How many leads have come into your business that did not close? How many leads have come into your business since the beginning of time that never closed? I bet there are a lot.
Whether you are a small company or a large one, the best leads are always the ones that are easy to close. But what about the prospects you reached but never closed? They are in an abyss - The Unclosed Sales Lead Abyss, technically speaking.
What are you doing to follow up? Are you following up? Do you have a fixed idea in mind about when those leads become dead? What does it cost you to get that lead?
Let's look at a hypothetical analysis:
- Postcard marketing experts tell you to send out 5,000 postcards
- It costs you $2,000.00 to send out those postcards
- You do that and you get 50 calls
- That cost is $40.00 per lead
Not bad. Now let's talk Return On Investment (ROI).
The ROI of this example is as follows:
- You make $2,000.00 off of every close.
- You close 20% out of those 50 calls (10 sales).
- You made $10,000
- Take away the 2 grand for the postcards = $8,000.00.
That is decent ROI, but what about the 40 leads that never closed? That is $1,600 sitting out there on table, spent with no return.
Now ask yourself, how many of your leads don't close per month? Take that theoretical situation and multiply $1,600 by the other 11 months. That is a chunk of change that you are basically blowing.
Don't get discouraged. Getting educated in marketing and determining your ROI is a major step in the right direction. Great ROI is what you should be going for, but don't stop there. There is more to sniff out.
So, what are you doing to get all of those that initially reached for your product or service?
How many phone calls do you make before you
decide that a lead is "unclosable"?
Zero… two… three? Did you leave a message on their voicemail and they didn't call back so you dropped them?
How many in a sales force are simply cherry picking their leads, so to speak, and not closing or following up with the rest? How many of these dropped leads do you have built up? Can you see the waste?
You need to follow up. Even if you didn't get the ROI you anticipated or needed, you still need to follow up. But how? More specifically, what kind of campaign should you do to get even more ROI? Good question. Here's the answer.
First of all, realize that these prospects reached for you, your product or service and you CAN rehabilitate that initial interest. They are much easier to close and more valuable than someone who has never shown interest in your product or service before. Build on that.
For follow-up, it is extremely important to have a set schedule in place. So you should set up what's called a "funnel" system. The prospect will be contacted regularly over time through a variety of mediums.
3 days after call in: Follow-up phone call
7 days after call in: Added to follow-up postcard drip campaign list
2 weeks after call in: First email from follow-up email campaign
3 weeks after call in: Another follow-up call
6 weeks after call in: Second email from drip campaign
8 weeks after call in: Third call attempt
Again, that is just an example. You will need to tailor it to your business. Here is what should be involved:
Step One: Email Drip Campaign
Create a series of emails to go to your prospects at set intervals based on when they were added to your email list. This type of email campaign is called an "Email Drip Campaign."
It is set up to deliver emails automatically and can consist of as many emails and over whatever time period you would like. The best way to set up a campaign like this is to use email marketing software. Do some research to find a company that fits your needs, but make sure they allow you to set up trigger-based emails (emails that get sent automatically when a certain "trigger" occurs).
Start with six messages where one message is sent to the email list each month for six months.
These emails would be designed to warm up leads and get them interested enough to contact you again and be easily sold to.
Keep in mind, in order for this to be successful, you need to do everything you can to collect email addresses from your new leads and keep them current in your database and add these new leads to your drip campaign email list.
Every week, you should make sure all the new leads from that week have been added to the list to receive these emails.
Step Two: Email Newsletter
In addition to the email drip campaign, these prospects should receive a monthly email newsletter. You should be able to come up with a monthly email newsletter that would be appropriate for all of your prospects and clients. Each issue would contain new testimonials, news about what's happening at your company or in the industry, announcements about new staff members, but mostly helpful information about the solution your product or service provides that will assist the reader and be of value to them. If the newsletter is all about you and your company, it will be quickly deleted.
Step Three: Direct Mail
Implement a 3-postcard drip campaign for those prospects that contact you but don't close. These can be similar to your raw prospect postcards with the addition of something like, "Thank you for your interest!"
You'll need to have a mailing list specifically for these cards and update the list with all new prospects before you mail it each month.
You will also need to then remove contacts from this list once they have become customers so you don't continue to ask a person to do something they've already done!
Step Four: Phone Calls
Prospects should receive regular phone calls to touch base and check their status.
A final tip is that different people need different amounts of communication. When I tell you to hit your target list over and over again, the reason is because people move at different speeds in life and in business. Some call after just the first time and some others call after the second time and others call after the 5th time, etc.
Me? I'm fast…I see something I want and I go get it. But my husband is a bit more pragmatic. He'll research and discuss for a while before purchasing. A lead is anyone that saw your ad and had some level of interest. You can't possibly know what level of interest they had. So you have to assume it is a low level. It is your job as a marketer to warm those leads up over time until they eventually close. I have literally kept the same businesses on my prospect list from the time they got on it until now. A few weeks ago we sold a campaign to a lovely naturopath physician that has been in my database since 2005 (six years). After a couple of years, we only promote to the prospect a few times per year but we never give up on them.
Now, with those that have called in right away you may have closes that are slam dunks, but others operate differently when it comes to closing. So don't just waste those leads. Consistently put out your communication in the same way you did with your initial mailings, but with a more personalized message. You will be glad you did.