Perseverance is key when trying to gain new business from prospective leads.
Most businesses don’t follow up on the majority of their leads and lose contact which is the equivalent of giving up on a lead and losing the potential sale.
The Point of Failure
Typically marketing generates leads, these are compiled into a list or database before being handed over to the sales team to process the list to create customers.
A couple of leads will be converted to customers immediately, although this is no more than a few percent.
A significantly higher number will decline and be removed from any further marketing. in some cases this can be approximately half of all records.
The rest haven’t explicitly responded positively or negatively and after a few more attempts at contact a sales team will give up on these leads, feeling as if they’re being strung along and that their time can be better served processing through other leads.
This chunk of leads is often in the region of 40% of a list/database which are still potential customers being cast away because of a few non committal responses.
There can a number of reasons behind their avoidance of a definitive yes or no answer. For some it might not be the best time for them when they are being contacted or their priorities lie elsewhere for the time being.
It’s a well known fact that some leads need to be contacted 10 times before they are converted into customers, sometimes with weeks or even months between those contacts.
Keeping in Touch
You should make sure your sales team are keeping in contact with these undecided leads to ensure you stand the best chance of converting them when the time is right.
Provide them with the latest information available, keeping your business fresh in their minds going forward. If you’re sending them irrelevant information then they’re bound to unsubscribe former service or respond with a no.
Don’t limited yourself to any one single method of contact either. Despite the fact that emails are an easy way to maintain contact with a lead, sometimes they would prefer to speak to you directly through a phone call. Even a letter or postcode can serve as a direct reminder of your continued interest in their custom.
Length and Regularity of Contact
There is a saying in sales ‘they either buy from you or they die’
This isn’t to be taken in the literal sense but in terms of how long you should keep contacting leads. Keep in touch until such time as you get your definitive yes or no response.
If they’re no longer interested they’ll unsubscribe from your service. In some cases it can take months for a conversation to take place but you must keep the door open.
As for the regularity of contact it can vary depending on each lead but most are easily irritated if you’re contacting them too often. This decision however is influenced by the quality of the information being provided to them.
They’re more likely to turn away and become irritated by poor marketing and label it as spam. If you’re sending them golden nuggets of information regularly they might even go so far as accept contact as often as every week.
Always remember that, just like in other aspects of life, perseverance is key.