Congratulations, you did it, you have perfected your online marketing strategy. Your prospects filled out your form, responded to your email, or reached out to you directly for more information. You have leads that are interested but now you don’t know how to respond to them. As a lead generation specialist, I hear this problem a lot from my customers. Here are some helpful tips to walk you through the follow up process for your digital leads.
Speed matters, but so does research.
Typically when it comes to prospects reaching out, response time is king. According to Hubspot, a prospect is 100 times more likely to enter the sales process if they are responded to within 5 minutes versus 30 minutes after being submitted. However, this doesn’t mean you need to figure out how to somehow make your pitch apply to that specific person within that time frame. Typically, a lead will reach out by asking a specific question (Does your service integrate with this platform, do I get a dedicated account manger, do you have tiered offerings etc.) or they are requesting more information. For these types of responses, you can often times answer their specific question right away within that 5 minute time frame.
If your prospect is a B2B client and you have their company name, after answering their question, see if you can find out some additional information about them online. You can then personalize this for the follow up message through email or LinkedIn. An example would be:
Hi John, thank you for inquiring about my services. I was browsing LinkedIn and saw we had some mutual connections and thought I would reach out. I noticed you have been with Technology Corp for 10 years as an IT executive. Is there any way I could make your job easier?
Adding personalization after the initial follow up will not only make you stand out, it will give you something to relate to your prospect about. This will ultimately make it easier to engage with them and move them down your sales funnel. Some things you can and should do on LinkedIn to relate to your prospects are:
- Looking at your mutual connections.
- Look at their current position and past work history.
- Mention some work achievements/awards they won or articles they have written.
- See any past events they attended or are planning to attend.
- Look at some recent posts they created.
If they reached out and gave you a phone number, but asked for more information instead of a specific question, CALL THEM. Remember, talking to someone over the phone or face to face is the holy grail of any kind of digital marketing strategy. So if your prospect gives you that option, take it!
When you do reach out, don’t hard close them on first contact.
Reaching out is great, but a lot of the time prospects want to know some additional information before they make a purchase. This is why you should NEVER try and close your prospect within the first reach out until you provide the real value of your service or product. At the end of the day, you may know what you are offering is a great fit for them, but most likely they are going to need some convincing. That is why it helps to frame a second talk to get them on the phone or in person to see if what your offering is right for them. An example of this would be:
Hey John, in order for me to see if this is going to be a great fit, I would like to set up a time where I can have a quick chat with you. How does Tuesday at 1pm sound?
Not only does this control the conversation over to a call or meeting, it also puts your prospect on the spot. If they are really looking at your service or product, they are more likely to commit to a meeting time that YOU set, or at least respond with a time that works better for them. This way, you aren’t waiting for them to “maybe” pick a time and you can control them further down your pipeline. This also separates you from the sale since you are telling them your product might not even work for them. This makes you seem less pushy and makes you easier to talk to.
After you set up a time, make sure you both follow through.
Sometimes life happens, people get busy or you have a flat tire. It happens. If they show up to your initial call/meeting great! If not, don’t give up! It can take 3-8 follow ups sometimes to close a deal, but most sales reps stop at the initial 3, if they even reach that many at all! You will know when your prospect is serious or not but you don’t want to leave yourself wondering what could have been. If you use this system, you will close more deals and your sales funnel will grow along with it.