You've been told by your boss to go get qualified leads for your latest marketing campaign.
First things first: what is a qualified lead? The MO Agency defines this as "A Qualified Lead is someone who has gone through qualifying criteria to assess their quality, fit and readiness to buy".
Great! But how do I know whether they are 'qualified' or not? What criteria determines whether a lead is qualified? Also, I may think they are qualified, but the lead may not think so.
Research without assumptions
You will need to find out more about your leads, to assess their qualification. This does mean going to look for them, and once found, using the most appropriate process of working out how qualified these leads are.
My suggestion is to attract their attention so you can talk to them. Obviously it is difficult to physically talk to them, so you do this via social chat. Social chatting is communicating with people online via the commenting section.
Some people see this as a soft approach to get qualified leads. It may take much longer than most marketing departments would like, but the result is more secure in obtaining bona fide qualified leads rather than those you've merely convinced.
The power of social chat
The best lead is one who you fully understand, and they fully understand why you are recruiting them. This mutual comprehension of everybody's motive is essential for determining their qualification as a lead.
There are many marketing ploys used to get qualified leads, but for me, a willing, engaged and committed lead is certainly qualified in my book, especially if they are primed and ready for what you can offer them.
Social chatting is an excellent method to get qualified leads who are warm, receptive and approachable. Convincing them to take the action you want becomes almost second nature. A nudge may be that is needed to complete the transaction.
Take a look at this infographic below:
And here's some code you could paste into your own posts (via the text mode) if you want to share this Infographic with your readers.
Take an interest in your possible lead
Once you've completed your outreach research into possible leads, the first thing you should do is find out as much as you can about them from their social profiles. This also includes reading their posts and articles and other content.
Take this a step further and notice what they are doing online. Are they already social chatting? What sort of things are they talking about? How does this relate to your criteria to get qualified leads for your marketing campaign?
Provide the most appropriate social chat
Once you've learned as much as you can about them, preferably though a spot of social listening, then you can approach them using social chat. This will be easier to do once you know what attracts their attention.
The kind of social chat to get qualified leads needs to be positive, enthusiastic and appreciative, offering value and help not only to the possible lead, but to everybody else who reads what you have got to say.
Stand out above the other commenters
Even though you are focusing on your possible lead, your social chat should be designed to provide much more than anybody else contributing to the conversation. It needs to stand out because of its quality and relevance.
It is important to get noticed, not only by the possible lead, but by everyone else. After all, they may also provide an opportunity to get qualified leads from elsewhere. Also what you say is more likely to be read, appreciated and acted upon.
Achieve welcomed recognition
The aim of social chatting is to be recognised every time you respond to a post or update, not just by the author, but by the other people engaging on there as well. Also for your expertise, positivity and engaging style.
Social chatting will succeed if you are able to consistently respond to people's posts and updates. The main focus is to provide appreciation and help where needed, and to be welcomed for what you do or represent.
Share your helpful knowledge
There is no place for self-promotion in social chatting. Talking about your business or product without any reference to the post or update's subject is not tolerated. In fact it can be construed as spam.
The idea is to altruistically help people by answering their questions or solving their problems. Even just acknowledging what they post about can be enough to get noticed for the right reasons.
Be the first person they think about
One of your aims for your consistent social chatting is to create awareness about you and what you represent in a friendly and helpful way. This is to get qualified leads to be able to remember you and what you say.
This is only possible if you don't force your business or purpose down their necks. Social chatting is softly clarifying and contributing, so that you start to form social relationships with regular listeners.
Encourage other people to participate
Social chatting should lead to a sense of community with the author and their readers. The atmosphere should be friendly, welcoming and appreciative, as well as helpful and useful.
Getting as many people as possible involved increases the popularity stakes of the post or update. This increased engagement is attractive to others, as well as the search engines or algorithms, who will provide more reach as a result.
Get them to know, like and trust you
Your principle objective is to get qualified leads to know, like and trust you. You have selected them for their eligibility for your marketing campaign or to purchase your product. Now they need to trust you before they can progress further.
The main concept of social chatting is the sociable bit. You chat to form social relationships, to make them feel comfortable with you, and to gain their confidence before you introduce them to the next stage.
Tempt them to click on your name
Social chatting is much more amicable than cold calling, or approaching someone out of the blue. It needs time to develop properly to gain the trust and comfort factor, so this isn't a quick-fix procedure.
Once you've gained the social relationship, and told them how your business can help them, then you can encourage them to click on your name at the top of, or associated with, your comment to find out more.
Start the marketing funnel process
The idea of social chatting is to get qualified leads more than ready to visit your website. Your name has a link behind it which directs your leads to an appropriate and relevant sales page.
Because you have made the effort to get to know them, and they with you, the call to action to enter the sales funnel, or provide their email into the sign-up form, will result in a much easier and more willing response.
Ever considered social chat to get qualified leads?
Today's marketing benefits from the pulling and social connection mode rather than cold calling and pushing leads towards your goal. People are too wise to spamming and inappropriate sales patter, and social chatting prevents all that.
To get qualified leads on your side requires you to be friendly and forthcoming through social chat. Once you have won them round, they will be even more qualified than before, and be more ready to respond or buy.
Let me know in the comments below your experiences of social chatting as opposed to cold calling. We would love to hear from you.