After spending lavish amounts of time and energy generating high quality leads we sometime squander the results with inadequate follow up. Effectively following up on leads as they come through the funnel would seen to be a very obvious next step, yet many marketers will readily admit a surprising number of leads go to waste. Implementing a strong program of lead generation will not have the greatest possible impact on your bottom line unless you learn to properly manage the leads you generate.
Here are a few steps you can take to ensure you make the best possible effort at at following on.
1. Have a written lead generation plan – Sound familiar? When a plan is in writing, it becomes real. If you don’t put your plan into writing chances are you will have some gaps in your work flow not readily apparent. Put your plan in writing and then work the plan including follow up.
2. Follow up on every lead – It is always tempting to “grade” leads as they come in and to put those appearing weak on the back burner where they sometimes are forgotten altogether. Every lead is important and you never know the potential of any given lead until you have begun to massage it. You can still prioritize your leads, but don’t let the process result in some leads never being followed up.
3. Assign the leads appropriately – If you work with a team, delegate the lead follow up to the appropriate people by expertise and then follow up internally. Set a date for a report back on the follow up. If you are the sole employee, tag – you’re it.
4. Be timely – Every moment after a lead appears is a moment the lead may be talking to another travel planner or supplier. Quick follow up is impressive, so get out there and impress someone. In your plan, establish lead follow up times and procedures and then calendar leads as they come through the door.
5. Establish trust – Your first contact with a lead is very, very important. They have expressed an interest in your service, now it is time to express an interest in them. Authentic marketers keep the client at the center of the exercise. Begin establishing the relationship from the outset by letting the client know how important they are to you. Be warm and accepting but also begin to train the client by telling them who you are and how you work. Let them know the outcome they can anticipate by working with you in terms of the benefits they will derive.
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Next week we will look at some final tactical issues involved in your lead generation program.