Your website is a powerful tool for generating online leads. Your ability to effectively follow-up with each lead is what determines if a lead falls through the cracks or you are able to convert those leads into sales. Too much contact can push a potential client away, while not enough contact will cause them to reach out to competitors who are more attentive. In this post, we will cover best practices for contacting leads so that you can make the most out of your online lead generation efforts.
Speed is Crucial
One of the most important factors in successfully converting internet leads into sales is how quickly you follow-up with a lead. The longer you wait to contact a lead after it is received, the less likely they are going to become a client. Every lead you receive should be contacted immediately, without hesitation. Always be sure to use a system that notifies you through multiple channels including email and text message notifications. This will ensure you are notified of a lead regardless of where you are or what you are doing at that moment.
According to Lead Connect, 78% of customers buy from the first person to respond to their inquiry. If a client has submitted a lead on your website, there is a strong likelihood that they are submitting their information to other companies as well. By not contacting a lead right away, you are leaving the door open for competitors to make first contact. If that happens, you are at a disadvantage for the rest of the sales process.
Many potential clients often submit leads during a window where they have some free time. During the week, this can be during breaks or lunch hours. As a mortgage professional, you are likely working similar hours as your clients and they may not be able to answer your calls outside of those times. By delaying contact, you might miss that window, making it much more difficult to get in touch with someone.
Persistence Pays Off
Equally as important as how quickly you follow up with a lead is how persistent you are. 80% of sales leads require five follow-ups after you first make initial contact according to Marketing Donut. However, only 8% of sales people actually follow up this many times. Almost half give up after just one call!
Remember, as we mentioned earlier, many individuals are working a 9-5 job and you are often attempting to contact people during these hours. It can be difficult connecting with someone during work hours and you may have to try at various times throughout the day before you can reach them. Early morning during commutes, lunch hours, and late afternoons as the work day is ending tend to be best.
We recommend reaching out to leads once or twice a day for the first few days, and once per day for the remainder of the first week. After the first week, you can reduce contact attempts to around three calls per week. If you only contact a lead a few times per week, stick to the middle of the week. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the best days to reach potential clients. Monday and Friday generally have far worse success rates.
Always follow up every phone call with both an email and a text message. If a lead is unavailable to take your call, both will serve as a reminder to contact you when they have time. Keep your email and text follow-ups brief and to the point. Request to schedule a time where you can speak to a lead over the phone. A long-winded generic response will often go unread, and clients know that you are likely copying this same email to all clients. Short emails and texts are far more likely to get a response.
Automation is the Key to Efficiency
In a perfect world, you would always be available to contact a lead the second it comes through, but that simply isn’t the case. That is why it is important to have automated systems in place. Automated email and text message responses after a lead is submitted will buy you a few moments to make contact if you are unavailable as the lead comes through. Keep these messages short as well and use them to simply let your lead know that you will be contacting them very soon.
Automated systems are valuable tools for additional follow-ups as well. As a busy professional, writing and sending personalized texts and emails after each missed call would be too time consuming. Software that allows you to send email and text follow-ups to a client with the click of a mouse is far more efficient than manually typing those messages to a lead. A quality CRM system can accomplish this as well as help you track and manage future follow-ups and additional client information to streamline client relationships.
Keep Referral Partners in Mind
Some leads that you are able to connect with simply might not be able to take advantage of what you are offering at that time. Keep your referral partners in mind in these situations. Some of your partners may be able to help when you cannot. This not only helps you strengthen your relationship with your partners, but it also shows a potential future client that you have their best interests in mind.
Online lead generation is a powerful tool, but how you handle those leads is the most important factor in converting prospects into clients. By taking advantage of these best practices, you will surely see your conversion rates and sales improve. If you have additional questions about managing leads, the advanced marketing experts and 220 Marketing can set you on the path to success.