By definition, a lead is a person or a business who is interested in the product or solution you sell or offer. Leads can be generated from many different sources such as phone calls, social media, networking events and even word of mouth referrals. Leads are a vital part of the longevity of your business and good follow up practices will ensure that your leads convert to sales.
So, you’ve got some leads.
Weather you’ve poured through the Yellow Pages, searched LinkedIn, bought a pre-generated lead list, ordered a business directory from the reference desk of your local library, collected business cards or names at a home show, trade show, conference or fair, now it is time for the dreaded “Cold Call”.
First: Have a plan for tracking your leads and cold calling efforts.
- You can use specialized CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, excel or a rolodex (if you can find one). Use whatever method works for you, just be sure to have a tracking plan.
- Follow up on all leads. If you do not you have wasted the time, effort and money that you invested generating that lead.
Second: Write your script following a few basic rules:
- Acknowledge that you have interrupted the person with a statement like: “Is this a good time to talk”
- Avoid starting your first sentence with “I”. Try a statement like: “Have you heard about…”, or executives in your industry have told me ….. Is this the case for you as well”?
- State a believable claim about what your business can do for them, like: Many of my customers have reported that (state the improvement), Depending on your situation I may be able to do something similar for you”.
Third: Keep your goal in mind:
- Your goal is to set up a follow up meeting to expand on the delivered information.
- Your goal is to open a dialogue that can turn into a lasting and lucrative relationship.
Fourth: be prepared to leave a voice message.
- Don’t Hang up! Leave a message.
- Your message can be short and simple. Like: “Hi Miss HR Director, this is (your name) from (your company). You and I have not yet spoke, but I’ve been doing some research on your company, and I think you may be a great fit for (service or product)”. To learn more about how (your company) can help your business with (problem to solve), please contact me at (your phone number) Or e-mail ne directly at (email address) Have a great day.
- When you do contact the lead after having left a message, never say, “Did you get my message”? This is almost accusing the lead of ignoring your message, putting them on the defensive, starting the conversation off on the wrong foot. Instead, consider paraphrasing what you said in the original message.
Always be on the lookout for leads, even if you are “busy” at this time. Leads take time to materialize into clients and you never know where a lead can lead.