The Winter Games remind us that speed and quality are the catalysts for competing and winning. The same can be said for competition in your market and industry.
We all recognize that attracting Potential New Clients (PNC) to your website and getting them to contact your office is expensive. The cost can range anywhere from $25-$300+ per lead.
In addition, we also know consumers will shop and contact other competitors. A Lead Qual study of over 70,000 leads showed that consumers submit an average of 3-5 forms for each purchase. And the number of submissions is likely higher for more sophisticated professional services, like yours.
It’s About Speed
Just because your website marketing generates a lead doesn’t guarantee your practice will convert it into a consultation, or even connect with the PNC.
In fact, the same study data found that the first to actually contact a lead increases conversions into business by a whopping 238%!
There are numerous other studies and statistics on sales intake and conversions that support the critical importance of immediate response and follow up.
And most practice owners recognize the need to accelerate their lead response times. But how? (Here is a hint: See the 4 tips at the end of the article.)
It’s About Quality
In addition to speed, your sales follow up needs to differentiate you from competitors, build credibility and rapport, and motivate the PNC to engage with your practice.
When I secret shop practices as part of our evaluation, I find that the vast majority of practices respond to form submissions in nearly the exact same manner. They are vague in their response and many times never answer the original question. They all immediately request the PNC to schedule a personal consultation, but do nothing to truly earn the opportunity.
Here is an actual and common response to an inquiry that asked for service details and pricing:
Good Afternoon Angela,
Thank you for contacting XXXXX XXXXXX. I’d love to answer any questions that you may have and schedule a complementary consult for you. Please give me a call back at the office at (XXX) XXX-XXXX at your earliest convenience.
Christina X. XXXXX
New Client Coordinator
In this case, the intake person never even identified the name of the practice. Keep in mind, PNCs will receive multiple responses from numerous inquiries they submitted.
We also find that the vast majority of practices only follow up with leads one time. If the prospect doesn’t reply, the lead is simply dropped.
Even if you respond within minutes, it probably will not matter if there is very little thought that goes into it, and no additional efforts to connect with PNC. Quality follow up can make a tremendous difference if you take steps to:
- Address the PNC’s question in the best possible manner. Nothing turns off a prospect more than having their questions completely ignored and replaced with your agenda.
- Utilize empathy, build trust and reduce fear to build more rapport and connection
- Provide relevant information that goes beyond what they get from competitors
- Start asking useful and caring questions that engage (and even help qualify) the prospect.
The following are four tips to add speed and quality to your follow up.
- Technology - Consider leveraging technology to notify you when email leads come into the practice. Whether you use intake designated cell phones and notification for intake staff or utilize automated call connect technology, you will close more leads with more immediate follow up.
- Create New Resources - Develop online consumer resources for your sales intake team to link to in email follow up. You can provide much more information, create more engagement, continually brand your practice and even help build SEO credibility by generating repeat visits to your website.
- Remarket – Develop follow up campaigns to provide these high quality visitors more information and reasons to connect with you. Remarketing can be in the form of personalized email, display ads, and database marketing. One-time follow up is not enough for non-bonded leads.
- Competitive Research – To truly differentiate your intake and follow up from your competitors, you need to know what they are doing and compare it to your own. How quickly do they respond? What resources do they provide? Do they promote unique offers? How engaging and knowledgeable are their people?
Check out some of our previous articles that address the need to constantly improve your intake and follow up strategies, and how to utilize email more effectively.
- Market To Your Branded Search Audience and Boost ROI
- Converting Email Leads – 13 Tips
- Why You Should Be Using Email Marketing
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