Giving Yourself the Best Chance to Make a Sale
It’s one word you get used to hearing as a business owner or sales rep. It’s the one word you try to avoid. Don’t take it personal though; you’ll hear it more often than “yes.” The silver-lining is that it only takes one good yes to change everything.
Fear of hearing the word “no” is not an excuse to miss following up on your sales leads. On average, only 40-50% of sales leads are even contacted by the business receiving the lead. That number probably dwindles when the lead source is from your website. It’s almost as if we are so suspicious of spam that we don’t trust anything that comes through online sources. Big mistake.
The crux of the matter is that you just don’t know until you follow up. Why wouldn’t you at least find out if you’ve got a winner within that sales lead? You might be surprised at what you find.
Being Timely with Your Follow-Up
You are 7x more likely to get a conversion if you contact an inbound sales lead within 1 hour. This is according to a Harvard Business Review survey conducted. Obviously, the quicker you can get on the phone (if you have their phone number) or email, the better.
If you get a lead, following up is probably the highest priority task for you to do right now. A 10-minute conversation can turn into hundreds, thousands, or millions of dollars in business for you.
Fulfilling on Your Promises
Often, we’ll promise something in exchange for someone providing their contact information. This shapes the expectations of the person contacting your business. Did you promise to send them a newsletter, free information, a report or guide, or trial download? Whatever marketing channel a lead flows to you through, you’ve got to meet their expectations. Right away, hold up your end of the bargain.
Once you’ve got your lead on the phone have a script ready. This will help you ease into the phone conversation. But don’t stick so closely to it that you forget to listen to their needs. They’ll often tell you exactly how you can sell to them. Listen to their questions, needs, and pain-points. Then respond appropriately. A good honest and open conversation is your best sales tool.
Automating Responses and Nuturing Your Leads
It’s important to know that there are automated tools available for staying in touch with your leads. On average it takes 7 touches before you’ll make a sale. These “touches” can be a newsletter, an email, a phone call, a hand shake, or just about anything that connects you two.
Don’t be afraid to utilize email marketing software. It is a great way to insure nobody falls through the cracks too badly. You can configure these programs to automatically email a series of sales letters to your leads. It’s also handy to easily send bulk email out to the people who’ve agreed to receive your email. Just be careful that you don’t abuse the ability to email. It is not a complete replacement for human-to-human relationship building.
Test the frequency of your emails. If you get a lot of spam notices or unsubscribes, you’ve gone too far. A good email marketing software program will provide you with metrics and statistics.
No More Wasted Leads – And No More Wasted Money
Business growth is at your fingertips. It’s costly enough to get a business lead in through the door. Take charge and contact those leads in a timely manner. Give your leads what they want and listen to their story. You’ll improve your sales quickly. And for those leads that don’t jump in right away, utilize the many email marketing tools available.
How has your organization nurtured sales leads? Do you feel like you need to follow-up on all leads?