I know, I know…following up with leads is the client’s job right???
Pay close attention because this post may very well earn you brownie points…and a few more months in client retention
Albeit, creating a system and implementing it will be more work for the client, BUT…at the end of the day, if leads are the lifeblood of a business, then its all hands on deck.
FYI, if you haven’t already figured it out yet…this post is specifically for the service provider who has been hired to generate leads for their clients.
YOU = marketer and CLIENT = a business that needs lead flow
The objective of this post is to illustrate ways to offer value…tangible value…so you can help your client implement a solid follow up system to bring in more leads. Here are 6 effective follow up strategies to guide your approach and make your life easier.
1. Scaffold the system
If you’re not sure what a scaffold is, don’t feel bad, I didn’t know what it was too until I heard it used in the context of education and the classroom. As a former public school teacher who used online marketing to engage students, I tapped into the best practice of issuing scaffolds for my students on as many activities I could.
The idea of having a scaffold is equivalent to structured support. Here’s a scaffold:
Ahhhhh!!! Yes, now it makes sense right?
A scaffold is a thing that construction workers use to stand on that gives them support when they’re working on different parts of a project. Like so…
As lead generation service providers, you supply the leads and get paid for it.
BUT…what happens when the office staff doesn’t follow up with the leads? Your company and service will often get blamed for bad leads or faulty contact information, etc…
Usually, from what I’ve seen and heard from other service providers, they’re typical answer is either pointing out how the office staff isn’t doing their job or following up with the leads. Whether true or not, the simple fact that there’s a division between the receptionist and lead gen service provider is already a recipe for disaster.
If you’re able to offer them a scaffold or provide them with some kind of structured support for a proper follow up approach, I think you’ll see a drastic difference in the perception of your leads.
This image below might be different from your follow up approach, but it’s better than not having any structured support at all. By giving your client an idea of how a proper follow up sequence plays out, it will paint a better picture for the necessity of having a bonafide system in place.
This is a very low level scaffold that can serve as part of your value add when working with your lead gen clients.
Hopefully, this either affirms your current best practice OR gives you a hint into what is necessary to give your clients solid support on what they can do for follow ups.
Scaffold, scaffold, scaffold!!!
2. Nail down notifications
It goes without saying, one of the more effective follow up strategies to implement is creating a notification system. It’s basic but you’ll be surprised how this piece often get’s forgotten during the set up phase.
For the sake of entertainment, here’s a basic notification flow for typical lead generation campaigns.
- Prospect either sees a paid advertisement or enters a query into a search engine
- Prospect clicks on the said ad or serp (search engine results page) result link
- Prospect arrives to a webpage (aka landing page) with content pertinent to their intended click
- Prospect is wowed by the stellar marketing copy
- Prospect enters information in the form provided
- Prospect is pushed to a confirmation (aka thank you page) page with additional information
- Prospect also receives an email confirming their opt-in
- Company receives a notification email regarding the opt-in from the prospect
- Lead Generation company responsible for the paid ad or landing page creation receives lead notification
- Company reception or front desk responds to the opt-in with follow up
- (hopefully…) Prospect responds and goes through sales funnel
This looks about right I think 🙂
Nowadays, tools such as Active Campaign, Clickfunnels, Drip, Instapage, Infusionsoft, Ontraport, etc have their own built in “automated” notification system which makes it super easy to do it.
Here’s a look at one workflow in drip.co that I use for a seamless notification process.
I usually send email notifications to multiple email addresses.
- client email 1
- client email 2
- my email 1
- my email 2
3. Team up on tracking
When I think about tracking, I think about more than just google analytics or facebook pixels. I think about attribution for actions taken on various pages, the path of each visitor, behavior flow, vision points, etc…
In lead generation campaigns, its important that everyone, including the receptionist, is on the same page when it comes to inbound leads.
- How many came in?
- How many were valid?
- How many were calls? How many were web leads?
- Did the calls drop? Have they been called back?
- Did the leads receive an intake?
- Have the leads received what they were promised on the landing page?
- How many total for the week? the month?
I highly recommend that every lead generation service provider have a legible and systematic way to monitor these metrics. And that it’s an easy to interpret data set so there are no questions when it comes to the viability of the service or leads.
