Last time we talked about the importance of organization and lead development. Today I am going to touch on the process of relationship building and follow up. Just simply having leads organized into a database in not enough. Most of the time a single email or call will not convert a lead into a customer. A method for systematically changing leads into customers must be put into place and I will outline the basics of this method below the jump. Get your notepad ready its time for class.
Human beings are creatures of habit. We like to be able to predict the outcomes of activities especially when building trust. When communicating to leads it is always best to do exactly what you say you’re going to do exactly when you say you’re going to do it. Trust is built by how well you follow up with leads. This is where your database comes in handy when paired with a calendar. Every time you communicate with a lead take notes as to what you discussed, what you need to provide the lead, and when you are expected to contact them for a follow up. Taking good notes will ensure you never under deliver and that you are always on top of your schedule. In time, after you have proven yourself to be reliable and trustworthy your lead will become easier to convert into a customer. Trust is just one part of the whole relationship building process on the path to converting leads into customers. Below are some basic steps to building strong relationships.
1. Communicate: You must contact your leads and open the channels of communication. Do a bit of research on your leads before you reach out so you know how they prefer to be contacted. The first lesson to becoming a great communicator is to always communicate messages in the manner that your lead prefers to receive them. For example some will only respond to email while others are old school and would appreciate a phone call. Everyone is different so try your best to be flexible.
2. Always move forward: When communicating to your leads it is your responsibility to move the process forward. Suggest times to meet, schedule phone calls, ask for email updates but always suggest a move in the right direction and let your lead pick what they prefer. Never leave the progression of your communication to your lead because that is how a good opportunity can go cold.
3. Get approval: Once you have moved the communication process forward you must suggest ideas to your lead and wait for one to be approved. Try and be as creative and thoughtful with your ideas and give several options. The first few ideas may get shot down but don’t be discouraged eventually you will get a green light.
4. Convert: After you get approval on an idea this is your chance to move the process forward again and make the sale. Be swift with your closing communications and remind your lead that they green lit the project and make them feel in control.
5. Follow up: Once the sale has been made and you have successfully converted a lead into a customer you must follow up with them regularly. Check in on them and see if they need anything from you. Create special offers and let them know you appreciate their business. Word-of-mouth marketing is still the most powerful form of persuasive communication and that can only be achieved through a great follow up plan. Use your database and calendar to schedule regular follow ups with your customers. This will ensure a happy customer base and a steady flow of feedback for your business.
Good luck and as always let me know how you’re doing.