If you are struggling to capture and follow up with leads, you are not alone. Running a successful small business often means working more than a regular 9 to 5 job. But, if you learn to take things one step at a time, you can break down any overwhelming task into manageable, bite-sized chunks. Here is a 5-step lead follow up system that any small business can use to start converting leads to clients quickly.
- Capture leads – Any lead system starts with getting leads for your business. You have a variety of ways to capture leads such as buying leads, advertising, using pay-per-click, setting up a lead generating website, mailing postcards, networking, etc. There are plenty of ways small businesses can promote their products and services on a limited budget. The trick is to figure out what works for you and tweak your campaigns for the best results. Regardless of your method, you need some way to collect leads so you can follow up with them.
- Lead follow up via phone calls – Ideally one of your lead capture methods involves people telling you they want to talk with you. They might request a free consultation, info session or analysis, for instance. Or they might have questions about making a purchase on your website. Most people want to know that there is a real person running your business before they will buy from or hire you. Before you call someone, take some time to create an agenda with a few simple scripts you can use to start the call, transition to different subjects or if your recipient has objections. You don’t have to read the script word-for-word, but use it as an outline just in case. Then, listen and take careful notes about what your prospect says.
- Lead follow up via email – No matter what lead capture system you use, you should always get an email address. On the web, you can capture leads through your website with email service providers like Aweber. They give you the subscriber form code that you can copy and paste into your site. Then, when someone signs up, you can follow up with them. Only follow up with people who opt-in to receive correspondence from you. However, once someone opts in, you can set up an autoresponder to automatically email them at regular intervals.
- Lead follow up via information kits – Direct mail is also an effective tool if you capture your prospect’s mailing list. Consider using direct mail for prospects you speak with over the phone or who have requested an information packet from you through your website or via email. You can put an information packet together pretty quickly with a business card, flyer about your services, a helpful article or two, a case study or list of clients, list of frequently asked questions and other information. After you send your information kit, follow up by phone within a week to see if they have questions.
- Lead follow up via postcards – If someone doesn’t specifically request an information kit, you may choose to send something less expensive like a postcard. Postcards can be sent quickly and don’t require your prospect to open an envelope to view the contents. By putting together a postcard campaign of several follow ups, you will convert more prospects into sales with repeated exposure.
Keep in mind – it usually takes 7-12 exposures to get someone to do business with you, so having a good lead follow up system is extremely important. Whenever you follow up, always include valuable, educational materials mixed in with your sales literature so prospects read your follow up materials.