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How Scary Big Is Your Sales Funnel Leak?

I rarely meet a business owners who will say, "I've got so many qualified leads, I don't want any more." Just about every business owners I meet instead tells me, "Some additional good, qualified leads would make my life so much easier."

So that's why I wanted to share with you three places where I've seen business owners squander these hard to come by leads.  It's a huge shame given how hard they are to come by and I want to make sure you aren't one of those that's got a leak like that in their boat.

 

Sales Basics

NOTE: Please notice that this Infusionsoft consultant is not talking about Infusionosoft at all.  My focus here is the sales process.

Now I’ve known a lot of sales people in my years in business and consider myself decent at sales. Get me in front of someone with an interest in what I do. But I'm not talking sales here. I'm talking about marketing and the lead generation.  It's what comes right before the sale.

If I need to make 10 sales a month, I can spend $1,000 and 10 hours:

  • attending networking events,
  • posting on social media,
  • running ads in different media, or
  • sending out email messages.

I do this to generate interest and get the phone to ring.  In order to make 10 sales, I'll reach out to 100 prospects in hopes of converting them to paying customers.

If I want to increase sales to 20 a month, I have three options.

  1. I can up my spend from $1,000 to $2,000 to generate more leads.
  2. I can spend 20 instead of 10 hours of time generating interest.
  3. I can focus on my sales process and my presentation in order to up my close rate so after meeting 100 interested prospects I get 15 or 20 sales instead 10.

If you are in sales and marketing, this should not be a big revelation to you. Sales is a numbers game.  You put more leads in the front end or figure out a way to convert more of your leads into sales.  You get more sales.  It's really that simple.

So Let's Discuss the Possible Leaks in Your Sales Process

Lead #1: Lost Traffic

So let’s go over the people you know.  I’m talking about the people that if you ran into them on the street would say, “Hey, Jorge. How long has it been since we’ve seen each other? What’s going on? We should get together for coffee or a beer some time.”

Because you haven’t stayed in touch with them, there are people in your circle that are what I like to call, “Lost traffic.” Either online, on your website or in your interaction with them, they didn’t get enough information about you to consider buying from you.  And if they did get it, they forgot about it.

Let’s use an example. You run into someone you haven’t seen for years and she’s does hair. She's really good at knowing what to do with hair that's turning grey and makes you look old.

You run into her at Dunkin Donuts and she never tells you she does hair. Little did she know that you just got fed up with your hair lady because she got rid of the grey hairs, but replaced them with a shade of black that makes you look like someone from a Halloween movie. You’ve just parted ways with her, but she never told you could help you with your grey hair issues.

So big hole number one we need to plug up is, “Lost traffic.” And please keep in mind. Once you lose this traffic, you can never go back and get it.

Leak #2: Lost Leads

Let’s talk about something that happens while networking.  You meet people. There are those that show clear signs they want to buy and those that don't.

I ran into an obvious hot lead recently.  I told him what I did and you could see him light up. He not only saw how I could help him, he wanted to learn more. He gave me his card and I followed up. From first meeting him to close it was about two weeks.

I'd clearly call that a “Hot lead.” What makes it hot is that you connected quickly, identified the interest right away and guided them down my sales pipeline quickly.

It was easy to tell the difference between that hot lead and the other people I met that day. It’s difficult to tell the difference between bad leads and what I like to call “not yet” leads. Many of us mistakenly identify those other ones as “Bad leads.” Since there was no interest shown, we assume the was no interest and don't pursue them.

So these are what I call, “Lost leads.” They did learn about what we had to offer. They were a potential buyer for what we sell. They just didn’t show signs that they had an immediate interest.

Do you know that statistically, it takes 7 contacts or touches with a company before a customer feels comfortable enough to do business with us?  And what do sales people typically do? They stop at after 3 maybe 4 contacts. We meet someone. There’s #1. We send them a follow up email message. That’s #2. Maybe we write them a hand written note. There goes #3. Then we stop. We mark them a bad lead because they didn’t call us set up a time to talk.

Just think of the lady that got the Halloween movie black hair.  What if she won't leave her hair lady because of the relationship. She’s been going to the same hair lady for years. She would go with someone else in a minute, but is waiting for her hair lady to retire, move, or something else so she can make the change. I call these“Not Yet Leads” that will consider you, but something else has to happen first.

Lead #3: Lost Customers

The third leak in our sales process is “Lost Customers.” These are customers that have paid us good money for our products and services and for some reason no longer continue buying from us.

Did you know that statistically, 65% of customers leave to another business not because of bad performance or bad service.  65% of customers leave because of indifference. We spent all this time getting those customers to buy. We deliver the goods and the customer is happy. Then we go onto the next sale and forget about them.  We failed to give them the attention they deserve. Basically, we didn’t “Wow” them and they went elsewhere.

Now not only did we NOT continue selling them. We never worked on up selling them or cross selling.

It’s even worse though. We never got these customers, who at some point were excited enough to pay us money, to give us referrals. Have you considered the value of a referral from a satisfied customer for your business?

That absolute least expensive customer to sell to us an existing customer. We are short changing ourselves big time.

So the third lead in the sales cycle is “Lost Customers.”


 

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