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:
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.
Success with Leads: Listen Up!
Talk LESS? “You’ve got two ears and one mouth for a reason!”
“It’s not the leads, it’s you!” If you’ve been with us for some time, you know that that’s CEO Bill Baskin’s battle cry when it comes to handling complaints about leads “not working.” We’ve already discussed sales culture and contact time while working leads, but there’s much more when it comes to strategizing how to make successes out of leads. Now we move on to:
Sell yourself and your company
On your initial call, start with a warm and enthusiastic greeting as it is important to get the consumer engaged in the process and build rapport. Be sure to articulate why you are better to work with. Why your company and its fulfillment process is better to work with than your competitor. In other words, how the experience you or your company provides is different than other companies they may be speaking with. Why your process is easier. Think about these things and differentiate yourself and be the product expert. Let me give you an example.
I sold Mercedes Benz cars for a period early in my career. The leads we received were from customers over an hour away. They had to drive past three competing dealerships to get to mine. How did I overcome this? Well, I developed a script to overcome this frequent objection and nip it in the bud, the conversation went like this:
Me: Have you had a chance to speak with your local dealer?
Me: Why didn’t you buy from them
Customer: They wouldn’t give me the price I wanted (or some derivative)
Me. It sounds like they had a chance to be up-front and honest with you, but chose not to be. Let me tell you how we are different. ………and not only that, I am your closest dealer because I’ll put it on a flatbed and drop if off in your driveway so you never have to leave your home.
The biggest problem most sales people have is we like to listen to ourselves talk. I know I’m guilty of this sometimes. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason, so ask open ended questions about how the customer could benefit from your product, their needs, and so on. Your job is to discover the problem(s) they may or may not realize they have, and demonstrate how your product can not only solve that problem, but benefit them. They will tell you how to close them if you pose the right questions. Qualify, qualify qualify!
These are my basic steps to the sale: