Leads are the fuel that all startups need. Without them, your sales team will be without a job in no time, and profits will slow down to a trickle.
With advances in technology, getting new clients has evolved beyond the traditional networking and cold calling. Now, entrepreneurs can generate quality leads to their new businesses quickly and easily via social media and search engines. With these platforms, you can target a wide range of companies and individuals who are potential customers.
While it may seem simple and straightforward, startups still face challenges when it comes to finding leads, and more importantly, when it comes to converting them into customers.
Overcoming these challenges begins with acknowledging the areas in which you need to improve, and from there, you can successfully create new leads and convert them into customers. Below, we’ll take a look at three reasons why your startup could be losing leads.
Competitive businesses put out a ton of content, through the use of ad campaigns, digital media content, branded marketing materials and social media campaigns, to name a few. If any of these avenues are not well coordinated, your audience can get confused.
A lack of consistency will have a negative effect on your brand identity. When people get confused, they lose interest. To avoid losing the interest of potential customers, you need to clearly communicate your brand while ensuring a cohesive company culture that trickles down into all areas of your business. When sales, marketing and customer service have a united understanding of your brand and culture, they can communicate it clearly to the outside world.
Clear message does a lot for your business, including:
- Projects professionalism: A cohesive message about who you are and what you do makes you look better than your disorganized competitor
- Establishes authenticity: If you stick to the identity or values you put out in your message, it will be clear to potential leads that those values are genuine; not just something you threw out for marketing purposes
- Provides clarity: Being consistent in your messaging removes any confusion clients may have about what you stand for
- Builds trust: This one is something you probably already know. People are drawn to those who are consistent and trustworthy, and that includes businesses
To reiterate, having a clear message attracts customers. So make sure your website, marketing materials, salespeople and customer service team are all saying the same thing.
In a bid to close clients, you might find yourself exaggerating what you can deliver. This is a dangerous mistake to make and one that can ruin your reputation. Overselling comes with a heavy price if you don’t deliver on those promises. You put your reputation on the line when you create high expectations, and the result can be costly when customers are unsatisfied. Think: ruined reputation, financial loss and even legal ramifications.
To ensure you keep clients and profits, be realistic with yourself and all clients or potential customers. Before accepting a project, ask questions like, do we have the time to do this well? Are our skills adequate to ensure the project is done to the client’s standards? And, will we give them what they deserve?
Again, the best way to please a potential lead is under promise and over deliver, not over promise and under deliver. Unfulfilled promises will only see you losing leads, and much more.
The power of good communication in business cannot be emphasized enough. Your organization’s communication must excel both internally and externally; otherwise, your lead conversion will be very low. To convert leads, you need to be able to reply to inquiries quickly.
For example, if a visitor to your website fills out a form in hopes of getting more information, you should immediately begin communicating with them by phone or through an automated email system. Your emails should provide helpful information about product or service offers and then give them the opportunity to make a purchase.
This is an effective way to convert leads into customers online, but what if they reach out over the phone instead? You must be available when they need answers or want to make a purchase at that moment because missed calls equal missed opportunities.
In a world increasingly focused on customer experiences, it’s essential that you make a stellar first impression when a lead calls. And if you’re too busy to answer calls, or too distracted to make an excellent first impression, you need to find a solution so you stop losing leads.
As Forbes contributor, Carol Kinsey Goman, reports, “(People) make major decisions about one another in the first seven seconds of meeting.”
In order to ensure that you convert those leads that come your way, develop a clear and unified message, promise only what you can deliver, and implement systems and services to streamline communications between you, your team and potential customers.