These days, it’s not unusual to interact with someone mostly or entirely online. Many of us have co-workers, colleagues, and friends we’ve only met over the internet. The same might be true for you and many of the people you serve. And potential customers (i.e. leads) want to meet you and your business online, too.

Although technology has changed, the basics of good business have remained the same. Sure, the world is growing more digital by the day, but all people—and especially your potential customers—still crave human connection before they buy. 

It’s the age-old question of having your cake and eating it too: Is it possible to grow your business and become more digitally savvy while providing all leads with the human connection they crave? 

Meet the cake: website chat for your business. 

With business live chats, you can delight potential customers and have more time on your hands. 

Website chat can… 

  • Convert traffic into leads
  • Foster human connection with everyone who visits your website
  • Demonstrate the value of your business to prospects
  • Gain insight into your leads and their needs 
  • Save you time so you can meet the needs of current customers or even (gasp!) have a life outside of your business 

To demonstrate how live chat can help you reach more prospects while providing a better web experience for everyone, let’s go back to our friends Amy, Bryan, and Casey from the Story of a Lead. And since we’re talking cake… 

Let’s say you run a bakery.

That’s you!

To recap, we know of three leads who may be interested in buying baked goods from your business: Amy, Bryan, and Casey. Each is at a different point in the sales funnel.

As explained in her story, Amy is what we would call a sales-qualified lead. This means we know a lot about Amy, but she’s not yet a customer. In this case, you’ve already spoken to Amy about her budget, and you know she’s interested in a Jaws-themed cake for her dog, Bruce’s, birthday.

Amy is going to purchase from someone—the goal is to convince her to choose you to bake the cake.

Using self-service chat to convert a lead into a customer

Let’s imagine what would happen if you had a self-service chat option on your website:

It’s after business hours, and Amy is ready to decide. She goes to check out you and your competitor online one last time before making a final decision. 

Meet Amy (Bruce not pictured).

Your business has a self-service chat built into your website, and your competitor doesn’t. With live chat, you connect with Amy directly while she’s thinking about Bruce and his cake. You have the opportunity to speak with her about her needs and show her the unique value your bakery brings to the table. (Or is that “…brings to the dog-food bowl?” You get the idea.)

In any case, your competition doesn’t have chat. Your competition didn’t even know Amy was browsing their websites, trying to make a decision. 

During the chat, you explain to Amy that all of your cakes use pet-friendly ingredients (no chocolate, of course) and will save her time, so she can focus on planning the rest of Bruce’s birthday party. To sweeten her options, you tell her you’ll even throw in matching cupcakes for Amy’s human guests.  

You win Amy over, and she makes a deposit directly through your website. 

With live, self-managed chat, you’ve seized the opportunity to take Amy from a prospect to a customer because you had a way to connect on your website. It’s a digital channel that enables you to connect, human-to-human (specifically, human-to-human-with-dog-who-loves-shark-themed-birthday-cakes). 

Self-service chat is just one option. Not everyone has the time to chat with all of their prospective leads personally—you’re busy making cakes, after all. That’s where full-service chat can come in.

Using full-service chat to convert a lead into a customer

Let’s see how outsourced, full-service chat can convert a lead into a customer for your business. This time, we’re talking about Bryan.

Meet Bryan.

As we explored in his story, Bryan is a marketing-qualified lead. He’s reached out to you in the past. He’s even filled out your email subscription pop-up, but that means he’s going to have to wait until your next newsletter to hear from you…

…Unless, that is, you can engage with him via chat on your website.

Full-service chat again enables a human connection—but, this time, from a professional familiar with your business, a professional hired to engage with your prospects while you’re busy baking cakes for your other customers. 

The chat specialist is ready to respond live if and when Bryan visits your website and chooses to initiate a conversation. They can find out exactly who Bryan is and what he’s looking for:

Is he looking for a cake? Cupcakes? A pumpernickel loaf?

