Many have searched for a formula or foolproof method to convert leads, only to find one doesn’t exist. With every prospect comes a different set of circumstances, meaning a “one-size-fits-all” sales conversation is impossible. In our experiences at Bluebridge, the people we encounter are as diverse as the industries we serve with mobile apps. But despite our diverse pipeline, we have found three, cross-channel strategies that are proven to turn even cold, hard leads into hot, happy customers. Sales is less like striking a match and more like rubbing two sticks together to light a fire. It takes patience, and these three tricks:
1. Reply quickly
When it comes to converting leads, the old adage “time is money” applies in the most literal sense. According to Forbes, a study found that the odds for turning an inbound lead into a customer skyrockets if contact is made within five minutes of submission, declining dramatically from there. When a prospect fills out a form on your website, sends you an email, or downloads your whitepaper, they’re in buy mode. They don’t stay that way for very long. After waiting five hours, it is 3,000 times less likely that you will make contact with the lead. People are impatient and busy. Being expedient with a reply demonstrates that you care enough to not waste time (theirs and yours). You will save yourself the trouble of having to make four phone calls over a series of several days by being quick instead of one call five minutes after the lead comes in.
2. Ask good questions
Without pain, people won’t buy. Prospects do not buy products, they buy “pain relievers.” At the core, they don’t care about what your product does; only what pain it will eliminate. It is the salesperson’s job to find the problem and provide the solution. In this way, salespeople are less sellers and more like doctors or counselors. Too often, salespeople poke at the prospect, asking “does this hurt? How about this? What about now?” Historically, both in medicine and in sales, this method is ineffective.
Asking good questions is essential to turning leads into customers. A doctor cannot make a diagnosis and provide recommendations without knowing a situation in its entirety. Asking open ended questions, encouraging elaboration and letting the potential customer do the majority of the talking will allow you to make an accurate assessment of their situation.
3. Persistence is paramount
If a lead doesn’t buy immediately, follow-up is crucial. They may not be ready to sign today, but who knows what could happen in the next month or two? According to Online Marketing Institute, it takes an upwards of 7-13 touches to generate a qualified sales lead. Building relationships with potential customers is just like building friendships outside the business setting: it takes time and patience. Be intentional with your communication. While emails are convenient, hitting the “send” button is the most impersonal method of contact. Therefore, emails are best used for information transfer. To have an actual conversation, pick up the phone, or when possible, schedule an in-person meeting. Avoid leaving voicemails. If someone does check their voicemail (many do not), the odds you will get a call in return is slim. Voicemails are reserved for out-of-town family members and salespeople: therefore, hang up and try again later. Continue maintaining contact until the lead blatantly says “no” to buying. Until then, they’re yours to convert.
While there is no perfect script to follow when interacting with leads, replying quickly, asking good questions and being persistent in follow-up are three sure-fire ways to heat up conversion rates.