You’ve received the name and contact information of someone who could be a potential customer. Now, how do you begin to convert that lead into a sale? Some of the traditional processes of converting leads into customers might feel out of alignment with your values. This week we’re exploring how to follow up with a customer lead in a way that begins to create a relationship and not just a transaction.
Start with Your Mindset
As we think about following up with customer leads, we can slip into a couple of negative mindsets. We might be paralyzed at the prospect of reaching out because we’re afraid of what they might say in response. Or, we might fall into scarcity mode and try too hard to sell them. Neither of these mindsets help us nurture relationships with potential customers. In the first scenario, we never follow up. In the second scenario, we are more likely to chase new business and treat the other people like transactions. Remember that we are humans who need connection to each other. And to achieve connection, we need to focus on creating relationships. This is a process that starts with our own mindset and attitudes toward others.
Determine if it Makes Sense to Follow Up
First, determine where the lead come from – networking, your online form, a walk-in. There are many ways you can receive a lead, and knowing where they came from can help you understand how much they might already know about your business and what their level of interest is in working with you. Also, evaluate if they fit your customer profile. Think back to what you know about your ideal customer from customer research and past customer experiences. If possible, check them out by reviewing their website, bio, LinkedIn profile, or other online information. For walk-ins, strike up a conversation with them. Learn a little bit about them and their needs. And lastly, look for their intent. Does it feel like they are just being polite? Or, do they genuinely seem interested in learning more about what you do?
Start a Conversation
If it makes sense to follow up, there are different ways you can start a conversation depending on their level of interest in working with you. If they are interested in your business but not quite ready to work with you, ask permission to add them to your newsletter list so they can stay up to date on your business activities. If they seem to have a high interest in working with you in the near term, follow-up with a personal email or phone call. Refer to how you know them and any conversation you’ve had with them, and ask for a phone call or meeting. In whichever way you start the conversation, make it convenient for them, listen for their needs and how you can help them, and stay true to your values.
Rani Langer-Croager is co-host of Envision radio show on the VoiceAmerica Variety channel and co-founder of Uptima Business Bootcamp, a network of member-owned business accelerators dedicated to providing entrepreneurs with greater access to hands-on education, mentorship, resources, and community to create thriving businesses.