Is he even a prospective customer? Maybe what he’s truly interested in is turning his love of cooking and baking into a part-time job.

Or, perhaps he’s a potential partner—someone who has an in with a supplier who can get you your ingredients faster and cheaper.

Full-service chat will help you gather the data you need to figure out which way to convert Bryan or direct him to the right area of your business.

One of the greatest advantages of full-service chat is that it creates human connections 24/7/365. While you’re busy with other customers, your personal life, or—hey, how about sleeping?—a chat professional can help you filter prospects through your sales funnel. 

A full-service chat professional is trained on your specific business and knows what questions you would ask if you spoke to Bryan yourself. They can gather his contact information, answer some of his basic questions, and show him where to go on your website for more details about your business. Your chat professionals have helped you determine what kind of lead Bryan is, all while assisting Bryan to answer some of his basic questions in real time. 

Plus, you can go back and read the transcript of the conversation with Bryan. You can review the data from that conversation and plan for reaching back out to Bryan personally, on your time. 

Self-service or staffed by a professional, chat is a powerful lead conversion tool. If you hadn’t had chat on your website, Bryan and Amy would have been left alone in the digital universe—and may have chosen one of your competitors instead. 

Using automated lead capture to gather more data about leads

What about the leads at the very top of your sales funnel? 

Here’s where we can talk about our third lead, Casey. 

Casey saw your Instagram feed, where you shared photos of Bruce’s birthday cake. They then clicked on the link in your bio and ended up on your website. 

Meet Casey.

Let’s pause for a moment and consider what Casey might be looking for. Are they just curious about your business? Or might they be interested in a cake of their own? 

We simply don’t know at this point. We’re not sure where Casey is on their cake journey. Maybe they don’t even know yet. 

How can you find out? By using automated lead capture

With automated lead capture, visitors on your website trigger a pre-built conversational flow designed by you to help evaluate leads 24/7. The flow changes based on your visitors’ answers. It can gather basic contact information, link your visitor to important pages on your website, and help you determine who needs your help—and who’s just browsing. 

Casey interacts with your automated lead capture tool, and as a result, you know that Casey clicked on your Instagram bio to learn more about you, but that they’re not interested in buying anything at the moment. 

But although you didn’t make an immediate sale, you did capture a lead. Your website stood out to Casey—it provided them with a better experience than your competitor’s website. And when Casey does need a cake, they’ll remember that experience and how it felt. 

Learn more about leads.

Discover how to connect with and convert different kinds of sales leads.

Get the guide.

Ready to convert more leads? Add chat to your website today.

Amy, Bryan, and Case are just three types of potential leads. Building up your digital presence with chat and making your website a better experience for all visitors can help you learn about, qualify, and convert many more leads. 

The bottom line: by adding chat to your website, you can have your digital cake and eat it too.

Ruby empowers businesses of all kinds—from bakeries to consultants, from law firms to healthcare providers—to provide exceptional experiences for the people they serve. We provide multiple chat and lead generation solutions:

Full-Service Chat: Ruby is here 24/7/365 to connect with your website visitors through our Full-Service Chat. Our live chat specialists gather contact information, answer FAQs, and assist in qualifying leads, saving you time so you can focus on growing your business. You can see all your chat information alongside your call details on the Ruby Dashboard and Mobile app.

Automated lead capture: Ruby offers automated lead capture to all Call Ruby customers, so you can engage website visitors 24/7/365. The tool captures leads and answers questions through a conversational flow designed by you. Conversations can branch based on the visitor’s answers, allowing you to identify more urgent leads from those doing initial research. The conversation can also answer FAQs and encourage current or potential customers to call for additional assistance.

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Meet Casey. 

Casey is… Well, Casey is a person, and they live in… a place. Everyone has to live somewhere, right? Casey has certain identifying characteristics—an age, a background, a personal history—you know, the common traits any human being would possess. And they probably have preferences, a personality, specific likes and dislikes… Probably. They definitely have a name, and that name is—you guessed it—Casey.

