Old Leads Are Cold Leads and My Olympic Experience

This is one of the hottest summers on record. I live in Phoenix, just ask me what 113 degrees feels like. Yuck! All over the country, our leasing teams are feeling the heat and it can be truly exhausting. By mid-July we are wearing down from this long hot summer yet we need to keep our leasing productivity HOT! The quickest way to get there is to touch something COLD, your Internet leads.

80% of potential sales are lost due to lack of follow-up. This is one of biggest mistakes people make in marketing. Do you want to know how you could increase web conversions and sales by as much as 400%? The secret lies in what you do after you generate a qualified lead. The steps you take next to build a relationship and help your prospect get what they want make all the difference. Most people are so focused on getting qualified leads that they neglect to put their web site marketing and Internet Listing Service follow-up systems in place to convert leads to sales. It’s so important that I’ll say it again;

…with better follow-up, you could increase web sales by 400%.

In just a few days the World’s attention will be on London for the start of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. This is always an exciting time for me as I reminisce about the 1996 games in Atlanta. I tried out to be a placard bearer in the opening and closing ceremonies and got picked! The day of the opening ceremonies it was 111 degrees on the tarp that covered Turner Field. Our energy was draining but continued to be refueled by the excitement of meeting our teams and seeing Mohamed Ali light the torch.

I ushered the great country of Azerbaijan into the games proudly holding their county’s sign alongside the flag bearer. I call them a great country and it has nothing to do with their politics which I know very little about. What I know is about the athletes that represented their country in 1996. It was their first year competing as an independant country after breaking off from the “Unified Team” also known as Mother Russia. Azerbaijan’s uniforms were mismatched and used. Russia looked smashing in their red suits and hats. (Did you think I would get through this blog without a little fashion commentary?!?) It was clear they had little resources and training opportunities but they had a lot of ambition and a plan to win. At closing ceremonies we gathered again for a celebration in the stadium. It was truly exciting to see these inspiring athletes wearing medals they had won. They were singing and dancing with athletes from all over the world. As for me, I was just proud to be a part of the biggest moment in their life and wear a silver medal won by a hot wrestler named Namik!

Imagine you were training for the upcoming summer Olympics. You’re a runner and want to win gold this year. You get a new pair of shoes to help you in your medal quest. Then you map your workout plan. With your coach at your side you identify which exercises to do and when to do them. Each day until the coming Olympics you eagerly show up at the weight room and the track. What happens? Each week your strength and speed improve and you become a stronger competitor increasing your chances of winning a gold medal.

Now imagine a competitor who wants to win but after signing up for the team, didn’t show up for practice. Who do you think is going to win? The person who follows up on their commitment with a series of planned activities or the one who neglects these? Web site marketing is like training for the Olympics but with a whole lot more gold medals available! Start with a lead, regular follow up and you can win many more customers.

You could continue marketing the same way and get the same results, or you could discover the lead generation and follow-up activities that can increase your sales by 400% or more. Just as in training for the Olympics, what you do and when is critical. Use these 7 follow up ideas you to increase your sales.

1. Act Immediately
Old leads are cold leads. Use automated email responses or voice messages to instantly acknowledge a prospect’s interest and give them the information they requested. If you plan to call them, let them know when you’ll call. If you’ve offered something free to entice them to respond, deliver it instantly.

2. Use Curiosity to Motivate
The most powerful motivator in marketing is human curiosity. Tempt your prospects with something they want and pique their interest to prompt them to visit your community or to call you to get the details. I feel it is important to have a contact from that asks questions that give you the clues you need to understand their hot buttons. When you use these hot buttons in your response, you will capture their attention.

3. Create A Sense of Urgency
People are prone to procrastinate, just ask me, I started writing this blog in June! We put off doing things even when we want and need something. Give them a reason to act immediately, such as a limited time offer.

4. Educate Your Prospects
Customers may not have an immediate perception of their need for what you provide. What makes you unique compared to the competition? This product differential must be front and center in your marketing. Use each contact to help them define a problem or concern and demonstrate that your product or service is the solution.

5. Build a Relationship
The stronger your relationship with your prospects, the more likely they’ll be to turn to you when they are ready to make a purchase. Do most men or women propose on their first dates? Of course not! And if they do it is my personal experience you should RUN! It takes time and repeated contact to establish the basis for a long lasting, mutually beneficial relationship.

6. Give Special Attention to Prospects that Demonstrate An Interest
Let’s say you sent out a special $100 discount email offer to your prospect list. Typically, 10-16% of your prospects will open the email, and a much smaller percentage will act on it immediately. Go back with an even stronger call to action to the people that opened your initial email. You’ll find that approximately 50% will open it and you’ll sell a lot more of your product and services.

7. Use Automated Systems to Follow-up
Set up your email auto responders to do your follow-up for you. Use each email contact to educate and motivate your prospects and tell them about your limited time offer. Remember that prospects are more likely to buy after six contacts, so use a series of six emails spread out over two weeks. However, this does not excuse the need for human contact. Reach out!

Want to earn gold with your business? Like Olympic athletes you need more than goals. You need a follow up strategy and system. Put these in place and you can capture the 80% of potential sales you’re missing.