Has anyone told you that you have good “phone”? That’s a good start when it comes to the sales communication skills needed for successfully working leads. But how good is the content of your voicemail? Or your follow-up email? Those are the areas where we’re now going to focus on our path to finding success with leads instead of making excuses as to why they fail – now that we’ve already tackled sales culture and contact time, and how to sell your company.
Leaving an effective voicemail. This is an often overlooked, but critical part of the follow-up process. Have a plan or script for this as you often won’t reach a customer on the first call. Think about how you check your own voicemail. I know I quickly check mine without listening to the entire message. We are all busy. If it sounds like a sales call from someone I don’t know…I delete it before I listen to the whole thing and so do you. Engage the consumer and leave a positive first impression that relays that you are following up on their request. It’s important when leaving an enthusiastic voicemail to use something like this:
“Hi <customer name>, I’m following up on the Internet Request you made today for more information on a <product> (confirms their request and personalizes). Based on the preliminary information you submitted (reaffirms their request), I have some great ideas and information to share with you, but I need to have a few additional questions answered so I can provide you all of your options and the information you requested (we need to speak). (Next, provide a benefit): You may be aware that a <product> allows you to… End the message by advising the client to look for your email, provide your contact information, and be sure to use the consumer’s name a second time and that you will be calling again. Repeat your phone number two times slowly. I look forward to providing you this information <name>!
Email follow-up. Sending an introductory email either before or immediately after your call is critical with Internet consumers. Remember, they chose to transact online and it should be an important part of establishing your credibility and your sales process. Create a reusable basic email template that you tailor to each prospective customer. Your email should accomplish the following objectives, but with your own personal flair:
- A personal introduction to you and your company.
- Confirms the process is underway.
- Provides your full contact information, ideally with a professional picture of you.
- Target buying motivations (fear of loss, hope of gain, benefit).
- Establishes urgency.
- Send a 3rd party link to a positive story about the product. (don’t send more than one link as SPAM filters may catch it)
- Assumes a relationship (…together we will work toward sharing information and providing a solution that makes sense for your situation and goals Mr. Jones).
- Ask two questions (elicit a response).
Example: What are your plans for using the <product> so I can prepare for our call? Hopefully they will respond by email.
- If sent before you call: warms customer for upcoming phone call and to look for your caller ID.
When you do make contact with the consumer, send a thank you follow-up email detailing next steps and confirming your next appointment. Set expectations, but make sure you meet or exceed them. Alternatively, call and email the prospect until contact is made or the lead goes into your aged lead queue. Call and email uncontacted leads frequently the first two weeks, tapering your efforts out to 90 days to maintain DNC Safe Harbor compliance. Trickle email thereafter. Once you make contact and establish an Existing Business Relationship (EBR), you are free to call until the consumer revokes that right and opts-out (DNC) – Check with your compliance attorney as I don’t provide legal advice (My attorney’s make me say that!).
In summary, these are what I consider to be the basic steps of working Internet leads effectively. Although there are a lot of ways to be effective that may differ from this, it’s always worked for me. What’s important, however, is that you have a plan, and be able to differentiate yourself from your competitors as well as effectively position the product as a solution for the borrower.