We believe that it’s better to give rather than ask when it comes to nurturing prospects in the buyer funnel. Instead of immediately focusing on a strong call to action, such as “Connect with us” and “Request a demo,” we use a proven approach that builds awareness and credibility over time.
When it finally comes time to ask for a meeting, a demo, or time to talk, the “ask” must be well timed, well informed, and welcomed by the prospect.
How do we earn the right to ask?
It begins with an email cadence, a tried-and-true process that manages the audience, timing, content, and pattern of emails sent. A cadence introduces a brand or service, and overtime, encourages engagement. A sample email cadence should include:
- Introduction – An introduction email provides an overview of the company and answers the questions who, what, where, and most importantly, why the person reading the email should care.
- Education – This step is key as it generates interest in the company by providing thought leadership or educational content that is relevant and timely. An example of this would be a white paper or guide.
- Validation – This usually comes in the form of a case study, success story, or testimonial. It showcases the fact that the company has worked successfully with its clients and is able to put their product or service into action and garner results.
- Next Steps – Based on engagement, now might be a good time for a soft “ask” for that first meeting. However, even if a prospect is not ready at this point to speak with a salesperson, it is still important to let them know how they can expect to be engaged in the future. Providing a regularly timed newsletter with relevant content could be a great next step for nurturing
When well executed, email cadences create opportunities for prospects to get in touch with your business, without you having to explicitly ask. Instead of focusing on getting a conversation started right away, we provide educational materials and testimonials that share knowledge and generate interest over time. This also helps us determine where people are in the sales funnel and who is the most engaged. By tracking what emails people open using CRM and marketing automation platforms like Pardot or SharpSpring, we gain valuable insights into which prospects are moving through the buyer journey and which may be stalled.
Not only does this process provide value for your company, it accelerates the sale by fully qualifying a lead even before the first conversation. Rather than getting on the first phone call without knowing much about each other, your content strategy has facilitated a level of mutual understanding that serves as a warm introduction. Having already earned your right to ask for a meeting or a time to connect, you’ve gained insight about your prospect, which makes your job infinitely easier, and more efficient.