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Valentine’s Day Vibes: Getting Your Prospect to Swipe Right on You

We frequently have early stage clients come to us with one directive: get us customers! They don’t want just leads, they want someone who’d be ready with one quick discovery call to sign on the dotted line. And honestly, who doesn’t want that? 

Here’s the catch: by definition, if you’re a startup, you’re solving a problem that the consumer may not know they have, with a new solution that they definitely don’t know about and likely won’t understand since it’s a novel approach. Even if you are able to completely eliminate their biggest challenge, there are still obligatory vetting steps you’ll need to go through for the buyer to feel comfortable that you’re not going to disappear in the dark of the night. 

It’s like you’re asking someone on a dating app to run straight to the wedding chapel together, when really, we just need them to swipe right. 

Image of person using dating app

This analogy popped up on a client call a few months ago, and after we were all done laughing, the CEO admitted that maybe it was reasonable that marketing add a few more “getting to know you” steps before a prospect could be seen legitimately as an opportunity. 

It’s not enough to identify someone who is on-target and get their email address. You have to nurture them and hold their hand along the buyer’s journey before they’re ready to commit. And it’s worth noting, this is mutual vetting. We all know how much extra work an ill-fit customer can cause. Everyone is trying to hit their sales number, but it’s worth making sure you’re securing the right matches, lest you are back in the same exact sales-chasing situation in a year when they churn. 

We started talking with this client about marketing programs in dating terms and it’s been cute (and effective). Volunteering their email address in exchange for that ebook download? We just got their phone number at the bar. Watching a full 30 minute webinar? Date night! Taking a demo call with the team? We just met the parents. We got a good laugh out of the extended metaphor, and I think it helped everyone remember just how hard it is to earn someone’s trust, whether it’s to marry or do business with you.

Since we’re sure you all have Valentine’s Day on the brain, we thought it might be fun to redefine some of the marketing vernacular in ways Cupid would understand:

Contact: Somebody cute you’ve noticed on a  night out. Since you’re both at the same 80’s biker karaoke bar, we know you have something in common. 

Lead: They love your pics and laughed at your witty profile. Swiping right!

Marketing Qualified Lead: You’ve met up for coffee and are interested enough to do it again. Texting ensues. They are lowkey following you on Instagram. 

Sales Qualified Lead: All your close friends have seen their profile and weighed in. The consensus is: they’re a catch!

Sales Accepted Lead/Demo: Time to meet the friends and family. It goes well–minimal embarrassing stories are swapped.

Opportunity: They’ve agreed to be your date at your cousin’s wedding in a couple months. 

Present Solution: You haven’t been home in months… casual cohabitation has set in.

Closed/Won: big questions are popped. The deal is sealed! Congrats!


Closed/Lost: You get the “it’s not you, it’s me” talk.

Churned: Divorced. Probably left you for your best friend.

Unengaged Contact: Based on your 6 unanswered texts, it’s safe to assume you’ve officially been ghosted. Back to the biker bar!

So you see, just like it probably won’t work to invite your favorite MQL to your cousin’s wedding, you probably can’t bring up the pricing conversation just yet either.

And with that, you now all know why I’m single and just like to hang out at home with my dogs. I hope you had better luck snagging great prospects this Valentine’s Day! In the meantime, if you need help with the work stuff, give us a ring. 

Happy belated Valentine’s Day! 

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