With all of the today’s modern technology, one would think getting in touch with contacts would be easy. Let’s see, you have the good ole fashioned telephone, email, text, snail mail, face-to-face visits, oh, and video conferencing for modes of communication, but getting in touch with sales leads isn’t always easy.
On Tuesday, February 17, 2015 Kim Woods, CFE, a Senior Client Consultant at Franchise Solutions spoke with Victoria Conte, COO of Matchpoint Franchise Consulting Network, at a round table discussion during the IFA’s (International Franchise Association) annual convention on the topic of following up with sales leads.
Although the discussion focused on the Best Practices on Lead Follow Up at a franchisor event, the talking points can be applied to following up with leads in the sales world as a whole. Research collected by Mashable.com offers tips sales people can use on such things as how long you should wait to reach out to prospective buyers, and what the best day of the week or time of day is to reach people.
Take this quiz to see if your instincts match the results Mashable.com found.
Q: Any guesses as to how many times you should attempt to contact a sales lead?
A: You should call your leads at least 5-6 times. However, most franchisors at the round table only call their leads three times. Did you know that just by making a few more attempts, sales representatives experience 70% more contacts? Persistence is key.
Q: Which day of the week proved most successful for sales people to contact a lead on the first attempt?
A: If you guessed Thursday, you were right. According to the data, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to qualify a lead which means the prospective client is willing to enter the sales process.
Q: How quickly should you follow up with leads? 5 minutes, 2-4 hours, 24 hours?
A: If you guessed 5 minutes, you are correct! If you contact your leads within 5 minutes after they inquired, you are 900% more likely to get them on the phone on your first attempt!
Q: Would you say that the best time to reach someone during the day is 8am-9am OR 4pm-6pm?
A: Late afternoon is the winner. Specifically, between 4pm-5pm is the best time to qualify leads. 8:30am is the second best time.
Final notes and take-aways to chew on:
- The sooner you reach out to a lead, the better. Attempt to get in touch as soon as you receive the information.
- Try different times of day. Not everyone works a 9-5 Monday through Friday job, and not everyone has the same schedule.
- Persistence is key! Try calling your leads at least six times.
- Have a plan for the phone call and know what your objective of the conversation is. Knowing the process in advance will help make the conversation go smoothly. For example, Woods suggests, “Your goal should not be to sell a franchise on the first call. You should get to know the prospect and understand why they are looking into franchising. Find out if they are the only person involved in the decision making process to purchase the franchise? If not, make sure the others on board every step of the way. Find out if the prospect is currently employed? Do they have a high salary position? Sometimes current jobs are an obstacle and it’s best to know up front all of your obstacles.” Here are a few things to cover in the call:
- Small talk or friendly banter
- Explain reason why you are calling and what you would like to happen
- Get an understanding of the prospective client’s needs through Q & A
- Outline the next step.
- Set up a follow-up call
- Some of the biggest mistakes sales professionals make are “giving away the farm” in one fell swoop, giving out too much information ahead of time OR verbally overwhelming the caller. Remember, you want to save something for you to talk about the next time you speak.
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