Easy Steps To Improve Following Up On Sales Leads
Not following up on sales leads can damage your reputation as well
Just recently, I had the need to hire a business service to help with some issues at my home. So like anyone else, I ask family and friends for referrals and went to search Mr. Google for local businesses to help solve my problem.
From the referrals and my search results, I created a list of local businesses to contact. Below is the list of criteria I used.
Sites I passed over:
- No scores or reviews
- Low count of scores & reviews
- Low scores & bad reviews
- Bad reviews without a response from the business owner
Sites I visited/contacted:
- Had 4+ rating scores (stars)
- More than 10 reviews with positive feedback
- Business owner took the time to respond to reviews
So based on my search requirements, I did not find one (1) that met all my requirements. This is really sad to see when these types of businesses rely on positive feedback to book business.
Since I had to modify my requirements, I selected four (4) businesses that actually had some reviews. From there, I visited their website and completed the “contact us” form since this was being done on a Sunday.
It was interesting to find that one of the businesses did not even have a “contact us” page. They only listed a phone number but who really calls a business these days?
As a business owner, how can you not have a "contact us" form? Just doesn't make sense to me....anyway.
I immediately received one response which was really impressive since it was Sunday. This company really started off on the right foot but they even dropped the ball with the sales lead follow up process.
Here is a short breakdown of my experience.
Business 1: Immediate response => Visit scheduled for Monday => Actually showed up and provided a quote within 24 hours
Business 2: Automated “Thank You” message on the form page => Email was received on Monday asking for more details so their employee could come view the issue in order to provide a quote => Showed a day early => Quote was received within 3 hours
Business 3: Automated “Thank You” message on the form page => Email received on Tuesday and they showed up on Thursday => Quote given on the spot
Business 4: Had to call on Monday => Returned the call and gave contact information => Didn't show up
I’ll save you from all the little details about the initial communication but out of the four (4) initial businesses contacted, only three (3) showed up to quote the job. One of the three (3) actually forgot me and showed up the next day. They did apologize which was helpful but not a great start from a customer service standpoint.
Oh, I forgot that on Monday, I did contact a fifth (5) business. It took them two (2) days to respond by email asking for contact information. Needless to say, this business called and left a voice message stating they came by and have a quote. I had all intentions to call him back but I forgot.
Receiving the quote:
This step was easier than contacting these businesses because most of them actually use quoting systems which streamlines the process. Technology is good when it is actually used!!
There were some follow up questions for three (3) of the businesses. All three (3) responded but not in a timely manner though.
Unfortunately, after my questions were answered so did the communication to this point and it’s been almost three (3) weeks.
This is where all three (3) businesses have failed at following up on sales leads.
Why don’t service based businesses follow up on sales leads?
This is a question that boggles my mind. I just cannot understand why! Service based businesses need to book jobs to earn a living so why would they drop the ball on following up with prospects?
Here are my guesses.
- Limited resources
- Solo owner
- Part-time gig
- Low budget
- Too busy “mindset”
- They don’t care and go from job to job
- Lack of internal procedures/structure
- Not using technology
- Reminder systems
- Scheduling systems
Whatever the reason is. This is not how anyone should run a business. Not following up on sales leads has an adverse effect on your business. One which you cannot afford when it comes to paying your bills and your reputation in your local market.
6 helpful ideas to assist with managing the sales leads follow up process:
If you start to follow these steps, you will see a return on the time you invest. Don't make any excuses...make time to follow the process. The follow up is part of providing excellent customer service.
Don't drop the ball like all the businesses did with me.
"Heed the Bubble"