Just the Facts
According to a Harvard Business Review study, you are 100x more likely to reach a prospect if your call is returned within 5 minutes versus even 30 minutes later.
Translation: The sooner you reach out to connect with a new potential customer, the better chance you have of reaching them and engaging them in the sales process.
Why It Matters
Prospective buyers typically reach out to 3-5 companies on average when completing a form online, and 2-3 when making phone calls if they aren’t answered live. This means that as soon as you have gotten a lead form or lead call, you are already in a race against both the clock and your competitors to win the business.
Research shows that 35%- 50% of sales go to the vendor that is first to respond. With good phone handling and lead follow-up processes in place, you can claim your advantage in a market of competitors that are typically too slow to respond.
What You Can Do About It
1. Answer Every Call, Every Time
If you don’t have someone who is dedicated to answering phones, consider using a round robin or simultaneous ring system. This can be set up to ring everyone in your shop at the same time, a set group of individuals, or can ring specific lines in sequence. Determine who you most want to handle your incoming calls, and empower them to make answering phones a priority.
2. Form Leads Are Time Sensitive, Too
For some reason, people assume that a form submission is a non-urgent type of communication, when the opposite is actually true. Typically, those submitting forms are pressed for time and want to make sure they get you the right details in order to expedite the process. Those who submit forms are also more likely to contact more vendors, making it even more vital that you be the first to respond.
3. If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again
You may not reach the contact the first time you reach out. Make sure to leave a detailed message, and schedule a time to follow-up again. If it was received early or midday, call again near the end of the day, and again midday the next day. Bug them for a week, then drop them into a long-term follow-up funnel.
The Moral Of The Story
Answer your phone, every time.
If you can’t answer your phone, find someone who can, and train them to do it well.
If no one can answer your phone, have a process in place so follow-up is done as quickly as possible.
If you don’t reach them, keep trying.