Perhaps the most important thing about any sales process is constantly pouring leads into the top of your funnel.
This is not to say that you always need a large quantity of leads pouring in. Quality is the main thing that you should be looking for in leads. We want to try and get leads that fit both our sales process and what our company is looking to do.
For instance, if you work for home builders it may be good to find a weekly or monthly permit list which shows what permits have been pulled in for your area. This would serve to feed your funnel with consistent and quality leads.The next step after you get a lead into your funnel is what you do with it!
First and foremost you have to connect with that lead. This is probably the part where the majority of sales people fail to make closes and it’s a result of them not maintaining consistent connections with their leads.Leads do your business no good, if you can’t drive them farther down the funnel and eventually convert them into customers.
Connecting With Leads
My process for connecting to leads is simple:
Every single time there is a new lead, I always try and give them a phone call. If they don’t answer, I always leave a voicemail. Some sales people won’t leave a voicemail in fear that the next time they make the call the lead will screen them. This may be the case in some instances, however in my opinion leaving a voicemail shows initiative and that I want more than just an opportunity to quote their job.
Instead, I want to learn more about their company and what they do. This opens the dialogue about if we would be a good fit together.
After leaving a voicemail, I always set up a follow up task to try again in the next few days. This is usually about 5 to 6 days later. I would say that almost 50-60% of the time on the next phone call, I still get sent to voicemail. But it also means that I will get 40-50% of people that answer. This percentage gets better with each subsequent phone call. So it may be the third, fourth, or fifth reach out before I finally get ahold of the lead.
So if you fail once, you have to try again. And if you fail again, you have to try another time. It is about making contact at all costs, until you know 100% that they will not be a fit for your company. If there’s still a chance, reach out and try to make contact.
After I’ve made contact with a lead I can easily gauge by the conversation if they’re interested at all, or if they enjoyed the conversation. But the key thing to note is that in the first conversation I don’t ask for anything. I only try to learn about their company and what all they offer and do, from there i’ll let the conversation go in any direction.
Sometimes on an initial call I’ll end up talking about sports or our kids; we may talk about some tool we recently saw on the market or whatever the story may be. Unless they ask me directly, I never get into what we offer, but I will always end the phone call by trying to leave the door open for another contact. To do this i’ll say something like “Do you mind if I call you back in the near future and we can talk again?” Almost 100% of the time they will say “ Sure! Sounds great!”
Connecting with the leads is probably the hardest part of the funnel process to stick with. Essentially, it amounts to a cold call. You don’t know the person, you don’t have any rapport, and it feels very intrusive. So take the intrusiveness out by not asking for anything except for the opportunity to communicate with them again. Make them the focus of the conversation: what is their company like, how did they start, what do you love about it, etc. Take notes about what they say so that next time you talk, you instantly have a rapport built with that lead.
Later on you can start asking things like “have you ever thought about doing business this way, or using this type of product.” But do not let that first call be about sales pitch. Your only goal is to gain a relationship.