Often there is a pregnant pause between consumers raising their hand requesting information and actual sales. In days gone by we looked toward lead treatment as a means of moving people thru the sales funnel. There are, however, several things in this idea that are at odds with how people want to interact.
- "Lead" - we don't think of ourselves as in this way. Even the post-secondary industry - known for its voracious appetite for contacts - is moving away from this condescending view and looks at the world of inquiries.
- "Treatment" - unless we have a medical condition, then being manipulated by an organization isn't all that appealing.
- "Funnel" - again, another business construct that is impersonal and doesn't actually reflect human behavior and motivations.
- Since trust is an issue, who can we introduce prospects to that can help them make a choice?
- With the proliferation of options, how do we eliminate hyper-choice by doing a better job of matching needs and solutions?
- What behaviors help us differentiate between 'just looking', 'keep in touch', 'engagement' and 'hand-raising'?
- How do we convert transactional buyers into loyal customers?