Originally posted on Forbes

Marketers walk a fine line between encouraging prospects to buy and turning them off, and managing this risk requires not only professionalism, but also experimentation.

Knowing how far to nurture a lead is a critical skill for marketers to learn. Mastering it may involve more than a few failed attempts, but knowing what to avoid doing can help you get ahead of the curve.

To help you benefit from the lessons others have already learned, 16 leaders from Forbes Agency Council discuss common mistakes marketers make that drive buyers away instead of toward conversion. Read on to see how to improve your approach and avoid these faux pas.

1. Talking Too Much About You

It’s not about you. In other words, stop talking about what your company does and its capabilities. Instead, listen to the prospect’s needs and pain points. Honestly, they don’t care about most of what you can do if it doesn’t solve the specific issue or challenge they happen to be facing. My father used to tell me to listen closely, and that prospects will always tell you what they want to buy. – Dave Wendland, Hamacher Resource Group

2. Trying To Appeal To Everyone

Don’t try to appeal to everyone. If someone can’t identify a specific challenge they can solve with your product or service, they will move on. Target a specific audience, and you’ll be surprised how many customers can relate. – Greg Kihlstrom, CareerGig

3. Not Being Honest With Prospects

Dishonesty is a big faux pas. Don’t buy fake followers for your own agency and then try to convince hard-working small businesses that they should spend their money with you. In the same vein, don’t advertise that you can work in a space if you haven’t already been successful in it. There are too many agencies pushing TikTok that haven’t been successful on TikTok. – Kelly Samuel, Snack Toronto

4. Failing To Research Prospects

Too often marketers will jump on their first call with a prospect wildly unprepared, knowing very little about who they are speaking to or what their company does. Doing some research in advance and tailoring an agenda before your call will make a good first impression and increase the odds of your meeting going well. – Dennis Kirwan, Dymic Digital

5. Assuming That Data Rules All

Marketers often assume that ROI should be instant and that data rules all. Data is critical, but without good conversation, facts and figures don’t matter much. Your audience is smarter than the metrics you’re using. Make sure the content tells a good story that is meaningful, memorable, focused and written by a subject matter expert who understands your industry and what you do. – Kevin Lund, T3 Custom

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