7 Practical Things Anyone Can Do to Change a Lead into a Client
At the Albany Creek Business Contacts group meeting today, the question was asked what members do when they are presented with a lead to try and win them as a client/customer. As we in business know, referrals are terrific because someone else has done some ground work for the business to sell it to the prospective client and have enabled communication to occur.
But a lead is when there is a possible opportunity, however no direct relationship with the prospective client/customer. Examples of leads are:
- Hearing from a neighbour that someone they know in the next street is going to put their house on the market very soon. You know a terrific real estate agent you’d love to refer this to but all you can give them is the address of the property.
- Seeing on Facebook a post seeking a local plumber. Again, you want to refer your favourite plumber but how do you do it to stand out from the other recommendations? Also, if you are the referred plumber, what do you do when you receive the tag from the post?
The members of the ACBC came up with the following 7 practical things they do to convert a lead to a client.
- Promote by experience. If you are making a recommendation on facebook don’t just say who they are and what their business is. To make your recommendation stand out, go one step further and tell the reader/s your personal experience with the business and why you are recommending them.
- If you receive a lead respond – and respond quickly. You may wish to indicate some special consideration for the prospective, for example, if someone is looking for their computer to be fixed, the recommended computer guy may put it out there that if the lead comes to them they will guarantee they will have the computer on the bench being looked at within half an hour of it being brought into the shop.
- Make contact somehow with the lead. If it is a facebook or social media lead, post a thankyou to the person who recommended you and information about you, your business and what you can do for the prospective. If you are given other contact information such as email or telephone number, shoot off an email indicating through who you have been given the lead and information about you, your business etc. You may wish to follow up within a couple of days with either another “touching base” email or a phone call.
- Link to your testimonials and/or reviews. Testimonials and reviews are very powerful for businesses. Always give a prospective lead avenues to find out more about you from your customers. Publish testimonials on your website. Set up a WOMOW account and actively encourage customers/clients to leave reviews. If you are a member of a networking group like ACBC, have a “Leave a Review” function on the group’s website. Facebook now enables reviews to be posted on business pages – to name but a few examples of getting more information available to prospective clients/customers.
- Always respond even if you can’t do the job. Every piece of contact with people is a marketing opportunity. Even if you can’t do the job, thank the person who recommended you and contact the lead advising that unfortunately you can’t do the job. Give a positive reason so even though this lead didn’t pan out it may spark another one. For example, if the recommended business was a mobile mechanic but the lead is outside the area the mechanic services a response could be something along these line, “Hi, I’m Ori from GT Racing Mobile Mechanic. Thanks Sal from Balanix Solutions for recommending me to you Kelly through this FB page. I am a passionate customer oriented mobile mechanic, however, due to the area you live in Kelly, I don’t think I’m the guy this time as the cost to you for me to travel to you – well I think it would not be something I would be comfortable invoicing you for. I wish you well with the mobile mechanic you do choose.”
- Power of the Pen. Don’t under estimate the power of a personally written note sent to a prospective customer/client. We are all being bombarded with emails on a daily basis – it’s amazing the impact a hand written card/letter found in the letterbox can have on people.
- Face to Face contact. Of course, another powerful way to turn a lead into a client/customer is if you can arrange a face to face meeting with the prospective client. If it is practical, always offer to go to them to meet. They are more likely to agree to a meeting if you come to them rather than them having to make the effort to come to you.
Remember, a lead may not convert straight away – it may take time – but you have got to be in it to win it.