You shouldn’t be afraid to follow up on a lead when they have shown interest in the services you are offering. For example, when someone has put in relevant keywords, matching your practice’s purpose, to find you on Google; you should grab that opportunity with both hands.
We all spend a lot of time, money and effort ensuring our marketing strategies match our objectives and provide us with the best possible sales opportunities. Therefore, when your marketing efforts have played out how you had hoped and that sales opportunity is handed to you on a plate, you need to act upon it quickly as, chances are, you are not the only practice that the lead has researched and contacted.
How many times is too many times?
In short, there is no such thing as too many times. If a prospect has made the first move and presented a sales opportunity to you, then you should do all you can to contact, build a relationship and convert.
As a rule of thumb, at Hive, we always say to respond to a new lead within the hour; of course the sooner, the better, but having that cut off point ensures that the next steps are always in place and ready for action.
If a number has been left, your first port of call should always be to phone the lead and find out some basic details. As quickly as possible, get them booked in for an appointment with your TCO or with a dentist – depending on your sales process.
If you are unable to get through, leave a voicemail and follow up with an email, WhatsApp or text. It could be the lead has had a 10 minute break at work and has dropped a quick enquiry and is now unable to answer their phone. Check in again later around lunchtime or towards the end of the day when they may be less tied up.
If you still are unable to get through, continue throughout the week to make contact via all different means of communication (as you never know their preferred method of contact). You don’t want to bombard someone but you’re also making sure you’re delivering the best service by contacting them. If they weren’t interested in finding out more, they wouldn’t have reached out, it’s possible life is just getting in the way. Unless you categorically receive a ‘I’m not interested’ or ‘I’ll be in touch when I’m ready’ keep pushing to start that line of comms.
When is enough, enough?
As part of my job as Client Services Manager, I communicate with all the new leads that come into Hive. More often than not, it isn’t straightforward. I get the odd lead who enquires, picks up the first call and happily proceeds, however it’s good to assume this isn’t the norm. It is my responsibility to contact these leads until we have a clear outcome.
Agree a timescale with your sales team to define when to change tact with the leads. It may be 6 weeks or 3 months, whatever it is make sure you have clear communication protocols in place. This does not however mean that you have to completely give up the ghost. It’s time to try another solution – nurturing.
How do I ‘nurture’ my leads?
So you haven’t been able to get in contact with your new lead, but this is not the time to give up.
If you haven’t already, add them to your mailing list so they receive regular content and updates regarding your practice, services and offers. Check you have an opt in box at the enquiry stage as it is best practice to get permission. Once they’re on the list you’ll know they are receiving periodic information which could be automated. I recommend spending time reviewing the opens and clicks in your emails – it may indicate what previous active leads are interested in.
You can use platforms like MailChimp to do this, where you can create engaging and visually appealing mailshots ahead of time and schedule them to go out on certain days. Or you can create an ongoing ‘welcome’ template so that when people subscribe to your mailing list they are automatically added and receive a selection of emails you’ve set up to drip information about your practice over a set period of time.
With some CRM’s, you can also schedule automated messages to go out which appear to have come from your personal email account. This prevents your emails from looking too robotic by adding a personal touch and some character to your messaging, but also streams your process.
You can’t always rely on automation though, it’s certainly a handy tool to save time. Nevertheless, it’s important to still reach out via phone call, WhatsApp and text – these communication methods tend to hold a shorter and different tact which sometimes agrees with a lead more. Allocate a couple of hours a week to nurture your leads with various communications and measure the results to see what works best for your demographic.
One last thing, don’t be disheartened when you feel like you are not achieving anything with contacting these leads. It is not time wasted. We have found that nurturing our leads over time, even the “coldest ones”, has shown to be effective, however it is a longer process that needs dedicated time, sometimes taking years to break through the barrier.
If you need strategic support on how best to qualify your leads, get in touch.