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  • Writer's pictureJacob Curtis

Maximize Your Sales Potential with Lead Nurturing

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Joe Girard is listed in the Guinness World Records as “the world’s greatest salesman.” He’s sold more retail big-ticket items, one at a time, than any other salesperson in recorded history. So what was he selling? Some new technology that everyone had to have? No. Was he selling to the mega-rich? Nope. He sold ordinary cars to ordinary people. Between 1963 and 1978, he sold over 13,000 cars at a Chevrolet dealership. His stats are amazing:


  • He sold an average of six cars a day.

  • On his best day, he sold 18 vehicles.

  • In his best month, he sold 174.

  • In his best year, he sold 1,425.

  • He sold more cars by himself than 95% of all dealerships in North America.

  • To make his feat even more incredible, he sold them at retail–one vehicle at a time—no bulk fleet deals.


What was his secret to success? He lists several, but one stands out among the rest: follow-up.





Joe Girard’s Secret


Joe Girard's biggest contributing factor in becoming the world’s greatest salesman was following up with leads and customers. He would send a personalized card to each of his contacts every month. And this was before computers! In January, he would send a New Year’s card, and in February, a Valentine's card, and so he did each month. By the end of his career, he had to hire an assistant to help him send out over 13,000 cards each month.


After 10 years of doing this, almost two-thirds of his sales were repeat customers. It got to the point where customers had to set appointments in advance to come in and buy from him. Contrast that with the other car salespeople who just stood around waiting and hoping for walk-in traffic.


The Money is in the Follow-up


The average salesperson follows once or twice and then gives up. Fifty percent of all salespeople give up after just one contact, 65 percent after two attempts, and 79.8 percent give up after three attempts. Imagine if a farmer planted his seeds and refused to water them or care for the field. Would he reap a successful harvest? No.


Immediately after you’ve captured the contact information of a potential customer, it should go into your marketing system, where repeated contacts are made over time. Contact does not mean pestering them with obnoxious sales ads but building a relationship. You give them value before they buy anything from you, building trust and demonstrating authority in the process. Like a farmer, you prepare your prospects and leads to become ready for harvesting.


Curating this list of leads will be one of your most valuable assets. Because of your follow-up work, you are an invited guest rather than a pest when a prospect or lead is ready to buy. The most important thing to take away from this message is to become a marketing farmer. It’s simple, here’s the process:


  1. Advertise with the intention of finding people who are interested in what you do. Your ad should be an ethical bribe: a free digital pattern, tutorial, or any kind of relevant and free information that solves a problem your leads and prospects have. This positions you as the authority and expert rather than a salesperson. Which would you prefer to buy from?

  2. Add them to your database.

  3. Continually nurture them and provide them with value: provide them with a newsletter, tips, etc. Do NOT make this a constant sales pitch; remember the 3 to 1 ratio (three value-based contact points to every sales pitch contact). Most importantly, keep in consistent regular contact with them.


Shock & Awe Package


We have talked about mailing flyers, coupons, and lumpy items previously. Today, I want to explain the next level of this strategy: The Shock and Awe Package.


A shock and awe package is essentially a physical box that you mail or deliver to leads full of unique, benefit-laden assets related to your business or industry. Here are some of the unique things you can and should include in a shock and awe package:


  • Books: people rarely throw out books. Books position you as the authority, especially if you are the author.

  • DVD’s, CDs, or thumb drives containing videos and content introducing yourself and the specific problems your products and services solve.

  • Testimonials from past customers in video, audio, or written format.

  • Clippings from media mentions or features about you, your store, or your products and services.

  • Brochures, sales letters, coupons, and other marketing materials.

  • A sample of your products or services.

  • Unusual trinkets or gifts that entertain, inform, or wow your leads.

  • Handwritten notes thanking them for their inquiry or recapping your conversation with them.


Most people stand over the shredder as they sort through their mail, but most people will open a package even if they don’t know the sender. I know I love getting packages in the mail.


A shock and awe package should do three things:


  1. Give your lead amazing, unexpected value

  2. Position you as an expert

  3. Move your lead further down the buying cycle than they otherwise would’ve been


Don’t make the mistake of being cheap and economical when it comes to wooing customers.


A Word of Caution


You can’t substitute good marketing for bad math. You must know your numbers, particularly your customer lifetime value. The shock and awe package can be very expensive, especially if you do not know your numbers.


