Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Social Nurturing: Helping People Choose

How do we fill the void between inquiry and a sale?

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.
So, how can we really help inquiries confirm their interest?   For high-consideration products as well as those with a strong dose of passion then maybe, just maybe, we should let this be a communal activity.  Questions to consider:
  • 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?
In the ever-increasing world of connection, sharing and helping then it seems time is right for 'social nurturing'. 

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