Don’t do this

by Josef Katz on June 14, 2007

in CRM,lead generation

During the last month I requested information online about two relatively high-ticket purchases. I provided my contact information and answered qualifying questions. And then neither company followed up to provide the information I asked for. Too bad, since one of the companies really had me interested. They promised me a free evaluation to help me decide whether their product was right for my needs.

As a marketer, I find it very odd that these companies would waste a perfectly qualified lead. Each company took time and money to get me to their site. They qualified me and brought me through a process. One even made me a great offer. Why not follow up? Why bother with the forms and marketing if they were going to ignore the lead? If they didn’t plan to follow up, why did they pretend they would?

The lesson for all entrepreneurs and marketers is . . .

Don’t ask for info if you are not going to use it to improve your sales process.

Follow up every inquiry. Deliver on any promise you make to your potential customers. If you are giving something away for free, give it. If you promise information on your services, provide it.  If your system is broken, fix it or take it down. There are plenty of marketers out there who would love to get a qualified lead. We marketers don’t like seeing other companies mess up the process for the rest of us.

The story gets better…

About three weeks later, I received a generic note from the president of one of the companies. It gave me his phone number and email address and invited me to contact him.

Marketers and entrepreneurs, please don’t do this. If you say you’re going to contact a potential customer, do so right away and don’t ask them to call you. Any follow-up email should contain a little more substance, especially after a potential customer fills out an extensive form.

If you are the president of the company and you don’t have a sales force, use a different title. I don’t want to work with a company whose president is this close to the sales process. It sounds like a one-man show. Your business might be small but act and think big.

In the world of response marketing, timing is everything. Let as little time as possible elapse from inquiry to first contact. If you do, you will see your sales and conversions increase.

If you are collecting leads, remember these rules:

  • Follow up immediately
  • Deliver on the promise
  • Don’t make the lead work to get info
  • Only ask for information you are going to use (don’t waste my time)

There is a lot more to effective lead generation and sales follow up, but if you avoid some of these pitfalls you will be ahead of the game.

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