Published February 16, 2016
How fast does your sales team respond to online leads? Chances are, not fast enough.
Research cited by Forbes found that 71% of the leads generated on the Internet are wasted simply because companies wait too long to respond–46 hours and 53 minutes on average, and sales reps typically make only 1.3 call attempts before giving up and moving on.
Instant gratification is the expectation in today’s mobile and connected world. If you inquired about a product and it took days for that company to get back to you, your impression of the company would probably be pretty lousy–and you likely would have found the product somewhere else in the meantime or even forgotten that you were interested in it in the first place.
It’s no different when it comes to franchise leads. You want to make sure your call is the first call a candidate gets. If someone else gets to them first, they may have a great conversation with another brand (instead of you) or have a terrible call that turns them off from franchise salespeople in general.
These tips can help make sure you make the most of your online leads:
First, call immediately. Think an hour doesn’t make a difference? Wrong. If you just received the inquiry via the web, likely that person is still sitting at the computer and near a phone. Plus, you’re on their mind at that moment.
“If you follow up with web leads within 5 minutes, you’re 9 times more likely to convert them.” [Source: InsideSales.com]
Make additional calls at different times of the day. If you don’t get the candidate on the line with the first call, try again the next day, and the day after. Call once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the early evening. How many call attempts should you make? Keeping in mind that research shows it takes an average of 9-10 calls to reach someone, at some point you may want to leave a “kiss off” message: Say you don’t want to be a pest and if/when they’re interested they should give you a call.
Use email as part of your outreach, but don’t rely on it entirely. Send an email to follow up your first call, but simply thank the candidate for inquiring, let them know you’ll call back, and leave your contact info. Don’t send all the information in an email–just enough to give the candidate a reason to call you. If you send all the details in an email and your competition doesn’t, than they’ll need to speak with your competitor and not you.
Learn about the candidate; don’t blab about yourself. Ever been on a first date where the other person only talked about him or herself? Boring, right? On the first call, you want to learn about the prospective franchisee—not spend the entire time trying to sell them on your business. Why are they interested in a franchise? Where are they currently working? What are their career and family goals? If you called quickly (as you should have), the candidate may not have been prepared to dive into these details, so start off light and set a date to follow up to dive deeper.
Know your lead source and measure your success. Know the contact ratio and close ratio for the lead source you’re using. Find out if they share leads. Also know your average cost per sale, and divide it by the cost per lead you pay to your source. That will tell you how many leads you need to get, and how many you need to close to cover the cost of your investment. You’ll be less frustrated if you set your expectations appropriately.