To Bot or Not To Bot? Lead Generation Dilemma
Bots. The whole idea sounds so attractive. Imagine having a flow of leads on autopilot, all dying to start working with you.
But that is in a dream scenario.
Because for messenger bots to be effective, you need to, at the very least, know your ideal client, their behaviour and what triggers them into action, better than you know yourself.
It would help if you also had a fully validated path that is guaranteed to take your ideal client from clicking that Get Started button, to saying Yes to you. (Eventually, I mean).
And what I KNOW – is that this is NOT what you can claim with full confidence.
This is why you are still reading this article.
So you are not looking for a solution that WILL work for your business. You are trying to find a solution that seems EASIEST.
So you can continue hiding and don’t have to push your comfort zone, talking to people that indeed can reject you and your services/products/systems…
Bots seem handy, but they will never replace a real human. Do you enjoy automated menus when you are ringing somewhere? I absolutely hate them with passion. they almost instantly add a damper on to my day!
Bots have pretty much the same negative effect
But, in all fairness to bots, they can make some processes much more manageable, I use bots too in very helpful ways, especially for delivering some content inside my paid programs, but what I am talking about here is when people try to use bots as a FORM OF HIDING. That is something that will damage your business instead of helping it.
Bots as a form of hiding
Everyone feels a little vulnerable in this virtual world, and the least we can do is show then that we are just as human as them. Have a chat. Build a connection. Trust me, when people you are chatting to are interested in what you do, this will become very obvious, very soon. But most of them need more nurturing, more encouragement that you are not there to just sell them something.
So be open to conversations without a conversion agenda. Focus on connection. And after you see the connection, and you feel the person on the other side is open to take the next little step, offer it to them.
Easy does it
Think about your conversation as you would about meeting a potential date. My friend and past live video challenger, Miha Matlievski, a great sales coach, while chatting to me about a customer journey recently, pointed out how often we are on a “third date” level, but instead of just patiently letting the relationships develop, we are already “popping a question”.
I love this… it shows very clearly that “easy does it” indeed.
The bottom line is that conversations are great on so many levels, and you really do not need to jump in with a sales pitch if you want long term results. Still, it is so much better than an automated bot, that has no energy, builds no connection and in fact just says, “Hey, here is my bot. Give it something (preferably your money), but I HAVE NO TIME FOR YOU”.
In my world, it is a definite turn off.
Brand Authority & Bots
Finally, I want to highlight another argument against using bots for lead generation if you are just starting out to build your brand and your business.
You are still not an established brand, you have very little authority to your name. You have not been recognised, featured or published anywhere half decent. People you attract, see you as someone who can help, but not as a thought-leader, not as a go-to name in your niche. You are simply not there yet.
There is nothing wrong with being more “real” in business, as it also builds more trust and people often feel safer dealing with less established companies, where they think they will be heard and cared about more.
Use this. Make them feel heard and understood. Make them feel they get that special attention. Simply by talking to them. When you send them to a bot, there is a massive mismatch of their perception of you (and your current brand authority level) and the way you are communicating.
You may think you look more professional, but this only puts people off. People who are ready to get what you want and have the intention to invest in your services and products.
So should you use bots or not? Of course you should! But I would like to give you the advice that will change your business forever:
Use bots for taking your audience through your sales funnels or for delivering your content to your warm leads or clients, and you will discover how the automation can support your business perfectly. But don’t hide behind the bot to connect to new people in your world, people who are looking for support, but who do not know you yet. Connect to them as if they came on a date, with warmth, attention and some patience so you can get to know each other.
If we do not focus on that connection, everything else we do makes no sense.
Splenic Projector 1/3
YOUR VISIBILITY GUIDE
Juliette Stapleton is a Visibility Strategist for coaches and experts. She teaches how to attract clients online, creating your OWN marketing experience that feels good, easy and aligned with who you are and brings results.
Juliette has been featured in Forbes and several major business and marketing podcasts, like SocialChatter, 365Driven, Rising Tide, iHeart Radio, and Confident Live. She is an active contributor to world-leading online publications, such as Entrepreneur.com Influencive, Addicted2Success, Thrive Global, Good Men Project and many more.
She lives in Tallinn, Estonia.