What’s the point of investing in lead generation if you can’t convert them into clients? You’re right! There is no point. We always hear that we need more leads but yet, the conversion rates are low.
Sales is not a process, it’s a science. Small tweaks can have a serious positive effect on your bottom line. In this article, we go through the 5 secrets every business needs to do to convert leads into long term clients.
When you respond to leads under 5 minutes, you increase your chances of closing the deal by over 50%. In fact, many studies show the first sales agent to respond usually gets the sale at roughly 80% of the time.
Here is a stat that’s disturbing: 50% of leads never get contacted. No follow up at all.
In my company when a lead either calls, text messages us, appears on the live chat or sends us an email, my sales team knows about the 5 minute rule. They know it’s a non-negotiable for me. During the training, I discuss the importance of being available for leads and customers.
This is why I love live chat and text messaging. Let’s face it, email is slow to get responses. I once sent an email to a company because I wanted to buy software from them and the process was to fill out a form. I got a response back 6 months later. On the flip side, I quickly sent emails to prospects and they got back to me when it was too late.
Sales agents typically have 1 to 1 phone conversations. This means the more calls in the queue, the more agents you need to hire to respond to the demand. With text messaging and live chat, one agent can handle roughly 10 concurrent conversations.
When someone sends you a message from an online form during normal business hours, it’s critical that you quickly respond with an automated text message that sounds like a human wrote it. “I received your message. Would you like me to call you now or do you prefer continuing by text?” When they respond, this is where a sales agent can respond within minutes with the appropriate action.
One the most important things you must do as a sales agent is find the reason why they’re reaching out to you.
I remember when I first start selling vacations and people would call, I would note the destination they wanted to visit, where they wanted to leave from, their travel dates and the number of people. And then, I would click search, and wait, and wait, and then I would get the results. I would then start naming flight and hotel packages with their prices. They would ask me specific questions about the hotel I just suggested. They would ask me more questions about the price and if I thought it would go down more. They would ask me how many pools there were. How many restaurants? 20 minutes would go by and then they would ask me “Do you have anything in Mexico?” This is where the frustration would start to kick in and like a great order taker, I would restart the search and the same questions would be asked again. 35 minutes would go by. “We’re just waiting for our passports that should arrive next week but this gives me a great idea, thanks” and I would never hear from them again. Even if they got back to you, the prices and availability changed and other packages are in their budget and honestly, they probably won’t remember where they called.
All this could have been avoided with a few qualifying questions.
Me: “Are you on our website?”
Of course they are, it’s where they got our phone number.
Me: “Did you see any vacation packages you like?”
Lead: “I saw this package at this price.”
People are shopping around and taking tons of notes. They knew more than I did about prices and availability.
Me: “Were you calling to book it?”
Lead: … And here is the reason why they’re calling.
Qualify quickly and spend time on those who need you. While our hearts are in the right place, it’s critical that we spend time on our leads that need us most. While you can supposedly call Zappos, the online shoe store giant, to order pizza, I don’t share their enthusiasm. If someone called me and it wasn’t a fit, I would politely let them know that we unfortunately don’t have that information and let them go.
This will give you more time to spend with good leads. You should should never rush calls or messages with good leads. You just need to avoid spending time on bad calls.
While sales people need to understand the consumer’s problem and the reason they’re calling, there is no better way than educating and prescribing solutions.
If they don’t have their passports, educate them. “I could give you tons of vacation package ideas and prices but it will all change next week. The prices could do up or down, who knows.”
Here is what I suggest we do and this is how people get the best deals on vacations. “I’ll text you my info right away and as soon as you receive your passports, let me know. I’ll call you right away and I’ll help you book your vacation. In the meantime, I would look from time to time to see what’s happening with the prices and availability.”
If they’re ready to buy, educate them and let them know what you would do. Prescribe solutions. “Personally, I would…” “People who purchased this product are really happy with it”.
I’ve often had people call me thinking they needed a certain product or service but was able to sell them the right product. All this, without thinking of the margin. I always prescribe what’s best for this customer.
If your lead starts to ramble off about how they think your products and service are and they are wrong, stop and correct them. It’s about being in control, educating and knowing your stuff. Believe it or not, your answer to objections usually don’t matter. Your job is to make sure they are successful with their purchase. When you’re not afraid at the time of sale to give them some bad news about your products and services, you build trust. You’re telling them, it’s not too late to say no but when you say yes, you won’t have surprises.
Be sure all your documentation has everything wrong about your products and services written in your contracts. If you sell SEO services, be sure you have this in red “It can take up to a year before you start seeing results”
Buying high ticket items can be stressful, especially if a person is in charge of making a purchase that affects others. Take vacations for instance. When I first got into the travel business, I thought what a better product to sell. Little did I know, people were often stressed about making a mistake. They want to make the right choice at the right price. After realizing this, I understood that removing stress by educating them so they can visualize what it will be like living the experience, it removed tons of stress.
I also make it a point to try to get the contact info of others involved. It’s all to the client’s benefit. “I’ll start a group text message for all of us and this way, I can send this information to everyone and you can all ask questions.”
This is marketing 101 but how many sites do we visit that make it difficult for their leads to get to a Yes? The messaging is not right, they have old contact forms and no way to book their products and services online.
If you’re just getting started, I suggest you add live chat and allow your leads to call and text message you.