As salespeople and business owners, we all know the pain of arriving in the morning and having to face the cold lead pile, a demotivating task we hope to face later rather than sooner. Inbound marketing costs to ensure your phone rings with fresh leads every day can be tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds every month so how much money has pile of cold cost you? Why does it have does it have to be like this? What makes a cold lead a cold lead, and what can be done to rectify this situation? Here are five tips to help thaw out the numbers in your favor.
1. A Point on passing Prejudice
The first question to ask is on how you’re categorizing your leads in the first place. Sure, not every prospect is hotter than the fires of blazing fury and just desperate to be closed, but arbitrarily categorizing your leads by size or value won’t do you any favors. Think hard and think creatively about how or even if you should categorize leads.
Good leads are like milk in the fridge. One minute, you’ve got delicious warm milk to enjoy with your honey and in the blink of an eye, it turns sour. Have a rethink about how you’re organising your leads to mitigate the damage.
2. Who or What has Turned Down the Temperature?
If a fresh lead comes through the website or phone, your salespeople will (hopefully) be fighting to get there first. A quick conversation ensues and all of a sudden a prospect is not interested in your product or service, allocating it to the cold for a chance call at a later date. Is the lead cold, or could more diligence have been exercised before cold-pile allocation?
What turned off the lead in the first place? Taking the time to answer this question can mean the difference in converting sub-zero temperature prospects into hot sales figures. Factors to consider might include:
- Was there a clash of personalities which another salesperson might be able to smooth over?
- Was there a price objection which could be managed to get the prospect interested?
3. Shuffling the Deck
Not every salesperson can sell every prospect. A primary tool in the salesperson’s box is the ability to convey his or her personality dynamically to mirror the prospect and create rapport, but some degree of matching is necessary.
It’s been proven that younger females have a tougher time selling to older females and, likewise, a 55-year-old CEO veteran of an engineering company won’t want to speak to a 17-year-old high school graduate scarcely able to contain his eagerness.
One morning each week, check over the lead piles, discover where there might be opportunities to personality match and then switch things up. Make this habitual and you’ll be amazed at the amount of so-called “cold” leads which warm up in front of your eyes.
4. Match People’s Schedules
If your prospect found time to contact you on a specific day around a specific time, it’s possible they’re setting aside a regular time each week to research that enquiry. If it was out of office hours, it’s likely they’re working on it after the end of play when colleagues have gone home and the phone stops ringing.
Take advantage. You’d be surprised the amount of time this simple technique works so reach out to prospects on their own terms. You’ll find a much warmer welcome.
5. If All Else Fails, Fall Back onto LinkedIn
Finally, if all of the above fails, it’s time for LinkedIn and, no, not to pester the prospect with direct contact. LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools in the salesperson’s arsenal since the invention of the telephone, so make sure you use it.
Look up that prospect, think of ingenious ways to befriend their contacts. Reciprocation is a good tool here, and if the prospect is a decent one, it would be worth going the extra mile. Being a friend of a friend changes the game completely. Good luck.