The numbers must make sense. Unless you are in an extremely low-margin, purely transactional business (quilt shops should not be), then the numbers should work, and sending a shock and awe package should be economical. Remember, you’re buying $10 bills for $5–that is what good marketing does.


Become a Prolific Marketer


One of the most common elements of high-growth businesses is a heavy focus on marketing and making a lot of offers. Some of the offers are misses, and some end up being big hits.


By making many offers, you can start to get a very good sense of what works and what doesn’t. When you become a prolific marketer, it's much easier to spot trends and scientifically measure response by split testing.


Another common element in high-growth companies is that they are not timid with their offer. They take risks, use compelling copy, and make outrageous guarantees.


The fundamental principles of marketing never change. New media channels are created and invented at a fairly quick pace these days, but the fundamental marketing principles do not change.


More compelling and frequent offers mean rapid growth. Being a prolific marketer will create a buzz your customers, leads, and prospects will notice, and you’ll start to cut through the clutter and fill up your sales pipeline.


If you make the crafting and sending offers to your list of customers and leads a part of your regular routine, within a short period of time, you’ll have a dramatically different quilt shop. Getting better at marketing is the key to rapid growth.



Make It Up, Make It Real, Make It Recur


It takes three different “types” to make a business work:

  1. The entrepreneur

  2. The specialist

  3. The manager


The entrepreneur is the person with the idea–the vision. They see a problem or gap in the market and are willing to take risks so they can solve the problem for a profit. They make it up. For example, seeing a gap in the market for a particular product or service, they hire the right people needed to get the business up and running.


The specialist is the implementor of the entrepreneur’s vision. They could be an engineer or a graphic designer. They make it real. For example, they ensure the building is built or create the product packing.


The manager comes in every day and ensures things get done, keeps the business running, and keeps the vision on track. They make it recur. For example, running the store, ensuring shipments get out on time, or ensuring quality is right.


It takes all three to make any business work. Yet, it is extremely rare for a single person to be good at all three. Many quilt shop owners are either the entrepreneur, the specialist, or both, but they are rarely the manager.


The lack of the manager role is often why marketing never gets up and running properly. You probably have these roles covered in other areas of the business, like the sales floor or the shipping department, but you need it in every aspect of your quilt shop, from the sales floor to the back office and the marketing department.


When you first start out, you wear all the hats; you do everything. But slowly, over time, you hire team members and contractors to help you do more. Don’t forget to do the same for your marketing.


Marketing Calendar


You likely don’t forget about your annual tax obligations because they’re forced upon you by the government. Their calendar dictates when tax returns need to be filed, and taxes need to be paid.


You can replicate a similar forcing mechanism with a marketing calendar. A marketing calendar sets out what marketing activities have to happen daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually. Put those into your calendar just like you would any important event.


Who


After you’ve locked in what needs to be done and when the only other question is who will be responsible for delivering on each scheduled activity. Event-triggered marketing activities, such as what to do when you get a new lead, should also be considered. Again, make these event-triggered marketing activities someone else’s responsibility.


As you grow and hire team members, you will delegate more and more of these responsibilities. Everyone wears multiple hats at small quilt shops with only a few team members. The goal should be to free you, the owner, up to do the higher-level marketing tasks like designing and testing new marketing campaigns or improving the value of your offering. Very few business activities pay as highly as working on your marketing.


As a business owner, you have a can-do attitude. If something needs doing, you jump in to get it done. But this often leaves you feeling overwhelmed and burned out if you are not an expert in the field. You can waste so much time trying to get it right, but remember, money is a renewable resource–you can always get more money, but you can never get more time.


Focus on what you are an expert in, and hire experts in areas where you are weak as the resources become available. This can be very hard for two reasons. First, you may not be gathering enough resources fast enough. And secondly, because you think only you can do it right. But remember, if someone else can do it 80 percent as well as you can, then you should delegate it.


Next Steps


Like the farmer who nurtures their crops, you must nurture your leads. Nurturing your leads is consistently giving them value before they buy anything from you. It takes time and money but transforms your quilt shop when done correctly. As you grow, don’t neglect your marketing efforts or team. Your marketing efforts bring you more customers to serve. As resources allow, hire more farmhands and delegate to scale your quilt shop.


What are you going to do to nurture your lead? Email me at jacob@curtisaccountingsolutions.com.


If you need help with this and piecing together financial freedom, please schedule a call with me by clicking the link below.





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