Think about your significant other for a moment. Think about the relationship you've built on trust, patience and understanding. Now remember how annoyed that person gets if they're forced to wait for your call, text or email. Now imagine the alternative, if that person called you five times a day, just to arbritrarily check in. That's just not how relationships work. And it's probably what's ruining your lead follow up, too.
So today we'd like to review:
- How to follow up ... when you have a quote request
- How to follow up ... with a call
- How to follow up ... with a voicemail
- How to follow up ... with an email
- How to follow up ... by setting up call backs
- How to follow up ... based on your client
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING TIMELY
“Companies that try to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving queries are nearly 7 times as likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers as firms that try to contact prospects even an hour later. Yet only 37% of companies respond to queries within an hour.”
It’s incredible. That’s how fast customers move. How fleeting the attention span is. So how do you make sure that you’re getting back to customers within that rapidly closing window?
The best point of contact is a personal one.
Whenever possible someone from your team should be on top of providing that first welcome to your company or product. How you handle that interaction is also critically important. Reaching out to customers when the subject is most relevant is key, but you don’t want to rush or pressure anyone. Make sure that that introductory touch point is a positive and informed one.
We receive constant feedback from our clients that they chose the first supplier to respond, simply because the procurement period had a strict time limit. It's a pretty hard pill to swallow to know your competitor has won out not because their superior, but because they got in touch first.
- The odds of making contact with a lead increases 100x if called within 5 minutes.(Source: Lead Response Management Study)
- The chances of qualifying a lead are 21x better if called within 5 minutes. (Source: Lead Response Management Study)
- Research shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. (Source:InsideSales.com)
HOW TO SECURE LEADS & CONNECT WITH DECISION MAKERS
Key decision makers for hire or subcontractor work are often project managers, site supervisors, engineers etc. Having a deep understanding of your client base is critical to driving meaningful conversations, sales follow up, and really anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention.
"Okay, so key decision makers are really important to my business. PlantMiner's given me their direct contact information to discuss the project. But ... how do I ensure I actually connect with them?" The good news is that it doesn't have to be that difficult. You just need to ask the right questions at the right time, and present information in a helpful way.
A large portion of PlantMiner's Quote Requests specify phone as their preferred contact method. This makes sense, as these contacts are often on site. They are more likely to check their phones than emails. However, their phone time may also be restricted by site rules.
One of the biggest mistakes made by hire companies is that they give up after one call - allowing a hot lead freeze. If they didn't pick up the first time, or you think leaving a voicemail is enough, think again.
Don't be afraid to follow up! A blessing of our industry is that most members are up-front in their approach. if the contact doesn't want to hear from you, they'll let you know. The most common reason for disconnect between suppliers and contractors is simply that both are time poor.
All active approaches point to success.
Part of responding to leads quickly is having the right tools to do so. There are two things here that are important. Speed and Relevancy. Some activities are the equivalent of a customer hand-raise. When that “hand-raise” happens you need to be at the ready to respond.
Call backs should be scheduled for a range of reasons; you missed them the first time, the customer has viewed your pricing package, the customer has inquired further about your services, the customer is in the final decision stage, the project has been delayed etc.
The best way to make that first conversation a positive one for the customer is to make it relevant.
Time for both a construction business and hire company alike is precious. So don't waste it by asking questions like "is now a bad time?". Provide the prospect with something of value and you can turn the worst time into well spent with PlantMiner's 'call back' feature. You can set up reminders for yourself based on customer feedback (e.g "I'm swamped, but will decide in 2 weeks from now") or from insights given from our Business Development team (e.g "Your company is shortlisted, with the final decision to be made in the next week").
If you're not implementing this function per job opportunity you receive, you're giving your competitors a chance to provide better customer service. Not convinced?
44% of salespeople give up after 1 follow up. (Source: The Marketing Donut)
Only 1 in 50 deals are struck at a first meeting. (Source: The Marketing Donut)
63% of people requesting information on your company today will not purchase for at least 3 months -- and 20% will take more than 12 months to buy. (Source: The Marketing Donut)
Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Source: Forrester Research)
Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (Source: Aberdeen Research)
2% of sales are made on the first contact, 3% on the second, 5% on the third, and 10% on the fourth. (Source: The Marketing Donut)
80% of sales are made on the 5th to 12th contact after the first meeting. (Source: The Marketing Donut)
Unless specified as their ideal contact method, an emaill follow up should be your third point of contact after the first few phone attempts. Email remains one of the most productive means of generating leads and selling products online.
- 95% of online consumers use email, and 91% report that they check their email at least once a day. And since emails stay in your inbox unless you delete them, it has a longer lifespan than other channels. (Source: Hubspot Marketing Blog)
When it comes down to it, the primary function of email is to nurture your leads into customers. Providing your leads with helpful, relevant content helps you build a relationships with them. It allows you to position yourself as a consultant, ready to help them with their challenges. If you do that well, your leads will be more likely to interact with you. Our tips for your next Quote Request email are:
- make it clear why you're reaching out to them specifically (and show that your email isn't just another canned message from a sales rep or a PR pro)
- use social proof and point to results (if you have the referrals, past projects or services to back up what you are pitching, include them)
- keep it short, simple and written like a human (Would you read a five-paragraph essay from someone that you’ve never talked to before? Probably not.)
An effective lead email puts the ball squarely back in the prospect's court in the case that they would like to proceed. To save you time and anxiety, we've created 9 email templates to help you handle any quoting situation with efficiency.