Turning Leads into New Business
Managing a lead when the person is ready to do business with you is relatively straightforward (i.e.: you ascertain what they are looking for and then match your products or services to suit).
However, with leads that are not ready to do business yet (or may never be at this stage) it becomes a little trickier and understandably it can easily slip down the list of priorities when you are busy.
So how do you manage all your leads in a quick and easy way and make the most of every possible opportunity? Here’s a suggested approach:
Firstly, remind yourself why you should be following up on all leads:
1. Cultivating a positive relationship with a new lead will ensure that when they are ready to do something, they will use you. Remember that in a short space of time people’s situations can change and you want to be the one they think of when they are ready to make that purchase.
2. They are an important link to other new clients. Even if they are never use your service or product, don’t underestimate the fact that they speak to other people and that your newsletter or call may be enough to prompt them to pass your details on.
Secondly, put a routine in place for following them up:
1. Every time you speak to someone (who isn’t ready to proceed) always lock in a date to follow them up. If you leave the follow up process to them, chances are it will never happen and remember that they expect to be followed up – it demonstrates that you value their business. You can also make your followup time sound more casual by making it the start of the month or after the holidays, rather than a specific date. Book it in your diary and then forget about it and let your calendar prompt you when it’s time to follow up.
2. If they are still not ready to proceed when you follow them up next, simply ask when to check in with them again. This will ensure they are more likely to be ready when you call and give them control of the process, so they don’t feel pressured.
3. Always offer to add them to your mailing list and let your regular database communications help you stay in touch, as well as remind and inform them about your products or services.
4. Once you have followed them up by phone a couple of times, consider using email or text as a way to check in next. These methods are non-intrusive and it makes it easy for them to respond to you. And if they don’t respond, try not to worry about it too much, it probably just means they are still not ready. Simply diarise to follow up again in a month or so (unless you hear back from them before then).
5. If after a number of followups your calls/emails/texts are still getting no response and you believe that they may have changed their mind or it may be a long time before they are ready, stop following them up and let your regular database marketing do the job of prompting them now and again. This will ensure they know how to contact you when they are ready and it also makes sense at this point to ease off a little.
6. Use opportunities like Xmas or Easter to have a look at any leads you haven’t spoken to for a while and touch base with them individually to wish them Merry Xmas or Happy Easter, which will provide them with an opportunity to let you know if their situation has changed. Again, if you receive no response, simply let your regular database marketing do its job. People may not always respond to your calls but it doesn’t mean they don’t value them and sometimes you’ll be surprised how glad they are that you’ve called, because they are actually now ready to proceed!
To turn leads into new business (whether that is their business or the business they refer onto you) there needs to be consistent followup. This shows that you value their business, which will encourage them to contact you when they are ready and prompt them to refer you to family and friends. Remember that all your leads are an important part of ensuring future and referral business – don’t let them drift away.