Are you collecting leads, but still not quite sure how to get the most out of them?
When it comes to building a funnel, are you in the dark?
Are you ready to automate your lead response follow up…but don’t know where to start?
Worse still, are you leaving 30% or more of your potential new clients unconverted?
Well, you’ve come to the right place because Michael Mahoney—a leader in personalized marketing automation at scale—graciously helped me build a 30-day challenge for Advisorist members—to get them up and running with an automated lead generation system.
That challenge is the inspiration for this post.
Because if you still think that a lead generation system is just something you have to do to collect prospect names, then consider this…
Michael planned and optimized the customer journeys (and follow up) of more than 60 million insurance leads per year through an automated system for managing interactions via email, text and phone.
The result was more than $700 million in annualized premiums.
Best of all, you can use his strategies to kick your conversions into overdrive too.
Are Too Many Worms Getting Away From You?
There’s an old saying, and you’ve probably heard it.
The early bird gets the worm.
Well, nowhere is that more true than in sales.
If you’re going to have the best chance of closing a sale, you need to be the first to respond to a lead inquiry.
That’s because you need to strike while the prospect is actually thinking about the issue or problem.
When you’re the first to offer a solution—or reach out to show that you want to help—you are bound to have a significant competitive advantage.
It’s that simple.
According to the InsideSales.com lead response management study, the odds are overwhelmingly in your favor when you are FIRST and PERSISTENT:
- The odds of contacting a lead increase 100x if called in the first five minutes versus 30 minutes.
- The odds of qualifying that lead increase 21x if called in the first five minutes versus 30 minutes.
- And when you reach out and touch a prospected with a few more calls and emails, you can boost your contact rate by as much as 70%.
But here’s the funny thing.
Most people do a lousy job of following up.
We know that 50% of sales close after the 5thfollow up, but only 10% of salespeople are persistent enough to make it to the fifth call.
In fact, almost half quit after one follow-up attempt, and 72% quit after two tries.
Their failure is definitely your competitive advantage… if you know how to capitalize on it.
Because you’re probably wondering why so many fail.
Here’s the secret.
They’re not necessarily lazy.
They’re swamped with leads and can’t keep up with the follow-up load… because they don’t know how to automate their follow-up process.
Put Your Lead Generation Follow Up System on Steroids… Automate!
There are three reasons you need to automate… in addition to the fact that your competition probably isn’t.
1) There’s simplicity in systems. Once your system is set up, you’ve cut your workload. And aside from occasional reviews and tweaks, you can set it and forget it. That frees you to focus on more complex issues. Plus, you don’t need to hire a lot of people to follow up with leads.
2) Systems scale beautifully. If you set up your system based on a manual process that you’ve used and know both works (functionally) and resonates with leads, you can automate that system to deliver the same level of attention to 1, 100 or 1 million leads.
3) Most prospects need to be nurtured. It’s estimated that only about 3% of the market is actively buying at any given time. The rest need some nurturing.
As for the rest, 56.6% are not even close to being ready to buy.
BUT 40.4% probably are open to a new idea. You just need to follow up and show them that you have what they need and that you are the one to provide it.
SWIPE THIS: The Psychology of Email
The FIRST RULE OF EMAIL is to get them sent.
Procrastination and perfection will be your downfall.
You need to be making forward PROGRESS… always.
The SECOND RULE OF EMAIL is to tap into human psychology. Here are a few ideas:
- Short—Keep your emails short. These days the only people sending ponderously long emails are other salespeople. Don’t give yourself away. Write like you’re a friend or family.
- Personalize—Especially in the subject line. If your contact data is reliable enough, add a few key elements (location, specific product interest) in the body of the email. But be careful. Bad data can produce bad results. When in doubt, you can sound personal without personalizing.
- Grab attention—Again, start with the subject line. Ask a question. Share an amazing fact. Stimulate curiosity. Play to people’s FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) with a suggestion that a special price, free consultation or download has limited availability.
- Activate fair play—You’ll encourage reciprocity when you incentivize with a free video, webinar or white paper. People are more likely to repay the favor by agreeing to go to the next step with a phone call or meeting.
- Get your foot in the door—Speaking of the next step, make it easy by providing baby steps. A few simple ”yeses” here and no-brainer agreement there, and before you know it they’re well into the buying process.
- Positive emotions—While some think you need fear tactics, we prefer to let people envision the good feelings they’ll have when they have financial peace of mind, protection for their family, financial freedom or a rich and rewarding secure retirement. Who doesn’t want those things?
- Build a relationship—Your follow-up campaign can move relationships forward. Introduce yourself. Use personalization. Be authentic, and build trust through honesty. Demonstrate your knowledge and willingness to share that knowledge with prospects.
- Remember the call to action (CTA)—After you’ve done everything else, don’t forget to give people a next step. Use power words like “Buy now” and “Call today.” And never leave a prospect with uncertainty. Show them what they get for their effort.
30 Days to Your Own Automated Lead Follow-Up Program
Okay, this is it. This is a quick overview of how you build an automated, lead generation system that helps you take your conversions through the roof.
Remember, don’t fall victim to analysis paralysis. Force yourself to stick to the 30-day timeline. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to refine and perfect over time.
You need two things:
1) A manual system that you know works: This lets you work out the kinks ahead of time.
2) The right technology: Make your first investment in a CRM system that is easy to use and fast to set up (about 30 days). You’re not making a forever choice. Rule of thumb: Assume a two-year lifespan for the system. This way, too, you won’t be locked in when something better comes on the market.
Your next 30 days:
Day 1 and Day 5: Write down your pitch (emails and call script). Build out your process by listing the order of the emails you are sending, the calls you are making, and your schedule for delivering. Revisit your process on Day 5 so you can move into the automation process with a content strategy that works.
Day 2, 3 and 4: Your data needs to be clean. Nothing can show you up as less than professional more quickly than silly, avoidable errors. Remember the motto: Garbage In, Garbage Out.
Day 6: Sign up for a CRM. Get your data in the system. Log your lead status and send out pitches manually. This is the time to perfect your structure and organization prior to going full auto.
Day 7 – 20: Adjust your pitch as necessary. Become familiar with the CRM system. Keep working manually to ensure that what you’re saying and your schedule for delivery is resonating.
Day 21: Create your automated sequences based on your refined manual process.
Day 22 – 30: Adjust and refine as necessary.
Day 31: Celebrate. You got it done. Now measure your sales impact. Identify what’s working and what’s not. Now you can start to refine.
With your automated system, you can join the 10% who can go the distance with follow ups. For all the details, including exactly what to write in your follow-up emails, which CRM is right for you, and how-to ensure your follow-up automation is done correctly AND compliantly (as well as learn more about advanced add-on techniques like SMS and Ringless Voice Mails), join us inside Advisorist.