of just sharing value with you, so now if you’d like to delve into more about what this actually is and what more we could do for you, it’s the third time I’ve mentioned it now, we do have a free webinar for you to join us on. At the moment it’s running weekly, I think this next one is on Wednesday, but we’re trying to get to a point where it’s actually running two or three times a week and we’d love for you to join in on that where we delve into what an optimised profile looks like, what the prospect nurturing profile looks like with actual wording of what we use, and what the next episode is actually going to be on, the sales optimisation, and we actually talk to you a lot more about the consultative sales. I’d love to see you in that one. Anything else you can add? (15:19)

  RUPERT:

I think that’s absolutely perfect, I think that’s a wrap.

  ALEX:

I’m Alex Smith, this is Rupert Honywood from Business Growth Bureau. Like I always say, thank you so much for watching, your feedback is our oxygen. Anything you’d like to comment on, drop it in below, good or bad, we’d love to hear from you. Thank you so much for watching and also thank you very much for tuning into the podcast if you’re listening to us on audio. (15:37)

  RUPERT:

Cheers, thank you.

  ALEX:

See you in the next episode, thank you. Bye. (15:41)