To win the race you must first qualify.

Someone clicked on your online form.

You sent them an email.
You even called them.
They did not reply or call you back.

I get it, you did what was expected and now you can move on and read the rest of your Inbox.

Not good enough.

“Just because” no longer works (I actually don’t think it ever worked). Just because you replied doesn’t mean I have to call you back, reply to your email or even read the attached PDF.

Everyone likes to point fingers at marketing when sales are down. Everyone. But, after many years in the trenches of small business, I can tell you unequivocally that in eight out of ten cases the failure is on the sales execution side not marketing.

When a prospect clicks on a CTA (Call to Action) button on a website, post or an ad, they are not obligated to buy. A click (or a “like”) does not mean “intent to buy” either.

It just is: A click, a like, a share. You didn’t win the race yet.

The only way to assess whether it’s an instinctual click, genuine interest or an intent to buy, is to do the hard work.

If you want to win the race you must first qualify.

“Thank you for clicking on our MORE INFO button. I provided you with a link to our website where you can get more details. If you need anything else please call us.”

“Hi, this is Jason from ABC, I just received your form and I am calling to follow up and see if there’s anything I can do to help. You can check our website at or call me at extension 101. Have a great day.”

Everyone loves The Marketing FUNNEL - scripted, automated steps that are designed to engage and move your ‘prospect’ along the buying process, most often without human intervention. While marketing automation was designed to add efficiencies to the buying process, it does not eliminate the requirement to humanize the engagement.

Amazon is a brilliant example of just the opposite, or what most businesses can’t afford to be. Amazon is the Wikipedia of shopping, it’s own universe without human intervention. It has done the heavy lifting for me and as a result I love the Amazon buying (and returning) experience because, like many Amazon shoppers, most of the time, I know what I’m looking for. They make it so easy to shop.

Amazon is the only business I know that can afford to offer “Buy with 1-Click.” The rest of us have to qualify in order to win (1-click) the order.

If your marketing isn’t yielding results look beyond the email or Facebook ad.
Who’s answering the email and what are they saying?
Who’s answering the phone and what are they saying?
Who’s replying to Messenger and what are they saying? How fast are they replying?

You get the idea. Buy with 1-click doesn’t work especially in B2B (Business to Business) segments. For most businesses, growth can only come from ‘stealing’ customers from competitors - OK, in marketing terms it is called, “increasing your market share.”

Go back to basics; do you know your target audience? do you know your competitors? do you have a compelling, unbiased and emotionally engaging answer to, “why should I buy from you?”

Qualifying for the race requires hard work. When you line up with other racers who qualified you earned the right to be considered by customers. But, from where I stand and what I experience every day with our clients, we must recognize that we live in a world where we have to re-qualify time and time again.

You can’t assume that the compelling reason why someone is buying from you is going to stick. On any given day, there’s someone out there (unbeknownst to you) who is better and has a more convincing or smartly crafted point of differentiation.

Read “Walk In Stupid Every Morning” to put all of this in practical terms.