The primary goal of online marketing is to generate leads, and much time and effort goes into crafting and nurturing the online marketing sales channels. The arrival of a new lead should then be treated as one of the final steps in the sales cycle rather than that of first contact.
Consider that if the online marketing strategy is successfully generating leads –those leads are to be considered red hot. After all, the enquiry has come in from the online marketing activities so the lead is interested in the offering. Whether it was the social media posting, the pay per click advertising or the content marketing, a new lead shows that you have made a solid connection with someone.
All too often the connection is lost when the proposal goes out in response to the new enquiry. So what happened?
The proposal was instantly banged out and is impersonal and generic
All the opportunity was there when contact was made to get more information and personalise the proposal. A standard plug and play proposal with rates and T’s & C’s is a sterile document that has no love for the new lead. While response time is very important, instead of reflexively sending out the usual proposal instantly, rather spend some nurturing the lead and generate a dialog to find out more. This can be done with a few emails, a quick meeting (if local) or telephonically – the bonus is the connection is enhanced by developing the relationship and fostering trust.
Once the potential client’s requirements are understood, a winning proposal can be put forward that is tailored to their needs.
There is no value for the lead
Most proposals are all about how much it is going to cost the lead if they become the latest customer, and include some additional add-ons or upgrades. The offer that is quoted may be great for you but not necessarily for the lead – if you haven’t studied the new lead, the proposal may be well out of the ballpark with its bottom line and offering.
Start with the value proposition for the lead and configure your proposal to meet, or exceed, their requirements. The proposal should be familiar to the lead as it will cover the previously discussed points, but don’t be afraid to lean on your expertise and make recommendations that would greatly benefit the client.
The follow through was lacking
Sending out a proposal is not a cast in stone lock, so don’t expect the business to come flooding in once you’ve hit send. The odds are that the new lead is in contact with the competition and is considering their options. Follow up your proposal with a friendly and professional call and don’t badger the lead for their answer if it is apparent that they are still on the fence. If there is some doubt, be prepared to be flexible with the proposal and make the lead aware that they have room to manoeuvre. Remember that your best customers are your existing clients, so get the lead hooked on you and your service and you can build from there.