December 7, 2017

Ross Holman
Photo Booth Owner, Entrepreneur, Co-founder Check Cherry

Tips For Following Up And Closing Hot Leads

Over the past several years, I've had a lot of success securing business from people who indicate they are interested in my service, but don't pull the trigger right away.  I thought I'd share some tips and tricks I've learned.

Getting Hot  Vs Warm Leads

First off, there is a huge difference between a hot lead and a warm lead. I've tried to setup my system to deliver leads on the hotter side of the spectrum. Showing information on my website regarding packages and pricing has been a huge help in reducing the number of warm leads.

Also, I've experimented with a lot of ways to collect contact information. I've come to believe a person who is willing to click "Book Now" on my website as being a lead on the hotter side. Keep in mind, this assumes they have seen my pricing. If they can afford my service and indicated they are ready to pull the trigger, I'm willing to invest in helping them find the right fit.

For those of us with a Check Cherry account, lead collection is all baked into the platform. When a customer starts a reservation process but does not finish, you will have access to their contact information.  Check Cherry will also send you an email notifying you of the lead.

Whoo! Hot Lead Came In. What Now?

There are several reasons a person started the process of booking your service, but did not finish. In general, they still are unsure which service provider is right for them. As such I tend to take the consultative approach. It's my job to help them evaluate my service and if I'm not a fit, I am here to help guide them in a helpful direction. Basically, it's less about closing them and more about helping them. I want to make sure their needs are met and they find the right fit.

Furthermore, by reaching out and communicating my desire to help them I begin to establish a rapport. I've found the consultative approach is so much more agreeable to people these days. Does anyone really want to receive the "hard sell"? Again, this is less about closing a person who started booking your service and more about helping them find the right fit for their event.

My Current Process

It's not uncommon for a person to not respond to my first few contacts.  As such, I've decided to  reach out to the customer a total of 5 times over a two week period of time.

If I don't receive a response, it's considered a dead lead and I stop pursuing. Not every customer requires the five steps. It can be stopped at any time once you determine if the customer is no longer interested in booking my service. Also, if they have already booked someone, do not try to win them over. It's a lost cause and reeks of desperation. In fact, I don't even care who they booked with, I just want to ensure they have a positive interaction with my company. After all, they might come to me next time for help.

Here is a run down of my touch points:

1. Send Intro Email
Send a welcome email, introducing myself and opening the door for communication. I make it clear I am reaching out to help them. My tone is light, personal and open.

2. Make A Phone Call
If they don't pick up, I always leave a voicemail introducing myself and providing  my contact information. I'm sure to mention the service which they expressed interest and let them know I am available to help guide them to finding the right fit.

3. Second Email
This time I get a bit more direct (still very friendly). I ask if they have already have found service provider. Basically, I'm  doing my due diligence and want to make sure you are all set for your upcoming event. If they are all set, just let me know and I will take them off my list.

4. A Second Phone
Pretty much same a the first. I tend to mention I've contacted them via email and phone and have not heard back. I'm here to help. Did I say I always leave a voicemail?

5. The Walk Away Email
Finally, I send a note letting them know I will no longer be contacting, but should they still need the service I can contact you and you will be happy to take care of them. 

Grandpa Always Said

"Early bird gets the worm." In this business, time is of the essence. I do my best to immediately contact each lead.  By reaching out and introduce myself in a prompt manner, the customer is always impressed and it makes a great first impression. Don't worry about bothering them or stalking them. Instead, put on your helpful hat and go out there and secure your next event.

Bonus Tip
I've found templates can be really handy in making this follow up efficient. Be sure to keep a few on hand and tweak them as you learn how people respond.

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