There was an interesting stat out of the Harvard Business Review on the importance of timely responses when it comes to following up with online leads. The data originally came from a study of 2,241 U.S. firms.
“Companies who contact potential customers within an hour of receiving queries are nearly 7 times as likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers as firms that try to contact prospects even an hour later.
Yet only 37% of companies respond to queries within an hour.”
Recently I offered to help a sales person in a Facebook sales group Sales Talk with Sales Pros posted this request:
“I have to deal with lots of tire kickers. I have a standard “welcome email” that explains our pricing and I am not sure it is being effective. Can anyone here review it and help me improve it?”
It was an easy fix… because he was doing one of my pet peeve sales fails… NOT PICKING UP THE PHONE.
He may have responded immediately, but he DIDN’T PICK UP THE PHONE.
He sent an email…. AND… YIKES… get ready… ASKED THE CUSTOMER TO RESPOND AND CONTACT HIM TO SET UP THE APPOINTMENT.
If your sales reps are doing this…I’ll be very disappointed if you don’t take the advice I gave this rep.
His company is giving him the lead from their website where the person has requested a sales rep call them.
And what is he doing?
Sending an email.
Thank you for calling us regarding your pool build. My name is (xxxx) and I will be the designer for your pool. I wanted to give you some information about our company, process, and also find a time to set up a meeting together to discuss your build.
The next few paragraphs are about the company, how they are the high end providers of pools, an average high end pool price, awards they’ve won.
Okay, I’ll give him some benefit of the doubt… he’s setting up proof and value.
Here’s what’s next…
What does your schedule look like in the coming week? I would like to set up a meeting with you here at the showroom to discuss design likes and dislikes. Looking forward to hearing back from you soon. to set up the meeting.
OMG…. I’m flabbergasted!
This HOT lead – well okay – LEAD – engaged, raised their hand, took action to give name, email and phone number. Screamed CALL ME!
And what do they get… an email with an assignment!
Here are the 3 big sales fails in the way this lead was handled.
Sales Fail #1: Didn’t Pick Up The Phone
Sales Fail #2: Delays and Extends the Sales Cycle
Sales Fail #3: Pisses Off the Buyer
Believe it or not, buyers DO want to be sold.
They do want and expect the sales rep to work and earn their business.
By work, I mean take the initiative to pick up the phone and call them.
NOT give the buyer an assignment to call them first especially when the buyer raised their hand.
I’ll stop venting here and suggest you find out what your reps are doing with your leads and help them avoid these 3 sales fails and close more deals.