Most sales and marketing plans are divided into two major components:
Often times we work with businesses that have tons of leads coming in, but are having a hard time capitalizing due to poor follow-up procedures. As a result, marketing budgets are wasted and business owners are left scratching their heads wondering what went wrong?
First and foremost, let’s look at some statistics that every business owner should be aware of when devising their lead conversion strategies:
35-50% of buyers choose the vendor that responds first. (InsideSales.com)
You are 100 times more likely to speak with your lead if you call within 5 minutes of receiving the lead versus 30 minutes. (Lead Response Management Study)
You are 60 times more likely to qualify your lead if you call within 1 hour versus waiting more than 24 hours. (Lead Response Management Study)
The average response time of companies contacting their leads is 42 hours. (Lead Response Management Study)
What does this mean for you and your quest for higher conversion rates? Quite simply, if you act fast and follow-up on your leads right away, you win!
Not only will responding quickly impress your prospects, but you immediately differentiate yourself from your competition who will take 42 hours on average to respond to inquiries.
Now that you understand the need to move fast, let’s focus on what to say during your follow-up calls that will give you the greatest chance of success in today’s selling environment.
That’s significant because it affects the strategy you should use to convert prospects to customers. Today, people love to buy, but they hate being sold (and more importantly, they hate being closed!).
The mistake most businesses make is that they focus their staff training on giving the perfect pitch, following detailed scripts, learning closing techniques, and developing great objection handling skills… when in reality, that’s not what works for today’s buyer.
Instead, today’s buyer has already done their research and contacted you as a result. Therefore, they simply want to be helped, they want to be cared for, and they want to be offered solutions that are ideal for them (not ideal for you).
That actually makes your job easier, not harder. You no longer have to convince people to buy something they may or may not need– instead, you just have to help them buy what they already know they should buy. Now isn’t that great?
While instinctively you may think working on your closing skills will help you convert more leads, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Hunting for closes will actually kill deals, not help them convert. Instead, focus on getting to the real reasons your prospects are contacting you. Connect on an emotional level by being genuine in your desire to truly help your prospects solve problems. And in the process, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your revenues grow!
Be a great asker of questions. Don’t worry so much about the statements you make because you are better served when your prospects are doing all of the talking. In fact, the more you get your prospects to talk, the more likely they are to buy. Neil Rackham showed us that statistically in 1988 with his award-winning book, Spin Selling– and as they say, the stats don’t lie!
So here’s some simple questions you can use in your follow-up calls that will really help to get your prospects talking:
“Thanks for your interest in our services Mr. Jones, what questions can I answer for you?”
For prospects that only want to know your pricing:
“I can surely go over our pricing with you Mrs. Gonzalez; but first, what motivated you to call us today?”
For prospects that are shopping around:
“I understand your need to be thorough in your search Mr. Lee, what are the Top 3 qualities you are looking for in a provider?”
For prospects that say they aren’t ready to move forward yet:
“That’s no problem Mrs. Williams, we only want you to move forward when it’s right for you. Is there anything else I can provide that will help you in your decision making process? How about I send over a recent article about the benefits of our solution? Or I can email a link to a video that shows you just how our solution works? I’d love to help you in any way possible make the decision that’s best for you.”
All of these questions are great because they allow you to control your calls- not with what you say, but with what you ask. By consistently getting prospects to talk about their needs and motivations, you help your callers move past pricing concerns, insurances accepted, or whatever other barriers you typically face.
So in review, converting leads at high percentage rates is really about responding quickly and asking the right questions when you have prospects on the phone. The timeliness of your follow-up calls demonstrates the level of service your prospects can expect once they become customers– and the use of great questions lets your prospects know that you are customer-focused. By meeting both criteria for your prospects, you stand out in the crowd and give your business the best chance at success.