Don't Let Leads Go Bad
A great salesperson is always filling his or her briefcase with new and potentially lucrative leads generated from any number of professionals, locations, meetings, conferences or, at best, existing customers. Working a health fair, for example, can generate an entire stack of business cards or leads that need follow-up attention. It is usually at the events where you have rented space that you have made the largest investment in an ongoing effort to gain new business — and you shouldn't waste it.
The newly acquired business cards might have individual notes written on them, reminders about conversations or about a promise you made. What is most important is that there may be some business represented by that card that you need to pursue.
Too frequently, these leads are collected after a significant expense in obtaining them, but then … well, they end up in a box. You spent all that money and time to attend the conference, leave with 10 to 15 leads and then have nothing to show for your efforts or investment.
Let's fix that problem.
Hopefully when you first received the lead, you noted any important or “need to remember” information, such as:
The best time to contact the person;
Which phone number is best to use for reaching the contact; and
The key reason for a future meeting.
Now you can begin on your stack of leads by:
Entering all of the cards you collected into a database. Make sure you have noted the major contact information.
Making a note about any comments, interests or information you promised to the potential customer.
Noting the date you made the initial contact to ensure you don't wait too long to set up the appointment.
Keep in mind that when people leave a conference or meeting, it takes only a few days to forget more than 80 percent of what occurred during the event. Attendees often meet many exhibitors, talk to lots of people about their issues and needs, and leave their business cards for several others to contact them as well.
The longer you allow the lead to sit unworked, the greater the chance it will have little value. You will be spending most of your initial conversation with the potential customer asking if they remember you. Move fast. Work the leads quickly, and don't let them sit idle for more than a week.