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I’ve sold since I was young; my first sales job was selling seed packets door to door so I could earn a tent. In college I sold direct to businesses, convincing them to let me put a sweepstakes box in their business so customers could register to win a vacation (Yep, I was one of those guys). In business, I’ve helped sell VC’s, clients and customers as an inside sales person. I’ve sold in the office, the home and on the phone throughout my marketing career. And it’s this experience that has made me a better marketer.

It’s what has made lead nurture development as natural to me as the sales conversation is to a top sales person.

The experience helped me understand the psychology of buying. Understanding how executives make buying decisions, from a first-hand point of view, really helps you develop lead nurture campaigns from a sales perspective.

When to ask the progressive profiling question and how to write the question is no different than being in front of that executive, in their office, and asking those questions. Questions that will lead you further into understanding how close or far that person is from making a decision, or whether they need more information. Lead nurturing is the art of sales automated. It’s not totally automated because your nurture program will ultimately have human intervention, but trust, understanding and need can all be learned via good lead nurture campaign. When to hold back, when to pull out that next piece of information can all be automated and based on behaviors the buyer takes. The system handles the delivery but the program is designed around real human impulses and thoughts of what is the right time.

If you have not had the sales experience, then get it. Go on ride-alongs, make inside sales calls (the toughest job in sales – I once kept an architect on the phone for an hour and a half) and ask a lot of questions. The better you understand sales and your buyer’s psychology, the better your lead nurture programs will be.

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