Recently, I spoke to an
organization that spent an ungodly amount of time, energy and money on Social
Media to create Lead Generation. So my question was, "Now what?” they
said, "What do you mean?" I said “Okay, so you got a whole bunch of
people calling you or contacting you through a web form, email etc. 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 is not
generating business…alone. Lead generation is Interest; lead generation is
getting people to the door. Are they coming over the threshold and are you
closing the door behind them? That's a very important step. One without the
other will result in no revenue.
Between Twitter, LinkedIn,
Facebook, Google and Bing ads on any of the Social Media sites, or email-marketing
powerhouses like Infusionsoft, (which I personally use) amongst other things we
do today to build leads is it really working? That's one question. 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 or a
website, web forms and phone call, and if that's happening, Great you have
reached step one. This is a very important step but it is ONLY step one.
The million-dollar question is
It's important to make sure that we know once
people contact us or when we contact them back, we are using the right process
to follow up from any kind of lead generation that we get. Are we setting some
ground rules at the beginning of the conversation? Are we asking well? Thought
provoking open-ended questions to engage them and truly understand their needs
beyond what the told you? DO we have a true picture of all of this before we
have the cost conversation and do you clearly understand the next step and what
that means as opposed to just “checking back” or following up with them?
It's important to understand that
when someone contacts you, they are often contacting several people 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 out
cold? Well certainly it is but you still needs the same attention to process as
you 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?
is what we typically see. When we get them on the phone, they will
typically ask you a simple question that I call a "Wall Question"
which is they put up a wall and the question sounds something like this "Hey,
I see you guys sell widgets. Can you tell me if I bought a hundred widgets what
that would cost?" and we say, "Sure, let me look. What can of widgets
you are looking for?” "We're looking for widget A or widget B."
"Okay well, widget A would be $75,000 for a hundred 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 "Okay sounds good, ah
we'll call you back” Or “Sounds good, can you send me a proposal / price sheet/
some more information?"
We get their email, we send that
information in writing and cricket, we never hear from them again. We try to
contact them back, they don't contact us. We try to call them, they don't take
our call, and we leave messages.
Sound familiar? Of course, it
The same situation that happened before when you did your prospecting more
proactively occurred. Prospecting hasn't changed. Sales and the sales process haven’t
changed just because they're contacting you. In fact, I would say that it is more difficult
now because we are not as on top of our game since they contacted us we feel it
is a ‘hot’ lead.
Not only do you need to do a good
job on working on the sales process in closing the sale, you need to do a
better job than you ever have before because remember, 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 they know what
the pricing is out there. That's where the sale process comes in. If you don't
have a process, you're going to fail whether they're lead generating through
Social Media or not.
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