So, your marketing professional created a terrific lead generation program for you producing select prospects. Now what?
Here’s 10 quick tips to prevent mishandling your leads, and getting the most from each lead.
1. Gather Best Prospect Information
You’ll need your lead generator to provide you with some basic information that’s tailored to your industry, which should be at least one point of contact, whether email or phone —for texting only at this stage. Since various industries require different information, you know best what additional info you need for your business. Here are some data points to consider gathering:
- Cell Phone/Text
- Preferred Method of Contact
- Timeline for Purchase
- Address or City/State
- Birth date or Birthday
- Social Media: LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/etc
2. Add Info to CRM
You or your lead generator will have entered leads into your CRM (customer relation management) system. CRMs should be used by all business owners and their sales personnel. CRMs are excellent tools to track a salesperson’s impact, and the success of various campaigns and methods of turning prospects into sales. All businesses need a CRM to keep a pulse on the sales cycle of the business.
3. Act Fast!
You must respond quickly to a lead, less than five minutes or faster. If you can respond to a lead within 90 seconds, you’re doing it right.
But, how can you respond so quickly? You’ll need an autoresponder to send out an instant email or text. A slow reaction is the number one reason business owners lose lead-generated sales.
A Virtual Assistant could be the option if you need a customized approach. VA’s are not cheap, but in a world where sales can be lost over seconds of response time, depending on the industry, they can be an invaluable sales tool.
Above all, respond quickly.
4. Do NOT Sell
Your first contact should be welcoming and informational. Internet leads are not loyal to you, they look for the fastest and easiest path to solving their problem. It might be you; it might not.
They do most of their research online. They compare you to your competition. The Internet is where they do all their research, so your online presence must be branded and cohesive with your lead generation and action plan. You must convince them you are the best solution to their problem.
Auto response emails should be engaging and educational. Again, no selling. Welcome and inform.
5. Differentiate Yourself
Understand your leads are in the research phase of the sales process. They are looking for comparisons in services, products, costs, timelines, etc. Remember, leads are not sales. Leads are people on the hunt. Your job is to make your product or service the most delectable dish on the menu, so they choose you over your competition.
6. Build Relationships
Build a digital relationship with them through an email campaign. Show them your value and give them information. Send emails that nurture this growing relationship as well as inform, enlighten, and entice.
You’ll set up your email campaign based on your sales timeline, so you must understand the buying decision timeline of your customer. Discretionary spending for health or wellness will have a longer sales cycle but could also be impulse. Real Estate and Mortgage would be 3 months to a year. Legal profession and current needs are days. Medical, food, or emergencies, hours.
Build the relationship but understand the limits of your sales timeline on this process.
7. Their Humanity
Leads are not digital entities. These are people. Treat them with respect and have confidence in their abilities to make the best decisions for themselves. Provide information on why you can solve their problem, and how you are better than your competitors, but don’t oversell it. Trust that they will make the best decision for them.
8. Give Them an Out
Give them a way to say, “No, thanks.” People need an out. A captive audience will not necessarily turn into more sales. With every communication, allow people an easy exit.
9. Mind Your Engagement Methods
Different people respond to different forms of engagement, so you must determine how each particular lead likes to be contacted.
When giving your leads an option, always respond in kind. If your lead texts you, text back. If they leave a voice message, do not call them, use text or email. Calling is very personal, and people can feel vulnerable when speaking directly to a salesperson, which is what you’ll represent to them. You must establish a relationship first before speaking on the phone, and that goes for networking, too.
10. Remind Them Who You Are
A comprehensive signature is vital. Do not overestimate people’s ability to remember who you are. Always text and email with a fully loaded signature. Answer the biggies in your signature: who, what, how, and why. A signature may be their only reference to you as they juggle other communications and interests.
Bottom line in getting the most from each lead: Act quickly. Build relationships. Give information.
These steps you’ll take with your leads will determine your success, or your failure, more than any other factor. You can have the greatest ad campaign, slogan, sales email or any other edgy, shiny tool at your disposal, but if you mess up the course of action with a lead, you’ve lost a potential client. Act fast but act correctly, and you’ll achieve the success you desire.
Meet the Author: Cat Lewis
Writer/Editor. Providing original written content and editing services for business professionals. Specialising in blog posts, articles, landing pages, email blasts, and full-service editing. firstname.lastname@example.org