Industry standards show that almost 50% of sales leads are not pursued. From a business-minded standpoint, that’s pretty low. Imagine all the lost revenue!
Although customers can be indecisive in their purchasing decisions, not having the determination to follow up on a possible lead is the quickest way to ensure that you and your business never receive that prospective sale. Even when the leads are followed up on and the customer still decides to back out, sales associates make sure to correct any mistakes possibly made that cost your company the sale. The first step, therefore, to making a sale is the follow up. Applying some new sales philosophies toward your marketing strategy can also help improve your company.
Let’s stay focused, however, and go over that first step a bit. (Guest Post)
If someone poses a question, concern, or complaint to your company, it should always be followed up upon. If disrespectful and/or negative comments or concerns are voiced on review or social media sites, they should have first priority to be followed up upon. By responding to your criticisms, you are showing potential customers that you are prepared for all criticism and negative press and you handle it professionally. For example, a customer may make a valid complaint. Showing the public that you acknowledge their complaint and plan to address it is great for customer relations. Questions should be answered with response emails, comments or blog posts in a timely and professional manner. Imagine that every unanswered response by your company is one dollar. How many dollars are you losing? Hint: It should be zero.
Keep Things Punctual
As briefly mentioned before, not only do customers appreciate personal and professional responses to their queries, they are also more likely to purchase a product if their question or request is responded to in a timely fashion. In fact, the quicker the response, the better your chances are of receiving a sale. Customer service is crucial to following leads. Companies such as Zappos and Amazon take this ideal to the extreme, spending a large portion of their time and money on the customer experience – all for that one sale. Try it yourself. Ask Amazon or Zappos a question about any product, they’ll get back to you faster than you can look up their competitors. Make no mistake, customers will go to your competitor if they have the answers they need and you’ll be playing catch-up from that point. You should be focusing on being productive preventing the customer from needing that in the first place.
Keeping promises to your customers is a huge reflection of your business model and ethics. Customers notice features like that. Keeping commitments can be something simple as always honoring a discount, guarantee, or special. It can take the form of always sticking to your business model or whatever aspect makes your business special. Change is inevitable in businesses, but sometimes staying the same is the best way to keep your customers coming back for the goods and services they know and love. Customers can see ethics in business. They can see your morals and drive. They’re as much of a guide on how to run your business as your profits are. Listen to them, and they’ll keep coming back.
Build a Relationship
A friendly face almost always persuades unsure customers whether or not to do business with your company. Companies that have a personality are much easier to trust. A friendly spokesperson, a charismatic CEO, or friendly staff can personify personalities and the trust built by them. Whichever way it gets done, the principle stays the same – customers don’t want to feel like customers. They want to feel like a friend, someone who you’re truly excited to be working with. Building that friendly and professional personality is a key part in getting customers back to close the deal and to follow up the lead.
The moral of the story here is that sales leads are only one half of what your business should be doing. Sure, getting them in the door is important, but what’s more important is keeping them there.
This article was written by Eric Knoepfler in association with Online Optimism, a New Orleans based digital marketing company. Image credit: SalFalko