Following up on leads is essential to the success of your business. Think about it this way, let’s say you’ve been looking everywhere for really cute custom crocheted dog shoes (hey, niches are in right now! but that’s a subject for another blog), and you finally find a company that makes them, hurray!
But then, when you go to contact them, you don’t hear back from them…at all. Or, almost worse, they call you back and hit you with a generic script that was obviously created to try to upsell you, ignoring the fact that you REALLY want those crocheted dog shoes, and if they would just let you place your order you would have paid them by now?!
How likely is it that you will purchase from that company? And even if they do end up making the sale (custom crocheted dog shoes aren’t necessarily the easiest to find), how likely is it that you will become a repeat customer?
Understanding how to effectively follow up on leads can make or break your business. Fortunately, there are some tried and true tips that can help you to create connections with your ideal clientele and establish customer loyalty.
Put It in Your Calendar
It may seem deceptively simple, but just the act of scheduling time to follow up on leads makes you more likely to actually do it.
Schedule time every day just for follow-ups, and make a commitment to sit down and respond to calls, emails, and social media inquiries, and watch as your customer relations transform before your eyes!
Listen to Your Leads’ Needs
Have you ever been trapped in a conversation with someone whose primary objective seemed to be waiting for their turn to talk? What a drag that is! And it inevitably leads to hoping on your part that the conversation, or rather, monologue, will soon end.
A cornerstone of effective communication is respected: respect for the other person’s time, opinions, and concerns. One of the best ways to demonstrate that level of respect is by genuinely listening to the other person.
Pay attention to what your potential customer has to say, listen to any concerns they have, and be sure to tailor your response to their individual needs, rather than reciting some rote reply.
When you show people that you genuinely care about what they have to say, they tend to respond in kind. Listening to your customers is the first step in generating the trust and goodwill that serve as the basis for all good relationships.
Be a Content King (Or Queen)
It’s a good idea to ask yourself a few pertinent questions before posting any content:
- Is it interesting?
- Is it informative?
- Is it relevant?
Many businesses make the mistake of posting content just for the sake of…posting content. While it’s true that posting consistently is an important aspect of an effective social media strategy, it’s equally important to ensure that the content you are posting has a purpose.
Your content should be either interesting, informative, relevant, or optimally all three! Posting interesting content is as easy as asking yourself what your audience might find entertaining and sharing that with them. Remember to prioritize their interests over your own. Think about posting interesting content as giving a gift to your clientele in the form of cute cat videos, even if you, personally, are more of a dogs-prancing-around-in-custom-crocheted-shoes type of person.
Posting informative content can be a little more in-depth. You want to think about what kind of problems or issues your ideal clientele faces, and how you can help them to solve those problems. Ideally, you can share free educational content that brings value to your clients’ lives, as well as showing them how your products or services can help to improve their situation.
Posting relevant content just means that you are sharing content that has something to do with your business and what it has to offer and how it can benefit your customers. So while posting cute cat videos is totally fine, you will definitely want to temper those videos with content that is relevant to your company’s merchandise or services.
Know-How Your Customers Like to Communicate
Some people hate talking on the phone. Like hate it as in they absolutely dread it and it makes them break into a cold sweat at the mere thought of the phone ringing. Other people might feel their eyes glaze over when confronted with a long email.
These are important preferences to know about your clientele. How do you find out how your potential customers like to communicate? Well, you can ask them! Surveys are a great way to discover your audience’s likes and dislikes, and you can ask them how they prefer to communicate at their first point of contact.
Once you know how your people like to interact, respect that. Make a note of whether they want to talk on the phone, email, or text, and put that in your client notes. Paying attention to and honoring how your audience likes to communicate can go a long way toward turning them into loyal customers.
We’ve saved the best for last! While the first 4 steps are important in turning leads into customers, the most critical tip is this: respond as soon as possible. Getting back to your leads quickly shows them that you care about helping them to fulfill their needs, and that their time is valuable to you.
You don’t have to have the perfect script or even have all of the answers to their potential questions ready. The important thing here is simply responding to them promptly. Kind of like with dating, initiating a quick response demonstrates a desire to form a relationship with your lead. In much the same way that you would be put off by a date responding to a message you sent days later, you don’t want to leave your leads hanging.
Most people purchase from the business that gets back to them first, and making that first sale is how you start the process of generating customer loyalty.
The next time you get a lead, you’ll know what to do in order to increase the odds of transforming them into a customer. Schedule time to follow up on leads every day, listen to your leads’ needs, share relevant content, communicate intentionally, and make sure to respond to inquiries ASAP!
If you’re interested in learning more ways to follow up on leads, as well as how to generate leads in the first place, then book a call with Don Creative Group today, and let us show you how it’s done!