Marketing | February 1, 2013

Handling Local Inbound Leads

How Local Inbound Leads Handled Properly Create Revenue

The Importance of Your First Impression with Local Inbound Leads

Far too often local business leaders spend their local advertising and marketing budgets only to get a 20% to 40% win ratio for inbound leads (usually calls and web leads).  In other words, five calls generates one to two new clients or one to two new revenue opportunities.  This is okay as long as the cost for the lead is less than $100 and the average profit per client is over $500, but too often it is not.  Instead, many local business leaders spend over $100 per lead to gain less than a 50% win ratio averaging less than $300 in profit per client.  So how do you make sure you get the best return on our local advertising and marketing budgets?

  • Determine Your Lead Cost:  How much do you spend in local marketing each month and how many leads do you get?  For a local air conditioning company spending $5,000 per month to get 50 leads and averaging $250 in profit per lead, you at least need a 40% win ratio to break even.  Make sure you know these numbers and how your local business is doing with converting leads to revenue.
  • Set a Goal for Every Campaign:  It is far to easy to “believe” you will get a return on your local advertising and marketing budget without inspecting the results of your inbound leads. After all, many local business leaders think it is impossible to track lead sources when it really isn’t with today’s technology.  We will cover lead tracking methods in future bullet points, so for this point… set a goal for what you expect and make sure your advertising and marketing firms understand and agree with how you will get there.  In other words, if you spend $2,500 on an ad campaign and need 10 new clients at $500 in profit each to justify the expense, make sure your local marketing firm understands and agrees with your expectations.
  • Measure Every Lead Source:  Once you have set your goal, make sure you track every marketing campaign to make sure you know exactly what each produced.  You can easily do this through tracking unique telephone numbers and web lead sources.
  • Make Sure Your Staff is Ready:  One way of making sure the person handling your inbound phone calls is ready to help facilitate a positive client experience is to make sure they know the value of each call.  It is too easy to get lost in the calls of the day (solicitors, field techs, vendors, clients and future clients) and forget the importance of each incoming call and the real cost associated.  If your team knows that each call costs your local business around $100, they tend to handle the inbound call differently.
  • Label the Call to Help Your Team:  With today’s technology, it is easy enough to place a recording on the call to let your team know the importance of the call. One way of doing this is by labeling it with the ad source like “Mighty Main Street Lead” or something similar.
  • Make Callers Feel Special:  If there is one area local businesses struggle it is in the area of making the client experience excellent all the way through the engagement.  Studies show that the most impactful time to perform with excellence is with the initial call.  Make sure your team is prepared to handle the call with excellence and not answering calls while working on other projects and/or away from their desk.  And make sure they have a common flow for each call – below is one example of a 10 Step Call Handling Process many Social180 clients use.

10 Step Inbound Call Handling Process to Create the Ultimate Client Experience:

  1. “Thank you for calling ABC Company.  It’s our pleasure to serve you.  This is Jane, how may I help you today?”
  2. “Thanks John, I can help you with that.  Just in case we get disconnected for any reason, may I have your phone number please?” 
  3. “Thank you and may I ask you a few quick questions?” 
  4. “May I have your last name?” 
  5. “And may I have your home address?”
  6. “Is the number you gave me your mobile number?”  (if not, get it too – it helps our team communicate with them if text is necessary) 
  7. “So if I understand your need, you have an issue where your air conditioner is not working, correct?”
  8. “Thanks John, Tom on our team is great in that area.  I am looking at his calendar now.  How does tomorrow at 11am work for you?”
  9. “We will send you an email to confirm your appointment.  May I have your email address please?”  
  10.  “We will follow up with an invite and plan on seeing you tomorrow at 11am. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

The lack of an inbound leads guide leaves too much to chance.  When it does not exists, people tend to multitask and the attention given to a new caller weakens which means your chance of winning weakens. A good inbound leads process can improve your lead conversion and create habits in your business that create client loyalty and raving fans.  So consider these inbound leads and lead handling tips and contact us for help implementing these other other similar inbound leads processes.