There is a science to responding to inbound leads! To help outline the best strategies around engaging with these leads, I have consulted one of our Metrix Coaches, Ryan Melville.
Ryan believes there are four best strategies when it comes to effectively and efficiently responding to inbound leads. However, before diving into the strategies, Ryan emphasized to me that agents must first CLEARLY define success when responding to an inbound lead. Are you looking to immediately convert to an appointment? Or maybe you are just looking to better understand the lead’s timeline? Maybe your objective is to immediately categorize the lead into one of your lead “buckets” (i.e. hot, nurture, watch, etc) to begin the incubation process? Whatever the case, make sure you know what it looks like to “win”!
The first strategy is: Speed to Lead. Speed to Lead is essentially how quickly you are connecting with your brand new leads after they have entered your database system. In our Implementation Program, Ryan teaches our Metrix clients that the ideal time to respond to all incoming leads is within the first five minutes. There is a greater chance of actually getting into contact with the lead if you can connect with them within these first five minutes. When you can catch these clients within this time frame, they will likely still be looking at the properties that they registered to see on your website. Some of Ryan’s clients are now so committed to Speed to Lead, that they are reaching out to their leads in less than one minute!
Ryan’s next strategy is to immediately get a continuous follow-up plan in place. If you are not able to successfully connect with the lead and have a voice to voice conversation on call #1, you should have an aggressive follow-up plan in place for how you plan to connect with them moving forward. Will you text them every day for the next seven days? Will you call them for the next three days AND send them an email as follow-up? You must have a voice to voice conversation in order to qualify each lead and place them into your active sales pipeline.
After you have established and implemented an effective follow-up system, Ryan’s believes you must also develop your ‘What’s Next?’ strategy. After your existing leads have gone through the ‘new lead’ plan, you must then have a plan of what’s next. How will you further follow up, but likely at a lesser frequency than your “new lead plan”? Pro tip: Metrix clients are taught to use a “pond” or “hopper” system where all leads that are not added to your agents’ active pipelines are place into a lead “bucket” and called on a weekly or monthly basis. Ryan’s advice: be aggressive with those leads that are 1-12 days old (in your new lead plan). The more attempts you can make to reach out to leads, the higher chances you have of converting that lead. But do not quit after 12 days…continue to follow up but make this follow up process more efficient and long term. Remember, leads in your “pond” represent the best leads to call as these potential deals already raised their hand and displayed interest!
Ryan’s final strategy around responding to inbound leads is to have a default sales script in your back pocket when dialing the leads for initial contact. What does this mean? You likely know the lead source and why they landed on your site. So you have a focused script aimed at converting that lead type. For example, if an inbound pay per click lead enters your system, you likely know that they were shopping for a home and you may even know the type of home that they are seeking based on their search criteria. Your script will therefore be something very specific to their circumstances – “I see that you registered on my site and are searching for a new home…tell me more about this.” However, be ready for the lead to pivot and maybe even deny that they were on your site! This is common and you should not panic. Instead, pull out your default, general sales script. The one Ryan teaches? “Oh okay, that’s cool….so tell me, what then ARE your real estate plans for 2020?” This seems rather simple, and it is. Your ability to go with the flow and immediately take back control of the conversation will most definitely lead to greater lead conversion.