Anyone that works in sales knows just how important it is to have lead sources to keep their pipeline filled.
Sales leads are the lifeblood of any business.
But it is not only how we obtain the leads that is important, it is what we do with them once we get them.
Don’t Neglect Your Leads
One of the most critical mistakes a sales person can make once they receive a lead, is not acting on it immediately.
One of the most important tasks as a solopreneur is to convert your leads into customers.
The worst thing you can do is ignore your leads.
They’ve taken the time to reach out to you, so the least you can do is respond.
Whether you’re interested in working with them or not, it’s important to at least acknowledge their inquiry.
In order to do this, you must first act on the lead, and then follow up with further communication and meetings.
Leads have a short shelf-life, and the longer you wait to reach out, the greater the chance that the lead will go cold.
Additionally, even if you do eventually reach out to a cold lead, it is much harder to rekindle an old lead than it is to maintain contact with a current one.
The best way to convert leads into customers is to act on them quickly and efficiently.
I once employed a sales representative who belonged to an industry networking group.
The soul purpose of his joining this group was to find new sales leads.
This group wasn’t cheap either, it cost him our company over £1,000 a year for him to be a member.
He would come back from his regular group meetings with fresh leads in his hand and pin them to the bulletin board above his desk, and there it would stay until he noticed them a few days later.
It drove me crazy!
By the time he eventually followed up the contact would have often forgotten who he was, or why they had given him their card.
In sales, and it does not matter what you are selling, every day is critical!
At any moment, your competitor can call your potential customer and walk away with their business.
Follow-Up With Enthusiasm
Another common mistake I have witnessed countless times, is contacting the lead in a timely fashion, but then having absolutely no enthusiasm to make these follow up calls.
When you call a potential customer, smile as you speak to them, the customer will pick up on the inflection in your voice and respond to it.
Don’t act as though the prospective customer is a burden to you, and that you are doing them a favour by calling.
When it comes to your product, you are the expert.
You know what works and what doesn’t, so when it comes to leads, don’t be afraid to take charge.
Your customer is expecting you to know everything.
If your prospect knew what you do they wouldn’t need you.
So make sure they know that you are happy to help them.
Mind Your Telephone Manners
Another no-no when following up on a lead is to yawn, sneeze, or cough into the receiver of the phone.
Yes, these are normal and common bodily functions, but there is no excuse for doing it directly into the receiver.
This is a great way to loose the sale, the yawn alone will most likely make the customer hang up the phone.
Always put yourself in the shoes of the customer.
Imagine meeting someone for the first time over the telephone and your conversation is being interrupted by yawns, and sneezes, I doubt you would be gung-ho about doing business with them.
Following up with a lead and then putting that person on hold is another common mistake I have come across.
Although your reasons for putting your customer on hold may seem very important to you, your customer will find it to be annoying regardless of your reasons.
Reserve Time to Call Your Leads
When you’re making calls to your leads, you want to be able to give them your undivided attention.
That means setting aside a time (and place) when you know you won’t be interrupted.
Whether it’s first thing in the morning before anyone else is in the office, or late at night after the kids are in bed, find a time when you can focus solely on your conversation with your lead.
Match Your Prospect’s Energy Level
Enthusiasm to make a sale can come across as being too pushy.
Just because someone is interested in your product doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy.
Pushing too hard will only turn them away.
Instead, try building a relationship and gaining their trust.
Once they see that you’re genuinely interested in helping them, they’ll be more likely to do business with you.
The next time you receive a new sales lead, act on it immediately.
Let your prospective customer know that you are happy to work with them.
Speak clearly and avoid interruptions.
Make sure your energy and timing matches those of your prospect.
Follow these tips and watch your sales productivity increase!