You paid for creative services, placed an ad, mailed the brochure, created a spectacular website and e-marketing campaign. Now it’s finally happened — you get a lead. Then what? Believe it or not, almost 50% of all inbound sales leads are never followed up. It’s the missing piece.
The statistics on how many follow up contacts are needed after a prospect responds are equally instructive. Most sales aren’t made on the first contact, even the second. But on the 4th or 5th contact, 80 percent of sales are made!
Don’t pin all of our hopes on creative services. A great marketing message will attract immediate attention but with an estimated 5,000 such messages a day, people need reminding that YOU were the one they noticed!
The lesson is simple. Creative services need to be integrated with sales tactics, like simple follow up calls. And once is not enough.
The reasons for lack of follow-up are varied: it costs more to add a sales component; many mistakenly believe that catchy creative will be enough. The biggest block, however, is the simple dislike of making calls, or the fear of “harassing” a prospect.
The earlier your follow up the better
Timing is also critical. When someone shows interest in your product or service, the faster you respond, the better. One Harvard Business Review study reported that companies that attempt to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving queries are nearly 7 times as likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers. When it comes to online response, even waiting an hour makes a difference.
Companies simply cannot build a customer base without a sales component. When you find yourself resisting the “follow up” step, or putting it off until tomorrow, visualize the return you’ll get from that call—not perhaps on that first follow up, but by the 3rd or 4th.
In the words of Andy Paul, author or The Essential Elements of Effective Sales Lead Follow-up, “Every inbound sales lead is like a scratch-off lottery ticket. You don’t know what you have until you scratch the wax off the face of it and see what you have won.”
Don’t wait until the next day to see if you are a winner. Treat your inbound sales leads like potential lottery winners.