5 Things My Toddler Taught Me About Lead Nurturing

5 Things My Toddler Taught Me About Lead Nurturing
Michele Linn - Mon Aug 31, 2009 @ 01:32AM
Comments: 15

5 Things My Toddler Taught Me About Lead NurturingI never thought I would love blogging as much as I do. One of the unexpected benefits is that I look at everyday situations is new ways; I see applications for B2B marketing everywhere.

Here's an example: I spend lots of time with my 21-month old daughter, and lately, many things she does reminds of how B2B marketers should nurture leads. What, pray tell, can a toddler teach me about lead nurturing? Plenty. Read on.

Tell prospects exactly what you want them to do
Toddlers are not known for reading between the lines; if you want to get a result, you need to explicitly ask for what you want. I can't hand my daughter a toy and expect her to know what I want her to do with it. Rather, I need to ask her, "Please put the toy away."

The same holds true for your prospect. If you aren't specific with your request, they will likely do nothing at all. Instead of providing the open-ended option of visiting your website, provide one or two options that are more tailored to their needs.

Have fun!
There are a lot of mundae things my daughter and I do: running errands, making dinner, etc. But, instead of focusing on the boring aspect of these activities, I try to make them fun. I have little activities that she can do in the cart, and we love to sing and dance while I cook.

Your material may be dry, but try to have fun with it. Don't take yourself too seriously and try to be entertaining if appropriate. Your prospects will thank you -- and they'll look forward to your next message (just like my daughter looks forward to our next trip to the grocery store).

Use words that make sense
The way I talk to my daughter is different than I talk to my husband and friends. I use words that are meaningful to her. While most people are aware of how they talk when interacting with a toddler, they don't always think about this when talking to other adults.

We talk about avoiding those tired, overused words (gobbledygook) on Savvy B2B all the time, but it is something that I see constantly - and it certainly bears repeating. Use words that are meaningful to your prospects instead of words that make you feel all important, and you'll get a much better response.

Be consistent
I'm a big fan of routine. It's great to have a rhythm to our day, and it helps both my daughter and me to know what is coming next. Most parents I know wouldn't dream of giving their kids two meals one day and four the next or not setting a general bed time for their young children.

Don't you think your prospects like consistency, too? A lead nurturing program is not a sporadic set of emails or contacts that you make whenever you feel like it or whenever you have something new to say. Instead, it should be a systematic way to provide useful information to your prospects that will lead them through the buying cycle.

Focus on what your prospect needs
When my daughter and I hang out, there is usually one thing we don't do: talk all about me. Instead, we play games and do things that she likes, such as going to the park or pushing her baby and stroller around the house or neighborhood.

Most adults would never think about making it all about them when they are playing with a toddler, and it should be the same when you are interacting with your prospects. This is another thing we say all the time, but, really, it isn't about you. Figure out what matters to your prospects and talk about that.

Bonus tip: Don't strive for pefection
After I posted this, one other similarity came to mind: You don't need to be perfect. I am far from the perfect parent, but I do the best I can. And I am learning from others and changing methods all the time.

The same holds true for your lead nurturing program. It doesn't need to be perfect, either. Have a plan, but after you start your program, you'll see what works and what doesn't, and you can continually change what you do. It's a fun process, so enjoy the experience!

What other type of lessons do your life experiences teach you about lead nurturing?

Related posts:

Read more Savvy B2B posts from Michele.

Comments: 15

Comments

1. Susan Fantle  |  my website   |   Mon Aug 31, 2009 @ 07:03AM

Great post Michele. I'd like to add a comment to your point about "using words that make sense." I learned years ago that when writing marketing copy (even if I'm marketing to a six-figure income executive who is likely well-educated) to always use language for a junior high-school level of education. Many think this is "talking down" to people, but it's not. No one is offended by being spoken to in plain language. This approach makes sure that the communication is always understood. In fact, I recall being told that the Wall Street Journal uses this rule as well.

2. Michele Linn   |   Mon Aug 31, 2009 @ 03:43PM

Susan, I absolutely agree. I didn't know that the Wall Street Journal uses this rule, but it makes sense. If two people have the same ideas, I am drawn to the person who make complex ideas seem simple, not the person who speaks academically. Thanks for stopping by!

3. Jamie Wallace  |  my website   |   Tue Sep 01, 2009 @ 01:19AM

Michele - As a fellow mom (though my daughter starts Kindergarten next week!), I LOVE the way you've translated life with your toddler into great marketing tips.

I'd add that you should customize your message and the experience depending upon the "mood" of your particular toddler/customer. Taking your tip of making sure it's not "all about you" one step further, I think it's also important to consider how the needs of one customer might be different from the next, or how one customer's needs today might be different from those of yesterday. With all the tools at our disposal, the one-size-fits-all solution just doesn't make sense any more.

I've made plenty of mistakes when it comes to trying to coerce or manipulate a toddler into doing something they don't want to do. It's much more pleasant for everyone if you're able to step back, understand the immediate needs (even if they are different from what you expected) and go from there. Trust me. ;)

Great post!

4. Michele Linn  |  my website   |   Tue Sep 01, 2009 @ 02:16AM

Jamie,

Great point. In fact, I was thinking about that very thing yesterday as I was trying - unsuccessfully - to convince my daughter to do something. I talk with lots of moms, and it is amazing how many similarities our kids have at this age, but yet each kid has his or her own quirks.

As a marketer, it is great if you can find what those commonalities are so you can craft a basic message. But, as you suggest, you need to go beyond that and appeal to different audiences beyond that, by tweaking the message and delivering it in more than one way. As always, thanks for the additional insights!

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