Here’s something cool about business, whether you are in a B2B or a B2C environment your sales funnel looks almost the same. You have varying degrees of relationships with people. Some are “warm leads,” some are “cold leads,” and some are just part of the rest of the world that you have no contact with and who don’t know who the hell you are.
It looks like this:
Explanation of Terms
For the sake of this post here’s what I mean:
Clients: These people give you money
Warm/Hot Leads: You’ve talked about working together; maybe you’re putting together a proposal for them.
Cold Leads: Maybe they get your newsletter. Maybe they read your blog. Perhaps they follow you on Twitter. This could also be a prospect that said “now isn’t the right time.” Whatever the case is, they aren’t really leads, but they’re also not not leads.
Rest of the world: At best, they’ve heard your name. But they don’t get your newsletter, your blog or follow you. In essence they are part of the other 6.5 billion people in the world that have virtually no concept that you are even breathing.
Outer Space: These are the Klingons, the E.T.s, those Jellyfish looking creatures from “the Abyss” and the creepy smooth-headed, acid-blooded killers from Ridley Scott’s classic Alien. In other words, not prospective buyers. Unless you sell Reese’s Pieces, then I think E.T. may want to talk.
Ooooh gimme some of that Social Media
Social sites and tools give us unprecedented reach relative to the pre-web 2.0 world. We can stumble upon people and bring them into our cold leads circle. We can move cold leads into warm leads by paying attention and nurturing the lead by being helpful and generous.
The first step is building a system to let you do that.
So here are your buckets.
Go into Twitter and create a list: http://twitter.com/yourusername/lists
Create a list called Clients, depending on your relationship with those clients, you’ll decide whether to make it a public or a private list. Put all of your clients in this list.
Create a list called Warm, make this private, no one needs to know they are in a lead bucket. Put all of your warm leads in this list.
Create a list called Cold, make this private, no one wants to think of themselves as “cold.” Put all of your cold leads in this list.
Now set up the 3 columns next to each other in Hootsuite (affiliate link), Seesmic or Tweetdeck.
Your goal, move people from Cold to Warm to Clients.
Repeat this process on Google+ by making circles for Clients, Warm and Cold.
Do the same on your Facebook Profile by making lists for Clients, Warm and Cold.
How do I move people?
It’s so simple you’ll just have to figure it out.
To get people in the cold bucket, increase your network. Add more friends and followers. But not just MORE, but more of the RIGHT friends and followers. You determine what that means, but don’t just go blasting out invites; spam is still a bad tactic.
Also get more connected with those in the cold bucket. Wish them well on a bad day, answer one of their questions, let them know you are listening. The more you respect them, stay connected, and provide value, the greater the chance you can move them into the warm bucket.
Those that are in the warm bucket, pay close attention to them and keep building trust, if you play your cards right and they are looking to buy, hopefully they’ll consider you.