Since “nothing happens until a sale is made”, and, since all sales come from leads, then leads are what makes everything happen. Therefore, leads (access to interested customers) are a precious commodity and should be regarded as blood- totally necessary to sustain the life of your business! Sales are the oxygen that is carried by the blood. When a person responds to a stimulus, he/she wants corresponding response. Isn’t this the same for you?
It has been said that a persons interest level dissipates at the rate of about 50% per day, with obvious variables. The graphic illustration that represents this is the tearing of a piece of paper in half, every day. The point to be made is this: leads are a direct prediction of your sales volume and must be responded to, in some way, as quickly as possible.
If you can’t get to them physically, then send them a letter explaining your position (out of stock, over-booked) and how the demand for the value of your product or service has temporarily placed you in that position. Offer a special bonus for those who will bear with you and wait. Also, with this same letter, ask who feels unable or unwilling to wait, and make every effort to handle those prospects.
Both those who commit to wait and those who feel that they cannot wait are telling you what your sales volume will be. This kind of letter will create good will as well as save you otherwise lost sales and the referrals that would have followed. If you don’t respond, you are creating “bad will” (same as bad- mouthing – but you’re targeting yourself) as well as lost sales.
You are also undermining your monitoring efforts by losing control of the leads. Attention to lead response demonstrates dependability, the number one criterion sought by end-users. It’s not the price, it’s not the product – it’s dependability that people want. Pay attention to your marketplace and it will continuously pay attention to you, and secure your future.
Monitor your own response rate to inquiries. Keep records of the inquiry date, first response date and sale percentage in relation to response date.
More on Leads
You cannot effectively change something that you have not measured. Monitor and measure to determine which kinds of lead generating techniques are best for you. You must experiment, but remember, tracking results is critical to productive experimentation. If the phone isn’t ringing off the hook, it is necessary to generate leads. There are nine ways that I know of to accomplish this end. I will detail them later, but let me add here that unless you are doing something to generate leads/customers, you will likely not survive in any business. If you look closely at most of the aggressive direct sales companies, they are characterized by two major aspects. First, these companies generate leads. Secondly, the sales people are well trained in closing.
Accomplish the main objectives! How can you monitor all efforts and their results. Test small changes, monitor the results.