Google and Bing ads on social media sites; blogs and other things we do to build lead generation – is it really working?That’s one question. The second question is: Is this working?If we’re doing all of the things that we need to do in social media, and all the white noise is going out, what is it bringing us? Well, it should be bringing us leads. It should be bringing us emails, filling out contact information on a website, web forms and phone calls. And if that’s happening, great – we win! We’re doing well. If we’re getting web forms, contact information, people are calling us or emailing us, we’ve won!Well not really. Because that’s only the first step, that’s only prospecting. Also, a lot of people feel that this is the replacement of the sale. I’m here to tell you that it is not. Once you do a good job on social media and figure that out, you get some leads, you get some phone calls, you get some forms people are filling out for you to contact them. Now what?That is a big question.
Recently, I spoke to an organization that spent an ungodly amount of time, energy and money on social media to bring lead generation. So when I asked, “Now what?” they said, “What do you mean?”I said, “OK, so you got a whole bunch of people calling you, a whole bunch of people contacting you. How’s your closing ratio?” They looked at me like I had three heads.The issue is a simple one: Just because we believe that we have found a new way to generate business, it doesn’t mean it is generating business. Lead generation is interest, getting people to the door. Are they coming through the threshold? Are you closing the door behind them? That’s a whole other avenue.The big question is: Are we using the right process to follow up from any kind of lead generation that we get? I would say the answer is “no.” It’s important to understand that, when people contact you, they are often contacting several others within your industry.
You don’t have a relationship built; there were just some low levels of interest that got them to contact you.Is it better than you calling them cold? Well, certainly it is, but it still needs the same attention to process as it always did. Getting somebody to call you is only the beginning.So, what are the other steps? What are we doing when we contact them or they call us? Are we using the process properly? Here are a couple of steps:
Step 1: When someone contacts you, you want to first ask them how they found you. If they found you through Google, ask what they put into Google to find you. If you’re going to do all the work, you want to know exactly where that thread came from.
Step 2: When we get them on the phone or when we contact them, they will typically ask a simple question that I call that a “wall question” – that is, they put up a wall and the question sounds something like this: “ Hey, I thought you guys sell, um, widgets.
Can you tell me, if I bought 100 widgets, what that would cost?” And we say, “Sure, let me look. What kind of widgets are you looking for?” “We’re looking for widget A or widget B.” “OK, well, widget A would be $75,000 for 100 widgets and widget B would be $82,000.” “Oh, that’s a lot of money.” “Well, maybe I can do a little better.” You negotiate a price and they say “OK, sounds good, we’ll call you back” or “Sounds good, can you send me a price sheet in writing?”We get their email, we send that information in writing and then: crickets. We never hear from them again. We try to contact them, they don’t contact us. We try to call them, but they don’t take our call and we leave messages.Sound familiar?Of course, it does.
The same situation that happened before when you did your prospecting. That hasn’t changed. Sales and the sales process haven’t changed just because they’re calling you.Not only do you need to do a good job on the sales process to close the sale, but you need to do a better job than you ever have before because they have control. They’re the ones that are calling you, but they’re also calling your competitor. So they’ve done a little homework, they know who’s out there and what the pricing is out there. That’s where the sales process comes in.If you don’t have a process, you’re going to fail, whether they’re leads generated through social media or not.Greta Schulz is a sales consultant for businesses and entrepreneurs.
For more sales training tips and tools, or to ask her a question, go to www.schulzbusiness.com
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