Was having this discussion today with a colleague about what is a “lead” vs a “contact” vs a “customer”
First of all, it matters! Because this is the first part of your segmentation of people that you will engage with. So it’s important to have a distinction between them so that you can better target your marketing efforts and outreach.
So here’s the definitions I use in a nutshell.
Lead: This is “anyone you could potentially do business with”. They do NOT have to express interest. This is your future contacts list. Your make sure they know who I am and what I do list. If you’ve met them and they qualify as a potential future customer they are a lead. Note, someone who appears to have expressed interest (like via a registration form) but you have not verified their identity is a LEAD not a “contact” once you know they have expressed interest AND that you have verified that they are real, you can move them to contact status.
Contact: This is someone you could potentially do business with AND they have expressed interest. This could be by visiting on your website to inquire about properties, reaching out to you directly, engaging in one of your campaigns etc. In some way they have expressed interest in what you do. They have gone from “I know who you are” to “I know who you are AND that you are looking”
Client. This one is pretty simple folks, you are currently doing business with them or have done business with them in the past.
Why does this matter?
Well think about it. Are you going to engage the same way with someone who you really don’t know much about and don’t know they are interested vs someone who has expressed intent and wishes to speak with you? Of course you’re not!
So here is some basic advise:
When you’re working with leads, remember the goal is to have them “express interest”. When they do that and you know they are real then you can move them to a contact. This is also the time you should be trying to identify the “opportunity” which is defined basically as the “business” that might be available in the current timeframe (in your world that might be selling a home) in ours that might be buying a website.
Knowing the opportunity and deciding how likely it is to close is critical when you are working with a lot of contacts because you want to make sure you’re spending your time wisely, and not with folks who are unlikely to transact.
The goal of your “contacts” marketing? Moving them from interested to likely to close. You need to be working to get information from them so that you can understand their motives. Lean into those motives and create urgency. Ensure that YOU are more visible than the other folks who are also calling them. And for pete’s sake do NOT wait for them to reach back out to you “when they’re ready”! It is YOUR JOB to call them to action.
And of course clients. How many of you forget your clients after you do a deal? Shame!!!
Past clients are not only massively important to stay in touch with because they will do future business with you. They are also a great source of: A: Referrals B: Testimonials / Online Reviews C: New Leads and lot’s of other great stuff. You NEED to have marketing targeted towards your past clients. It’s a must!
So let’s start the conversation: What are some of the ways you turn your “Leads” into “Contacts”. Your “Contacts” into “Opportunities” your “Opportunities” into" deals" and your "Contacts into “Clients” for life.