Do you want to close more sales leads online?
If you’re like most business owners or sales professionals the answer is a definite YES. And yet, having worked with many companies and professional practices to generate online sales leads since 2008, one factor stands out above the rest.
Getting the lead is only the BEGINNING of your sales process.
Pretty obvious stuff, to be sure.
But there’s much more to closing leads then picking up the phone and calling…
The truth about online sales leads
If you have come by here before and browsed through even a couple of articles you may have noticed one recurring theme.
And that is… PROCESS, PROCESS, PROCESS.
Every aspect of your business, if you really want to be successful, has to be developed into a process that you actually…
- think about
Does that sound like a lot of work?
But you’re in business to make money, right?
The investment in time and mental energy will be worth it. Let’s see how this relates to closing more sales leads and what the “typical” sales person does when he or she gets a lead.
Understanding “Lead Flow”
I started using the term “lead flow” in late 2008 when I was helping a friend (and client) close more leads for one of his online training programs.
As an aside, you need to move beyond the simplistic and dangerous model of thinking about marketing as a “funnel.”
Because funnel imagery presupposes that: (1) gravity does all the work, (2) all the “leads” entering your funnel will get processed into actual business, and (3) a wider or larger funnel will automatically translate into more business for you.
Closing more business is about getting the RIGHT people into your sales process (targeting, pre-qualifying) rather than creating a wider opening to cram people into your “process.”
And lead flow basically involves your interaction with a lead starting from BEFORE the person becomes a lead all the way through your sales process until one of two possible outcomes occurs for you: closed business… or not.
In fact, too many times sales people waste precious time following up with people who are not a good or legitimate candidate for your products and/or services.
In each step in the process, you need to start by entering into your customer’s mindset:
- what are they looking for or what is their problem BEFORE they become a lead
- why did they choose to become your lead (i.e. what language did you use that resonated with them)
- what do they expect from you
- what do you need them to do to continue along your sales process
That will help you to design a systematized process for following up with them effectively.
Now, though a specific follow up process may differ from business to business, you can imagine a simplified version to look something like this:
- Marketing message
- Creation (or purchase) of a lead
- Initial contact (by phone, email or auto-responder message)
- Pre-qualification & initial call to action
- Follow up contact & call to action
- Closed lead
How to close more leads
For each step in the process, you must first have a DEFINED GOAL. That allows you focus each step toward the desired outcome(s), as well as providing you with a metric for measuring success.
Additionally, each step should have a “plan B” of follow up for moving the process forward in case your initial goal is not achieved.
For example, a good friend (and client) recently called to let me know that he has been very successful at signing people up for 10 hours of personal coaching. However, some people (about 10 to 15%), though they paid for all 10 hours, only show up for 2 or 3 and then don’t attend any more sessions. His obvious concern is that they’ll eventually ask for a refund (not good). So we came up with a way where he can communicate value to them and encourage them to attend more sessions with him in a way that communicates empathy and value.
In other words, you may encounter resistance or “obstacles” that impact your “lead flow” during each step in your sales process. When this happens you need to come up with creative solutions for moving the process along, but only for qualified prospects.
Makes sense, right?
And finally, for each step in the process you need to be prepared.
You can’t imagine how many times I have heard from people who have become leads that the salesperson calling them was:
- Unprepared (lack of knowledge, information, focus, calling from car)
- Rude (loud, poor use of language, “pushy”)
- Lack of follow up (never sent requested information, missed phone or face-to-face appointments)
- Or they were never contacted by anyone
And whether your own website generates leads, or you purchase them from a lead provider, you simply cannot afford to be lazy or sloppy with the leads coming your way.
FYI: we currently generate (directly or for clients) more than 229 leads per month across 4 different niches/industries…
Does that make sense?
So if you really want to close more leads in the future, you really need to:
- define your sales process
- create materials as part of your follow up to differentiate you from other companies, and
- use each step outlined the process to achieve defined (and definable) goals.
If you would like to review or analyze your sales process simply give me a call and leave a voice message.
Call: 888.542.2936 Today…
I will then follow up with you within 2 business days to schedule a strategy session with you.
To your online success.