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Lead Generation And The Dating Analogy

By Brian Carroll

When it comes to lead generation, the dating analogy is nothing new. But I liked what Tom Myer at the said on the topic of lead nurturing in his post, "If you don't remember me on the second date, why should we go on a third?"

Myer writes:

"If lead generation is like dating, and we're all out there on the singles scene, most of our effort goes to landing first dates. We do everything we can to catch someone's eye, fetch up the nerve to ask them out, and work really hard on making a good impression that first time around. We may also have well-meaning friends and families setting us up on blind dates (aka referrals), and we may also run into those people who have heard good things about us from other people and want to get to know us better (aka word of mouth). (Yes, it's a neat metaphor, and I'm not the first to notice it, but I digress.)

All of this dating stuff aside, lead nurturing is like getting to know someone better (except in the business context multiple relationships are not only condoned but encouraged!). If you spend all that time and energy getting a "first date", why would you blow it by not remembering important facts about your prospect on the "second date"? Also, if you're on that second date, why not take this chance to get to know them a little better?"

I of course agree. He goes on in the post to talk about how to use your relevant and educational content as part of the lead nurturing mix.

As important as information gathering is, it is important to not get too personal on the first date. Think about your web forms. Are you asking for far too much information before you've earned their trust? I wrote about this in my post, Why Most B2B Sites Fail to Convert Sales Leads.

Low Rate eCommerce & Retail Plans

Don't blow it on the first date by thinking of it as a campaign rather than a conversation. The challenge is to make each conversation you have be relevant and meaningful. The reward? A more memorable conversation that will likely lead to others and eventually a relationship.

You'll do better by thinking of lead nurturing as a process of micro-conversions based on the multiple conversations you're having. Be patient and you'll build the opportunity profile over time.

Sridhar Ramanathan president of Pacifica Group points this out in his blog post, "Demand Generation: Are You Making Your Prospects Lie? He writes, "One of the dirty little secrets of online marketing is that the leads you generate are only as good as the data that the customer prospect chooses to share about themselves. And very often they lie"

As a way to get started, no strings attached, why not give away something of value for free? Then later request an email address, then ask for first and last name, later requesting a phone number, and so on.

I can tell you that it does take time to use a nurturing approach, but you will end up with better and more profitable relationships, whether it be personal or professional.

Heck, I knew that I wanted to marry my wife after the second date, but I can tell you that it took time, attention, creativity and patience to win her heart.

Let's go one step further with the dating analogy. If your customers made the leap to commit to working with you, do you then ignore them because you've already won them over?

At InTouch we believe the "yes" is only the beginning, not the final result. Take time to nurture your existing customers too. Like any good relationship, it starts with a memorable and meaningful first conversation and continues with ongoing attention and


About the Author:
Brian Carroll is the CEO of InTouch Inc. InTouch is a 50-person company focused on delivering effective lead generation solutions for "the complex sale."

Brian authors the very interesting B2B Lead Generation Blog which focuses on B2B lead generation, sales leads, and marketing for the complex sale.

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