Lead Nurturing and Automation

A Little Information Can Fertilize Your Garden You can tell right away that they’re just very preliminary, they’re doing a little bit of research, they are not really sure. That’s an ideal client for an e-series, where perhaps each installment directs them to a YouTube video that educates them. Somebody who is in the very preliminary stages and is just trying to gain information, that person wants education. They want information. They are not yet asking buying questions. Further, with all the technology – auto responders, video, emails, and white paper reports – a significant chunk of that education can be done automatically over a period of time without draining or requiring a sales team to commit their resources. That’s called nurturing. Cultivating leads is much like cultivating a garden. Harvest time happens when the crops are ready. What would happen if the farmer sitting on the combine constantly was driving around the garden watching the crops grow? He’d waste a lot of gas. He would waste a lot of time. The overuse of the combine would probably cause it to require more repairs. At times, maybe after being overzealous, the combine operator would start to see something that looks like it should be picked and he treads through the garden or the fields before it’s ready.

An Automated Harvest

So, you’ve got to know what phase these customers are in and be able to use questions to identify that phase. This can be done in an automated process which will help separate which relationships are ready for harvest, and which ones still need to be cultivated, grown, watered, fertilized, given that information and given those videos and brought along. When systems cultivate and educate your prospects on a completely automated basis, it will no longer be a drain on your sales resources. Perhaps even your sales people can be the ones recording the videos or creating the presentations that educate the audience. Then somebody can get back to them periodically and ask if they have seen the video or videos. There are ways that you can check into the system to see who has seen the videos, as an indicator of their level of interest. This is also very possible to track. While few see lead cultivation and nurturing as a sexy shot in the arm, it can provide huge results by automatically filtering the prospects who are most ready to the top. This gets your sales people spending more time with better prospects because they’ve been educated and are much further along in the cycle and that’s what sales people want! Patience will always pay off. Make sure you take time to cultivate the crops, and then start harvesting.]]>

How to Increase and Measure Phone Leads

The Immediacy of Phone Leads It’s important to make sure you match the mode of communication with the type of leads you’re pursuing.  Forms and emails are popular on the Internet, and it’s very easy for people to just put a form in front of potential customers.  However, certain types of leads really don’t fit a form. Let’s assume you’re house shopping and you go on the Internet.  You find a house you like, you read about it, and it looks really good.  Now, would you want to fill out a form and maybe get a call back tomorrow while you’re at work, or sometime next week? No, you want to know more about it now.  If you fill out a form you never know how quickly somebody is going to get back to you.  It would make more sense to pick up the phone and call the realtor right away.

A Case in Point

We’ve done a lot of work with companies that sell heavy industrial equipment.  We’re talking machines, compressors, generators that sell for several thousands of dollars upwards to hundreds of thousands of dollars.  And, for a good long time we helped them by trying very hard to push people to a form that they could fill out, so that they would give their details and the buyer would get back in touch with them. But the more we spoke to our sellers about the process, the more we found that everybody wanted to call.  Everybody was picking up the phone.  Very seldom were they getting leads coming in off the form.  In fact, when they did receive an inquiry through a form, it generally wasn’t as high quality as a phone lead.  So, we had our ‘eureka moment’ and immediately started putting phone numbers on all of the listings. This was a fantastic benefit and we ultimately ended up setting up tracking numbers for all of the listings, and saw significant increase in overall leads and inquiries and sales.

Thinking Outside the Check Box

I call it ‘tunnel vision’.  Tunnel vision is what you get when you spend so much time trying to push somebody into a lead form, you forget there are other actions you can have them do.  You forget that some of your leads will be female.  You forget about the intimacy of the telephone.  You forget that some leads prefer to come in after making an appointment.  There are a whole lot of actions that could lead to a sale. Too often, when people call a phone number, they instantly assume that whoever they talk to is intimately familiar with the offer or the page, or the exact place where the phone number was published.  While it would be great if that could always be the case, quite often it is not. So that needs to be on the checklist.  When you publish a phone number, and track some elements of it, make sure that you watch the phone numbers, you watch the calls, and look to see if there are a significant number of hang-ups prior to connecting the call, or shortly after the call is connected.  When they stay on the line, what questions immediately are asked?  These elements can all have a large impact on conversions

Trimming the Phone Tree

Phone numbers play a key role because the most qualified customers who have an immediate need want immediate answers.  They want to pick up the phone and speak to somebody who is going to have information. They don’t want to feel like they have just been patched through to a giant phone tree where they have to fend for themselves.  That just feels unprofessional.  It feels unwelcoming. It’s irritating! You don’t want irritated customers before you have even had a chance to start talking about the offer, or what your company can do to get their business, to answer their questions, or solve their problems. In some cases too, connecting to a unique phone line in the office that everybody knows is attached to a specific offer can help improve that, and eliminate that problem. Or think about creating a voice mail that warmly introduces somebody with a name and invites them to leave their question and I will get back in touch with them as soon as possible related to that specific offer that they saw as a way of increasing the warm connection, the warm touch between company and the perspective client.]]>