Growing up in a family run Small Business and then working as a Marketing Manager for a Small Business in later years has taught me many very important lessons. But there is one thing in particular that stands out, simply because I learned it the hard way:
How important it is to be the first to call a lead
As owners and marketing managers of SMEs we spend so much time, effort, and money generating leads and new business. Yet we quite often completely waste the leads when they come in, all the while complaining that we need more. How often have you said the following words?
- “All I get is tyre kickers”
- “I never get the right people calling me”
- “People are just price checking”
- “Email leads never call me back”
- And so on…
The reality is that controlling (or trying to control) your lead generation can reduce the amount of leads you get; it may alienate some potential customers and can become quite costly.
Another reality is that people buy products, but expect an element of service to go with it. If we’re buying something cheap, we want fast delivery. If it’s something premium, we want the person to present well and deliver on time. This is a great thing for SMEs because it provides you with an opportunity; a way to plant the seed and win the deal no matter what the lead is like.
BUT, you have to be the first.
The first to call the potential customer and make an offer will often have the best shot of closing the deal. No one knows your business better than you, so who better to get on the phone and sell yourself, your product and your service to the potential customer?
#1. Answer your phone. Don’t let it ring and ring because most people won’t even leave a message. They will just move on and ring the next company.
#2. Check your email first thing in the morning and periodically during the day.
#3. Call the leads until you catch them. First thing in the morning, make it a priority to call the leads that came through overnight.
#4. Be upbeat, be enthusiastic and sell yourself. The number of times I have booked a more expensive option because other cheaper suppliers never responded to me, never called me back or sounded disinterested in my business is incredible.
Live Example 1
I live across the road from a cleaning company in Melbourne’s Northern Suburbs. I was sat at work trying to call, but couldn’t get hold of them; I’d leave several messages until they eventually got back to me 5 days later (I was promised 3 hours). May I reiterate; I live across the road. How easy would my job have been for them to do? Because they called me back so late, I did not even answer. I went with another company that answered my call straight away, even though I had to pay a premium for their travel time. I was so angry at the ‘local’ cleaning company, I wrote a poor review on Google+ which may have cost them several leads already.
Live Example 2
When working as a Marketing Manager for a catering company, I noticed that we were not closing any leads or quotes that were sent out from the emails that we gathered overnight. I found out that some other catering companies were getting their Head Chef to respond to leads as soon as they started work at 7am, so by the time I started work at 9am, had a coffee and checked the email, we were dead in the water! How did we resolve the issue? I simply started work at 7am and made replying to leads a key focus. Our business grew by 36% that financial year.
As you can see, there is great merit in ‘being the first’. No matter what external pressures you are under, be it competition, price or service, it does work, but you have to focus on what you can control.
Committed to being the first, but want more leads anyway? Enquire today to get called back quickly: [email protected] or 03 9888 4400.