Each lead that you acquire in your business has the potential to be a customer that provides a long term stream of revenue for years into the future. The problem for small and midsize business owners is that they do not know how to properly turn business leads into long term customers because they fail to follow up with the lead in a timely manner. To many business owners the idea of following up on business leads seems pretty simple, but the inability to follow up within the right time frame and provide the lead with the information that would close the sale often gets mishandled. Here a re a few techniques the business owner should employ when following up with business leads.
One of the most glaring reasons that many business owners do not have success when it comes to their leads is that nearly 50% of business leads are never followed up. But even when the 50% of leads are followed up many business owners take too long to reach the potential customer. When a customer takes the time to make an inquire on a website it means that they have a question that they need addressed. Usually the first person to answer that question gets the sale. By not responding to a sales lead in a timely manner you are giving the potential customer the feeling that their business is not a priority even before they do business with you. If they already are not confident in your company why would they ever want to do business with you.
It is common sense you should reply to all the business leads into your company, and reply in a timely manner if you expect to land the customer. A recent study by Harvard Business Review shows that if you are not responding to that lead within an hour that you are seven times less likely to close the deal. For each minute that passes before you follow up with the customer your competition is angling to get that customer away from you. Set up a notification system so you can respond within thirty minutes of a lead and your sales will increase dramatically over the next month.
When you receive business leads on your website you should respond via e-mail within an hour of the lead. You should never call the sales lead unless they specifically ask to be called in the contact. Usually a lead will tell you the best way to reach them. If you respond to that lead in the way they asked and you do not hear back from them by end of business you can follow up with a phone call only to ensure that they did receive your initial e-mail reply. Whether you reach them by phone or not be sure to follow up again by e-mail the next day and let the customer know that you tried to reach out with help and were unsuccessful. For whatever reason they were unavailable to connect with you, it will go a long way in building customer confidence and credibility.
When a customer asks for you to call them be certain to call immediately and be responsive to all their concerns. Answer their questions with detailed information and position yourself as an expert in the field. Building trust and giving the customer the impression you are knowledgeable about the information they desire will help you to close the sale faster. performance again in a month.
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