Getting pre-qualified leads, hot to buy a clients service or product is what agencies like ourselves strive for! Recently we've had a number of discussions on a number of marketing forums and inner circles about finding clients failing to follow-up on leads. One freelancer described getting real estate leads in LA at $2 a lead! She then passed the leads on to her client only to follow-up with the leads a week later and find that they'd not received anything from the client! After practically hand feeding them money! It's like not cashing a cheque.
This is nothing new and something we've faced ourselves in the past.
If a client is interested in working with you, you've already given them at least some hint as to what you can do for them. It's important to get to the heart of what you can do for them as if you don't they won't understand value you're about to bring them!
Explicitly walk them through the lead generation process and how it's your job to ensure leads come to them fully committed to buying their service or product. While many agencies are offering this service finding leads at $12+ YOU are finding them at $5 (check here to find out how).
Emphasize that it's critical once you send leads their way they follow them up at the arranged time. It is a great comfort builder if you find out some fun/interesting information you can pass on to your client to get into. For example, they're buying travel insurance for their trip to Asia.
If a potential client is still not understanding that the already interested lead is exactly what they're paying for from you, it's time to start thinking about whether you actually want to do business with them. Don't feel bad about saying no! Think about what the relationship will be like 6 months from now. If this a business who aren't excited by having hot leads coming in ready to sign-up to their service or buy their product then your probably going to have a client who's coming back at YOU with excuses like "we've had the leads but they're just not interested." Obviously there's only so much you can do without actually running someone else's business for them. When you're finding leads which are actively searching for a specific product or service, requesting calls or meetings and they're still not signing up...the problem is not you as an agency/lead magnet. It's the price or service of the business YOU are working with. Yet, at the end of this type of relationship, you'll be the one who ends up with the negative review about how you didn't find the right kind of lead!
This initial step is key in making sure that clients aren't taking your hard work for granted.
Let's examine this from a client perspective. Any business hiring a marketing agency are looking at their ROI at the end of every quarter with a view to renewing their contract or not. As with most deals you have a few quarters to deliver - Rome wasn't built in a day and that's just as relevant with any marketing campaign.
As we outlined above, you can come up against clients who aren't understanding the value of pre-qualified leads. So how can we change this perspective?
One of ANY businesses fears is not being competitive.
If a potential customer is actively looking for a service/product and they're not turning into business, it's not because they've stopped and changed their minds...They've gone to one of your clients competitors. Is this a bit harsh? Maybe. But it's also the truth. In a situation when your client isn't understanding the value of hot leads ready to make the purchase, you have to be realistic and sometimes blunt...for both of you.
It's important to understand the knock on effect of this too. If you're competitor is making more business than you, they have more spending power to drive you further out of the market. This can go on and on until you're completely done as a business! It's that serious!
So back to a positive. You've embarked on what should be a great business partnership with a client hungry for hot leads. How do you blow leads out of the water? Great customer care, particularly in an era of robotic calls and word-for-word scripts you can sniff out a mile off.
We've found linking calendars to be a great organizational tool. To break it down, we do our marketing campaign which attracts lead A. An automated email or message goes out to lead A notifying them that there'll be a call back ASAP with some additional information to view in the meantime. We then call lead A with the aim of booking a meeting/business call with our client. During the call we will have some basic information on hand and the calendar of our client so as to know when they're available.
Why do we do this?
The answer is two-fold. One, we don't want to waste our clients time with the odd lead that might not be eligible for their service/product and so we're acting as a screener for them.
Two...feedback! This is our currency as the Income Generation Professionals. Chipping away constantly for that competitive edge is what we pride ourselves on and feedback is our best way of doing that.
As we mentioned above, we'll do the initial call when leads first come in as a results of our marketing campaigns. The tone of this call is pivotal and can make or break deals!
This is NOT a sales call.
As a marketing agency, we don't know our clients business as well as them, the exact prices and values of what they're offering. We pull-out of our clients their selling points and USP(s) for marketing purposes and go out into the market to find them customers. Leave the selling to them!
This first call is to make contact, establish comfort and put the lead at ease. Essentially, this is more of a chat than anything else and can again be a great learning point. During this call, we'll often get to understand why said lead put his/her details to us, or what exactly they're looking for. It's pivotal to keep a notepad on-deck for this very reason as feedback is our currency!