Recently I received a lead from a potential client. Although they did not end up using my services they still wanted to keep in contact with me.
This got me thinking – why? Why would a potential customer want to stay in contact even though they had no desire to work with me?
The answer, once I sat back and looked at this scenario, was very simple; they were not yet ready for the financial outlay, which is totally cool, but they did want to keep the communication lines open for when they are. Clients may not be ready now but that does not mean they won’t ever be ready to spend money with you.
Here are my top 10 tips on how to stay front of mind with all your warm leads.
- As soon as they contact you, either via your website or by direct email, acknowledge them within minutes. This shows your responsiveness – first impressions count. A great idea is to set up an automatic email in your CRM system that will send them an immediate response. Thank them, give them as much information as possible and finish this email by advising you will be in contact, shortly, via phone.
- Create an email response that stands out from your competitors. The email that you send is this initial contact can set you apart from others that offer the same service. My email doesn’t necessarily showcase the benefits of working with me. Initially, I concentrate more on telling them who I am, what I stand for and how I may be able to help eliminate some of the pain they feel in their business – after all, they have reached out to me because they need help.
- Find out who they are and try to connect with them. Research their business online and read their website and social profiles. This will provide an understanding of their business, their values, and what they like to do in their spare time, etc. A great start, if possible, is to connect with them on LinkedIn. Common connections on LinkedIn are a great conversation starter. For instance, I had a lead come in a while ago from a potential client. I looked at their LinkedIn profile and could see we had a common connection. It turns out I had already spoken to this particular person via the work I do with another client. I mentioned this during our conversation and they remembered who I was. It was a great way to start a conversation and chat on a more personal level.
- If possible, show you are familiar with their industry. If you have a lead from say a Tradie, use your familiarity as leverage. Mention that you have worked with Tradies before, state what you have done for them and describe what worked and what didn’t. If you haven’t specifically worked with anyone in their particular field, you may find a connection via a family member that is somehow linked to that field or you may have had an interested in that field when you were back in high school. Basically, you are looking for any type of connection that shows you have or once had an interest in what they offer.
- Tell them how much you enjoyed their website, social profiles or that great article they may have recently written. This demonstrates you have taken the time to get to know them and are interested in their business.
- Give some advice on a possible pain point they have. If you receive a lead asking for help with a website, take a look at their website and find the areas that could do with some change. Now, there is a fine line between constructive criticism and just showing off, so be careful here. For example, recently I received a lead from a client who was looking for virtual reception support. I called them right away to introduce myself and was greeted with their voicemail. I left a message, sent them an email and continued on with my work. Later that day, I received a return phone call from them and, during our conversation, I let them know that I understood why they needed support on their incoming lines – it took all day for them to return my call! If I was a client looking to use their services, I would more than likely have moved onto one of their competitors already. Saying this was perfectly in line with their reception inquiry and I was able to demonstrate why they needed help in this area.
- Follow up a few days after your initial contact. Give them time to process the information you have either emailed or spoken about. Don’t follow up the very next day as chances are they have not had time to digest it all yet. I suggest following up 2 days later with a ‘checking-in’ email. Depending on the circumstance, I usually enquire if they received the information they required and ask if there is anything I can do for them at this stage.
- Call them a week later. If you have heard nothing from them since your initial contact, pick up the phone. This will demonstrate you are not just ‘shooting them an email’ and that you care and have taken the time to actually call them.
- Keep the communication lines open no matter the outcome. If your lead either does not come back to you or they let you know they are not proceeding with your service at this stage (no matter the reason) ensure you keep them on your radar. For instance, in a month’s time, if you see an article you believe to be beneficial to their situation, send it to them and let them know you thought they may like it. Connect with them on their social profiles and comment on their posts. If you hear of someone looking for their services, send them both an introductory email stating you believe there may be a connection here. Showing that you are thinking of them will keep your own name in the forefront of their mind.
- Celebrate with them. If you see, on social media, that they have had a big win in their business, congratulate them – send them a card or a personal email. If they have a birthday, send them a card or a personal text or email to wish them a Happy Birthday. Making personal connections outside of business shows you care.
It’s important to make human connections with people no matter what the outcome of a situation. Strive to stand out from a crowd. Become the change they need no matter how you are able to show this. Show how you are different from others and that you are a real thought leader in your space – the best person in your field.
Written by Korryn Campbell