This is a great place where you, the service provider, can work closely with the boots on the ground team member that handles the leads for your clients.
You’ll be able to build rapport when you go through the exercise of creating a tracking system that you both can read and agree upon.
I’m a big proponent of google sheets.
But I’m more of a proponent of simplicity 🙂
I figured, google sheets is easy enough to use and easy enough to share that we just use this.
If you’ve got a cool and robust system, by all means go for it. As long as everyone has real time access to the data, I think things will be fine.
4. Communicate like comrades
This is certainly something that often is underrated and under-appreciated. The notion of basic communication is an area of improvement for most service providers.
We need to remember that we NOR the client and their team members are NOT certified mind readers.
Assume nothing and ask about everything.
When you establish a clear channel of communication between you and the responsible party for the task of following up, please make sure that you use that channel….and communicate.
Another thing to think about it is, have a “paper trail” of the said communication. Mostly so you can go back for research purposes and to reconcile data if necessary. But it’s also a good way to CYA lol 😉
As long as you have an open means of communication, put it to use and go bananas.
You can never go wrong by communicating too much.
The worst that could happen is they say to tone it down lol
5. Specify the stages
Earlier, I mentioned a few metrics that I commonly keep track of. I also list a series of questions that inform some of the important metrics per lead that I like to keep an eye on.
However, the metric I’m hyper focused on, when it comes to leads and customer acquisition is prospect stage.
I want to know how many leads are in each stage of the prospect journey and how many times they’ve been touched during the follow up stages.
All this is assuming that we’ve got the earlier parts dialed in and working like a well oiled machine.
The reason stages are key is because each actual “stage” should require a slightly different message during the touch point.
I’m sure many of you have received calls from the hospital or dentist office about coming in and scheduling an appointment. I know I have. But I also remember that those calls were either all the same with zero sense of urgency or just casual calls with a conspicuously impromptu message.
Each stage should be accompanied with strategy.
Here are two example responses when follow up at each stage, is done properly:
When you specify the stage, then strategically approach each accordingly…
You’ll make a better impact 🙂
6. Text, Text, Text
It goes without saying that text messages and SMS is where it’s at!
People are more likely to read, open, and reply to a text message than they are any other form of digital communication.
According to textedly.com
98% of all text messages are read within 5 minutes.
According to eztexting.com
This is quite significant 🙂
My text messaging tool of choice – skipio.com has this to say:
If you sent a text to 10 people, all 10 of them would open it! That’s the reality of a 98% open rate! We all read texts. We read them all day, we read them everywhere we shouldn’t, and it’s about time you take advantage of it.
I’ve used Skipio for multiple purposes.
- Lead generation
- Follow up
- Birthday party directions
I really like their dashboard
I love that when you create “campaigns” you’re able to move it over to someone elses account so they can use it too 🙂
If you’re not using some form of text messaging…I’d highly question your coolness-factor lol 🙂
So, what next?
Go and make “follow up” fanatics of all your clients and bless them with a strategy or tactic to make it easier for them.
Imagine following up on 100+ leads per week…then imagine that number compounding the next week and the next and the next
Your clients will love you for life 🙂
I sure hope this was helpful.
Thanks for making it this far!!
Bonus – Links to other resources
1. Follow up with Real Estate leads – Follow up Boss
I haven’t tried this software but I’ve heard from real estate professionals that have used it and they love it. I checked out their website site, combed through the entire content on their site, and watched the videos. I’m very impressed 🙂 Check it out for yourself and see if it’s a solution relevant to what you do.
2. Effective & fresh tool – LeadOwl from Dan Henry
The tool looks cool and I’m sure it’s going to get the next big thing excitement vibe in the space. After watching Dan’s video promos and reading about what it can do, I think this tool will be a big value add for service providers. As it grows with its integrations, I can see this tool grow into a commonly used solution.
3. Outbound callers – Upwork profiles
If you have enough resources and an easy to follow process, I’d highly recommend adding a live agent to your team. This person can handle all your outbound calls, tracking, crm entries, etc. It’s a significant part of the follow up system but well worth the cost.
Before you leave…
If you haven’t read this post, you might want to check it out 😉
It’s definitely one of those NINJA posts for sure!!!