Asking someone to marry you on the first date not only sounds desperate but is likely to attract the wrong sort of response such as 'Don't speak to me ever again' & 'Where did you get my details from' Of course there will be the odd few that say yes straight away but are you really sure you want someone like this?
Yet in lead generation marketing we try to marry people on the first date all the time. Generate - Convert, Generate - Convert, doh...
The key missing ingredient essential to all long-lasting relationships is - Engagement.
Yes it sounds boring and is a little bit fuzzy. You might even worry you'll scare the lead off before you get the chance to convert. However a compelling engagement strategy needn't slow down conversion. It could be something simple, such as a welcome email sent before the prospect is telephoned. The welcome email is all about adding credibility, useful content and support to the sales pitch.
Adopting a more complete engagement strategy over a longer period can also mean offering prospects the opportunity to download something for free, watch a video or play a game, all relevant to the end goal of getting the person to buy your product. Not forgetting, that in b2c marketing you must apply engagement techniques at low cost and high scale in order to meet both volume and CPA targets.
So resist the temptation of taking things too fast and spoil what could be many more beautiful customer relationships in 2012.