Lead nurturing is a monumental task. You may feel overwhelmed. You’ve got current clients you’re working with and new leads coming in that need attention. There are only so many hours in a day. What you may have already learned is that how and when you respond to a lead could make or break your professional relationship. If you wait too long, they may be gone before you have an opportunity to reach out. Or, if you rely on a phone call, you might get caught in the voicemail trap. And while email might have once been a great way to embrace technology for your business, it no longer packs the powerful punch it used to have. But that doesn’t solve the problem that ideally, you should reach out to an incoming lead within five minutes.
Text messaging has become the most popular mode of communication. But if you’re not sure what to say or how to say it, the text message alone will not get the job done. Furthermore, you may not always have the convenience of being able to whip out your phone and pop off a text message.
The trick, then, is to use traditional and modern methods in conjunction with one another to present a complete package of communication. Reality dictates that a business needs to extend multiple touches within a short timespan before closing a sale. One study suggests that 80% of sales require five follow-ups.
Why Phone Calls are Dwindling
Professionals used to know that the best way to connect with a client is vocally. Before technology ran rampant, standard mail or phone calls were the only way to reach a client, stop short of knocking on their door. That’s admirable. It worked. But outbound phone calls to cement the deal aren’t all that they once were. Many people don’t answer their phone, don’t answer calls from numbers they don’t recognize, or worse – haven’t set up their voicemail. Those phone practices close off communication. There’s no way for you to reach that prospect by phone.
Does that mean you should give up phone calls? Absolutely not! But it does suggest that an outbound call might not be your best first option for reaching out. Eventually, the phone is almost impossible to avoid in the process of nurturing a lead, but a well-timed phone call that’s been prepped and primed may prove more fruitful than a first-response touch.
The Fading Power of Email
Nearly all of us did it – trip over ourselves to see who was reaching out to us when we heard that email notification. That was a long time ago. Email popularity caught like wildfire in the beginning, but has since extinguished itself to a single burning ember. At first, email was used primarily between friends, family members, and associates. But then businesses caught on, started building email lists, and the average inbox was slammed with hundreds of emails no one wanted to read. People learned to unsubscribe. Furthermore, not everyone has the internet know-how to check their junk or spam folders, so many of the emails you send may never even be read at all.
Additionally, emails are “cold”. Often times, because of the void of vocal tone or facial expressions, an email can be mistaken as being cut-and-dry.
Email still has its place in marketing and lead cultivation, but that often comes after the lead has been nurtured to a degree. Where email does retain its power is in sending and receiving documents.
The Text Messaging Explosion
Text messaging is the most popular app on smartphones. In fact, statistics show that 97 percent of Americans use text messaging at least once per day. Furthermore, 80% of people use texting for business. Why? Because it works! Where an email may take up to an hour and a half to garner a response, studies show that people respond to text messages within a minute and a half.
The idea behind text messaging is to engage in conversation. Yes, you want to provide information, but when you pose a text message in such a way that it provokes more than a yes or no answer, you begin a conversation. You may follow up that conversation with an email, a phone call, or both — but it’s that text message touch that opens the door for further conversation.
Tying it All Together
Lead nurturing can be a challenge. The idea is not to eliminate phone calls or emails in lieu of text messages, but to use those three methods of communication together. Phone calls and emails are not extinct, but they don’t have the power to pull the conversation together.
Think about this: If the best practice is 15 touches within 10 days to nurture a lead, how would you feel about someone blowing your phone up with phone calls? Aggressive, right? How about someone slamming your in box with a slew of emails? Annoying, to say the least. But when you begin with text messaging, follow up with email, and then provide the personal attention only a phone call can accomplish, you master the art of nurturing a lead.
How to Master Communication in Lead Nurturing
If you tried to handle every text message, email, and phone call manually, you may find yourself chasing your tail, or making motion without progress. You’ve got clients to meet, business to handle, and may not be able to personally respond to each incoming inquiry. But if you wait until the end of the day to respond to leads, you may have already lost them. And worse, if you’re relying on manual systems, you may get overwhelmed, confused, and have no reliable record of communications.
Although you may be a one-man-show or a small team, it’s possible for you to deliver outstanding customer service that gives the impression of big business. How? Automation.
Automation begins with a solid database that can filter and sort incoming leads. Your automation system can then send that lead appropriate communication on your behalf, as if you had sent it yourself. Your automated system can engage with clients until such point that human interception is necessary. When the conversation can no longer progress without human intervention, you are notified that a qualified lead is ready to move to the next level in the sales funnel.
AutoPilot ISA is an automated inside sales agent that can respond by text message and email with the leads in your database until such time that a phone call is warranted. In other words, the lead nurturing is automated initially. The system, developed by Ballen Brands, delivers a pre-set number of touches within a pre-determined number of days to accommodate arrival, survival, and revival of a lead. Even better? The scripts are already prepped and ready to go. Furthermore, if you don’t already have a solid database platform such as Infusionsoft with which AutoPilot ISA can be integrated, we have a solution for that, too.
The AutoPilot ISA system integrates with Infusionsoft. When you already have Infusionsoft, we just plug in our systems and power up your campaign. If you don’t have Infusionsoft, we can either help you obtain it, or host your campaign on our servers. With multiple options, there’s nothing stopping you from implementing your own AutoPilot ISA and communicating with leads like a superstar.
The AutoPilot ISA campaign will work to make sure that your real estate leads are being communicated with regularly over a 12-month span. We’ll set you up with an entire year’s worth of scripts to communication with leads. AutoPilot ISA triggers strategic, timely correspondence throughout an entire year – and the content is already plugged in for you. There’s no need to bang your head on the keyboard trying to craft sales pitches that may or may not work. We’ve got you covered! Let AutoPilot ISA handle the lead nurturing for you!