All right, the truth is we hardly know anything about Casey other than their name and their Twitter handle: Casey47474. The only reason we’re thinking about Casey is because they followed your business on Twitter the other day. And based on website traffic, we can guess that they also visited a few pages on your site around the same time.

Could Casey become your next customer or client? Sure, maybe. It’s hard to say. Like our last two leads, Amy and Bryan, Casey has shown some interest in your business, but they’re much higher up in the sales funnel. We don’t know what product or service they’re interested in, or if they’re really interested in anything at all right now. 

So, does Casey even count as a lead? Let’s break it down.

When is a lead a lead?

In the first part of this series, we defined a lead as a person or organization who might one day purchase a product or service from your business

We left that definition broad on purpose. Identifying, categorizing, and converting leads is far from an exact science. How you approach it is totally up to you.

Maybe you consider someone a lead once they’ve taken a predefined action—e.g. after they’ve emailed your business or engaged in a chat on your website, or after you’ve gotten them on the phone.

Or maybe you’re very particular about your leads because relatively few people or organizations who contact your business ultimately become buyers. This is often the case for a business with a small niche, a big brand, or both. Perhaps your organization has a wide reach, a massive audience, and/or a major presence in your market or region—but a comparatively tiny base of customers, clients, patients, or subscribers who actually pay for your products or services.

Or maybe you think of anyone and everyone as a lead. After all, isn’t a stranger just a buyer you haven’t converted yet?

The point is that a lead is a lead when you decide they’re a lead. It’s a matter of weighing your customer acquisition costs with your ROI, and taking initiative when it’s financially viable. You can—and if you want to build your customer base, you should—treat every interaction as an opportunity to build a relationship with someone who might one day support your business.

What’s your value proposition?

Now, we’re not suggesting that you reach out to every one of your contacts and social media followers and give them a hard sell. Doing so would likely waste your time and repel people, like Casey, who might otherwise be interested in your business if they didn’t feel so pressured at the outset.

However, there’s plenty you can do to attract Casey’s interest before that first sales conversation. Strategic, thoughtful marketing will draw Casey in and help them decide whether they might want to make a purchasing decision.

As with Amy and Bryan, it’s all about value. Consider what makes your solution valuable to different kinds of customers. In other words, think about your value propositions:

  • Do people need your product or service? 
  • Does your product or service save money?
  • Does it save time?
  • Does it improve business?
  • Does it keep people safe?
  • Does it make people happy?
  • Does it make the world a better place?

At this point, your goal is to get the answers to questions like these in front of Casey. If something resonates, pursue that campaign or line of messaging further. If something doesn’t land, try a different approach. 

The same goes for how you communicate with Casey. Consider using a multipronged approach—for instance, a mix of emails, ads, LinkedIn messages, and perhaps even a phone call if it makes sense for your business—but do it one piece at a time, so as not to overwhelm them, and switch it up if you’re not getting through.

Ideally, your approach will come through a channel relevant to Casey, center on one of Casey’s needs, and use that need (often called a pain point) to create awareness of your business.

Whoever Casey is, they’re a human being.

Always respect your leads. Respect their time and their autonomy. Remember: every sale is a relationship. You can’t start the relationship by bragging about how great you are and trying to force them to do what you want them to do. 

You need to nurture the relationship. First, get their attention so you can engage them. Then learn about them, listen to them, and then use what you learn to help them see how great you are, and why it makes the most sense to work with you. 

Finally, know when to move on. If it’s clear that Casey isn’t interested, stop messaging them. Spam is never an effective marketing or sales tactic. But, don’t just move on when you get tired of chasing Casey.  Instead, set a rule or deadline for yourself before you even start and build your process around that end-point. For instance, if Casey doesn’t take action after five emails, or five weeks, take them off your list. Reference previous messages with each new attempt, introducing a new value proposition each time.  When you reach the end of the process, let them know it is your last attempt.  A lead that has interest, but expects you to keep trying, might not prioritize responding to you.  However, if they know they have to call you or risk losing out on the value of working with you, they’re a lot more likely to take action!

