Closing Deals, the Inbound Way

When I talk to many business owners, I seem to find that they all tend to have one prevailing issue in common, and it’s an issue that many companies fail to pick up on – closing online leads. Generating these leads is easy, however nurturing and closing them is difficult. The problem lies in the quality of these leads, and how sales-ready these leads are.

Before you start trying to generate leads online, you need to identify your ideal buyer. What you must do is get into the mind of this buyer – who are they? How much money do they earn? How are they most likely to engage in your marketing materials? Which of your products or services are they most interested in and why? By answering questions like these, you start to form a profile of the individual you ideally want to attract with your online marketing materials. The trick here is not to stop at one, through, but to continue to identify the top 3 to 5 buyers you need to attract.

So, you’ve got your ideal buyers. You know who they are, what they do, why they buy, what they’ll buy and more. Now it’s time to start developing your online marketing strategy based around these profiles.

Start by designing a website that would be most effective in creating a link between the buyer and your company. Keep in mind that first impressions last, and just like the first meeting, your website needs to make an outstanding first and lasting impression on your target. In addition to this, you need to give your ideal buyer a reason to return to this site, over and over again. It is one thing to have a visually stimulating website, but if the site is static with no material to entice and nurture the lead, you would be wasting your time.

Once your ideal lead has found their way to your website, it is time to start building rapport. By keeping a company blog page on your website and by answering the most common questions relating to your industry, you allow for your lead to engage in material that shows examples of how knowledgeable, professional, and trustworthy your company is. Don’t forget that the purpose of the blog is to nurture your inbound leads, not to sell to them. The company blog should be treated as a free one-to-many consultation that encourages conversation and social media sharing. In addition to this, by keeping a company blog, you not only nurture your leads before the first meeting, but you raise your search engine ranking by providing the answer to many of the questions most ‘googled’ in your industry.

Once your lead has engaged with your website in such a way that their information (name, email) has been given to you via a form on the site for free material (e.g. mailing list, request for more information, or any place on the site that allows information to be shared) it is time to take the lead nurturing process to the next level.

Engage with your leads on social media to scope what they are looking for. Remember, there is a reason they ended up at your website and gave you information. For the lead to give you information, it means there is a gap in their life that they believe your company has the potential to fill. At the same time, you should be segmenting your leads into specific groups and targeting their needs through marketing emails. Always allow for an easy conversion tool within each email, such as an exclusive content offer, a call-to-action to a free consultation/assessment, or an offer that you feel could help build rapport with your leads.

By managing an inbound lead nurturing and sales funnel similar to the above, you’ll not only find that the number of quality leads specific to your target increases, but your sales team will find it much easier to close each sale.

John Englezos
John Englezos

John Englezos is the Founder of Inbound Guru, an Australian inbound marketing agency. When he isn't increasing his client's digital marketing performance, he can be found playing his '74 Strat or rooting for the New York Jets.