Have you ever submitted a question or inquiry and never heard back? Did that affect your decision to purchase or not from that business? I suspect you're nodding your head or have a smirk across your face.
Unfortunately, many leads are not being responded to, followed up with, or nurtured properly. Frankly, the root of the challenge is at the foundation of discipline. If we’re honest, following up with customers isn’t hard, it’s simply a task that one may not want to follow through with.
Lead Response Time Matters
Imagine walking into a showroom and waiting 46 hours and 53 minutes before being greeted. Did your jaw hit the ground? This is the average digital lead response time based on Forbes.com. If this was you or me, we would have walked out after five minutes and found a different company to do business with. Don’t you think the digital customer feels the same way?
➡️Take Action: Identify your current lead response time if you were unable to during our exercise. Determine the best way to reduce this time incrementally down to 10 minutes or less.
Anticipate the Lead
Anticipating the lead is more than looking to see if they have submitted a question; it’s about predicting their next steps. Every action we take can and will influence a customer’s purchase journey, whether that is to purchase or not to purchase. If this is true, why not leverage each step of the customer’s buying journey to ensure we are building a relationship, earning the appointment and ringing the bell?
Take Action: Review three recent customer inquiries. Identify key messaging in the details that can be leveraged to provide an exceptional digital experience and influence the customer’s journey.
Cadence is Necessary
Consistent follow up cadence is more than just checking off a checkbox on your to-do list. Cadence is a workflow in which each touchpoint has a clear and concise objective: nurture the lead. As digital sales people, our goal is to earn trust, build a relationship, and guide the customer’s next steps, even if they are not ready to buy… yet. Successful lead nurturing anticipates the needs of the customer based on who they are and where they are in the buying process. This is often developed over a course of cadence and time, not all at once. It takes 7-21 touches on average before next-stepping a customer. Note that the customer has likely inquired at numerous locations and is more than likely looking for more than just the best price.
➡️Take Action: Here is an example 30-day cadence you might consider adopting. Commit to a seven-day cadence. Once mastered, increase to 10 days, 15 days, and so on.
- Day 1: Call, Text, Email
- Day 2: Call, Text, Email
- Day 3: Call, Text, Email
- Day 5: Text, Call
- Day 7: Text, Call
- Day 10: Call, Text, Email
- Day 15: Call, Text, Email
- Day 20: Text, Call
- Day 25: Text, Call
- Day 30: Call, Text, Email
If it takes up to 21 touches on average before next-stepping a customer, here are 26 outbound particles to get you started.
Accountability is Key
Not only must we be accountable to ourselves and our team, we must be accountable to the lead. By following our follow up cadence, completing our scheduled activities and asking the right questions, we are setting the foundation for digital sales excellence.
Successfully working a lead doesn’t always lead to a sale. However, it does always result in an experience. The trust created and relationship established can be built upon. Remember, “no” doesn't always mean “no” forever, just “no, not right now”.
➡️Take Action: Try these two tactics. One, call twice in a row. Do not leave a message the first time. Hang up and call immediately after. Two, call in the morning and late afternoon. Most customers work during the day and may not be available to answer a personal phone call.
To learn more about our four proven best practices and how you can track your lead response time, ensure consistent cadence and hold yourself and your accountable, please contact Travis Winkleman at TravisW@DLPspeed.com to learn more about LeadHelm, your digital sales solution software.