U.S. businesses spend billions of dollars generating sales leads only to lose more than 70 percent of them simply because they don’t make contact quickly enough, according to one study. But that’s not the only way they’re losing out on opportunities.
A study of more than 600 companies by Dr. James Oldroyd of MIT found that the odds of a lead entering the sales process were 21 times greater if the business made contact within five minutes of generating the lead versus contact in 30 minutes. Another study, this one by the Harvard Business Review, found that the average response time by businesses to a generated lead is 42 hours – and that’s just for responses that occurred within 30 days.
Generating sales leads is big business, with more than $23 billion spent on Internet leads alone.
If you’re a financial advisor or another professional, you may also be spending money on direct mail, invitations to seminars, TV commercials and/or print ads. How many leads are you generating, and at what cost per lead, only to lose them?
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I began developing innovative marketing strategies while working as a financial advisor, and I’ve found four ways professionals commonly lose sales leads. The good news is, they can all be fixed.
1. Advertising calls to action that are all-or-nothing. Most sales people offer only a face-to-face meeting or a telephone appointment as their call to action in their advertising. But that’s asking a lot of prospects who are simply exploring options and aren’t yet ready for that level of commitment. Those are leads that, three to six months from now, may become sales – but they’re lost early in the process. Instead, offer a less committed option such as “download this free report” in exchange for their information for follow up.