If you’re a Small Business and you’ve already invested in SEO, PPC, blogging, and social media, then congrats! You’ve made it past a big hurdle that every small business faces; getting found online.

But did you know that even if you are driving visitors to your site, 96% of people are not ready to buy from you the first time they visit your website? (Source Kiss Metrics)

Today’s prospect loves to research and will visit your website, your Competitor’s website, industry publications, online review sites and social media.

Why? To whittle down their list of potential vendors long before ever contacting your business or any sales representative.

Below is a typical process that many of your prospects go through before making a buying decision from your small business:

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Most prospects only want to chat with a sales rep in the last third of their buying process; the decision or buying phase. So, for two-thirds of their shopping and research process, they want to remain anonymous while they research and gather information.

Think about it, don’t you do the same?

The last time you went to the mall to buy some new threads (That’s St. Louis for clothes) a sales associate probably asked “May I help you?” Did you say; “No thank you, I am just looking?” Chances are you did. Chances are also good that the sales associate didn’t catch your name, your info or what you were looking for in the first place. You were in the research phase of a buying decision and likely made a purchase from someone other than the nice sales associate who asked “May I help you?”

Your challenge as a small business is to capture and engage with prospects as early in the buying process as possible and offer them the information they need to make an informed buying decision. This simple “How To” video will walk you through how to transform your website into a Lead Machine and turn your “Just Looking” prospects into buyers:

So let’s review: How can you capture and convert prospects early in the buying process? Simple.

Use these 3 keys to wrangle in more sales leads:

1.Use Lead Forms

Make sure your website isn’t just a pretty brochure. Sure, you need to cover the basics like info about your product or service, why you’re different, how to contact you etc… but you also need to make it easy for a web visitor to give you their email address and contact information in exchange for something of value that can help them in their buying process.

2.Give Value

When a prospect visits your website, think about what challenge they might be facing? What information could help them? What would they find valuable? It’s not about you and your products and services, it’s about your prospect and what they need.

Consider offering an educational guide (like the one at the bottom of this blog), video or free webinar. People don’t mind giving up their name and e-mail address for something that’s valuable.

3. Don’t Sell…… Nurture

Once you capture a lead, help and don’t sell. People don’t want to engage with a large number of pesky sales people early in the process, for good reason. They don’t want to be hounded or “sold”. So don’t do it. Instead, nurture them, until they are ready to buy.

For a step by step example of how to leverage lead nurturing for your small business check out our guide below: “How To: Turn Your Website Into A Sales Machine.”