The second group you need to market to is what I call your "House Prospects" list. These are prospects that have actually contacted your business.
Every time someone contacts your business, you absolutely need to get his or her contact information. If you make a rule out of this, you will, over time, grow a huge list of prospects that are - or once were - interested in your products or services. This is invaluable to your marketing.
For example, at PostcardMania, 6% of our leads close on the first call. But after a month of keeping in contact, 16% of our leads have closed. After a full year, we're at 25%. This is the power of a house list.
But if you don't follow up, guess how many you'll close after the first contact?
Need I go on?
The practice of continually marketing to your house prospect list is called "follow-up," and I will get into more detail on exactly how to do it in Chapter 23. This chapter is about how you can grow your own house prospect list, and it starts with a tool I call "New Caller Sheets." Not every business owner wants his or her potential customers to "call in" and I get that, but keep reading - you'll get the point and be able to apply it in some way to your own business.
New Caller Sheets
When a prospect responds to your marketing and contacts your business, you need to have a system in place that will allow you to capture their identity and contact information. This is important, because as we've learned above, most leads don't close on the first contact.
New lead source information needs to be compiled somewhere so it can be calculated and analyzed. I have found that a great way to do this is with New Caller Sheets.
Here's how it works:
1) First, figure out what data you need from the prospect.
This should include at least the following:
- First and last name
- Best phone number to reach them
- Email address o How they found out about you
- Any other pertinent data needed by you to help make the sale
(industry, product they are most interested in, etc)
2) Create a New Caller Sheet.
This is a sheet of paper or form (or fill-in screen in your database) telling the receptionist or sales rep what data is important to gather and in what sequence.
3) Have the receptionist or sales rep fill in all the data from any new
prospect calling (or walking) in.
A new sheet should be filled out for each new prospect.
4) At the end of each week, make sure all of the information you've gathered is entered into your Customer Relationship Management software, or at least an Excel spreadsheet.
We prefer to have a data entry professional do this rather than having our sales reps do it. The reason for that is when you get into high volumes of leads, you want a great typist entering them so that there are no errors/typos. We lived through this and learned the hard way.
In addition to growing your house prospect list, this information can be used to calculate all kinds of things that are useful to know. Take a look and see if there are additional questions you should be asking your leads.
You should have forms on all your high traffic pages!
Another way to grow your house prospect list is to collect your prospects' information through your website. For many businesses, this is the number one way for people to find them. Luckily, it is fairly easy to figure out what pages should have forms on them. You should have forms on all of your high traffic pages.
In exchange for your prospects' information, you need to offer them something valuable, like a FREE white paper, FREE samples, exclusive content, etc. Filling out a form is nobody's idea of a good time, so you need to make it worth their while.
Once you have instituted these steps, you will begin to grow your very own lucrative House Prospect list. For more information on how to market to your House Prospect list, refer to Chapter 23: Lead Follow-Up Process