When to Stop Chasing Leads

Posted on May 9, 2014

It can be a challenge to know when to stop chasing a lead, especially when you are keen for the business and want to leave the right impression.

So how do you strike a happy balance between doing enough to pursue a potential client and leaving the right impression?

Here is a suggested strategy to follow that will ensure you leave the right impression (without becoming a nuisance) and that you don’t spend unnecessary time focusing on non productive leads.

First contact – whenever you receive an enquiry respond ASAP. Nothing impacts greater upon your business than the first impression you create and a good part of this is influenced by how timely you respond to requests. If you cannot respond quickly don’t let this deter you from responding as soon as you can and apologising for the delay. Not responding because you are embarrassed by how long it has taken, will do more damage to your business reputation than responding late.

During the initial conversation – confirm what will happen next (who will contact who) and aim to pin it down to a day and time when this will happen (so you are both clear in your expectations).

First followup – ensure that you stick to the agreed day and time and if they were to contact you (and they don’t) give them another day before contacting them (after all they may just be busy and you don’t want to push them unnecessarily). If you can only leave a message when you call, explain that you are following up on your earlier conversation and ask them to contact you back when they are free. Sometimes it can be tempting to ring again in a couple of hours but resist the urge to do this, you have left a message, that’s all you need to do – focus now on the next item on your list.

Second followup – if there’s no response to your phone message after 2 days follow them up again and if you cannot speak to them, leave another message. Then send them an email referring to your phone message and simply say that you are sorry you have missed them and you are just sending them a quick email with your details for when they are ready to contact you. Thank them for their enquiry and say you look forward to hearing from them in the future (this part is important as they may be embarrassed about not returning your calls and positioning in this way makes it easier for them to do so).

Further followups – if you feel the temptation to follow up further resist it. You have done enough at this point to contact them, pass on your contact details and leave them with a good impression of your business. You have also avoided potentially turning into a nuisance and deterring them from using your service or product (something you will probably achieve if you continue to follow them up). If they are still interested they will pop up again in the future and I highly recommend that you ask in the initial conversation, if they would like to be added to your mailing list (so you can continue to market to them
even if they haven’t returned your calls).

Remember that having a consistent followup process like the above is key to turning leads into clients and choosing a point in time to stop following up on a lead doesn’t mean you have failed as a business. If a lead is going nowhere then maybe the timing just isn’t right for them or they simply aren’t a fit for your business. In either case don’t spend any further time pursuing them after you have done your followup – you have done enough, let them go and focus on your new leads instead.