You've perfected your product or service. Your marketing strategy is optimized. Now the leads are starting to roll in. However, you notice that those leads just aren't converting to sales as much as you'd like. If only you could optimize your follow-ups so leads converted at a higher rate, sales would soar!
Does any of this sound familiar? If so, keep reading to learn the five ways you should be following up with leads to increase sales.
1) Don't automate it.
We live in a world where automation has taken over our lives. Even our cars are starting to drive themselves. While automation may seem like a great way to save time and money, it should not be integrated into your follow-up strategy. Why? The sales process, especially near the end of the funnel, requires personalization. You need to adapt your pitch to fit the prospects' needs like a glove. Automation doesn't give you the personalization that a person-to-person interaction does and can immediately scare them off.
2) Add value before pitching.
When a lead comes in, many people assume that it's time to start pitching. That isn't necessarily the right thing to do. A new lead is just a person testing the waters when it comes to your business. They aren't familiar with you and, rightfully so, probably don't trust you (yet). Build their trust by adding value before any pitching is done. This value can come in the form of a free evaluation, a whitepaper that addresses their needs, or even a cup of coffee (if you run a brick and mortar). Add value unapologetically and you will gain the trust of the new lead. Only when you have their trust will you make the sale.
3) Get back to them ASAP and more than once.
Based on a study by Lead Response Management, the odds of contacting a lead if called within 5 minutes versus 30 minutes of receiving the initial lead drop 100 times. To put it simply, the longer you wait to respond to a new lead, the less likely they are to convert to a sale.
Big business in the mortgage industry, such as Quicken and Citigroup, know the value of following up with leads quickly and more than once. A study by Tenfold found that many mortgage lenders follow-up with their leads more than 15 times. The key takeaway--be persistent. Persistence doesn't mean "be annoying" but it does mean don't give up after the first, second, or third try.
4) Backup everything you say.
As mentioned above, a successful sales relationship is built on trust. As human beings, we are going to inherently distrust someone who is saying things for their own personal gain. One of the best ways to gain the trust of a new lead is to backup what you say with real results, testimonials, or metrics. Once a lead can verify what you're saying is the truth, they'll have more reason to trust you.
5) Be yourself.
It may sound trite but it's worth mentioning. Even though the person may be buying a product or service, they are still conducting business with a real person. It's basic human psychology--we all have an inert need to connect with other human beings and the sales process is no different. In fact, convincing someone to spend their hard-earned money makes it even more important to show your personality and your human side. Be professional, of course, but be real. Your sales leads will thank you for it.