A lapsed lead is not necessarily a lost lead!  Following up with lapsed leads can feel like a fruitless effort; however, there are certain steps you can take to re-engage leads and transition from losing a potential client to closing the deal.

What is a Lead?

A lead is a qualified prospect that exhibits buying behavior and expresses interest in your goods/service.  Leads are established through customer referrals or directly through advertising. Marketing and sales departments typically work to establish qualified leads.

Classifying Leads

A prospect is someone who could become a potential customer, while a lead is someone who could become a prospect.  It is important to qualify leads to determine if they have the potential to become prospects and eventually customers.

While establishing leads, it is important for your company to establish a clear definition of what would be considered a “valuable” lead worth pursuing.  Once your team is on the same page, it is vital to be persistent and personalized with each lead. It is also important to note that some leads are established in the short-term, while others are cultivated over weeks or even months, so don’t lose hope!  A clear service level agreement (SLA) should be established to outline exactly how leads should be treated by everyone on your sales team.  One way to do this is to classify leads based on these four components:

  1. Type of product/service that you are providing
  • Are you selling something of value to solve a problem?
  1. The source of the lead (referral, ads, etc.)
  • Online leads require much quicker response-time: ideally within 5 minutes
  • Offline leads may require long-term cultivation
  1. Quality of the lead
  • The higher the lead quality, the faster you want to respond
  1. The buyer’s journey
  • Put yourself in your lead’s mindset; which of your buyer personas do they represent?
  • The lower the prospect is in the funnel (closer to a final decision), the faster you should respond

The way in which you follow up with a lead should depend on these categories and how your company classifies leads.

Be Persistent

When following up with leads, timing is everything.  According to a study done by the Harvard Business Review, the majority of firms are slow to respond to leads; the study showed an average of firms responded to online-generated leads in about 42 hours.  However, this study also found that firms that responded to leads within an hour were 60 times as likely to qualify the lead than those who contacted the customer within 24 hours.  Furthermore, it was discovered that 71% of qualified leads are never followed up with.  This presents an enormous opportunity for firms to re-engage lapsed leads.  Simply responding to a lead in a timely manner puts you in the top quartile of organizations.  Additionally, reaching out to a lead 6 times increases your likelihood of making contact by 70%, so don’t be afraid to keep reaching out until you get the result you’re looking for!  

How and When to Reach Out

Once you’ve established the quality of leads you are pursuing, it’s time to start reaching out.  It is crucial to optimize the initial stages of the sales funnel when you are making first impressions.  Most leads are being contacted by multiple people at the same time; therefore, you should send personalized, timely messages to prove that you will go above and beyond in order to win the deal.  According to data collected by the Society for Marketing Professional Services, almost half of salespeople give up after 1st contact, and by 3rd contact, 80% of salespeople have given up.  By the 5th and 6th contact with a lead, you have begun to develop a relationship and you are likely to be the only contender.

The Thnks Edge

With the sheer quantity of people reaching out to leads, it can be difficult for you and your company to stand out and make a lasting impression; however, with Thnks you can send unexpected gestures of appreciation that will undoubtedly impress your leads and make you a top contender.  After all, it’s no secret that everyone likes someone who appreciates them, and one of the core tenets of selling is that people choose to do business with people that they like! Simple unexpected gestures that demonstrate you value someone’s time and respect your relationship have the power to completely change another person’s perspective. Thnks gives you an edge in the sales process by simplifying the act of showing gratitude. Here’s what some Thnks clients had to say about using Thnks to follow up with a lapsed lead:

 

“Thnks has already had a strong impact.  I had a client who canceled a meeting with me so I sent him a gift hoping to reschedule.  He responded immediately saying he really appreciated the thought and I ended up winning the meeting back!”- Susanne R.

Gift: A Power Breakfast

I believe Thnks could easily be the tipping point that leads to my clients landing new engagements. Beyond that, it’s clearly a quick and easy way for them to keep current clients happy.”- Terry R.

Gift: Dunkin’ Munchkins 

“I’ve found using the app to send gifts to prospects that I’ve built a relationship later in the sales cycle has been beneficial so I’m rolling with that for now and enjoying all of the updates you guys are pushing to the app!”- Ally C.

Gift: An Uber Ride

“I used it as a follow up to a cold meeting in person.  I asked them to broker an intro to the right person within the company and followed up with a coffee the next day.  4 hours later we got a great intro. To me that is a win and a great use of the Thnks platform.” – Peter L.

Gift: A Starbucks Coffee

Written by: Camille Lopez-Silvero, Marketing at Thnks

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