10 Ways To Lose a Lead

lose a lead
lose a lead

Are you drowning in articles telling you to nurture your qualified leads? Perhaps you’ve grown weary of all the advice you’ve been hearing about how to get your prospects moving faster along the sales funnel?

Strategies about how to attract and grow your leads often vary depending on who you’re talking to. Sometimes it involves complicated steps, mind-reading powers, a certain amount of creativity, as well as really good timing.

Whatever type of marketer you are, this much is clear: Acquiring leads is hard, but losing them is easy.

When it comes to lead generation, it’s surprisingly easy to drop the ball. And once that ball is dropped, it gets a whole lot harder to get back on track.

Key Takeaways: 

  1. Analytics are your friend! Don’t ignore the power they hold, no matter how daunting the task may be.
  2. Personalization is key in many aspects of your lead generation. From sending email to creating content, your prospective customers want to feel special.
  3. Stretch your content and research as far as you can in every direction. Syndicate your content and make sure you find the right channels to distribute your message.

If you need reminding about what NOT to do when it comes to lead nurturing, here’s a list for you to consider.

1. Ignore Your Leaky Sales Funnel

Allowing your leads to fall through the cracks due to a faulty process is not just a waste of time, but a serious waste of money.

Having a leaky sales funnel is a lot like having a Harley with a leaky gas tank. You might look great and imposing on the outside, but you won’t get far no matter how many times you keep filling it up with gas.

Start with the basics: address inefficiencies in your sales funnel that might be causing prospects to duck out of the buying cycle. Use the power of analytics!

leaky sales funnel

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After putting your resources into attracting those leads, you don’t want to waste the opportunity by letting them slip away.

2. Consistently be… Inconsistent

Imagine you set up a new blog post and tell your readers they’ll be getting a weekly newsletter. And then, you don’t keep up with what you promised.

Say you post a daily update on your Facebook account for two weeks and then stop without explanation. You don’t explain why you’ve been away, or what else to expect from you.

Do this consistently for months at a time, and watch your leads dwindle to a trickle until you’re left with practically nothing.

Trust is everything, and your prospective customers expect a degree of regularity from your brand so not living up to that is a surefire way to get on their bad side.

3. Drag Your Feet When Responding to Client Questions

Why respond in a timely manner when you can ignore the question until it goes away, right? Although that might have worked in your dating life, it’s no way to sell your business.

The acceptable window of time for responses has become faster—thanks to social media, but in general, you should make sure to respond as soon as possible. Leave it for too long and you’re bound to lose that particular lead.

lead response time

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Inside Sales conducted a lead management study revealing that the odds of qualifying a lead in 5 minutes versus 10 minutes decreased 4 times. As you can see in the graph above, the decline is dramatic after just 30 minutes. There’s no denying the fact that time is of the essence, so don’t let it go to waste. Time is money!

4. Always Go for the Hard Sell

There are times when following up with clients is called for, especially when you’ve established a relationship to the point where they’re very close to converting. But, in the beginning stages, it’s best not to go for the hard sell.

If you continue to pester your leads without first trying to figure out what they really need, there’s a high chance that they’ll get annoyed and potentially move on to a less aggressive competitor.

5. Send the Same Generic Email to Everyone on Your List

If you’re still sending the same email to every single one of your leads, now’s the time to change.

There are so many targeting tools you can use to create powerful, personalized emails that are far more likely to resonate with your leads based on their demographics, preferences, and personal profiles. And with automation services that basically do the work for you, there’s really no excuse.

Email marketing remains the lead generation channel with the highest ROI, so make sure that you maximize your use of this tool and properly segment your emails for enhanced accuracy.

6. Make Assumptions, and Don’t Ask Questions

It’s easier to launch your campaign blindly without having to ask questions, but this is a fatal mistake. You need to proactively find out what your target audience really wants.

Let them open up to you about their pain points and preferences. Then use this information to craft more personalized and helpful outreach initiatives. Drum up more inbound leads by creating content that your customers can use.

Aside from discovering feedback that you can use to inform your campaign, the very act of reaching out to clients is an opportunity for you to build trust, make a connection, and create a foundation to form a solid partnership that’s bound to last a long time—increasing the lifetime value of the lead.

7. Disregard Customer Personas

Taking the time to create solid personas enables you to view your leads as actual people, not just numbers in your lead acquisition efforts. It gives you a better grasp of how to handle your campaign and what types of content and material they are most likely to respond favorably to.

Ignoring your personas is similar to giving a presentation without knowing who your audience is. Make sure you know who you’re talking to because if you try talking to everyone, you’ll end up shouting in an empty room.

8. Publish Sub-par Content

If you don’t make an effort to create content marketing material that will either entertain or educate your prospects, then you’re on your way to losing them—one lousy blog post at a time.

You need to share materials that your target audience will find valuable. This includes content that will help them make informed decisions as to why they should continue doing business with you.

9. Be Unresponsive on Social Media

Most businesses nowadays integrate their social media management system with their CRM platform. It allows marketers to monitor the conversations about their brands. But, you must optimize this system by acting in a timely manner whenever you get a mention.

Your audience on social media will tend to be more active and demanding when it comes to interacting with brands. Not to mention pretty much everything you do on social media is publicly visible. This makes your social media platforms a great tool for audience engagement as well as disengagement.

10. Believing that If You Build It, They Will Come

The first part of any lead generation plan is producing the marketing material. Having said that, unless your material has innate shareability, you’re going to need to help put it in front of the right people.

Effective distribution is critical to the success of any marketing strategy so no matter how good your content is, make sure that you’re utilizing the right channels to deliver it to your audience.

People are being overwhelmed with competing content, so if you aren’t making your message easy to discover, it will simply go unnoticed.

At least now you know what not to do!

Tack this on your workstation or put it in a prominent place if you need reminding. There are thousands of conflicting strategies out there and sometimes, knowing what NOT to do is an easier way to keep yourself on track.

Do you see yourself in any of these situations? Then it’s time for a change, and maybe that means stepping up your content marketing to support your inbound lead generation. Check out our SEO Blog Writing Services or schedule a free consultation to learn more about developing a solid content marketing strategy.

Giana is the Director of Content for Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency. Connect with her on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on all things MIG.