If you look back five or six years ago the recommended time to respond to a lead was 24 hours or the next day. This was expected by the consumer and was a standard practice of most companies. But today the traditional lead time has become much smaller. Customers are looking for an almost instant response for their inquires. After 5 minutes they are moving on to the next company that can potentially help them. If it takes longer than 5 minutes to respond to a lead your chances of closing the lead diminish drastically.
There are some things you can do to minimize lead loss, nurture leads and increase your conversion rate.
Answer the phone – This sounds silly but a large number of small businesses don’t answer their phones. And the home improvement industry has some of the worst statistics for answering the phone and returning calls. By being the first live person a consumer talks to, your close rate increases dramatically.
Skip the sales pitch – Aggressive sales tactics are a thing of the past. Thanks to the internet consumers are able to research a product or service before making a purchase. This means that in many cases they have already formulated an opinion about your product or service and are looking for a solution to an existing problem or the benefits of the product or service. Providing your USP (unique selling proposition), what sets you apart from other companies selling the same thing.
Provide more information – We know that most consumers will have done some research before calling or stopping by your business so offering additional information, be it brochures, an information video or FAQ information will be appreciated. This will also help to build trust and show that you have their best interest in mind.
Next Steps – Once you’ve converted a prospect to a customer, the next steps are easy. But, when a lead needs more time to process the information or is having a hard time making a decision it is imperative that you keep in contact with them. You need to suggest that the communication continues to move forward. Most leads drop off the radar at this point because the sales person doesn’t follow up or follows up too much . By asking the prospect if following up with them in a week is reasonable this will set the stage for your next call.
Make yourself available – When the prospect has made a decision to go with your business, they want to do it in the moment. Provide your prospect with easy access to you so that you are available when they are ready to buy. If you know you’re not going to be available make sure you have a backup plan for someone else to handle the call for you.
Today’s consumer is more educated and smarter. In most cases they have already done their research, read online reviews and have learned all about your products or services. The best advice to increase your online lead conversion is to be honest with your prospects and customers, be prepared to educate your prospects, be available and operate with high integrity.