Every home improvement company has salespeople on the phones, generating business. Whether it’s a one-person operation or a massive call center, inside sales is prerequisite to turn leads into sales and more jobs. As one of our customers once told me, “We call it Dialing for Dollars.”
I found some simple but effective sales advice in a recent article from the Business 2 Community website, titled 3 Inside Sales Techniques That Work Surprisingly Well, that I wanted to share.
Those three things are:
- Be Prompt
- Leave a Voicemail
Under the Be Prompt advice, it suggests that you reach out to homeowners as quickly as possible. Everyone’s attention span has gotten shorter and shorter because of the instant gratification we get from technology these days.
Harvard Business Review audited 2,241 U.S. companies to find out how long it took them to respond to leads, they discovered that 37% got back to leads in an hour, 16% in 24 hours and 24% waited more than 24 hours. [They] discovered that businesses that contacted prospects within an hour of receiving a lead were almost 7 times more likely to qualify them than those that waited 24 hours or more.
If you get a lead, call them back as soon as possible (I guess I should have used ASAP there…)
With the Persist advice, we at improveit 360 couldn’t agree more. It’s what we preach. In fact, our system has a built-in reminder process that we call “Closed Loop Marketing” so that our customers are required to keep reaching out to prospects until they finally set an appointment.
If you don’t have persistence when it comes to your leads, you’re wasting a huge opportunity:
Of the companies that try to call a lead, on average they do so a paltry 1.41 times before abandoning the cause. That makes no sense. You have about a 10 percent chance of reaching someone each time you call. That means you need to make on average 10 calls to reach a live person on the phone. If you’re only calling once or twice, it’s likely you will never talk to most of your leads.
There are two camps when it comes to inside sales – those who Leave a Voicemail message and those who do not. Some feel it’s better to only talk to someone directly because a voicemail allows them to disqualify you without hearing your entire sales pitch or giving you the chance to overcome objections.
In the article, there’s great advice if you’re going to leave a message. The idea that you should craft it beforehand is a truly good idea. Instead of talking about yourself or pitching the company, you should:
Raise the pain point that your product or services address. For example, we might leave a message that talks about the frustration of not being able to reach leads on the phone. The objective is to open the wound and then offer a solution that heals it.
Again, this is simple sales advice and not rocket science. But it really does make good sense in this day and age. We’re dealing with homeowners with attention deficits, surrounded by tech that gives them instant gratification. And they can be hard to reach by phone. But doing these three things could make a big difference to your bottom line.