Here is a sales prospecting tip for you, agency owner: Don’t waste your time chasing after every person interacting with your content, you’ll drive yourself crazy and it’s not worth the time. Here’s why:

Agencies are finally embracing the idea of being content creators.  That’s the good news.  But, they’re also falling into the trap of an agency’s biggest new business waste of time – chasing after everyone and everything. That’s the bad news.

The agency’s content efforts are beginning to generate some activity in the form of:

  • Opt in lists for downloads or e-subscriptions
  • Blog subscribers
  • Commenters on their blogs

and for some reason, many of you are drowning yourself in this data, trying to create elaborate ways to track these people down and move the conversation to the next level.  The truth is — they just wanted your content.  That’s it.  They haven’t given you any indication that they’re a potential buyer of your agency’s services or that they have any interest in your shop at all.

Could they be a prospect?  Sure.  But they could also be a college kid who downloaded your white paper on email marketing so they could plagiarize it for your Advertising 101 class.  Or anyone in between.

Don’t spend a ton of time with your sales prospecting at this stage.  The way you figure out if they’re a prospect is to keep producing good content and always include an invitation to reach out and actually talk to you by email or phone.  But until they take that step — they are a COLD lead at best.  They barely know who you are.

Can you include some baby steps in your content?  Sure.  That might include something like:

  • If you liked this white paper, you’ll love our paper on XYZ.  Download it here.
  • We’re offering a free webinar on this topic.  Sign up here.
  • If you enjoyed this blog post, you might also want to listen to our podcast series here.

And again — you always include the invitation to talk. But the bottom line is — until they shoot off an email or pick up the phone, they are choosing to keep you at arm’s length.  Happy to keep taking your free content but not quite ready to put a face with a name.  That’s fine.  Let them consume, share and download all the content they want and you’ll keep making more.

But don’t invest more in them than they’ve invested in you.  Load them into your drip campaign tool of choice and drip on them every month until they opt out.   I know it’s tempting, as you watch those numbers rise, to want to sift through them and find the diamond in the rough.  But the investment is simply not worth the possible gain.

If and when they are actually ready to test the waters with you, they will raise their hand.  Then, dive in deep and do everything you can to gain a new client.  But until then, you’ll just spook them if you try to reel them in.  I totally get the temptation.  Those download and subscriber numbers are intoxicating.  Finally proof that someone is paying attention.  So it’s easy to assign them esteem which they haven’t really earned yet.  It’s not that they don’t have potential.  it’s just that their potential is a ways into the future.

Instead, invest your sales prospecting time where it can actually pay off — your warm and hot leads.   Those are companies who fall into one of your sweet spots and you have a foot in the door (warm lead) or someone you’re actively in conversation with and either have given them some sort of proposal or presentation or are quickly moving towards that point (hot lead).

They’ve earned your attention — so give it to them.  Let the cold leads warm up to you a little before you spend much more time on them.