Attracting leads: dos and don’ts.

Do:

  • Take initiative
  • Demonstrate value
  • Keep messages short and relevant
  • Test different messages
  • Use a multi-pronged approach
  • Focus on their needs
  • Listen, learn, and respect the individual
  • Have a process…  with a definitive end…  and communicate the end

Don’t:

  • Spam people
  • Pressure people into buying
  • Rush people through the process
  • Talk about everything at once
  • Use only one strategy
  • Focus only on your needs
  • Treat people like numbers

Your lead story is just beginning.

And there you have it—three leads, three stories, countless ways to engage, persuade, and embed value throughout the sales process. Amy, Bryan, and Casey are just a few examples of the kinds of prospective customers your business may encounter. 

In reality, every sales lead is unique—because every person is unique. Everyone is the main character in their own story. 

But everyone who interacts with your business, no matter who they are or where they are in the customer journey, deserves consistently excellent service. That means getting to know and understand them, one unique case at a time. It means building connections.

At Ruby, connections are what we do best. Thousands of small businesses across the United States trust Ruby to build connections with their customers and prospects, create positive first impressions, provide unforgettable experiences, and generate word-of-mouth. 

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Meet Bryan. 

Bryan is a 36-year-old single dad who recently relocated from Hong Kong to the United States. Bryan would describe himself as a nerd and a homebody. He loves cooking, painting, musical theater, and learning new languages. Although Bryan doesn’t open up to new people immediately, he has several close friends who love him for his kind heart and his sometimes-dark sense of humor.

Right now, we don’t actually know any of that. 

What we do know is that Bryan is a sales lead. He’s shown interest in your business and your products or services. We know this because he’s filled a contact form on your website, and yesterday, he sent an email asking about an offering. 

Many businesses would consider Bryan a marketing-qualified lead (MQL). Compare and contrast him with our last persona, Amy, who falls under the category of sales-qualified lead (SQL). Amy and Bryan are both interested in a potential sale, but while Amy has had exchanges with business representatives, Bryan has only just initiated the conversation.

Welcome to a world of possibilities.

Bryan is at an exciting and uncertain stage in the customer acquisition process. There are so many possibilities ahead.

Maybe he’ll turn into a new customer—perhaps a loyal, high-paying customer who spreads positive word of mouth about your business.

Or maybe he’ll benefit your company in a different way—as a key contact, for instance, or even a future employee. Maybe he has connections, knowledge, or skills you can harness to grow your business.

Then again, Bryan might find out he’s not interested in what you have to offer. 

Or worse, what if he has a negative interaction with you or your team and decides to leave a critical review online?

It’s a lot like a first date. Things could go wonderfully, or terribly, or just sort of “meh.” But no matter what, you have an opportunity to stand out, create an unforgettable experience, and hopefully forge a real connection with someone.

What does Bryan need?

As with dating, the secret to nurturing a lead like Bryan is to center the other person’s needs. Throughout the customer acquisition process, but particularly at this point, sales should look more like service. Ask not what Bryan can do your business, but what you can do for Bryan. 

What kind of product or service does Bryan need? 

What information is he looking for? How much research has he done? 

What drew him to your business? What will he do if he doesn’t use your product or service? 

What are his hopes, concerns, and frustrations at this point?

Consider how you can address these subjects within a sales call, as well as through secondary channels. For example, if you have marketing content such as blog posts, downloads, and videos that Bryan might find relevant, maybe those materials are worth sending his way. Or, if he’s already reviewed your content, you could ask him targeted follow-up questions.

The goal is to engage him and get him interested. Don’t be afraid to talk about your business—that’s what he’s here to find out about—but try to frame the conversation around his needs. 

