Lead nurturing: how to tell when it’s time to give up

Dedication, persistence and patience are all absolutely crucial to successful lead nurturing. You need to bide your time, make all the right moves and strike only when the timing is perfect.

Unfortunately though, many leads turn out to be dead ends. You could be wasting your valuable time on leads who will never buy and will continue to string you along. Here are 5 tell-tale signs that a lead isn’t interested, and that you should give up and go home:

  1. The lead unsubscribes from your mailing list. This is a clear-cut, unmissable sign that a lead isn’t interested. They have literally clicked the button that says ‘I’m not interested, stop emailing me’. They aren’t playing hard to get, they just don’t want to know. If you continue emailing them, you’re not only wasting your own time and potentially annoying the recipient – you could also be breaking the law.
  2. The lead stops taking your calls. If the lead has always just stepped away from their desk when you call and they don’t call you back, this should set alarm bells ringing. You could simply just be missing each other, but it’s just as likely that the lead is avoiding you. They may no longer be interested but don’t want to deal with that difficult conversation where they break the news to you.
  3. The buying process is complete. If you happen to know that the company you’re chasing has specific buying procedures and a budget to spend, and that a purchase has been made, there’s no point you continuing to chase. The decision has been made, so it’s not an effective use of your time to nurture a lead who no longer has any buying power.
  4. They say they’re interested, but never buy. Believe it or not, it is possible to nurture a lead for years without seeing any reward for all your patience and effort. Some leads make you feel that they’re right on the cusp of buying every time you contact them, but somehow they never do. You could continue to nurture such a lead, but wouldn’t your time be better spent on someone who is actually likely to make a purchasing decision sometime this decade?
  5. You realise you’ve got the wrong person. It’s awful to realise that you’ve invested time, money and resources in someone who doesn’t actually have the power to purchase, or even to influence purchasing decisions within the company. This does occasionally happen (often due to out of date mailing list data) but the only way to salvage the situation is to cut all ties and move on.

Successful lead nurturing is about using your time effectively. You need to prioritise, or you risk wasting time and money on a lead that never even comes close to purchasing. Alternatively, you can consider outsourcing both lead generation and nurturing, so that you don’t have to waste any of your precious time. You can simply leave it to the experts, and your sales team can pick up the lead just as they’re ready to buy.

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