Your leads are your future

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Your leads are your next customers and your best referral sources.  Here is a quick five step way to get the most out of every lead.

(1) Design a Good Sales Funnel

A sales funnel is the way a lead becomes a customer.  Its called a funnel because it get narrower.  You need a sales funnel that keeps as leads active and engaged in your business.

Your funnel should:

  • Allow as many leads as possible to fall into your sales funnel.
  • Keep your leads active and engaged with your business.
  • Tell you to know when a lead becomes a hot prospect.
  • Help you close the deal.
  • Build your word of mouth and referral business – filling up your funnel.
  • Give you the information to get better at all the above.

(2) Keep your leads active

A good sales funnel will keep all of these leads active and engaged in your business.  Only about 25% of purchasers will purchase ‘right away’, 75% will require additional nurturing in your funnel. This could equate to up to 3 more sales from the same lead set.  Keeping your leads active in your sales funnel you can triple your lead to sales rates.

(3) Build a social community around your business

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The quote above is from a friend, Dojoan and social media expert Brian Franz. He most certainly gets it.  Smart phones, Facebook and social media has changed the business game. You must use mobile web, Facebook and “content” keep your leads active. Is this worth your investment? We think so because keeping your leads active can triple your revenue from the same leads.

(4) Use social media to keep your leads active.

Keeping your leads active means nurturing your leads. Nurturing leads is all about quality ‘touches’.  This means how you build brand awareness with your leads.  This use to be very expensive and difficult.  Television, radio, newspapers and direct mail use to be the only way to connect with your potential customers and build brand awareness, loyalty etc.

Today there are many inexpensive branding channels like web search, social media and email. Seeing a nice picture of your pool on Facebook, or learning something interesting about your business in a blog post is the modern day television commercial. Use social media engagement and drip marketing to keep your leads active. 

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(5) Create a consistent, evolving content strategy.

Content is another way to say ‘stuff you share’.  It can be pictures, stories videos, status updates or other stuff.  Creating a winning content strategy is figuring out what you are going to tell your leads, when are you are going to say it, and how are you going to say it.  Content strategies are effective if they are designed and implemented well.  A well developed media campaign will keep your leads active and engaged.

A winning content strategy should:

  •  Keep leads entertained and engaged to build brand awareness, trust and loyalty.
  •  Slow-cook leads into prospects by reinforcing the desire to get a pool, addressing the logical questions about getting a pool, and building familiarity and trust.
  • Create triggers so that you can identify when it is time to treat an individual lead like a prospect.
  •  Build referral channels. One of the best thing about qualified pool consumers is that they know other pool people.
  • Creating incentives to share content and information about your business will feed the above objectives and also continue to fill your pipeline with new leads.

Building a stronger sales funnel is never over. I hope this gives you some ideas on next steps.

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Growing your business part 2 – Fueling your engine

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Customers are the fuel.

Customers are the coal that goes in the boiler, that heats the water, that cranks the pistons, turning the wheels taking your business into the future.  All customers start as leads.  A lead is a potential prospect. It is the a combination of intention and contact information.  This person may be interested in this item, service, information etc.

Once you have a basic product flow prototype you must start pushing fuel through the engine in the form of leads.

Getting leads in the door is the only way you are going to be able to tell if your engine works.  You will also figure out where you engine leaks.  If you are luck and the engine works you may very well get a sense of ‘just how fast can we push this baby’.  Botttles Tonight is an app company in the Dojo.  the Bottles Tonight app gets you same day bottle service at the hottest clubs and venues for up to 70% off.  They need to test their live product.  They set up a small Facebook App install campaign to drive people to install the app on their phones.  Each one of these installs is a lead.  After a few hundred installs, these leads gave the Bottles Tonight team the data they needed to test the experience, improve the conversion flow, and get a real idea of their growth opportunity.  In their situation the test worked out so well that they are only expanding their existing lead channel (Facebook Installs) and exploring other lead channels as well.

You must expand your lead base once you are up & running.

Once you figured out how to get customers, you must focus on it and do it more.  Increasing customers is the only way to grow a business and the only way to increase customers is to increase your funnel of leads. This does not mean only increase the best leads or only focus on one type of lead.  Every lead can be a win and every lead increases the size of your funnel.  Each lead is an opportunity to get a new customer, expand your brand and improve your lead nurturing process.

Even a bad lead is probably a good lead.

Leads have a long life.  Only a small percentage of your leads will turn into customers right away. The real value of the lead is that a person expressed an interest that can be fulfilled by your company and you have ways to reach them. There is a good chance that your timeline is NOT your lead’s timeline.  That means that you must stay connected to them and relevant to them between now and the time they are ready to be your customer.  According to published statistics and our internal data, re-engaging your cold leads converts at 150% better than your new leads. The better you are at lead follow up and lead nurturing, the more of your leads will turn into customer.

Every lead is an opportunity to test and improve your follow up process.  

There is no such thing as the perfect follow up process to convert leads into customers.  Luckily there are many paths to test including phone calls, emails, connecting on social media and snail mail.  Also every lead keeps your sale people focused on your funnel, stories about bad leads are opportunities to improve pitches, overcome objections and figure out wins.  Once you have a lead flow, improving your lead follow up process and lead nurturing process is the single best thing you can do to grow your customer base and build your business.  The real value is in that alone.

 

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