It’s all about value.

Believe it or not, leads like Bryan can be easier to convert than the Amys of the world. That’s because they have fewer assumptions. They’re open and receptive to information about the business. 

Perhaps more importantly, they are open to learning because they don’t know how to make the decision.  This is where the salesperson should become more of a consultant.  Consider questions like these:

What criteria will Bryan use to decide if the product/service is a fit?

How will Bryan measure whether or not he’s getting an ROI out of working with you?

Other than price, what else will he consider before making a decision?

Skilled salespeople can use this moment to embed value. In other words, you can overcome objections and roadblocks in advance by priming leads during the consideration phase. 

Again, it’s both a science and an art. 

The science is giving Bryan all the information he needs, and educating him on what else he might need to consider, in order to start getting ready to make his decision.

The art is knowing when and how to dole out the information—anticipating Bryan’s needs, tailoring your approach to his personality and preferences, and getting the prospect to open their mind to what they don’t already know, which will keep the business fresh in his mind for days, weeks, or months.

Give him a reason to love you, and make the decision to choose you as easy and obvious as possible, and—when the time is right—converting him into a customer will be a cinch.

In the final article in this series, we’ll look at our third lead, Casey. We may not know much about them, but there are definitely steps we can take to nurture them into a customer or client.

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Meet Amy. 

Amy’s a 55-year-old political consultant with a Texas accent and a big, boisterous laugh. She loves hiking, kickboxing, and her dog Bruce. She’s outgoing and sharp-witted, with a firm yet friendly demeanor that indicates she’ll happily engage in conversation, but you better not waste her time.

Right now, however, the most important thing to know about Amy is that she seems poised to buy something from your business.

Amy is a lead—and a highly qualified lead at that. Your sales team has already had several exchanges with her. We know what she’s interested in and we have a good sense of her budget. 

All that’s left to do is close the deal.

Should be easy, right?

Not so fast.

This is one of the most common customer acquisition challenges business owners run into—closing a sale that looks like it should be a sure thing. 

Be careful not to mistake a lead’s enthusiasm or friendly personality for readiness to make a purchase. And don’t assume their decision-making process aligns perfectly with your sales process. Just because Amy is where she is in our funnel doesn’t mean that she’s ultimately made the decision to move forward.

In fact, depending on Amy’s mindset at this point and experiences with the company thus far, she may be more challenging to convert than someone coming in with fewer expectations. Let’s break down why.

Does Amy understand her ROI?

Sales-qualified leads like Amy typically know what they need and who’s offering it. If you run an HVAC company, for example, someone like Amy may contact you because she needs a new furnace and is aware that your business can fulfill that need. 

The reason Amy hasn’t become a customer is that she doesn’t fully understand her return on investment. She knows what she needs and knows you’re selling it. But she doesn’t know why your product or service is her best, most reliable, and most cost-effective option.

This is what trips up so many business owners. Because Amy has expressed interest in the product or service offered, she feels like an easy sale. She seems excited over the phone. She’s asking a lot of questions. But then she says, “let me think about it,” and you’re chasing her for the next six months. 

You could say you’re… Chasing Amy. 

How do we turn Amy into a customer?

To convert Amy, we need to demonstrate value. 

Countless business owners take this part for granted. They assume the value of their products or services is obvious, or they struggle to articulate it in terms that resonate with leads. After all, their skill is providing those products or services—not necessarily selling them.

Which is why, for someone like Amy, it’s often important to back up and demonstrate why you are the most valuable option. Amy might not be ready to buy just yet, but she’s ready to be convinced. 

In general, there are three questions every lead needs an answer to before they make a purchase:

  1. “Do I need this?”
  2. “If so, what’s the best way to get it? Can I do it myself?”
  3. “If I can’t do it myself, who’s the best vendor?”

