After generating a sales lead, you must effectively follow up on it. While this may seem straightforward, there are many variables involved in the process that will determine whether a sales lead converts or slips through your fingers. By implementing five of the correct follow-up techniques, you should maximize your conversion rate and increase your overall sales volume.
1. Follow up on every lead.
You never really know the potential of a lead unless you take the proper steps to follow up. In some cases, a weak-looking lead could result in big sales, while a strong one could result in nothing. That’s why you should treat every lead as if it could bring in sales and even become a long-term customer. Following up on leads is usually a numbers game. The more effort you put forth means the higher your sales figures should be.
2. Have a specific game plan.
Nurturing each lead to the fullest and properly executing your follow-ups is important. Your exact game plan will depend upon several factors, like how many leads you have on average, your number of employees, etc. If your business sells different types of products, you might want to dedicate sales representatives to follow up on leads that fall into specific product categories. Each representative should be fully familiarized with the products within his assigned category and capable of answering nearly any question. You would then want to follow suit with other employees to adequately cover all leads. When dealing with numerous leads on a consistent basis, you may even want to have an employee who is solely responsible for re-contacting leads who showed interest, but weren’t ready to make a purchase right away.
3. Have a sense of urgency.
Another part of maximizing your conversion rate involves responding to each sales lead as quickly as possible. According to the Harvard Business Review, businesses that respond to inquiries within an hour are seven times more likely to qualify a lead than businesses that wait longer than an hour. After 24 hours have passed, the likelihood of making a conversion drops drastically.
4. Establish rapport and trust.
After making contact, it should be your prerogative to win over each lead. Because many will be initially skeptical, you need to be equipped to gain their trust. This can usually be done in a few ways. First, you need to have a deep knowledge of your products and/or services and be able to answer questions. This conveys a sense of professionalism and serves as a positive reflection of your business. Next, you should be as courteous and friendly as possible. Nothing will turn off a lead quicker than being impolite or disrespectful. Finally, you should take each lead’s specific needs into consideration. If someone has unique circumstances, you should be willing to work to accommodate them.
5. Keep your promises.
Hold up to your end of the bargain when following up on leads. If you said that you would email someone a free trial download or informational pamphlet, do it promptly. Not keeping your promises can be extremely detrimental to your entire campaign and give your business a bad name. It’s ideal to “under promise and over deliver.” This means that you should strive to exceed your lead’s expectations.
Getting the most from your leads requires consistent professionalism. Taking the time to reach out to every lead is a great way to start. Having an efficient system in place for handling each lead should streamline the process while maximizing conversions. Responding quickly can help you capitalize on hot leads. Also, connecting with each sales lead on a personal level and delivering on promises can help position your business for success.