It's a beautiful thing -- when a prospective customer's need briefly crosspollenates with something you are providing. Maybe it's a captivating trade show exhibit. Or an online advertisement. Or a compelling piece of video. Or a Tweet.
You have their interest, just for a moment.
What do you do?
Smart marketers practice catch and release marketing, the type of marketing where once you hook them, you let them go and put out bigger bait. Why? It builds trust, the most precious currency you can hold as a marketer these days. By making sure that a prospect doesn't regret having responded to your offer, you build credibility for your next offer. Next thing you know it, they're engaging in a conversation with you. Building rapport. This sets you apart from 80% of the majority of marketers out there who go to generate leads with a giant club in hand.
So how do you stay in touch so their interest doesn't wane? This is commonly called lead nurturing, or content marketing. What you want to do is send little bites of information, easily consumable, imminently relevant to the person you are sending it to, the company they work for in the industry they are in.
And then wait. A bit more information, just to stay in touch. Always useful.
The point is that interest and focus on you is a perishable commodity. You have to continually earn it or you lose it. And getting it back once you've lost it is decidedly more challenging than gaining it in the first place.
Try this: call up a prospective customer. Or, if you're too shy, call a friend or relative. Tell them one small thing about what you do. Wait for their response, hopefully a question. Now you have permission to provide more information. And so on.
Interest - treasure it and recognize that just like any organic thing, it ages and withers over time.