Convincing Amy comes down to answering question 3. But we might have to return to questions 1 and 2 to make the company’s value as obvious as possible. Maybe it’s worth reminding Amy that she needs a furnace and that expert installation is her easiest, fastest, cheapest option. We have to ensure she sees everything she has to gain—and then make the case for our business.

Remember: sales is both a science and an art

The science is checking those three boxes. 

The art is getting Amy to be open to the conversation, and getting her to open up about what she needs. This is where conversational skills and personalities come into play. We know Amy appreciates when people are candid and honest, so we can be pretty direct with her. If she were shier or more evasive, we’d need to take a different approach.

There’s another factor to keep in mind here. Amy might not be the sole decision-maker. In a lot of cases, particularly B2B sales, there are other people to convince. Amy may be on board, but perhaps her CFO (or spouse) is the one who ultimately makes the purchasing decision. In that instance, Amy could be a “gatekeeper” , meaning we would need to convince her to give us access to the person who’s really in charge, or a decision influencer, who might need help in how to convince someone else to move forward. In either situation, it’s best if you ask some questions to make sure you fully understand the full scope of the decision-making process.

All of this is to say that every lead, no matter how warm or how far along they are in the process, has their own needs, realities, and expectations—which may or may not be obvious. Converting that lead into a customer means first identifying when they’re ready for the sale, and then—when they are ready—keeping an open mind, listening carefully, and centering value throughout the conversation.

In the next article in this series, we’ll look at a lead who’s not quite as far along as Amy, but whom we can start nurturing to eventually become a customer.

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People who give business advice love talking about leads. 

You’ve got to generate more leads, they say. What’s your lead conversion rate? Have you optimized your lead qualification process? You need good leads. Convert your leads. Close those leads. Leads, leads, leads!

…And on and on until the word loses all leading—I mean, meaning. 

Truth be told, a lot of this advice misses the point. Leads are indeed crucial for business success (especially small business success), but the concept is often abstract and poorly understood. Thinking in terms of “leads, leads, leads” removes the human element and turns sales and marketing into numbers games rather than actual drivers of value.

It’s also one reason selling can be so daunting for people who aren’t naturally gifted at it. Telling someone they need to generate 20 leads by the end of the week is a great way to cause anxiety and burnout—and a not so great way to grow your business. 

So let’s rethink this topic, shall we? We’re going to explore leads the Ruby way—by bringing human connection front and center.

What is a lead?

A lead is a person or organization who might one day purchase a product or service from your business. They’re interested in what you have to offer, but haven’t yet become a paying customer or client. 

Maybe it’s someone who’s been referred to your business by a friend, relative, or colleague.  Maybe they’re subscribed to your mailing list, or maybe they follow you on social media. Or maybe they’re someone you haven’t interacted with, but who you know is out there in the market. 

That person asking “How much is that doggie in the window?” Classic lead.

Whoever they are, wherever they come from, and whatever they’re potentially interested in buying, all leads need to be convinced before they purchase something from you. The act of persuading them is what’s known as conversion—you’re converting someone into a customer or client.

Understanding the terminology.

Leads are a tricky topic to nail down. Every business and sales team, it seems, thinks about them a little differently. Ready to learn some lingo?

Some businesses separate leads from prospects, with prospects being the middle step between a lead and a customer—someone who’s shown definite interest rather than someone who could be interested in purchasing.

For example, that person asking about the doggie in the window could be considered a prospect, whereas a passerby who just paused and looked in the window (or browsed the pet store’s website) would be a lead.

In some cases, businesses qualify their leads. A qualified lead is basically the same as a prospect. It’s someone you know is interested in what you have to offer, because you’ve had a conversation or interaction with them that indicates as much. 

Qualified leads are often distinguished by where they are in the customer or client journey. In general, qualified leads fall into two categories: sales-qualified leads (SQLs) and marketing-qualified leads (MQLs).

