Hear me out. I am knee-deep in raising a 4-month-old Great Pyrenees puppy. But I swear this comparison makes sense.
Exhibit A: Where did they come from?
Puppies: You set 10 different alerts on petfinder.org, Craigslist, Facebook, and other sites to find the exact puppy you want. Then one day, you wake up, and that puppy you've been daydreaming over is right in your inbox. You panic for a second, then the next thing you know, you've venmo'd the money to rescue group, and you're not the proud owner of an 8 week old Great Pyrenees puppy.
Leads: You're not always sure how or why you got them. Sure, you see, they signed up for a webinar, but how they found out about it is an unsolvable mystery. All you know is that its all you wanted. You asked for more leads day in and day out, and finally–bam–you got some.
Exhibit B: Getting them ready can be a long process.
Puppies: Potty training can take forever. Puppies can't control their bladders until they're 4-6 months. Yet, puppies are regularly adopted and brought home as young as 2 months old. That means you have 2-4 months of accidents in your future. Without constant training, consistent schedules, and copious paper towels, you'll be pulling your hair out 2 days in.
Leads: Nurture campaigns can take forever. It takes, on average, 8 touches to get a lead ready to talk. That's a lot of emails. Making sure you can follow-up timely with your leads after each touchpoint to ensure their needs and questions are met...now that's a full-time job… maybe even a job for an AI Assistant (wink wink).
Exhibit C: Patience is essential–especially during the tantrums.
Puppies: You gotta be forgiving when a puppy bites you. They don't know any better. They're teething, hungry, or just in a bad mood. They don't have any tools to process their feelings in any other way. Just let them go through whatever they need and gradually direct them to chew toys and other alternatives.
Leads: You need to be patient and empathetic in your communications or expect a negative response. Everyone is in a Karen mindset. We are exhausted from all the virtual contact we're getting from our couch and need to somehow let off steam. If a lead sends you a nasty email, don't take it personally. You don't know what they're dealing with, and maybe your pitchy sales email was what set them off–or perhaps they're sick of postponing their wedding, homeschooling their kids, or any other thing. Be patient and understanding. We're all going through it.
The bottom line, you need to meet your lead where they are. The lead may be ready to talk after 1 touch, 8 touches, or 16 touches before they're prepared to have a conversation. That's ok. Give them the time and space they need. Demonstrating respect for their time and attention will pay off in dividends in the future.
Catherine Farley is the Director of Marketing at Saleswhale. She has 10+ years experience designing unimaginable marketing campaigns and storytelling. Catherine is the proud owner of two Great Pyrenees and due to their shedding is rarely seen wearing black.