5 Easy Tips for Better Lead Follow-Up
December 4, 2009
In the past weeks, lead follow-up has been a topic of issue– clients are not getting any business from hundreds of leads or they are concerned about the quality.
These are good issues, however here are some tips to get any leads into the ‘hot’ category quicker (or to dump if they’re cold).
Act quickly. Your prospects are busy and have other fish to fry.
In some cases, they may be a principal, or COO, with even more on their plate. When they call, email them or fill out a lead generation form, if they are actively thinking about whatever it is you do or sell.
It takes less than a minute to get on a phone, email or and throw them into a totally different direction. Add two days to that and more than likely they forgot that they even contacted you.
Secondly, if you can respond immediately, you have instantly impressed them. You’ve shown that they are important to you, and you are ready and willing to assist. As a bonus, it’s an indication of you and your company’s work ethic; you’ve set a positive example for the future service they can expect.
Do Your Research
Hey, I know you’re busy, but it takes less than 10 minutes to find out about someone and something about them. Hopefully your lead generation forms ask the right balance of questions to get the information that you need.
Use the tools that you’re already using to find out about the person or company. Linkedin, facebook, google, can all give some insight into the person or company. You can quickly identify their role in the company through position, title, and you can adjust your sales pitch (or follow-up email) accordingly.
Furthermore their company can give you an inside edge. Any recent news from their company? Any big developments? Get their background information. Schools, hometown, and similar information could give you an immediate edge. You or one of your coworkers may even have gone to the same school! Use this info for the next step.
Make it Personal
Using your research or the information they’ve provided, make it personal. You are a sales person, and sorry, no one likes sales people. Include some anecdote, something referencing the information that they need. Are they from D.C.? Mention how great of a time you had last time you visited, or a hot restaurant that you went to. This removes that ‘sales person’ label making you ‘non-salesy’, and now you’ve related to them on a personal level, building trust, credibility and starting a relationship. Before someone will do business with you, they must know you and TRUST you.
Use the same method of contact
This one is really simple. If they emailed you, email them back. I know you want to hop on the phone and close the deal, but by coming to you via email, they indicated a preference. They may be earlier in the planning stages and just want some info, or they may be busy or do a lot of traveling and email might be the best way to contact them.
I prefer to do research via email for a couple of reasons. I can word my questions better and make it sound like I know what I’m talking about. I also have a record of my questions and their answers. This makes it very easy for me to share with the team for input, and/or get approval from the higher-ups.
Same goes for calls. Some people hate email and want to talk to a real person. This person usually has more specific questions, and has done more research. Just remember; get back to them ASAP.
Give them something useful
They’ve reached out to you, isn’t there something you can send them? I’m not talking about promotional stuff (but that can be used for higher dollar items), but information. A whitepaper, a great article, product reviews, service reviews, 3rd party research are all great ideas. Even general information about yourself or your company can be of value. Remember that trust thing from earlier.
Make sure it matches their interest, or the buying stage that they are in. If they are in the early stages, then general information works well. How does this work, or what do I need to know to make an informed buying decision, do I need this, what are the general benefits of this product/service. Further in the buying cycle, product comparison charts, testimonials, 3rd party endorsements are gold. They know they want it, but are now looking at who to go with, and you need to outshine your competition.