Oh, you work in Sales? So you know what it means to keep a lead hot and ensure they don’t get cold?
Raise your hand if you have ever had a lead that went rogue at the last minute and you had no idea why. It’s a bummer that this happens everyday to sales professional and marketers, because it typically stems from a total lack of understanding of the impact their communications efforts have on their leads.
Those who are trying to close deals using lead generation techniques through social media and content, need this post. And if you’re a marketer who’s tired of explaining to clients why they aren’t finding ROI from social media, bookmark this one.
While we strive for the opposite – Here are a few ways businesses and professionals can ensure their leads in social go cold:
1. Only communicate on your terms and your turf.
Have you ever filled out an application and only asked for a phone number? From there, you’re added to a list of potential leads and are called over and over again for the next two months. If only this business would have had the decency to figure out how they could BEST reach you would they actually have a shot.
At the end of the day, in a world of every changing technology and shifting forms of communication. It’s become obvious that some people prefer email, others like to pick up the telephone, some want to tweet at you, some want to live chat and a handful want to actually drop into your office and meet your team. If you’re not providing customers with an opportunity to meet you on their own terms; you could very well be missing out on a big segment of your business. It’s your job as a sales professional to open up as many opportunities for communication between leads and you as possible. Your team will love you for it, and so will the finance team.
2. Take things slow. Like, as slow as you would in Jr. High.
So I’m ready to sign the bottom line on a deal but you want to show me a few additional bells and whistles. You know, the flashy analytics dashboard that will provide me with deep insights into my customers and that cool warranty that I’m probably going to ignore anyway. Cut. It. Out. This is a sure fire way to make a potential lead lose interest, change their mind, take this to “the higher-ups” or urge them to consider the competition.
When you’ve found a lead on Twitter, Facebook or through your blog you can’t just sit on them like a Sumo Wrestler. Take this lead, nurture it and as soon as you’ve entered the purchase stage you need to identify how you can close that deal before it’s too late. Don’t go for the up-sale immediately, start with the sale as it stands and then consider the possibility of an up-sell down the road. How do you do that?
Be Effective. As soon as the deal is done, give the new customer a few hours or days with the product and then follow up (on their terms, see rule #1) and discuss their experience.
3. Follow up over and over and over…..and over again.
Take it from me. If you’ve been trying for the last few months and are still not getting any response, call it a night and come back later. This isn’t a lead playing hard to get, it’s a lead who’s about to unsubscribe from your mailing list and block you on Twitter.
Often, a lead will provide you with a wide variety of information simply to recieve a quality piece of information from you. Sometimes it means they want regular content from you but that doesn’t always mean they are looking for constant pitches. I’m sure you go through your own inbox and think to yourself, “Time to delete these 30 unopen emails, why don’t I just unsubscribe from these?” Think about how often is too much and understand that there is a thin line between following up and being annoying.
Be on the right side of that fence and you’ll be in the customers good book.
4. Fill their inbox with larger than life PDFs
Now, it’s one thing to fill an inbox with frequency. It’s another to fill an inbox with a file the size of Africa.
Chill out on the large interactive PDF that has a video embedded with a dynamic voice over connected to the flash animation on page five. Understanding the ideal size of an email to send a potential customer is quite simple. If the file and email is expected; feel free to send a large one. If the file isn’t expected and it’s over 5MB – It’s time to rethink the delivery of this file. Can you upload the document to a site like Sendspace or Dropbox and share a link? Remember, you’re not the only one they receive emails from over the course of a day. If you’re the reason they miss an important email because you filled up their inbox you can bet they’ll run to your competitors when the opportunity arises.