If you’ve ever worked in lead generation, or seen the film Glengarry Glen Ross, you’re all too familiar with the term, “The leads are weak.” However, the leads themselves may not actually be weak. In fact, it may be the lack of follow up with the leads that deems them as such.

Leads are initially dismissed because of two ways:

  • There is no immediate interest in a product or service.
  • There is a long term lead that doesn’t impact the current period’s quota.

These two dismissals are often never seen again, leading to missed opportunities and ROI.

The follow up procedure is crucial with any lead. With only 5% of leads producing sales for a business, your company may be at an even lower percentage due to improper follow up techniques, states author Dan McDade. In order to properly follow up with a lead, multiple avenues must be established, which is referred to as the “multi-touch strategy.” Email and phone are the two primary ways of reaching a lead, as most businesses utilize both. These two avenues should compliment each other as you attempt to make contact with a lead. If you’ve already sent an email but are leaving a voicemail, reference the email in the voicemail to establish a pattern of contact, and vise versa. In addition to phone and email, direct mail can often open up another line of contact to pursue future business.

But there are many variables that can differ from lead to lead in regards to your contact methods. One example is that some individuals on the front lines for a lead may prefer the anonymity of an email rather than a phone call. Others will prefer speaking directly because it offers a more personable touch, and can produce a more natural conversation.

Don’t become discouraged if you are not contacted right away by a lead. Often times, the individuals you are attempting to contact are extremely busy, and will contact you when they have the time. Dan McDade comments that often times active leads are catching up emails and voicemails in a cab on the way to the airport, or returning phone calls during a lengthy commute. Patience is key when waiting for a reply.

If you do get the opportunity to speak with your lead, speak clearly, and don’t be ambiguous about your business. Many of your important details and specifics about your company can be lost if you aren’t direct. Once you establish a connection or spark interest with your lead, focus on the benefits rather than the features. For instance, your emergency mustering company uses updated, real-time technology that tracks your employees in case of a life-threatening emergency. The collected data from the technology is potentially saving lives, which is the overall benefit for you.

Following up with leads through the multi-touch strategy can increase your revenue, leverage your opportunities for business. Without proper follow up, your leads may change from warm to weak, and your chance of achieving specific ROI is gone.