  • SQLs are practically ready to make a purchase, although they’re not always a sure thing (more on this later).
  • MQLs are typically a few steps behind SQLs—they’re interested, but they need more information to evaluate their decisions.

Back to the pet store: If the aspiring doggie owner actually talked to a sales representative, she could be considered an SQL. If she only clicked on one of the pet store’s Instagram ads, however, she’d be an MQL.

Other businesses simplify all of this and categorize leads in terms of temperature.

  • Hot leads are ready or almost ready to buy.
  • Warm leads are interested but need to be convinced.
  • Cold leads are people who might have a need for your product or service, but haven’t yet shown any interest. (This is where the term “cold call” comes from, by the way.)

If you were to contact someone you’d never met and ask them if they’d like to buy a doggie, you’d be talking to a cold lead.

(Puppies make the example worth it.)

Enter: the funnel.

One easy way to think about this is as a funnel

  1. At the top of the funnel are people who have a need that your business fulfills, but who don’t know much (or anything) about your business or the products or services you offer.
  2. Through marketing efforts such as ads, flyers, and email campaigns, you get some people’s attention and capture their interest. At the same time, you collect basic contact information from those people and begin to get a sense of what they’re thinking about buying.
  3. Next, some of those people start interacting with your business. Interest turns into consideration. Conversations happen. At this point, it’s a matter of convincing them your business, product, or service is the right choice for them.
  4. Finally, you convert some people into customers or clients.

Top layer: cold leads | unqualified leads | website traffic | social media followers

Middle: warm leads | MQLs | list subscribers

Lower middle: hot leads | SQLs | prospects

Bottom: customers | clients

At every stage in the funnel, the number of people you’re dealing with shrinks, but the chance that they’ll convert into buyers increases. For instance, a marketing campaign that reaches 10,000 people may generate 1,000 leads, 100 of which ultimately become customers. 

Keep in mind that all of this can vary significantly from business to business. Sales and marketing teams think about and classify their leads differently. An organization may consider website visitors MQLs, or even SQLs, if it receives relatively little traffic but visitors frequently become subscribers. 

Timelines differ as well. In many service-oriented industries, such as the legal and healthcare industries, people can turn up out of nowhere and convert into clients within hours or minutes. In other cases, a business may need to take weeks or months generating, nurturing, and converting leads.

It all depends on the individual’s needs and expectations, as well as numerous other variables such as price, pricing model, competition in the market, region, seasonality, and even the time of day. Seriously—it isn’t easy calling someone first thing in the morning or convincing them to buy something if they’re hangry because they skipped lunch.

Meet the leads in our lead story.

Now that you know what leads are, the real question is who they are. 

Let me introduce you to three leads:

Amy seems ready to buy. She has a defined need and a well-established interest in your business. In fact, she knows someone at the company and has already spoken to a sales representative. We have a lot of information about her—her contact details, her preferences, what she’s looking to buy, her dog’s name (Bruce), her favorite movie (Jaws), and so on. All that’s left to do is close the deal. 

Bryan has shown some interest, but needs more information before he starts evaluating a decision. He’s filled out a couple of forms on the website and sent an email inquiring about an offering. We have some basic contact info—his name, email address, and phone number—and a general sense of what he’s interested in. We need to engage him and get him thinking about making a purchase.

Casey is something of a mystery at this point. We know they’ve clicked around the website, read a few pages, and started following us on Twitter. But we don’t really know anything about them, what they’re interested in, or even if they’re interested in buying anything from us at all. At this point, our goal is to find out more about Casey and try a few different approaches to earn their attention and interest.

First up: Amy.

In the next installment of this series, we’ll start with that lead who seems ready to buy—Amy. It should be easy to convert her into a customer… right? 

Getting prospects and leads to convert is only the beginning of a budding relationship with your customers. How you care for them after purchase will determine whether you can win over their loyalty for the long hall. Download our Customer Service Audit Checklist to take your customer service to the next level.

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