You: Let’s be friends
Lead: Yes, but why?
This is the level at which you can find your potential customers. They are not like your colleagues or acquaintances, whose friendship is a given, although the degree of interaction will definitely vary. But your potentials are only ready to befriend you if you promise them value.
Have the following in mind if you want to offer a mutually valuable friendship to your potential customer.
Mean it when you send a friend request. If you perceive someone as a potential customer, the best way to keep them under your radar is to move closer to them. You may send a friend request if you met them online, or ask outrightly if it is offline.
How would you feel if someone you just met starts asking you private questions? Embarrassed? Annoyed? You might even want to stop being friends with that person because you do not feel comfortable with them from the start. This is exactly how it happens with a sales lead. If they accept your friendship request, do not make the next conversation about your product or service. Seriously, it annoys!
Majority of marketers have read this somewhere or at several places but they still enjoy pushing their products in your face through unsolicited messages. Why waste your resources on a strategy that does not yield? Even if your offer is mouthwatering, how sure are you that the “perceived lead” is interested in it? You should first walk with them in order to know what they really need. A more annoying deed is to unfollow your lead once they follow you back. This too, is hurting your purpose.
If you are more interested in having a large number of followers, you might end up with uninterested or over-interested friends. This happens both online and offline. You might meet up with someone at a networking event and show interest in working with them. As soon as you make disclosure of your strategy, you will start getting dead-ends from them. From that point, you are oblivious to what happens to your shared strategy until you start seeing it elsewhere. This is a case of lead against marketer. So, you have to be careful not to show desperation when asking for friendships.
The way out (or way in?)
- Know who exactly you want to serve with your products/services
- Learn how to identify them
- Know what they will benefit from using your products/services. This is necessary as it is the major reason why they will accept or reject your invitation. If they need your solutions, cool.
- Draw up the actions you want to take to keep your friendship alive until your lead is ready to start responding to your amicability; i.e., patronize you. Some ideas you can explore include sending them blog articles that solve their daily issues, or offering them free version of your product for a limited period.
Bear in mind that being pushy actually pushes people away. If you are in the habit of sending too many emails, or you like to flood your timeline with social media post every minute, your friendship will not grow. Friendship takes time to yield, while you wait, keep adding value to your potentials.