Business Theory & Practice

The Shelf Life of a Lead: Don’t Let a Warm Lead Expire

According to Sales Force, it takes 6 to 8 touches to generate a viable sales lead. And in a world with advertisements in surround sound, it is much easier to tune out uninteresting and traditional methods. Not to mention, convenient usage of the internet means “you” no longer need to tell “me” what I need because I can find all the answers myself. A hot lead left alone can turn cold at the snap of a finger, which means that the timing of those 6 to 8 touch points is crucial. 

Your pool of potential leads is like a pantry. There’s bananas, apples, canned food, bread, pies; each with a different shelf life. Unfortunately, the way you interact with your leads isn’t as mood-dependent as your appetite. Don’t let a warm lead expire.

It’s a proven fact that human beings have to hear the same thing over and over before it sinks in. You may know your products and services like the back of your hand, but your customers don’t “get it” the first time they hear the message. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that if a prospect heard the pitch once, they understood it. Chances are, they didn’t. Tell him again and again and again. – Entrepreneur

So, how do you strategize your lead meals based on expiration date? And how can you achieve constant communication without being annoying?

Not every lead is “hot” and ready to eat (hot lead = A person who is in dire need of your product and needs a solution by yesterday). Although it is nice to have any easy win sometimes, it is so much more satisfying to cook up a relationship from the start. Remember that no matter how great your first bite of interaction is, you absolutely must follow up to keep things from going stale. A great follow up to a business card exchange is a “nice to meet you” email.

Email marketing campaigns make it easy to juggle leads at different temperatures. Not only is it cost effective, with the right software you are able to easily schedule emails in advance.

What if the lead was initially generated online? Hubspot claims that waiting just five minutes will reduce the likelihood of contact by 10x factor. People have come to the expectation that anything online is instantaneous. If you don’t measure up to that, your validity decreases by the second.

A phone call is a great way to establish that you are indeed a human being. There is a pretty good chance that you will have to leave a voicemail: DO. Even if the recipient doesn’t hang on every word of the message, you are then able to follow up with an email. To learn more about this song and dance, check out Jeff Hoffman’s BASHO Sequence. It follows a series of four voicemail/email touches, starting with introductory, to persistent, and then, if the prospect hasn’t responded after the first three attempts, to a break-up.

By varying methods of communication, you are less like to be perceived as the “annoying sales person” type.

When it comes down to it, even if you play all your cards right, people will only buy when they are ready to buy. This just means that you need to be the first “hungry” person they see when it is time to take the bite.

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werkLab Studios

werkLab Studios